- News Home
17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
- About Us
Scientists Rally Around Smithsonian Centers
16 April 2001 7:00 pm
A proposal to close two research centers of the Smithsonian Institution is meeting rising opposition from researchers, policy-makers, and congressional representatives.
Often regarded as the U.S. equivalent of a ministry of science and culture, the Smithsonian has 16 museums, the National Zoo, and a half-dozen remote research units, all of which get about two-thirds of their support from the U.S. government. As part of an impending reorganization of research there, Smithsonian Secretary Lawrence Small last week called for the closing of the National Zoo's Conservation and Research Center in Front Royal Virginia and the Smithsonian Center for Materials Research and Education (ScienceNOW, 10 April).
In response to early rumors of the closing, Congressman Frank Wolf (R-Virginia) met on 5 April with representatives of about two dozen conservation and scientific organizations and mapped out a strategy for convincing Small, the Smithsonian's Board of Regents, and the U.S. Congress that these centers are worth saving. And on 16 April, scientists at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History held a special meeting of their Senate of Scientists. While they stopped short of giving Small a vote of no confidence, many did sign a letter to Small objecting to the closing of the centers and to the "top down" management style that they say Small has imposed.
"I think we've got to all speak out," says Smithsonian ornithologist Storrs Olson.