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10 April 2014 11:44 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
Tight budgets are forcing NASA to consider turning off one or more planetary science projects that have completed their...
Ebola is not a stranger to West Africa—an outbreak in the 1990s killed chimpanzees and sickened one researcher. But the...
In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly...
Tropical disease experts tried and failed before to eradicate yaws, a rare disfiguring disease of poor countries. Now,...
Since 2002, researchers have reported that agricultural communities in the hot and humid Pacific Coast of Central...
Balkan endemic kidney disease surfaced in the 1950s and for decades defied attempts to finger the cause. It occurred...
The Pyrenean ibex, an impressive mountain goat that lived in the central Pyrenees in Spain, went extinct in 2000. But a...
- 10 April 2014 11:44 am , Vol. 344 , #6180
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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.