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24 April 2014 11:45 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
Major climate data sets have underestimated the rate of global warming in the last 15 years owing largely to poor data...
The tsetse fly is best known as the vector for the trypanosome parasites that cause sleeping sickness and a disease in...
The National Institutes of Health is revising its "two strikes" rule, which allowed researchers only one chance to...
By stabilizing the components of retromers, molecular complexes that act like recycling bins in cells, a recently...
Fossil fuels power modern society by generating heat, but much of that heat is wasted. Semiconductor devices called...
Researchers are gaining insights into what made Supertyphoon Haiyan so powerful and devastating through post-storm...
Millions around the world got a first-hand look at what it was like to be in Tacloban while it was pummeled by...
- 24 April 2014 11:45 am , Vol. 344 , #6182
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Panel Named to Reorganize Smithsonian
17 July 2001 7:00 pm
The Smithsonian Institution took a long-awaited step on Monday, selecting 18 researchers to help guide a reorganization of scientific research at this conglomerate of 16 museums, a zoo, and a half-dozen research centers. The institution has been in turmoil since early April, when word spread of Smithsonian Secretary Lawrence Small's plans to cut some research efforts and revamp others.
Scientists and members of Congress have been up in arms about the plans. So in early May the Smithsonian's Governing Board of Regents decided to convene the panel to help quell the outcry and chart a less controversial course for future scientific endeavors (ScienceNOW, 7 May). It includes biologists, astronomers, geologists, anthropologists, and paleontologists--a half-dozen of whom are Smithsonian staff. Chaired by Jeremy Sabloff, director of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia, the panel will first meet on 6 September. Afterward, "we will take as long as it is necessary to come up with the appropriate recommendations," Sabloff says.
Over the next several months, he expects the group to evaluate reorganization plans proposed by Small, alternative plans floated by Smithsonian scientists, and perhaps even ideas from panel members.
Smithsonian paleontologist Brian Huber, a spokesperson for the Senate of Scientists at the beleaguered National Museum of Natural History, is not happy about the wait. "It's going to be a slow process, and we're going to be in limbo for some time." Even so, he says, the delay will be worth it if the panel "will move us in a direction we want to go."