China Battles Internet Addiction, Nobel Laureates Battle Climate Change

Here's a rundown of some of the stories we've been following on Science's policy blog, ScienceInsider:

The planned restart of the Large Hadron Collider will be pushed back from September to at least November because of newly discovered "vacuum leaks" in two sections of the accelerator. CERN disclosed the bad news in the latest issue of its online newsletter.

India's new environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, says India will not agree to mandatory reductions in carbon emissions. Ramesh spoke at a news conference with visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "We are simply not in a position to take over legally binding emission reduction targets," Ramesh said. Clinton said the United States would not impose targets on India or "do anything that would limit India's economic progress."

Spanish economist Andreu Mas-Colell, the new secretary-general of the 3-year-old European Research Council, wants to do more for young researchers, especially women. In a Q&A with ScienceInsider, he says ERC's grantmaking process is not biased against women or Eastern Europeans.

Thirty-four U.S. Nobel laureates last week called on President Barack Obama to push for a steady funding mechanism in upcoming climate legislation to support clean energy research. Many billions of dollars are already flowing from stimulus funding, they note in a letter to Obama, but the money will run out in October 2010. The Nobelists want the president to follow through on an earlier pledge to spend $15 billion a year for 10 years for research on clean energy.

Norman Augustine, who is chairing a blue-ribbon panel examining alternative futures for the U.S. human space-flight effort, hinted last week that the panel might shy away from advocating an expensive human mission to the moon, Mars, or an asteroid. Recommendations to the White House are expected by the end of August.

The Chinese government has banned the controversial application of electroconvulsive therapy for so-called Internet addiction after a clinic gained notoriety for applying electric shocks to unanesthetized teenagers being treated against their will (Science, 26 June, p. 1630).

For more on these stories and the latest science policy news and analysis, visit ScienceInsider.

Posted in Policy, Asia, Climate, Space