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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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New German Science Minister Shows Her Hand
3 December 1998 7:00 pm
BERN, SWITZERLAND--Germany will shut down and dismantle a number of unnecessary nuclear power research facilities, Education and Research Minister Edelgard Bulmahn announced this week. The plan dovetails with the new governing coalition's intention to phase out the nation's nuclear power plants over an as-yet-undetermined time frame.
In her first major policy speech since taking office in late October, Bulmahn said in Bonn on 1 December that some experimental and pilot-project facilities, built for studying peaceful uses of nuclear energy, "will no longer be needed." The facilities, the identities of which were not released by the ministry, will be shuttered "in a way that is safe, uninterrupted, ecofriendly, and cost-effective," Bulmahn said.
Bulmahn also criticized her predecessor's decision to focus most of Germany's space resources on crewed missions. Nevertheless, she insisted that Germany would stand by its commitments to spend nearly $1.5 billion on the International Space Station project--about 40% of Europe's total contribution. In contrast to France's announcement on 30 November to collaborate directly with NASA on Mars exploration, Bulmahn said Germany planned to keep working within the framework of the European Space Agency and would press to continue reforms already underway to streamline the agency's administration, as well as pressure German industry to take a greater role in financing space missions and research.
In general, Bulmahn said the Social Democrat-Green Party coalition plans to stand by its election campaign commitments to significantly increase federal funding for research and higher education over the next 5 years. Even so, the budgets for the nation's two main basic research organizations--the Max Planck Society and the DFG granting agency--are still slated to grow next year by the same 5% proposed by the previous German government. Bulmahn also called for major investments and reforms in Germany's troubled university system, with the goal of making universities more dynamic, flexible, and international.