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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
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...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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NSF Hopes for Presidential Pat on the Back
19 January 1999 8:30 pm
One of the nation's leading science bureaucrats will be a guest of honor tonight at President Clinton's State of the Union address to Congress. The White House has invited National Science Foundation (NSF) director Rita Colwell to accompany First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton to the annual ceremony--heightening speculation that Clinton will use the speech to highlight a new computer research initiative included in his upcoming 2000 budget proposal.
In recent years, presidents have introduced special guests during the nationally televised address to add a human touch to what is often a tedious and long-winded affair. Last year, for instance, Clinton recognized an ex-welfare recipient and a veteran of the Bosnian peacekeeping mission to promote the job training and international security initiatives on his annual budget wish list. The cameras also showed a beaming Harold Varmus, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as Clinton announced his plan to ask for the largest funding increase in the history of the biomedical research agency. In October, lawmakers approved more funds for NIH--a record $2 billion increase.
This year, Colwell's presence in the First Lady's select group of 10 guests suggests that it is NSF's turn to bask in the spotlight. Budget watchers expect Clinton to ask Congress to give NSF the largest percentage increase of any basic research agency--some 6%, or roughly $200 million, to nearly $3.9 billion. A good portion of that increase is expected to go to a computer research initiative, designed to boost the development of new software, hardware, and communication networks. The initiative--which is currently nameless but reportedly has the backing of Vice President Al Gore--will be coordinated by NSF and involve at least three other agencies.
Congressional aides say there is no guarantee that the president will mention Colwell, who is NSF's first woman director, by name. After all, notes one, "Rita doesn't quite have the name recognition of Sammy Sosa," the home run-belting baseball star who will be honored for his efforts to help survivors of Hurricane Mitch in his native Dominican Republic.