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Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
- About Us
Germany's New Science Minister Steps Out of Shadow
20 October 1998 6:00 pm
BONN--The newly elected ruling coalition of Social Democrats and Greens yesterday announced that Edelgard Bulmahn will become research and education minister when the new government assumes control on 27 October. Bulmahn says she will support bigger budgets for the nation's scientists and universities, but observers are waiting to see how her ministry will approach the controversial issues of biotechnology regulation and nuclear science.
Although Bulmahn, 47, is a political scientist by training, she is no stranger to science policy. She recently served as "shadow minister" for science while the Social Democrats were in the opposition, and since 1995 has served on the Bundestag's science and education committee. Bulmahn has a good grasp of the issues facing German science, says biochemist Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker, who heads the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Germany's basic-research granting agency.
Bulmahn says that the new ruling partners, led by Chancellor-designate and longtime ally Gerhard Schröder, "agree on the importance of scientific research for Germany's future." In a new position paper, the coalition promises a "significant strengthening" of science budgets next year and moves to bolster German universities.
Bulmahn told ScienceNOW that she opposes "major changes" in biotechnology policies, despite a push by some Greens for stricter controls on research involving genetically engineered plants. However, she expressed support for studies into the potential risks of certain biotechnology methods. It is not yet clear, however, how her ministry will respond to the research implications of the coalition's plans to phase out Germany's nuclear energy industry. The move could pinch fusion research and possibly delay the FRM-II neutron source now under construction in Garching.