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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
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
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Foundation Aims to Make Berlin a Research Mecca
10 June 2008 (All day)
BERLIN--Berlin's mayor, Klaus Wowereit, likes to joke that the city is "poor but sexy." He may now want to add "and smart." Despite chronic budget shortfalls, Berlin's city government has pledged €160 million ($250 million) over the next 4 years to attract top researchers to the city's four main universities as well as its research institutes.
The impetus for the "Berlin International Forum for Excellence" came from Jürgen Zöllner, the city's senator for science and education. He initially proposed a new "superuniversity," but the city's existing universities feared that the new institution would lure away their best talent. Instead, the city will set up a foundation that will identify existing "areas of excellence" and distribute funds to top up salaries of world-class researchers, set up graduate schools, and attract visiting scholars to the city.
Berlin's universities and scientific institutes will work together in governing the new foundation, Zöllner said in announcing the plan yesterday. It's a chance to make Berlin "one of the most important locations for research in the world," he crowed. That level of collaboration is unusual, says former federal undersecretary for research Wolf-Michael Catenhusen, whom Zöllner charged with negotiating an alternative to the superuniversity. "It is as if MIT, Harvard, and Boston University were all to cooperate on a project." Catenhusen says the foundation's planners hope to attract additional private donations to boost the pot of funds.