5 January 2001
1. BOB AND THE TREE: SO WHO SAID IT WOULD BE EASY?
Since Oct 18,
Bob Park has been working at home while recuperating. Next week,
however, he is returning to the hospital for major surgery and
will be out of contact for at least two weeks. Not to worry, the
(WN 29 Dec 00)
will surely look into this, and
the superb Washington APS staff will keep WN readers informed.
2. THE NEW WEAPONS RACE: BEYOND A GROUND-BASED NMD SYSTEM.
on the Bush priority list is a quick review of Clinton's NMD
plans, which the new administration regards as hopelessly timid.
Since they're choosing the review panel, Bush advisors know that
the review will propose a layered defense. With land, sea and air
components, there's something for everyone. Think of this new
weapons race as tax relief for the defense industry. Meanwhile,
General Shalikashvili, the Special Advisor to Clinton on the
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, issued his final recommendations.
He urges Bush's Administration to do what Clinton's didn't.
3. THE NEW SPACE RACE: THIS COULD BRING CHINA TO HER KNEES.
plans to conduct its second pilotless test flight early this
month of the Shenzhou spacecraft, a step that it hopes will lead
to its own space station. Apparently China is convinced that
launching people into space will make it a space power, even as
Russia abandons Mir, and the US gropes around for a way to
justify the ISS. But the real challenge is still translating
"Shenzhou" into English
(WN 24 Nov 99).
Is it "God Vessel" or
"Beautiful Land"? Maybe they could settle it with a ballot.
4. ABRAHAM TO HEAD (BEHEAD?) DOE.
Spencer Abraham, Bush nominee
for the thankless post of Energy Secretary, has had a checkered
relationship with the department. He spent much of his term in
the Senate supporting abolition of DOE, though a Bush spokesman
stated that Abraham has since changed his mind. Abraham has
backed DOE's science mission; he was among those recently calling
for increased funding for the Office of Science
(WN 15 Sep 00).
5. TECH GURUS EDUCATE BUSH.
Bush met with tech-sector CEO's this
week for policy advice, and got a unanimous answer: we need more
investment in K-12 science and math, to create a technically
educated workforce. Bush proclaimed the issue a priority.
6. GOODBYE SENSENBRENNER!
The game of musical chairs for House
committee postings has ended, and moderate Sherwood Boehlert (R-
NY) ascends to the Science chair. Sensenbrenner (R-WI) moves on
to Judiciary, where a science staffer quipped "they will be
welcome to him." Education and Workforce goes to Boehner (R-OH).
They passed over the more moderate Petri (R-WI), recent host of
an "Intelligent Design" briefing before Congress
(WN 12 May 00).