16 November 2001
1. SEPTEMBER 11: THE SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING SCHOLARSHIP FUND.
More than 30 organizations within the science and engineering communities have jointly established a fund to support science and engineering education of the families of victims of the September 11 attack.
The fund will be administered by the Citizens Scholarship Foundation of America, and is part of the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund chaired jointly by former President Bill Clinton and former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole.
For more information see: http://www.aps.org/sciencefund.cfm
2. BIOTERRORISM: ALTERNATIVE RESPONSES TO EXPOSURE.
The chair of the House Government Reform Committee, Dan Burton (R-IN), held a hearing Wednesday on how to respond to bio-terrorist attacks.
Burton can't understand why we don't just treat this stuff with alternative medicine
(WN 19 Oct 01).
For Burton, this is nothing new; in a 1999 hearing on Alternative Medicine his lead witness was Jane Seymour, who played Dr.
Quinn, Medicine Woman on TV
(WN 12 Feb 99).
This time, however, Stephen Straus, director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine was testifying, and it wasn't what Burton wanted to hear.
Straus questioned "whether the measures that some are promoting do anything more than prey upon people's fears and distract them from taking more prudent steps to protect themselves...
It may not even be prudent to combine such natural products with antibiotics because of the possibility that they would interfere with proper action of the drugs."
Perhaps fearing a backlash, many in the alternative medicine industry have issued unprecedented warnings to the public not to use their products to treat or cure anthrax.
3. NASA: THE GOLDIN AGE FINALLY COMES TO AN END.
Sean O'Keefe, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, and a financial expert, has been nominated to replace Dan Goldin as NASA Administrator
(WN 19 Oct 01).
O'Keefe's main assignment will be to establish budgetary discipline in the troubled agency.
About half of NASA's budget goes to programs involving humans in space, and of course that's where the trouble lies.
With the space station crew down to a Mir-sized three, far short of taxpayer expectations, NASA is bracing for a deep culture shock.
The budget just passed diverts money from human space flight to Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, Rep. Weldon of Florida complained.
Good heavens, they might even do some science.
4. THE SUMMIT: NO AGREEMENT WAS REACHED ON MISSILE DEFENSE.
This is not bad. For the time being, the United States will continue to abide by the 1972 ABM treaty.
It's not like we had an ABM system to install in any case, but the U.S. will continue searching for the sorcerer's stone, and could withdraw later.
In the meantime, both sides will reduce their nuclear arsenals.