Friday, 1 April 1988
THE SENATE BUDGET COMMITTEE'S FY 89 BUDGET RESOLUTION
was reported out on Wednesday. All told, the budget resolution,
which the full Senate will consider on 11 April, calls for $13.4B
for Budget Function 250, Science Space and Technology, $1B more
than the House authorized (WN 25 Mar 88).
The Committee called
for a whopping 25% increase in High Energy and Nuclear Physics at
the DOE, "to support the ongoing program and the development of
the SSC," but did not specify how much for each. NASA's space
programs did even better, increasing 27% and gobbling up $10.4B
of the $13.4B proposed for Budget Function 250. The NSF, by
contrast, would get only an 11% increase. The Committee balked
at Eric Bloch's proposed five-year $150M plan for Science and
Technology Centers, preferring instead to provide just the $30M
needed for the first year. The authorization effectively puts a
cap on the actual appropriation, but the Appropriation Committees
are not bound by the breakdown within a budget function.
. THE "CHINA SYNDROME" IN AMERICAN GRADUATE SCHOOLS
is threatened by a more restrictive policy on study in the US,
imposed by the Chinese government. Such a change would have a
drastic impact on physics departments, which have come to depend
on Chinese students to man our laboratories as America's youth
dabbles in New Age mysticism. China is concerned about the
increasing number of scholars who are remaining in the US after
their studies are completed. One Chinese scholar, explaining his
decision to seek permanent status in the US, said that "in China
they are just interested in making money." He wanted to remain
in the US so that he could devote himself to "pure science."
3. THE COUNCIL ON SUPERCONDUCTIVITY FOR AMERICAN COMPETITIVENESS,
a private group not to be confused with the
Advisory Group to the President on Commercial Applications of
Superconductivity (WN 11 Mar 88),
held a briefing Wednesday on
"The Superconductivity Race: Where We Are." They left no doubt
as to who the race is with, introducing their new publication
"Focus on Japan," a slick monthly bulletin containing items
plucked from Japanese newspapers concerning recent commercial
developments. The Chairman of the Board of CSAC is Jay Keyworth,
who used to advise the President on scientific matters.
4. DR. KEYWORTH IS BRANCHING OUT.
His Washington consulting
business, The Keyworth Company, apparently folded. Today,
however, he becomes Research Director of The Hudson Institute in
Indianapolis, a "think tank" founded by the late Herman Kahn who
prided himself on "thinking the unthinkable." Keyworth is also
the narrator of a new videocassette marketed by Light Video
Television, Inc. entitled "AIDS: Can I Get It?" It's only $9.95.
ERRATUM: In WHAT'S NEW, 4 Mar 88, we miscounted the number of
remaining Materials Research Laboratories. There are nine left.