Friday, 23 September 1988
THE NATIONAL SCIENCE BOARD IS UNDER-STRENGTH
and likely to
remain that way until after the inauguration. The NSB, which
oversees the National Science Foundation, is composed of 24
members, appointed by the President for staggered 6-year terms.
Eight terms expired in May, as they do every two years. Baker,
Hosler and Schmitt were re-nominated, while Nierenberg and
Rasmussen have been neither re-nominated nor replaced. Three new
members were nominated: Daniel Drucker, Arden Bement and Allan
Bromley. Of the six, only two, Baker and Drucker, have been
confirmed by the Senate, which is traditionally reluctant to
consider presidential appointments in the waning weeks of an
2. ROBERT O. HUNTER, JR. WAS CONFIRMED AS DIRECTOR OF ENERGY
RESEARCH at DOE,
however, with only four months to go. He was
first nominated to replace Al Trivelpiece in June of 1987
Jun 87), but the 100th Congress took no action and he was
re-nominated by Reagan this May
(WN 3 Jun 88). Hunter was
previously president of Western Research, a San Diego defense
contractor doing "black research," and served on the White House
Science Council from 82 to 84. Hunter has a PhD from the
University of California, Irvine. Why, you may ask, would anyone
wait more than a year for a job with apparently so little future?
3. "THE NATIONAL COMMISSION ON HUMAN RESOURCES ACT,"
by Senator Claiborne Pell (D-RI) is intended to facilitate the
attainment of "full potential in body, mind and spirit," so that
we might "live in harmony within a transformed family, community,
nation and universe." The commission would have a "scientific
advisory panel to assist the evaluation of technologies and
procedures...to develop fuller human potential" and would include
2 people with experience in "extraordinary human performance
research." We are not talking about the Olympics. Pell's aide,
Scott Jones, a retired Army officer, spends full-time promoting
research into ESP, channeling, etc. Pell himself met with Erich
Bloch some time ago to urge changes in the NSF's review of psi
proposals. The complaint was that such proposals were being sent
to physicists for review rather than to other psi researchers. In
a related effort, the Parapsychological Association, led by D. I.
Radin, has recently attacked a National Academy of Sciences'
study, "Enhancing Human Performance," conducted at the request of
the Army Research Council (WN 3 Dec 87). Radin complains that
the report issued last December would "influence people who would
be interested in funding psi research." In fact, the Academy
report seems to suffer from an excess of caution. After
concluding that it could find "... no justification from research
conducted over 130 years for the existence [of psi phenomenon],"
the report goes on to recommend that the Army continue to
"monitor" psi research. Something may happen yet!