Friday, 6 January 1989 Washington, DC
THE FINAL REAGAN BUDGET REQUEST GOES TO CONGRESS ON MONDAY.
Credit for the first official leak goes to Senator Gramm of
Texas, who disclosed that the FY 90 asking budget for the SSC
will be $250M. Gramm takes some pride in having leaked every
announcement relating to the supercollider. The DOE had asked
for $363M. It seems likely, however, that this will be merely a
"philosophical budget." Previous Reagan budget requests have been
moderated by the need to deal with Congress. But, since Mr. Bush
will change the budget in any case, the President can use his FY
90 request to make an eloquent farewell statement of his
priorities. Meanwhile, Bush's budget man, Richard Darman, was
asking what a "bare-bones" SSC budget would be. What was he
told? $183M. Unfortunately, there is no Bush Energy Secretary
to defend the SSC. Schlesinger is said to have been blocked by
Gov. Clement of Texas. Deutch, who had been moved to the Science
Advisor list, is now apparently back on the Energy list.
. BUSH DID GET A LITTLE FREE ADVICE ON SCIENCE YESTERDAY.
National Academies of Science and Engineering and the Institute
of Medicine delivered four "white papers" to the President-elect
containing recommendations on space policy, AIDS, changes in the
global environment and White House science advice. This is the
first time the academies have offered unsolicited advice to an
incoming administration. The most controversial recommendation
was to delay the space station until NASA can figure out what it
wants to do with it. Alas, as with the other science posts, Bush
has so far not announced his choice for NASA Administrator.
3. REAGAN GOT ADVICE ON SUPERCONDUCTIVITY FROM HIS "WISE MEN"
this week. As part of the 11-point superconductivity initiative
he outlined in July of 1987, President Reagan promised to appoint
a committee of "wise men" to advise him on superconductivity
policy. The Committee, which was formed in March of 1988,
includes such distinguished scientists as Praveen Chaudhari, Ted
Geballe, Bob Schrieffer and Kent Bowen, and is chaired by Ralph
Gomory. Their report, just released, recommends increased
funding of principal investigator grants to universities to
accelerate scientific progress and called for the creation of
university, industry, government consortia to speed commercial
development. Why did they wait until the very sunset of the
Reagan Administration? Their report languished on the desk of
the President's Science Advisor, Bill Graham, for three months.
NOTICE: With this issue we begin the 5th year of WHAT'S NEW.
began as an experiment to see if APS members would be interested
in the informal news capsules the APS Office of Public Affairs
had been sending to APS officers since the OPA opened. The
result? Some like it--some don't. In case anyone doubted it, the
opinions that are freely mixed with the news are mine and do not
necessarily represent the views of the American Physical Society.