Friday, 13 September, 1991 Washington, DC
1. MORE BODIES UNEARTHED AS INDIRECT COST
Even as Stanford disclosed last week that upkeep on the tomb of its
founder had been billed as a research-related cost, corpses were being
found at other major research university campuses. Records exhumed by
federal auditors at the University of Michigan reveal expenses, represented
as research-related, for travel by the UM Director of Communications and
his wife to the 1989 Rose Bowl. Not only is UM the first public university to
be caught in the fallout of Stanford's overhead bomb, Michigan is the home
state of Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), who led congressional hearings into
academic sleaze. In April, MIT agreed to pay back $731,000 to the
government (WN 26 APR 91). Johns Hopkins
reportedly used federal research funds for lavish parties. It beats
2. NSF PANEL TO EXPLORE ROOTS OF UNHAPPINESS IN
Puzzled by the fact that researchers have
been complaining, NSF has put Roland Schmitt, President of RPI, in charge
of getting to the bottom of this mystery. Schmitt, former head of the
National Science Board, believes research funding is not the real problem.
His theory was contained in a letter to Physics Today last June. "Clearly
there is something funny happening here," he is quoted as saying. In an
attempt to help, WHAT'S NEW has reviewed recent events for clues to this
baffling malaise, but we found nothing! After all, what scientist would object
to administrators' using overhead gouged from research grants to throw
parties and travel to football games, or to congressional earmarking of
research funds for a $20M Science Center at East Cupcake Divinity School,
or to gigadollar space stations with no discernable mission?
3. HOW STEALTHY IS THE B-2? STEALTHY ENOUGH TO
CONCEAL THE FLAWS
in its radar-evading capability while the
government spent $30B on the program. Even if the B-2 program is killed,
however, the savings could not be used for urgent domestic needs under
the terms of the budget agreement. Although the Senate turned down a
proposal by Tom Harkin (D-IA) to shift resources from defense to social
welfare, pressure is building to re-examine the budget agreement in the
wake of a diminishing Soviet threat.
4. U.S. MAINTAINS "SUNUNU STANCE" ON CO2 AT NAIROBI
The meeting is intended to draft an international
accord for the control of greenhouse emissions to be signed next June in
Rio de Janiero. In the White House, controls are as popular as spotted owls
at a lumber camp. The US, alone, insists that action should await further
research. Meanwhile, NASA launched a satellite to study ozone depletion.
It is the first step in EOS; according to NASA, it opens a new era in
environmental observation from space.
5. IN RESPONSE TO NUMEROUS REQUESTS, JAMES RANDI's
against the law suit by Uri Geller is: the Skeptics
Legal Fund, c/o Robert Steiner, P.O. Box 659, El Cerito, CA 94530.