Friday, 8 July 94 Washington, DC
1. THE MURTHA RAMPAGE: TRYING TO PUT THE PIN BACK IN THE GRENADE!
The $900M cut in DOD support for university research called for
by the House (WN 1 Jul 94)
is in the Report accompanying the DOD
spending bill and not the bill itself, which makes a legislative
fix difficult. Because report language is not legally binding,
Congress itself never seems to take Reports seriously, but the
agencies are invariably intimidated into compliance. That's why
the Report is the preferred barrel for academic pork. An Execu-
tive Order could be issued directing DOD to ignore the Report,
but the White House can't even seem to issue its science policy
statement (WN 1 Jul 94).
The university research community is
hoping the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, chaired by
Daniel Inouye (D-HI), can restore the funds. Some appropriators,
however, may view the cut as a pot from which to fund projects of
their own. The Subcommittee is tentatively scheduled to mark up
its bill on 26 July. On 12 July, the Subcommittee will question
Secretary of Defense William Perry about the bill. A $900M cut
in a $243B bill may not even come up unless the Subcommittee is
made aware of how this unanticipated cut would disrupt graduate
student training, impose an unfair burden on already strained
university resources, and delay DOD's long-range research. The
Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee FAX is 202-224-3001.
2. CURATOR RESPONDS TO CHARACTERIZATION OF EXHIBIT IN WHAT'S NEW
(WN 17 Jun 94).
Arthur Molella, Chief Curator of the Smithsonian
exhibit "Science in American Life" states: "I have been surprised
by the comments of Robert Park on the show. His remarks are not
a fair representation. `Science in American Life' documents the
interactions between science and society over the past century.
A series of case studies explores not only the development of
science and the scientific community, but the history of public
response to science. We are making every effort to ensure that
in the future our docents will present these themes as accurately
as possible. It is true that we deal with controversial topics,
but the exhibit presents them in a balanced way, and we deal with
more than controversy, including a hands-on-science center in
which visitors can experience directly some of the excitement of
doing science. I invite you to visit our exhibit and make up
your own mind. You are also welcome to contact me directly with
your comments and perspectives. `Science in American Life' is at
the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC."
3. ELSEWHERE, ENRICO FERMI WILL NOW BE HAWKING "OLD STYLE" BEER!
As WHAT'S NEW reported (17 Jun 94),
Heileman Brewing has dropped
its Al Capone billboards in response to complaints from Italian-
Americans. Al is being replaced with Italian-American Enrico
Fermi. We failed, however, to correctly guess what the caption
would be. Well-placed sources tell us the caption will read
"After work, Enrico went out with friends and split a few."