Friday, 11 Nov 94 Washington, DC
1. D. ALLAN BROMLEY WINS THE AMERICAN PHYSICAL SOCIETY ELECTION!
Even as the Republicans were preparing to capture both houses of
Congress, physicists were electing George Bush's science advisor
Vice-President of the APS. He will ascend to the Presidency in
1997. An enormously productive nuclear physicist, Bromley is the
Sterling Professor of Science at Yale, a member of the National
Academy and recipient of the 1988 National Medal of Science. He
is also author of "The President's Scientists: Reminiscences of a
White House Science Advisor," in which he passionately opposes a
shift in NSF funding toward "strategic" research: "We have at
least 18 other agencies that can carry out technology transfer to
the industrial sector; if we lose our strength in fundamental
research, in a few years we will have very little to transfer."
2. ALAS, NSF FUNDING POLICY HAS ALREADY BEEN STOOD ON ITS HEAD
to please Barbara What's-Her-Name. It's not clear who the Senate
Republicans will pick to replace her as chair of the HUD/VA/IA
Appropriations Subcommittee if Gramm leaves the committee
(WN 4 Nov 94); D'Amato wants Banking.
Mark Hatfield (R-OR) is expected
to chair the full Appropriations Committee. Will his passion for
(WN 12 Aug 94) be restrained by the
in the Republican's "Contract with America"? Not likely! For a
Republican Congress to give that much authority to Bill Clinton
would be a clear violation of the second law of thermodynamics.
3. ON THE HOUSE SIDE, APPROPRIATIONS IS EVEN MORE OF A PROBLEM.
Joseph McDade (PA), the Committee's ranking Republican, is under
indictment for taking bribes, which is not the best image for
reform. John Myers (IN) is next in line, but he may not be in
tune with Newt Gingrich, presumably the next Speaker. McDade is
also ranking Republican on the Defense Subcommittee; that leaves
Bill Young (FL), but he's the likely replacement for Myers. Jerry
Lewis (CA) can expect to chair the VA/HUD/IA Subcommittee. John
Kasich (OH) will have the Budget Committee, which must figure out
where to slash the FY96 budget. Yes, it's the same John Kasich of
the notorious Penny-Kasich
Amendment (WN 12 Nov 93) which, among
other things, called for a DOE lab closure commission and for
consolidation of science agencies into one Department of Science.
4. ALL FORMS OF "INDUSTRIAL POLICY" ARE TARGETED FOR EXTINCTION.
Advanced Technology Programs in Commerce, Technology Reinvestment
Programs in Defense, ARPA dual-use technologies, CRADA's at DOE
labs, the six new strategic initiatives at NSF, will all come
under scrutiny as manifestations of a dreaded industrial policy.
5. OOPS! U-235 ENRICHMENT IN LIGHT-WATER POWER REACTORS IS 3-4%,
nowhere near the 20% quoted in WHAT'S NEW (4 Nov 94). 20% is the
boundary below which a critical mass is not possible. Anything
above 20% enrichment is defined to be "highly-enriched uranium."