Friday, 16 Dec 94 Washington, DC
1. DEFENSE DIVERSION: RESCIND FY 1995 UNIVERSITY RESEARCH GRANTS?
With budget cutting turning into a spitting contest between the
White House and the Republican Congress, there's no telling where
it will stop. Two of the most influential Republicans on Senate
Armed Services have warned President Clinton that his proposal to
add $25B to defense still won't make us "ready" enough. So John
Warner (VA) and John McCain (AZ) propose rescinding $8B already
appropriated for "wasteful programs," and redirecting it to "high
priority" needs. What "wasteful programs" do they have in mind?
Along with executive jets and such standard Republican targets as
defense conversion programs, the Technology Reinvestment Program
and environmental cleanup, the Warner/McCain hit list includes
$1.1B in university research and $363M in medical research. The
FY 95 appropriation for DOD university research was cut by $200M
as a result of John Murtha's rampage in the House
(WN 30 Sep 94).
If another $1.1B is rescinded it will leave only about $500M, but
in this climate every proposal to cut the budget is listened to.
2. SCIENCE FRICTION: WALKER WANTS NSF TO GET BACK TO THE BASICS!
Robert S. Walker (R-PA), chair of the renamed House "Committee on
Science" (WN 9 Dec 94), believes "too much
of the NSF budget is
being diverted to applied research." Walker outlined his plans
for the Committee on Wednesday. The focus, he promised, will be
on the next century; he endorsed peer review, university research
and the space station. He has an open mind on OTA
(WN 9 Dec 94),
thinks there is some merit in a Department of Science, believes
fusion should be looked at, and promised hearings into political
motivations behind the Mission to Planet Earth and global warming
research. To back up his opinion on the proper mission of NSF, he
assigned jurisdiction of NSF to a "Basic Research Subcommittee."
3. PSYCHIC SPOON BENDER MUST FORK OVER LEGAL COSTS OF HIS NEMESIS
A federal appeals court upheld a lower court order requiring Uri
Geller to pay James "the Amazing" Randi and the Committee for the
Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal the $149,000
spent defending against his "frivolous" $15M suit for defamation
(WN 30 Aug 91). Randi exposed Geller
in "The Truth About Uri
Geller." Physicists at SRI, by contrast, were easily bamboozled.
4. APS/AIP 1995-96 CONGRESSIONAL SCIENCE FELLOWSHIP APPLICATIONS
must be complete by 15 Jan 95. Fellows serve for one year on the
staff of a member of Congress, or on a Congressional Committee,
contributing their perspective as scientists to issues of public
policy. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and have a PhD in
physics or a closely related field. For more information write
to Audry Leath at email@example.com or phone (301) 209-3094.
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