Friday, 17 October 97 Washington, DC
1. **GRAMM-LIEBERMAN BILL WOULD DOUBLE RESEARCH FUNDING.**
Civilian research would be doubled in one decade under the
new bipartisan National Research Investment Act. The bill
will be introduced next Wednesday by Senators Phil Gramm
(R-TX) and Joe Lieberman (D-CN). They will be joined at a
press conference on Capitol Hill by more than 100 leaders in
science, medicine, mathematics and engineering. Ron Breslow,
Past President of the American Chemical Society, Allan
Bromley, President of the APS and Winfred Phillips of the
American Society of Mechanical Engineers, will speak for the
coalition. It comes as the line out of the White House is
that there is "no opportunity for research growth" in the
request for FY 99 now under preparation.
2. NATIONAL SCIENCE POLICY: EHLERS WILL HEAD A YEAR-LONG STUDY.
The entire range of science policy issues confronting the nation
in the next century will be examined in a study headed by Rep.
Vern Ehlers (R-MI). Ehlers, a PhD physicist and a Fellow of the
APS, is Vice Chair of the Science Committee. The study, which
has been blessed by Newt Gingrich (R-GA), James Sensenbrenner
(R-WI) and George Brown (D-CA), begins Wednesday with a
roundtable discussion between prominent scientists,
representatives of the Executive Branch and members of the
3. NUCLEAR MATERIALS: CONGRESSMAN BLASTS DOE FOR LAX
In May, the Denver Post reported serious failures in security
measures intended to prevent theft of nuclear materials at the
Rocky Flats site. This week, in a letter to DOE Secretary Pena,
Congressman Edward Markey (D-MA) charged that an internal DOE
report suggests the problem is not confined to the Rocky Flats
facility, but includes Los Alamos, Livermore and the Y-12 site at
Oak Ridge. The report cites a global increase in terrorist
attempts to steal nuclear weapons. In one instance, a Montana
militia group attempted to recruit members from the Rocky Flats
guard force. Markey expressed concern that internal disagreement
at DOE was hampering progress toward correcting the problems.
4. 1997 NOBEL PRIZE IN PHYSICS: FOR CAPTURING COLD ATOMS.
The prize was awarded jointly to Steven Chu of Stanford
University, Claude Cohen-Tannoudji of the College de France and
Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris, and William Phillips of the
National Institute of Standards and Technology, who is also
Adjunct Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland, for
"development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light."
The technique is expected to lead to atomic clocks with a
hundredfold greater precision than at present, and new methods of
nanometer-scale fabrication. All three recipients are Fellows of
5. LOST IN SPACE: THIS IS THE DAY THE ROBINSON FAMILY LEFT EARTH
in the old TV series. The bad guy was the scientist, Dr. Smith.