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Clinton rings the changes at the top

点击量:   时间:2017-09-19 01:01:08

By Peter Aldhous FOR only the second time in its 150-year history, a serving President has addressed the AAAS. Escaping the controversy in Washington DC, Bill Clinton came to Philadelphia to stress the promise offered by the extra cash for research outlined in his 1999 budget request to Congress—and to announce important changes in his science policy team. Those changes were forced by the resignation of Clinton’s science adviser, physicist Jack Gibbons, who after five years in office had reportedly been looking for a chance to step down for many months. “His ability to build bipartisan coalitions on contentious issues from nuclear testing to cloning to climate change has strengthened our nation immeasurably,” Clinton told the AAAS. Gibbons will be replaced by Neal Lane, another physicist, who heads the National Science Foundation (NSF), the main source of government grants for American university scientists working in fields other than biomedicine. Lane, in turn, will be succeeded by Rita Colwell, a microbiologist who directs the University of Maryland’s Biotechnology Institute. Colwell, who was named as Neal’s deputy at the NSF only last month, will be the first biologist to head the foundation. Lane and Colwell’s first task in their new jobs will be to convince Congress to back Clinton’s science budget request for 1999, which would provide a 12 per cent increase in funding for the NSF and 8.4 per cent for the National Institutes of Health. “This investment would set the stage for a new century of progress through learning and discovery,