Over the years the peer review system for awarding federal research
funds has come under fire for being an "old-boys' network," made up
of prominent academics from elite institutions channeling funding
back to their institutions and colleagues, and biased against
lesser-known schools and regions.  Members of Congress often use
this criticism to justify earmarking funds for their
constituencies.  Chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs
Committee, John Glenn (D-Ohio) asked the General Accounting Office

2 Sep 1994

The following are selections from the recent OSTP report:

18 Aug 1994

After 15 minutes of consideration before recessing for the July 4th
holiday, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 4650, the
Defense Appropriations Bill for FY 1995.  Contained in this bill is
a provision cutting university research funding by 50% from the
Clinton Administration's request of $1.8 billion (see FYI #91.)
The bill is now before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on
Defense, which is scheduled to mark it up on or about July 26.  The
House and Senate subcommittees will then go to conference to

12 Jul 1994

A May 24 hearing reviewing the status of U.S. research on global
climate change revealed a field still beset with scientific
uncertainty, conflicting opinions, and many complex factors on
which more research is needed.  Senate Energy and Natural Resources
Committee chairman J. Bennett Johnston (D-Louisiana) opened the
hearing with the hope that it might help clarify "lingering
uncertainties."  He questioned whether the U.S. could meet its
commitment to greenhouse gas reductions without harsher measures

6 Jun 1994

As a service to our readers, the American Institute of Physics has
set up an archive for back issues of FYI.  It can be accessed
either via a gopher program, or through anonymous file transfer
protocol (ftp), the standard Internet method for transferring
files.  The archive currently contains FYIs from the beginning of
1993 through the most recent issue.  Instructions are provided

For those readers with access to a gopher, use your gopher program
to connect to "pinet.aip.org," and you will see the FYI archives as
menu choice #3:

5 May 1994

House science committee chairman George Brown (D-California) and
the members of his committee have taken several actions recently to
reduce the practice of earmarking, or pork-barreling, in the budget
process.  As chair of an authorizing committee (which approves
programs), Brown has been an active opponent of earmarking, in
which appropriators (who provide funding) ignore authorizing
legislation and target funds for specific projects in their state
or district-- projects that have usually not undergone competitive

29 Apr 1994

How does the compact for R&D funding between the federal government
and the scientific community need to change to meet the
requirements of the post-Cold War era?  This topic was discussed at
the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science
(AAAS) R&D Colloquium, held in Washington, D.C. on April 6-8.
Recently, two influential Members of Congress have been at the
forefront of this debate; Rep. George Brown (D-California) has
initiated a reevaluation of the premises upon which federal R&D

13 Apr 1994

While construction on the SSC may have been terminated last fall,
it is clear that the controversy over the project has not died with
it.  A March 15 hearing of the House Subcommittee on Science on the
termination of the SSC provided ample evidence of the heated
emotions still prevalent on Capitol Hill about the project.

6 Apr 1994

Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) recently addressed an OSTP Forum
on Science in the National Interest.  Selected portions of this
important speech follow. (Note: in the interest of space, some
paragraphs have been combined, with combined paragraph breaks
marked as //.)

14 Feb 1994

A seven-page letter to the Texas "Governor's Advisory
Committee--Superconducting Super Collider," summarizes the findings
of a National Research Council panel on alternative uses for the
SSC's facilities.  Chaired by NRC Vice Chairman Robert M. White,
the panel based its findings on discussions with the committee and
a full day of site tours and presentations.

21 Jan 1994


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