WHAT'S NEW (in my opinion), Friday, 3 Dec 93 Washington, DC 1. CLINTON CREATED +quot;THE N

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WHAT'S NEW (in my opinion), Friday, 3 Dec 93 Washington, DC 1. CLINTON CREATED "THE NATIONAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COUNCIL" to coordinate S&T policies across agency boundaries. It replaces the Federal Coordinating Committee for Science Engineering and Technology, National Space Council and National Materials Coun- cil. It includes the Vice President, Science Advisor, National Security Advisor, Cabinet Secretaries and heads of OMB, NASA, NSF and EPA. This is the inside Council. The President also created an outside council, PCAST, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, to advise the inside council. PCAST will consist of 15 members from the private sector, one of whom will be designated a co-chair, plus the President's Science Advisor, John Gibbons, who will be the other co-chair. The NSTC will be asked to undertake an across-the-board review of R&D spending. 2. NASA BETS THE FARM ON MISSION TO REPAIR THE HUBBLE TELESCOPE. Officials at the space agency have encouraged the idea that this is a "make-or-break" mission; Hubble was designed to be serviced, and failure would cast doubt on the feasibility of assembling a space station. When Endeavour finally got off, the switchboards at the Houston Space Center were busy with calls from reporters, but, consistent with recent luck at the agency, most of the calls concerned an FBI "sting" operation; the investigation reportedly concerns bribery in the selection of shuttle experiments. Earlier in the week, President Clinton met with key congressional leaders to urge support for Russian participation in space station Alpha. Uneasy about the Russian role, Congress had locked up half of the station funds pending an explanation (WN 10 Sep 93). The group was satisfied with what they heard. It may be urgent, the plant that once made the Soviet shuttle "Buran" now makes bath tiles. 3. IT'S TIME TO CATCH UP ON THE NEWS FROM "ALTERNATIVE" SCIENCES. A year ago (WN 4 Sep 92), we told you about string theorist John Hagelin's candidacy for President on the Natural Law ticket. His bid fell a tad short, but in the recent Canadian elections, the NLP won just two fewer seats than the incumbent Progressive Con- servative Party--which won two seats. A pity, the NLP had hoped to unleash its super-string unified-field Lagrangian on Canada's problems. It was three years ago (WN 15 Jun 90) that we reported the strange events in the cold fusion laboratory of John Bockris at Texas A&M. Bockris doesn't seem to find tritium anymore, but things have gotten stranger. Now he mixes a dab of this and that with saltpeter, ignites the mixture, and POOF! Gold! Just last month (WN 5 Nov 93), we reviewed "The Great Power-Line Cover-up." Now it appears that Finland has joined the cover-up! The Finns, it seems, are obsessive about keeping records, making it possible to calculate the exposure levels of children living near power- lines amounting to one-million person years! In the whole cohort of 134,800 children there were 140 cancers, 5 less than expected. The only increased risk was for nervous system tumors among boys, but even that was attributed to one boy who had three tumors. Robert L. Park opa@aps.org The American Physical Society


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