WHAT'S NEW (in my opinion), Friday, 25 Feb 1994 Washington, DC 1. A +quot;WHITE PAPER+quot

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WHAT'S NEW (in my opinion), Friday, 25 Feb 1994 Washington, DC 1. A "WHITE PAPER" ON "BIG SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION" was released by George Brown at the AAAS Meeting in San Francisco last Saturday. Brown, chair of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, proposed three initiatives: 1) in the short-term, all research projects in excess of $50M should be required to have Congressional authorization (the SSC never did) to help ensure sustained Congressional support; 2) in the mid-term, OSTP should prepare a forecast of the big-science projects that will be needed through 2010; and 3) in the long-term, a panel drawn from the G-7 nations should establish big-science priorities. 2. BROWN PLEDGES TO CONTINUE THE FIGHT AGAINST ACADEMIC EARMARKS! At a press conference in San Francisco, he declared his intention to use the NSF authorization to bar any university that accepts earmarked funds from receiving NSF grants. Unfortunately, some of the major beneficiaries of earmarks, such as Wheeling Jesuit College, have probably never had an NSF grant; still, it would be an effective deterrent for research universities. At a session on "Science After the SSC," APS President Burton Richter deviated from his prepared talk to comment on the controversy. The SS&T Committee is enlightened, he said, because it conducts real hearings to establish the facts. "But it is not the SS&T Committee that has been making science policy. You need only look at the reports of the appropriations committees. They hold no hearings and take no evidence; the reports express the opinions of a few staffers....Science has to become an interest group; it has to express itself strongly. If it does not, a few people will make science policy and take that policy in an irrational direction." 3. ALTERNATIVE SCIENCE: SPY CASE REVIVES POLYGRAPH CONTROVERSY! The arrest of Aldrich Ames, former head of counterintelligence at the CIA, focused attention on the CIA's reliance on lie detectors to ferret out moles. Ames took scores of polygraph exams over the years, and never flunked once. Is it possible lie detectors lie? Recall the 1986 case of Larry Chin, a career CIA analyst and spy for China; he also fooled the polygraph. In 1983 I was waiting to testify before the House Security Subcommittee. OTA Director John Gibbons was summarizing a study of the scientific validity of the polygraph for the subcommittee. Loosely paraphrased, Gibbons was explaining that these things couldn't distinguish between a lie and the sex act. Seated next to me was General Richard Stillwell (ret.) of the CIA. He had no idea who I was, but he could contain himself no longer; leaning toward me, Stillwell muttered, "I wish these damn scientists would leave intelligence to the experts." 4. THE BULLETIN OF THE AMERICAN PHYSICAL SOCIETY GOES ON-LINE! Beginning with the March Meeting in Pittsburgh, you can request an e-mail version of the Bulletin. Send your e-mail request to baps@aps.org and include your e-mail address in the message. The Bulletin will contain epitome, sessions, and titles and authors. Robert L. Park opa@aps.org The American Physical Society


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