Frank Press on science, budget cuts, world cooperation

United States science is making ``unprecedented progress,'' according to Frank Press, president of the National Academy of Sciences. Now the scientific community is challenged to maintain that progress while adjusting to tighter federal funding. Noting this, Dr. Press makes these points: Scientists should make sure their voice is heard in allocating scarcer resources.

A consensus is building to cut defense spending and use the money elsewhere.

Efforts to impose secrecy on basic science are being restrained. But vigilance to maintain scientific freedom still is needed.

Because the Soviet Union is a major scientific power, the United States would benefit from more research cooperation. But human rights issues are a stumbling block.

Scientific cooperation with China, however, ``is going exceedingly well'' as that nation rapidly modernizes.

At home, the scientific community is puzzled by the fact that the research universities seem to be in trouble. Why this is so should be known by next fall.

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