Items filtered by date: October 2013

Colliding Worlds—A Rare Visit to the CERN Collider Gives a Biologist New Hope

LHC StefNearly 170 meters beneath CERN, ASCB Executive
Director Stefano Bertuzzi gets a rare look at the Large
Hadron Collider. Here he stands in front of the detector.
Photo Credit: ASCB
Last week, I was invited to speak about research and innovation at an Aspen Institute meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, held at the Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire, better known to the rest of the world by its acronym, CERN. Like all Aspen Institute meetings, this one flew at a high level, and, needless to say, it was an exhilarating experience.

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Watching Train Wrecks

trainIt’s full steam ahead for disaster or will the
brakes stop the runaway fiscal crisis train in time?
Photo by John Fleischman
Along with the future of U.S. research science, the train wreck metaphor has suffered terribly in recent days. Politicians and pundits had already twisted the metaphor during the federal government shutdown into a cliché about bad stuff happening that's someone else's fault. Now with the edge of the fiscal cliff in clear sight, the expression will likely be crushed in the wreckage.

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UPDATED-NIH Furloughs to Widen—From Slowdown to Shutdown, U.S. Science Takes a Hit

Drosophila melanogasterThe USDA is closed and no U.S. orders for international fruit
flies can be processed until the government is back in business.
Photo Credit: André KarwathU
UPDATED—The "Activation Energy" blog has learned that NIH will soon be forced to furlough even more Bethesda employees. SEE BELOW

When I saw the federal government shutdown heading inexorably toward us three weeks ago, I discussed with Kevin Wilson, the ASCB Public Policy Director, the idea of organizing a press conference to protest the further damage that a government shutdown would inflict on science. All along, I was hoping we would not have to do this and that reason will somehow prevail in Congress. Then I thought, "Reason? Congress?" We made a reservation for a meeting room at the prestigious National Press Club in Washington, DC, where news happens.

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