WASHINGTON _ Americans make a heavy investment in science:almost $50 per person annually in taxes to fund the National Institutesof Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation alone. As aresult, science has become a public enterprise, making the integrity andcredibility of science and scientists key to the nation's future,according to Bruce Alberts, president of the National Academy ofSciences (NAS)."If we (scientists) do not police ourselves, we may be subject toauditing rules that could take the joy and creativity out of conductingscience," Alberts told an audience of scientists, educators and policy-makers on Monday.Alberts made his observations at the opening of a two-day"Convocation on Scientific Conduct" co-sponsored by NAS, theNational Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the Institute of Medicine(IOM). The gathering plans to examine the state of ethics in thescientific community and to develop recommendations for training newscientists in the proper conduct of research.Gerald Fischbach, chairman of the convocation's steering committee aswell as of Harvard University's Neurobiology Department, warned thatscientists today operate under intense pressures that did not exist 10 or20 years ago. "The pace of science has become more rapid, thepotential rewards are different than before and the way one progressesup the ladder has changed," said Fischbach.He said that scientists now face decreased funding opportunities andincreasing commercialization due to the Bayh-Dole Act (legislation toencourage commercialization of basic research) and that new economicpressures and temptations have changed the conduct of science.Feinstein Defects From Clinton CampSen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on May 25 quietly withdrew her nameas a co-sponsor of Clinton's Health Security Act. Feinstein, whose statehas one of the largest populations of biotechnology companies in thecountry, has been silent on provisions in Clinton's bill which theindustry objected to. She is running for reelection and told theAssociated Press that she preferred to play the role of a "free agent" asthe President's bill is overhauled by Congress. She does support reformof the health care system. n
-- By Lisa Piercey Washington Editor
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