Sad state

Published: Friday 15 November 1996

science has taken a knocking. Thrifty funds and a messy peer review structure, among others, have served to forecast a gloomy future for science in the coming millennium, according to a group of us and uk scientists who met in Washington recently. "The crisis of funding is real. Science has reached its limits of growth," observed John Zinnan, professor emeritus of physics at the University of Bristol, during the symposium at George Washington University, Washington dc .

Lack of job security has forced senior scientists and their students to fight it out in the same turf. Said Julian Jack, deputy chairperson, The Wellcome Trust, which is a firm supporter of bio-medical research, "Senior scientists tend to exploit the young rather than foster their careers." Tight funding has also strained the peer review system which has resulted in a number of high-quality projects being rejected. Mean-while, top uk scientists, appalled at the government's withdrawal of funds from two major research programmes, have come out with a uk National Strategy for Global Environmental Research to fight back cuts in funding for interna tional environmental research.

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