General Articles

  • Engaging North Korea through biodiversity protection
    September 17, 2013

    This article originally appeared in Science & Diplomacy, a quarterly publication from the AAAS Center for Science Diplomacy.

    One of the most complex and difficult diplomatic challenges today exists between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, also known as North Korea) and its immediate neighbors—the Republic of Korea (also known as South Korea) and Japan—and the United States, as the biggest stakeholder outside the region. Even North Korea’s relationship with China, its longtime ally and trade partner, has been strained recently as North Korea continues its nuclear weapons tests.  »

  • Cutbacks to basic science threaten future innovation
    May 22, 2013

    Hefty federal deficits in Canada and the United States pose a significant threat to fundamental, basic research as some policy-makers seem to value near-term, industry-focused science more highly. That’s short-sighted and a shame. Basic research is the seed corn for economic growth and the foundation from which we build solutions to society’s big problems.

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  • Long term consequences of sequestration
    April 24, 2013

    There is no question that today's funding environment is a threat to the scientific enterprise. While some may argue that the short-term effects of the sequestration may be minimal, the future negative consequences for our society are indisputable. The long-term economic and other benefits of vibrant science and innovation should not be sacrificed for the sake of short-term financial needs. »

  • Future of science at risk
    January 30, 2013

    The future of science is uncertain as we continue to await action by our policymakers on the proposed across-the-board budget cuts. It seems inevitable that there will be reductions in federal spending, but will these cuts be allocated in a way that devastates science research and education, threatens future economic growth, and erodes America’s competitiveness in the world? »

  • Innovation needs a diversity of ideas
    January 24, 2013

    America’s future innovation depends in large part on our ability to fully tap a richly diverse talent pool, and a Supreme Court case involving the University of Texas at Austin could undermine that goal. »

  • Severe consequences if sequestration takes effect
    October 31, 2012

    The across-the-board budget cuts facing the federal government if sequestration takes effect on January 3 will have catastrophic outcomes for the future of science and innovation. »

  • Stalling science threatens every domain of modern life
    September 27, 2012

    The looming "sequestration," across-the-board budget cuts that were never really meant to happen, could cripple key areas of science by slashing federal investment in research and development by an estimated 8.4 percent between now and 2017. That is not good for science, but it is also bad for an economy whose growth is driven by advances in science and technology. »

  • It’s time to get serious about science
    September 17, 2012

    Some policymakers, including certain senators and members of Congress, cannot resist ridiculing any research project with an unusual title. Their press releases are perhaps already waiting in the drawer, with blanks for the name of the latest scientist being attacked. The hottest topics for ridicule involve sex, exotic animals and bugs. »

  • AAAS
    August 3, 2012

    The recent decision of North Carolina’s legislature to disregard projections of sea-level rise reflects a major problem in our society: Nationwide, too many people still refuse to accept the scientific facts about global climate change.  »

  • July 20, 2012

    Virtually everyone agrees that the future of America’s economy will depend on our maintaining our global position in innovation. And innovation, of course, stems from novel ideas, which most often come from basic research. Think about this question: What do MRI, GPS, iPad, Internet, and Google have in common? Besides being terms that most of us use all of the time, each is based on technologies that were developed through federally funded research. In this era of intense financial pressures, when federal research and development (R&D) is being threatened with cuts, it’s important for all of us to remember that, and not accidentally discard the seed corn of our future. »