Perhaps more surprising than the news that this year's Lasker awards have been suspended (The Scientist, March 19, 1990, page 7) was the way the news was announced - or not announced: More than a month after reports of the suspension, the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation still had not officially announced or explained its action or the prospects for a resumption of the highly respected awards.

In a recent conversation, Alice Fordyce, Mary Lasker's sister and the foundation's executive vice president, confirmed that she and the other Lasker trustees had decided to suspend the awards for 1990 while they reassess the foundation's priorities. Since they don't announce each year that they're going to be making the awards, Fordyce said, the trustees simply saw no reason to announce that they weren't going to be making them this year.

Scientists nationwide have reacted with disappointment and astonishment. After...

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