At OMB: Hear No Evil, See No Evil?

In an upbeat and collegial Science magazine editorial in June (F.D. Raines, Science, 280:1671, 1998), the outgoing director of the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Franklin D. Raines, addressed how the scientific community might better help to maintain the Clinton administration's commitment to R&D. Raines alluded to the "excitement and wonder of science" and called for better measures of the success of research, greater priority-setting for research fields, and ways to stren

Henry Miller
Aug 16, 1998

In an upbeat and collegial Science magazine editorial in June (F.D. Raines, Science, 280:1671, 1998), the outgoing director of the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Franklin D. Raines, addressed how the scientific community might better help to maintain the Clinton administration's commitment to R&D. Raines alluded to the "excitement and wonder of science" and called for better measures of the success of research, greater priority-setting for research fields, and ways to strengthen the government-university partnership.

But there is an almost surreal element of "hear no evil, see no evil" in Raines's article. He seems to have forgotten that federal regulation of science, as well as its funding, was under his purview at OMB, which has the responsibility for final sign-off on all federal regulations. During Raines's tenure, regulation of research, especially academic research, has been federal agencies' b[E WITH CARAT]te noire. Treatment of the new biotechnology by...

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