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Let's Stand Up for Global Science

It is too early to calculate the full cost of these cuts in scientific knowledge, limits on access to research areas around the world, and U.S. leadership in global science activities. Nevertheless, it has plainly been substantial.

Eugene Garfield
UNESCO's science programs rank among its greatest successes. In fact, a 1984 U.S. interagency panel studying the consequences of a U.S. withdrawal stated that the excellence of UNESCO's science activities alone would warrant continued membership in the Organization.

As the U.S. pullout on December 31, 1984 approached, scientists worldwide worried about the impact that a 25 percent reduction in the UNESCO budget—the U.S. contribution—would have on the international Organization's science programs, as well as on U.S. scientific interests around the world. Stepping forward with reassurances at the time was then Assistant Secretary of State Gregory J. Newell, who indicated that the U.S.'s $47 million annual contribution to UNESCO, $14 million of which went to science, would be rechanneled to support comparable multinational work.

The State Department did recommend such allocations for fiscal year 1986, but the Reagan Administration's budget contained nothing in the way of UNESCO substitute funds. It was...

 

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