But advocates wonder if the kind of research body they have in mind can survive turf skirmishes in the Washington ecosystem
WASHINGTON--Ecologists scored a victory last month when Congress earmarked $400,000 for the Environmental Protection Agency to sponsor an independent evaluation of the nation's environmental research. Scientists view this study, which EPA initially opposed as unnecessary, as a first step toward creating a national environmental research institute.

As envisioned, this new government entity would benefit the nation and scientists in several ways. It would lead to more research that could provide answers to the many thorny environmental questions that policymakers face. It would offer investigators a central source of support for environmental projects, particularly interdisciplinary efforts, eliminating the need to peddle their ideas to a dozen agencies. And by emphasizing dissemination of data as one of its missions, the institute would make the information generated by these scientists more accessible...

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