WASHINGTON - Life scientists on the President's Council of Advisers for Science and Technology won their first skirmish last month in an ongoing campaign to prod PCAST into the 1990s.

The issue that arose during the council's second public meeting was the question of whether PCAST should create its own advisory group on biotechnology.

Presidential science adviser Allan Bromley, who also is director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, asked the council whether it wanted to form such a group after it had heard associate director James Wyn-gaarden outline the growing importance of biotechnology in the national research effort. PCAST has already agreed to set up similar groups of outside experts in high-performance computing, and it is planning other panels on such topics as materials science and science and mathematics education.

PCAST voted yes despite comments from Bromley that it would "use up our most precious...

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