Controversy over propriety is rekindled as new physics and marine biotech centers make their respective moves to gain federal allocations
WASHINGTON--Buried within the 1992 appropriations bill signed last month by President Bush for NASA, the National Science Foundation, and several other federal agencies is an allocation of $43 million to start the building of two new academic research facilities.

One--a $211 million observatory to measure gravity waves, to be built at two sites thousands of miles apart--has undergone extensive peer review by scientists and a federal research agency and has been a part of the president's budget for the past two years. The other--a $130 million marine biotechnology center in downtown Baltimore--is a project pushed successfully for the past three years by its home state's congressional delegation.

Maryland's legislators are hardly the first to bypass scientific peer review in a drive for federal funds. Although several reports have documented a...

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