Editor's Note: Jesse H. Ausubel, director of the Program for the Human Environment at New York's Rockefeller University, is concerned about the challenges facing the international science community as it moves toward the 21st century and beyond. He expressed these concerns last month in a Washington, D.C., address before the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (COSEPUP), a panel created by the national academies of sciences and engineering and the Institute of Medicine.

Central to Ausubel's apprehensions regarding the global scientific community are some very serious problems facing United States science; in his talk he cited, for example, the soaring costs of research, the confused mission of the country's national laboratories, uncontrolled growth of its academic research enterprise, and the dubious track record of its industrial research sector. Ausubel believes that recent debates surrounding the superconducting supercollider and space station Freedom have boldly underscored the fact that frustrating challenges...

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