NIH's new director isn't shy about stating her agency's needs, while NSF's new leader likes things the way they are

WASHINGTON--Bernadine Healy, the new director of the National Institutes of Health, wants to shake things up. Walter Massey, the new director of the National Science Foundation, hopes to stay the course. If both wishes are fulfilled, scientists may see NIH becoming more active on a variety of issues, such as managing research dollars and promoting women, and NSF continuing to promote large interdisciplinary centers and projects with potential economic payoffs.

Last month, in separate public appearances two days apart, the new heads of the federal government's leading basic research agencies signaled different approaches to running their organizations. Healy, a cardiologist who directed the research institute at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, offered her views during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Labor and Human Services Committee. They were her first public...

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