Eager to encourage government-industry collaboration on the potential uses of high-temperature superconducting materials, the Reagan administration has rushed to announce an initiative that may be more snap than substance. The April 21 designation of Los Alamos, Argonne, and Oak Ridge national laboratories as superconductivity pilot centers went unaccompanied by additional funding or staff. Furthermore, acknowledged an Energy Department press spokesman, the department has no current plans to evaluate or expand the program to other labs if it succeeds in generating commercial interest in some of the research taking place. Asked how DOE plans to coordinate the program, the spokesman said, "It’s up to the labs to work out the details with industry. We don’t want to tell them what to do."

The creation of a National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders looks like a good bet as Congress moves this year to reauthorize the National Institutes of Health....

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