The negative tone of your article "NSF Cuts Back On Faltering Science, Technology Centers" [The Scientist, Feb. 4, 1991, page 1] does not address the excitement and enthusiasm of the faculty and scientists at Kent State University, Case Western Reserve University, and the University of Akron, who form the Science and Technology Center (STC) on Advanced Liquid Crystalline Optical Materials (ALCOM). The article does not mention consortia of universities, a major positive feature of the NSF STC program. Prior to ALCOM, the liquid crystal research programs at Kent State, Case Western, and Akron were independent efforts. The ALCOM center focused these programs on a common theme, featuring cooperative research and shared goals.

Traditionally, research and development in display technology has been conducted almost entirely in industry, whereas basic research in advanced liquid crystalline materials has been conducted almost entirely within universities. There has been little or no connection between the...

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