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Ireland wants to drain US brains

Nation will use major media campaign to lure scientists

Doug Payne(dougpayne@islandtelecom.com)

Ireland is hoping to start a US brain drain that leads straight to the Emerald Isle. Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), a government agency, is planning a publicity campaign in the United States aimed at attracting early-career Irish expats as well as top American scientists.

"Ireland should be their place of choice for research, given the investment and excitement now underway," an SFI spokesman told The Scientist. William Harris, the director general of the agency, is an American who served at the National Science Foundation for almost 20 years and was the founding president of Columbia's Biosphere 2 Center.

SFI's mandate is to spend €646 million (USD $770 million) between 2000 and 2006 on academic researchers and research teams in biotechnology and information and communications technology. Last year, they lured prominent genetics researcher John F. Atkins back to Ireland using €3.2 million over 5 years to support him and...

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