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Finding What Works: American Scientists Ponder Ways To Aid Ex-Soviet Colleagues

In recent months, the problems that the former Soviet scientists are encountering in their newly divided homeland have been well-publicized: the scarcity of funding, the lack of scientific information, and the threat of total scientific isolation. Meanwhile, many U.S. scientists, eager to help, have run up against what they consider a frustratingly lethargic show of support by scientific colleagues and administrators. One of these U.S. researchers is Eugene Skolnikoff, a professor of politic

Scott Huler

In recent months, the problems that the former Soviet scientists are encountering in their newly divided homeland have been well-publicized: the scarcity of funding, the lack of scientific information, and the threat of total scientific isolation. Meanwhile, many U.S. scientists, eager to help, have run up against what they consider a frustratingly lethargic show of support by scientific colleagues and administrators.

One of these U.S. researchers is Eugene Skolnikoff, a professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who has been involved in efforts to reach and support the foreign scientists. Says Skolnikoff: "My own feeling is that there's a lot of time passing with not much being done."

Other observers, however, point out that the instability of the situation in the former Soviet Union makes any rapid response risky. Walter Rosenblith, onetime National Academy of Sciences foreign secretary who is currently working on an American Academy of...

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