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Notebook

Late last month, the Washington, D.C., Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an earlier decision allowing the National Science Foundation to maintain confidentiality in its peer-review process. In 1994, Wanda and Robert Henke, engineers who own and run Lutherville, Md.-based Dynamic In Situ Geotechnical Testing Inc., brought a suit against NSF and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), challenging the agencies' right to keep private the names of grant-proposal reviewers. From 1990

The Scientist Staff
Late last month, the Washington, D.C., Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an earlier decision allowing the National Science Foundation to maintain confidentiality in its peer-review process. In 1994, Wanda and Robert Henke, engineers who own and run Lutherville, Md.-based Dynamic In Situ Geotechnical Testing Inc., brought a suit against NSF and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), challenging the agencies' right to keep private the names of grant-proposal reviewers. From 1990 to 1993 the Henkes' proposals for funds to develop a device to test how soils would respond to earthquakes were repeatedly turned down by both NSF and NIST. Low technical or business-plan scores were cited in each case. The court's latest decision centers on two points involving the Privacy Act-the basis on which the Henkes filed their original case. The judges ruled that the act protects the identity of evaluators of applications for federal contracts, and that...

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