Scientists have taken over at the Pew Charitable Trusts. A year and a half ago, Thomas Langfltt, a former University of Pennsylvania neurosurgeon assumed the presidency, replacing Robert I. Smith, whose background was in accounting. Now, Rebecca Rimel, a former nurse and medical school faculty member, has been promoted to the post of executive director. She succeeds Fred Billups, a former oil company executive who had filled Pew's second highest post for 12 years. Is this good news for scientists?
Rimel says she has no intention of changing the vast majority of the trusts' current initiatives. But with about $35 million being given out each year for grants in neuroscience, vaccine development, researcher fellowships, and science education, the Pew fund occupies a key role for medical scientists nationwide. Indeed, only the Ford, W. K. Kellogg, and MacArthur foundations have larger assets, and only the Ford Foundation gives out...
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