A recently proposed congressional resolution and statements by President Clinton are giving some scientists and diplomats the feeling that the United States will soon return to UNESCO after a decade of absence. If so, the group would once again be allowed to hire Americans for scientific, teaching, and administrative positions.

UNESCO--the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization--was abandoned by the Reagan administration in December 1983 for what were seen as largely political reasons. One year later, both Great Britain and Singapore followed suit, withdrawing staff, funding, and support.

Though some of those familiar with the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) eagerly support a return to the organization by the United States and Great Britain, others say such a move would have no scientific merit.

"By going back we'd only get good will--maybe," says Gregory Newell, the assistant secretary of state for U.S. multilateral policy from 1982...

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