Hewlett-Packard Co. founder David Packard has just given $2 billion to the trust he and his late wife established in 1964 and young researchers will be among the beneficiaries. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation plans to dole out 20 $500,000 awards this year and has already asked 50 top research universities to nominate two junior professors each. But only natural scientists and engineers need apply; research projects in medicine, space activity, and high-energy physics are ineligible. The program, which will add 20 scientists each year, will eventually pump $10 million annually into science research. Its goal: to encourage young professors to remain in research and teaching.

Could university researchers become an endangered species by 1996? That’s the sobering prediction of a recent report by NSF’s Division of Policy Research and Analysis. Numbers of American 22- year-olds (and thus numbers of potential science majors) are steadily decreasing and will bottom...

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