OTTAWA-The National Research Council managed to dampen the celebration of Canadian John Polanyi's Nobel Prize in chemistry last month by announcing on the same day that it was eliminating the section where he did his re search as part of widespread cuts in science funding.

The Council said it would save $20 million by eliminating 200 positions and dozens of programs. (The Canadian dollar is worth 72 cents U.S.) About $12 million will be diverted to Canada's space program, to support its communications satellites and other applied projects. The rest will contribute to shrinking the country's $34 billion budget deficit. The cuts include the photochemistry and kinetics section at the University of Toronto, where Polanyi laid the groundwork in the late 1950s for the development of the chemical laser with his work on molecular reactions.

"It's an unfortunate coincidence," acknowledged Ross Pottie, a senior vice president of laboratories for the...

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