WASHINGTON—"There are resources that are going begging.” That’s how Charles Owens, section head in the National Science Foundation’s division of international programs, describes NSF’s efforts to send more United States scientists to Japan. For the past two years NSF, armed with $4.8 million and the moral support of the Japanese government, has offered language, fellowship, and research op- portunities in that country. The goal is to remove the barriers that make U.S. scientists reluctant to spend time abroad, especially in Japan (The Scientist, Feb. 8, 1988, page 8).

But so far the agency’s efforts have failed to fill more than half the available slots for U.S. scientists to visit Japan, even though that country promises to be an influential player in big science.

“Americans are so single-language in their training that they are unwilling to pay the price” to prepare for a stint as a researcher in Japan,...

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