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Linking Lawmakers, Scientific Knowledge

Grant to Fund Source for Data on Terrorism. Congress will get a new source for information on the science of terrorism and national security under a $2.25 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation. The money will go to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and is designed to make it into a link between policymakers in need of scientific information and academics who might have it. “We’ve heard a lot about how policymakers need advice on scientific issues related to terrorism,” said Kennette M. Benedict, director of international peace and security for the MacArthur Foundation. “This is not so much about building capacity in this field, but in how to get the information to policymakers in a form they can use.” The new AAAS initiative will try to fill some of the void created when Congress abolished the Office of Technology Assessment eight years ago. Although the new center will not have a formal status like the technology office, Benedict said, it will try to offer similarly independent and nonpartisan scientific information. Full Story

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