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Court Invalidates Expert Panel Report

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Science  14 Mar 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5306, pp. 1560-1561
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5306.1560b

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Three U.S. activist groups last week won a court victory when a judge agreed that because a National Academy of Sciences panel formed to study the National Ignition Facility—a $1.1 billion laser-fusion project—had operated behind closed doors, the Department of Energy, which commissioned the report, could not use its findings. This decision suggest that the much-cherished confidentiality of academy panels may be a thing of the past.