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Cold War Thaw Leads to Turmoil in NATO Science

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Science  31 Oct 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5339, pp. 795
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5339.795

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In addition to its defense role, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has for more than 40 years been quietly funding collaborations across a range of leading-edge areas of basic and applied research between some of the best scientists in its 16 member countries, plowing an estimated $30 million this year into the program. Since the end of the Cold War, however, the program has been increasingly refocused to support collaborations between NATO country scientists and Eastern European researchers. Now a high-level report on the science program has recommended that, if no extra funds can be found, the scope of the program be drastically narrowed as NATO itself continues to retrench. But some member countries are unhappy with the plan, and the resulting turmoil is threatening the future of the program as a whole.