Science  06 Jan 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5757, pp. 35

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  1. 2006 People To Watch: Lingua Franca


    Now, the hard work begins. As the first director-general (DG) of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), veteran Japanese civil servant Kaname Ikeda needs to bind up any wounds from the bruising 16-month fight over hosting the $12 billion reactor before moving ahead. Japan was allowed to nominate the first DG in return for ceding victory to the European Union's proposed site at Cadarache, France. At a ceremony opening the ITER Joint Work Site office at Cadarache last month, Ikeda spoke in French about how happy he was to be there. He remains Japan's ambassador to Croatia until the ITER implementation agreement is signed, which is expected early this year.

  2. 2006 People To Watch: Public Health Revamp

    CREDIT: CDC (2002)

    Julie Gerberding, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, is expected to wrap up a painful overhaul of the agency this year that may affect the bottom lines of division directors. An AIDS researcher who took the helm of CDC in 2002, Gerberding will reshape budget priorities according to “health protection goals” that CDC unveiled last year. The impact of those goals on research could determine whether the agency can rebuild its ranks after a string of departures by senior scientists.

  3. 2006 People To Watch: Crisis Manager


    Nearly three years after the SARS outbreak, China is once again at the center of global efforts to monitor an emerging disease. And one of the people who helped restore the country's credibility in 2003 is now being counted on to keep abreast of avian influenza. Health Minister Gao Qiang will have to do his best to convince the global community that China is accurately tracking human cases. An economist long attached to China's Ministry of Finance, Gao was tapped to be executive vice minister of health when top managers were replaced for mishandling the SARS crisis and stepped up to minister last spring.

  4. 2006 People To Watch: A Smaller Crop


    Taking over the smaller European Commission's directorate for research could be something of a holiday for José Manuel Silva Rodríguez. An agricultural engineer from Madrid, the 56-year-old Silva Rodríguez has been director general for agriculture, placing him in charge of the Commission's biggest spending department. Nonetheless, there's plenty to do on the research front, including moving ahead with the ITER fusion reactor in France, being midwife to the European Research Council, and settling on a 7-year budget for European Union research.

  5. 2006 People To Watch: Double Trouble?


    Andrew von Eschenbach faces mounting pressure to quit one of the two jobs he's juggling—director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Cancer advocacy groups, researchers, and some legislators have questioned whether one person can handle both positions and whether the head of FDA, which reviews cancer drugs studied by NCI, should have ties to the institute. Von Eschenbach has taken a leave of absence from NCI, but insiders say he still shows up at the agency and makes key decisions. It's unclear whether the Bush Administration plans to name a permanent FDA commissioner anytime soon, however, or who that person will be.

  6. 2006 People To Watch: A Pastoral Pasteur?


    Researchers at the Pasteur Institute say the atmosphere has improved since Alice Dautry-Varsat, the first woman to head the famed Parisian lab, took over on 1 October. The infighting and widespread discontent that plagued her predecessor, Philippe Kourilsky, has ended, they say. But Dautry-Varsat and her new management team still have a lot to do, including refurbishment of Pasteur's aging campus and figuring out how to keep the institute among the scientific elite.