In the Navy

Science  05 Oct 2007:
Vol. 318, Issue 5847, pp. 33b
DOI: 10.1126/science.318.5847.33b

The University of Hawaii (UH) is moving ahead with plans to build a Navy-affiliated research laboratory near one the system's 10 campuses. Approval by the university's Board of Regents last week followed more than 4 years of controversy over the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL), which is expected to bring in as much as $10 million per year for 3 to 5 years in research funds from the Navy and other agencies, including NASA and the National Institutes of Health. The ARL will be the fifth such University Affiliated Research Center; other hosts include sites at Johns Hopkins and Pennsylvania State universities.

But finalizing the Hawaii deal amidst opposition by community, student, and faculty groups wasn't easy; in 2005, anti-ARL protestors took over the university president's office for 6 days. Pressure from opponents led the university to specify in the contract that no classified research would occur during the first 3 years of operation. UH vice president for research James Gaines says the lab will raise the school's profile. Critics, however, accuse UH of disregarding what UH, Manoa, plant scientist Hector Valenzuela calls “general overwhelming opposition.” The center, he says, “is against what the university is all about.”

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