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Science Windfall Stimulates High Hopes—and Political Maneuvering

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Science  12 Jun 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5933, pp. 1375
DOI: 10.1126/science.324_1375a

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A handful of stellar researchers could be in line for grants of as much as $90 million over 5 years, thanks to a new program included in a stimulus package approved by Japan's legislature on 29 May. But some scientists worry that a political selection process could steer money toward industry-favored projects. Unlike most grant programs, the new one was conceived directly by the minister of Science and Technology Policy rather than by the ministries of education or economy, trade, and industry in consultation with the scientific community. Jockeying over control of the program has already begun.