Researchers Fear Merger Could Muffle Their Voice

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Science  04 Jan 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5552, pp. 37-38
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5552.37

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TOKYO-- Japan's Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, whose modest budget has funded the bulk of university-based research in the field of space science, is being merged with the giant National Space Development Agency and the National Aerospace Laboratory as part of a sweeping streamlining of the nation's bureaucracy. Although there will undoubtedly be benefits to being part of a larger, more powerful agency, scientists are worried that the loss of independence will put science in the shadow of the more commercial aspects of space.