In DepthScience & Security

Supporters scramble to rescue storied Jason advisory group

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Science  19 Apr 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6437, pp. 220
DOI: 10.1126/science.364.6437.220

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The spring meeting of a group of prominent scientists that has been advising the U.S. government on national security issues since 1960 is usually devoted to firming up plans for a dozen or more studies to be done over the summer. But next week, the group, called Jason, will have a more pressing item on its agenda when it gathers in northern Virginia: finding a new government sponsor so that the group can stay in business. On 28 March, officials from the Department of Defense (DOD) told MITRE Corporation, the McLean, Virginia, nonprofit that manages all the group's studies for the government, that it would not be given a new contract. The decision, revealed last week at a congressional hearing, has triggered a wave of tweets and statements from scientists and policymakers urging DOD to change its mind.