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January 14, 2004

Running Time: 0:39:49
Format: RealAudio (Requires free RealPlayer)

The National Science Foundation needs a clear process to lay out the criteria and rationale for the selection of large research-facility projects that will receive its financial support, ensuring that the agency evaluates proposals based on their potential returns to science, technology, and society, says a new National Academies report. In 1995, NSF created the Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) account to support the construction of large research facilities, which enable scientists and engineers to reach previously unattainable scientific frontiers. In recent years, the number of plans to build such facilities has grown, and approved projects have become increasingly complex and expensive.

William Brinkman (chair), Senior Research Physicist, Department of Physics, Princeton University, and Vice President of Research, Bell Laboratories (retired) Murray Hill, N.J.