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Currents--University of Rochester newspaper

Seligman joins media roundtable

President Seligman joined other presidents and chancellors from public and private institutions, along with members of the national media, at the Science Coalition's seventh annual media roundtable in New York City on March 22. The gathering focuses attention on federal funding for university-based research in science, as well as other policy issues for science and higher education.

Seligman touched on a range of issues, including stem cell research and Rochester's work with fuel cells. He said there needs to be movement from the federal government on energy priorities. "One of the challenges is to recognize that basic research is as important as immediate directed research for ethanol."

On the shortage of students in the sciences, Seligman said the position of the United States has been in relative decline since World War II. That's due, in part, to the growth of quality programs elsewhere. He added that the shortage also reflects "the lack of resources that the United States is putting into science research. It's a self-inflicted wound."

When reporters asked the presidents about the ethical dangers of universities that test drugs for drug companies, President Seligman pointed out "there's a greater danger" in the way patent rights are enforced. "Congress would do a great deal if it cleaned up the patent situation," Seligman said. "Patent rights mean nothing now until they're tested in court."

For more on the event, visit www.sciencecoalition.org.



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