Nothing rouses a research community like a threat to its funding, as could be seen this week here in Japan after a task force recommended deep cuts ... in the Ministry of Education's budget for fiscal year 2010. Grass-roots efforts have sprung up to defend individual projects, while community leaders are asserting the importance of research to Japan's future. HITOSHI MURAYAMA, a Berkeley Lab physicist, started an international e-mail campaign for the World Premier International Research Center Initiative, facing a possible 50% funding cut, that supports the Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe at the University of Tokyo, wh!
ich he directs. He says fellow Lab physicist George Smoot has promised to personally write to Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama. More>