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NSB 97-96
National Science Foundation
Arlington, Virginia
March 26-28, 1997

Members Present: Members Absent:
Richard N. Zare, Chairman  
Diana Natalicio, Vice Chairman  
F. Albert Cotton Sanford D. Greenberg
Charles E. Hess John E. Hopcroft
Shirley Malcom Frank H.T. Rhodes
Eve L. Menger Ian M. Ross***
Claudia Mitchell-Keman Robert M. Solow
James L. Powell John A. White, Jr.
Warren M. Washington  
Neal F. Lane, Director  
Consultants* Present: Consultants* Absent:
John A. Armstrong Jane Lubchenco
Mary K. Gaillard  
M.R.C. Greenwood  
Stanley Jaskolski  
Eamon Kelly  
Vera Rubin  
Bob H. Suzuki  
Richard Tapia**  

*NSB nominee pending U.S. Senate confirmation.
**Attended Thursday only.
***Attended Closed Session via teleconference.
Note: The Board, at its 343rd meeting, May 7-8, 1997, approved the Provisional Minutes of the Open Session of the 342nd meeting..

The National Science Board convened in Open Session at 8:50 a.m. on Friday, March 28, 1997, with Dr. Richard N. Zare, Chairman, presiding (Agenda NSB-97-47). In accordance with the Government in the Sunshine Act, this portion of the meeting was open to the public.

The Chairman welcomed Board nominee Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Oregon State University, and announced expected attendance for the remainder of the meeting.

AGENDA ITEM 8: Minutes, February 1997 Meeting

See Appendix A to these minutes.

AGENDA ITEM 9: Closed Session Agenda Items, May 1997 Meeting

See Appendix A to these minutes.

AGENDA ITEM 10: Chairman's Report

a. March meeting

The Chairman reviewed the morning's agenda, noting that several items would be rearranged to accommodate the special needs of the Executive Committee to act on behalf of the Board because of a lack of quorum. The Board will also hear reports of the Task Force on Merit Review, Ad Hoc Committee on Board Operations, Integrated Graduation and Research Training (IGERT) program approval, have a discussion on mechanisms for setting priorities, and hear a presentation on the Large Hadron Collider.

b. Recognition of special guests

The Chairman recognized Dr. Boris Saltykov, former Minister of Science and Technology of the Russian Federation, and currently President of the Russia House International Association for Scientific and Technical Cooperation.

c. Antarctic Travel

Because of considerable Board member interest in National Science Foundation (NSF) Antarctic related responsibilities, the Chairman reminded members about the policy regarding travel to the Antarctic. The number of visitors accommodated at any one time is constrained and, therefore, to consider requests for Antarctic travel, the following criteria were established (NSB-93-237)

  1. Membership on the Task Force on Polar Issues and/or the Committee on Programs and Plans, which have oversight of the program area;

  2. Disciplinary interest and absence of previous direct observation of the Antarctic.

The Chairman asked members wanting to travel to the Antarctic to notify the NSB Executive Officer of their interest for consideration by the NSB Chairman.

d. Government University Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR)

The Chairman called on Dr. Cehelsky, NSB Executive Officer, who reported on the second phase of the stresses project (see also NSB-97-56, February 1997 Open Session minutes, Agenda Item 6d). Three Board members participated in the event, Drs. Armstrong, Lane, and Malcom. The February convocation focused on bringing the perspectives of individual campuses and stresses they are experiencing to the national level of discussion.

The discussion focused on the overriding theme of change. Some of the reasons for those stresses are the transformation of knowledge and the ways that knowledge is created, communicated and acquired, and changing demands on universities, especially in the areas of human resources, integration of research and education, and the need to prepare the workforce of the future. A second theme was the lack of congruence among federal policies and regulations and the effect on universities and university administration.

A formal report of the convocation will be provided at a later date.

All of the first phase participants continued on with the second phase in addition to 12 new campuses, so that 25 campuses in all participated in the convocation.

The Chairman thanked Dr. James J. Duderstadt, former Board member, who served as Board representative for the GUIRR. He also thanked the Board staff, and particularly Ms. Jean Pomeroy, Senior Policy Analyst, NSB Office, for making the convocation a success.

e. NSB Annual Awards Dinner

The Chairman asked Board members to write to their Congressional representatives and invite them to attend the May 7 Awards dinner at the Department of State. All invitations will be mailed the week March 31.

f. Vannevar Bush Award

The Chairman announced that the 17th Vannevar Bush Award would be conferred on Dr. H. Guyford Stever, former NSF Director and former President's Science Advisor, at the May 7, 1997 Awards dinner.

AGENDA ITEM 11: Director's Report

a. Congress

The Director reported on recent testimony given at Congressional hearings:

  1. March 6, the Chairman and Director testified before the House Subcommittee on Basic Research, chaired by Congressman Vernon Ehlers in the absence of Congressman Schiff, on the NSF Budget request for FY 1998. Overall the hearing went well, with Mr. Ehlers expressing support for the NSF budget request. Issues discussed include merit review, NSF management of facilities, next-generation Internet, and the future of supercomputing centers.

  2. March 12, Mr. Norman Augustine, Vice Chairman of the Board and CEO, Lockheed Martin Corporation, presented testimony to the House Science Committee, which included a preview of the forthcoming external panel report on the Antarctic Program. He discussed the panel's review and its findings that the country should continue to maintain its presence in the Antarctic and that the South Pole Station needs to be modernized.

  3. March 13, the House Subcommittee on Basic Research heard testimony from various outside witnesses that focused on the subject of math and science education. Much positive testimony was given about the NSF's activities in this area.

    The Director also reported on upcoming hearings:

  4. April 9, the Director and Drs. Malcom and Zare will testify before the House Subcommittee on Basic Research on a wide range of topics, especially the Partnerships for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (PACI). Also testifying will be members of the scientific community on the NSF proposals for the Polar Cap Observatory, the Millimeter Array, and the next-generation Internet program.

  5. April 10, the Director and Dr. Zare, along with NSF's Assistant Directors and Office heads, will testify before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on VA, HUD and Independent Agencies on the FY 1998 budget.

  6. April 22, the Director will testify before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on VA, HUD and Independent Agencies on the FY 1998 budget request.

Additional hearings before the Senate Subcommittee on Science and Technology and Space, chaired by Senator Bill Frist, will be scheduled.

The NSF authorization bill was submitted to Congress on March 18 and contained authorization levels corresponding to the President's budget request for NSF. The draft bill also contains technical amendments to enabling legislation which have been discussed with the Executive Committee. In mid-April the House Science Committee is planning a markup to report out the authorization bills under its jurisdiction.

b. Budget

The Director reported that the House Committee on Science Chairman, Mr. James Sensenbrenner, sent a report to the House Budget Committee, entitled "Views and Estimates." The report calls for a 3% total spending increase for Federal research and development over FY 1997. The Report is not binding, but does go to the Budget Committees and can help influence the overall forthcoming Congressional Budget Resolution and recommendation for general science. The ranking minority member of the Committee supports the Chairman's report, while highlighting his own R&D investment plan to balance the budget while increasing R&D by 5%.

The Director met with Congressman David Price, North Carolina, to discuss the Advanced Technology Education Program, and Congresswoman Carrie Meek, Florida, to discuss programs for women and minorities. Mrs. Meek indicated support in the upcoming budget deliberations.

c. NSB Nominations

The nominations were favorably reported out of the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources and went to the Senate for final action. However, all nominations were held and no confirmations were made prior to the start of the two-week Congressional recess. Congress returns on April 7, at which time confirmations are expected.

d. National Science & Technology Week (NSTW)

The Director announced that National Science and Technology Week would be held April 20-26. This year's celebration is "Webs, Wires and Waves," focusing on communications and communication technology. Several events are planned locally, as well as hundreds of such activities throughout the country in public and academic locations.

AGENDA ITEM 12: Program Approval

Due to a lack of quorum the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) program (NSB-97-48, Board book, Tab F) was discussed by the full Board and then voted on in a special Executive Committee meeting (NSB/EC-97-14, Appendix B, attached to these minutes as Appendix A). The program is proposed as an agency-wide, multidisciplinary graduate training program.

AGENDA ITEM 13: Action Item: Future NSB Operations

Dr. Natalicio, Chairman, Ad Hoc Committee on Board Operations, reported on the outcome of the February 22 NSB retreat, which focused on Board operations. During the retreat there was a consensus that the Operations Committee should bring back a set of recommendations at the March NSB meeting that captured the discussion that occurred at the retreat and focused on the specific issues on which members have general agreement.

Dr. Natalicio reviewed the 14 recommendations contained in NSB/OPS-97-6, Board book, Tab G (attached to these minutes at Appendix B).

Following Board discussion with respect to Committee oversight of the review of the delegation of authority (Recommendation 6), it was recommended that the responsibility be placed within the role of the Audit & Oversight Committee.

The Executive Committee acted to approve the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee on Board Operations during a special meeting (NSB/EC-97-14, Appendix B, attached to these minutes as Appendix A).

AGENDA ITEM 14: Action Item: Proposed Merit Review Criteria

Dr. Warren Washington, Chair, Task Force on Merit Review, noted that in May 1996 the NSB/NSF task group was established and charged with making new criteria fit in with the NSF strategic plan. The Task Force's draft report was shared with the science community in November 1996 for comment. Of the comments received, 95% were from e-mail, and 80% were from academia. Sixty percent of the respondents had experience in reviewing for NSF and other agencies. There was a clear opinion that NSF was moving in the right direction with the outcomes described in the report.

Dr. Washington reviewed the proposed criteria, as detailed in the report, NSB/MR-97-5, Board book, Tab H (attached to these minutes at Appendix C). A cover page of instructions to the reviewers would contain language stating the two criteria need not be weighted equally but should depend upon either additional guidance provided by NSF for the reviewers' judgment of the relative importance of the criteria to the proposed work. Dr. Washington thanked Mr. Paul Herer, Executive Secretary to the Committee, and other NSF staff, for their outstanding support. Dr. Zare asked for comments on the Merit Review report from the Audit & Oversight Committee.

Dr. Mitchell-Kernan, in the absence of Dr. Hess, Chairman, (A&O), commended the Task Force on their excellent work. Board discussion centered on a concern with the change in the reviewer form and instructions to the reviewer. It was noted that NSF should pay particular attention to this area to ensure instructions were well worded and placed in an area on the form so that reviewers would heed them.

The Executive Committee acted to approve the recommendations of the Task Force on Merit Review during a special meeting (NSB/EC-97-14, Appendix B, attached to these minutes as Appendix A). At this point Dr. Zare called on Dr. Lane, Chairman, Executive Committee, to reconvene the Executive Committee meeting (see Appendix A) and recessed the Open Session of the Board.

The NSB Chairman reconvened the Open Session.

AGENDA ITEM 15: Discussion Item: Mechanisms for Setting Priorities in Science and Engineering

The Chairman stated that this agenda item was an outgrowth of a white paper developed by the Ad Hoc Committee on Strategic Science and Engineering Policy Issues, chaired by Dr. Ross, and the February 22-23 Board retreat. He noted that the Board's effort concerning its role in matters beyond NSF, but still related to S&E education and research, is important to the science policy community. He observed that the Federal budget process establishes policies and funding priorities for Federally supported science and engineering (S&E) research and education, but that the process appears to lack feedback to assess outcomes and guide future investments.

He therefore presented for Board discussion two related actions in the form of a draft resolution to assist the process, noting that no vote would be taken on the resolution due to lack of quorum. The two actions are (1) to assist in the preparation and enactment of Federal budgets for science and engineering research and education, and (2) to develop analyses supportive of this purpose in Science and Engineering Indicators (referred to as Indicators) in consultation with other Federal agencies and other bodies.

Board Discussion

Dr. Cotton supported the resolution, but noted he would revise the word "well-integrated" to simply "integrated." He further observed that the question of integration raises the issue of whether there should be a Department of Science. Drs. Jaskolski and Armstrong voiced strong support for the step implied by the proposed resolution.

Dr. Mitchell-Kernan, Chairman of the Education and Human Resource (EHR) Subcommittee on Science and Engineering Indicators, offered her strong support for the resolution, noting her belief that the Board could not be successful with regard to support of science, with respect to NSF strategic goals and strategic plan, and with its Government Performance and Results Act activities related to evaluation without a well-coordinated Federal budget. She further expressed her excitement at the prospect of providing a basis for improved decision making with regard to funding science in the U.S.

Dr. Greenwood also supported the resolution, noting her expectation that the details would be developed in discussion at the May meeting, including guidance about emerging fields, balancing across the portfolio, and the affects of changing conditions on the overall base of support. She further endorsed using Indicators as a mechanism for showing trends and projecting impacts.

Dr. Washington voiced his support, but cautioned against creating tensions with other agencies. Responding, Dr. Zare noted that the resolution specified "in consultation with relevant federal agencies and other bodies," agreeing that caution would be necessary.

Dr. Powell expressed support for the resolution, noting that the Ad Hoc Committee on Strategic S&E Policy Issues included in its report the issue of coordination in the Federal budget for research as one of its two thrusts. He asked whether the second thrust, on priority setting, was still under consideration. Responding, Dr. Zare requested that the members of the Committee be prepared to discuss at the May meeting the white paper they had developed, including priority setting.

Dr. Zare, reported some support within the Board for excluding education and focusing on research only, to limit the scope of Board action to an area of clear Board expertise, and asked for opinions of those present. Dr. Natalicio stated that education is a very important dimension of what the government funds through NSF. Drs. Powell and Rubin also voiced support for including science and engineering education. Dr. Kelly noted that from his perspective education implies science education, and science education implies research. Dr. Suzuki concurred.

Dr. Zare raised the question of whether timing of analyses called for in the resolution, associated with Indicators, should be coordinated with the Federal budget process. Dr. Greenwood argued against being involved in the budget process and for continuing the biennial cycle for Indicators. Dr. Malcom agreed that the Board's activities should be separated from the immediacy of the budget process, allowing the Board to examine trends and consider the future.

Responding to a question from Dr. Zare on how the resolution would affect the NSF staff supporting Indicators, Ms. Jennifer Bond, Executive Secretary, EHR Subcommittee on Science and Engineering Indicators, stated that actions proposed by the resolution were compatible with the normal schedule and process for preparing Indicators.

Dr. Zare, noting the general support expressed by members, stated that a modified form of the resolution would be brought back at the May meeting for adoption. He urged members to review the white paper prepared by the Ad Hoc Committee on Strategic S&E Policy Issues and to send comments to Dr. Ross, who would lead a discussion of it at the May meeting.

AGENDA ITEM 16: Discussion Item: Large Hadron Collider

Dr. Robert Eisenstein, Director, Physics Division, Mathematical & Physical Sciences Directorate introduced Dr. Chris Llewellyn-Smith, Director General, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland; Dr. Martha Krebs, Director, Office of Energy Research, Department of Energy (DOE); Dr. Peter Rosen, Associate Director for Energy Research, High Energy and Nuclear Physics, DOE, and Dr. John O'Fallon, Director Division for High Energy Physics, DOE, who discussed CERN in relation to a proposal on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) coming before the Board in May.

Dr. Llewellyn-Smith provided a history of CERN, which was established 43 years ago. There are currently 19 member countries -- most of western Europe and some of the four ex-communist countries in central Europe. CERN provides facilities to carry out research in particle physics. The member countries provide international financial and scientific collaboration, bringing together scientists and engineers trained in different traditions to look at problems from different perspectives. Through slides, Dr. Llewellyn-Smith provide a view of the accelerators at CERN and the site as it is to be developed. Most of the existing infrastructure will be incorporated into the LHC.

CERN has rather few staff scientists for an organization of its size. The science is done by 7,000 users from the outside. The rapid growth in users is a demonstration of the attractiveness of the facilities, which serve over half of the world's particle physicists. Once the LHC is activated, CERN will be breaking new ground in interregional collaboration, with 45 percent of users from outside Europe, with the United States as the largest user of the facility. CERN is a major education enterprise, contributing to the education of 150 Ph.D.'s produced annually. The LHC is at the limit of what Europe can afford in the present financial climate. CERN's open-door policy for user groups has the full backing of the International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA). All participating countries have responded to the request for contributions to improve the project. Through additional funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and NSF to the two detectors, ATLAS and CMS, as well as the transfer of U.S. detector construction technology to the CERN project, major steps can be made toward a new mode of interregional collaboration.

Two-thirds of the LHC infrastructure already exists, with a linear accelerator and four circular accelerators, and two thirds of the civil engineering. In order to build the LHC, most of the existing facilities will be closed or run down to minimum usage. Construction was approved in December 1994, and the timetable was recently approved. The U.S. DOE made an independent assessment of the machine in 1996 and concluded that the cost estimate was reasonable based on conservative estimating assumptions. There will be two large general purpose detectors called ATLAS and CMS in place for 15 years, with over 2,000 scientists involved in each of the two operations. NSF is being asked to support construction of both detectors, that will focus on tracking, measuring the tracks of the particles after collision occurs, measuring the energy of the particles and some of the computing, including ultra-high speed data handling beyond the capability of currently existing technology.

Collaborations on each of the operations include 130-150 institutes in some 30 countries, with a total of 45 countries involved in all. Overall management of the projects is made easier through the World Wide Web and other computer based management tools. The monitoring tools include a standing committee consisting of outside members, and a technical subcommittee on each of the different technologies, as well as a financial committee with oversight for the cost of the project. Based on previous experience with the LEP accelerator, Dr. Llewellyn-Smith expressed confidence that the collaboration would be successful.

Dr. Llewellyn-Smith provided some insight into the science conducted at the LHC, and noted that the NSF has been involved in the majority of the programs at CERN, including experiments to test alternative theories of supersymmetry and the Higgs mechanism, the untested part of the Standard Model testing the origin of mass of particles, and the range of subatomic forces. The LHC will open a new window on the nature of matter and the structure of the universe. U.S. accelerator physicists will benefit by being involved and from the U.S. DOE support. In closing, Dr. Llewellyn-Smith invited Board members to visit the site.

Dr. Krebs, DOE, discussed the agencies' participation in the LHC and the importance of the partnership with the NSF in negotiations. She explained that the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel recommended participation in the LHC as a cost effective way of using U.S. research dollars through leveraging $5-6 billion facility that the LHC represents. She provided a budget overview of the high energy physics program with respect to the scientific priorities within the overall DOE program. Participation in the LHC is necessary if the United States is to have access to the high energy frontier after the LHC is activated, and to maintain a leadership role that it has held for more than 40 years. CERN is a reliable and dependable partner with an outstanding record of building accelerators and extracting the best physics from them. DOE's financial liability is limited and DOE and NSF are establishing a tight management structure under a joint oversight committee to ensure that cost boundaries are met. It will complement on-going investments, such as SLAC, Fermilab, other U.S. laboratories and universities, and builds on investments in the SSC accelerator and detector R&D. The DOE is the primary contributor from the U.S. Once U.S. contributions are better defined, DOE will conduct a technical cost schedule review before a long-term lab-to-lab commitment is signed. Dr. Krebs reported that on February 25 DOE and NSF agreed to establish a joint oversight committee among the U.S. members to provide common guidance and oversight to the detectors. There will be a management review of ATLAS in May 1997, and CMS in June.

Board Discussion

The Chairman called on Dr. Gaillard to lead comments and questions from Board members. Dr. Gaillard asked for comment on the discovery region, particularly the thoroughness of the search for the Higgs as compared with the SSC and whether the low end of the energy window would be closed. In response, Dr. Llewellyn-Smith stated that the lower energy at the LHC for studying the collisions between the quarks inside protons in comparison with the canceled SSC project, is compensated for by increased intensity, made possible by advances in detector technology. He noted further that the breakthrough at Fermilab with respect to the top quark enabled scientists to determine more closely where new physics will emerge, in the lower energy region where CERN capabilities are competitive. He responded, however, that the lower end of the energy window would be inaccessible with this machine.

Responding to a question from Dr. Gaillard on access, Dr. Llewellyn-Smith stated that there are no limits on collaborators from different countries, and that there is an open access system that has sometimes created a bit of tension when the numbers grew beyond expectation. Answering Dr. Gaillard's question on the potential for negative effects of budget constraints in the United States and Europe, and the possibility of major contributors backing out of the project, he explained that, though there is no restriction to leaving the project, one year's notice must be given. There has been a gentleman's agreement that no countries will quit unless in the face of some real catastrophe during the construction period. He noted the long planning and construction schedule implies strong commitment on the part of the collaborating parties.

With respect to Dr. Gaillard's question on what he saw for the future in terms of the project referred to as the Next Linear Collider, Dr. Llewellyn-Smith commented that experience in Europe indicates that funding follows the interests of scientists, and he therefore expected that countries would invest in international collaborations where their scientists were interested in working.

Responding to a question from Dr. Suzuki, Dr. Llewellyn-Smith noted that success of the detectors was assured through extensive R&D and the system of referees and control committees. Dr. O'Fallon, DOE, supported Dr. Llewellyn-Smith's statement, reporting that at Fermilab the collider program runs with energy below the LHC but ever-increasing luminosities not as high as LHC. There is a natural extension of the technology underway at Fermilab to that proposed at CERN because the same people are involved in ATLAS.

Responding to a question from Drs. Cotton and Zare with regard to magnets used in the system, he explained that to get higher energy in a fixed tunnel configuration the CERN facility would operate an 8.5 tesla, "two-in-one" magnet, which has got both beam pipes in a single magnet. To get the higher magnetic fields requires lower temperatures, achieved using superfluid helium.

The Chairman recessed the Open Session and called on Dr. Lane, Chairman, Executive Committee, to reconvene the Executive Committee in closed session.

AGENDA ITEM 17: Reports from Committees

The Chairman reconvened the Open Session and called for Committee reports.

a. Audit & Oversight (A&O)

Dr. Hess, Chairman, A&O, reported that during the supervisory session the Inspector General (IG) and KPMG Peat Marwick presented the Independent Auditors' Reports on NSF's FY 1996 financial statements: the Report on Financial Statements, the Report on Internal Controls, and the Report on Compliance with Laws and Regulations. After discussion and in response to the results, the Committee asked that the IG and Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer reports planned for May address problems and issues that arose in the course of developing NSF's financial statements and in performing OIG's audit of these statements and provide options that resolve these problems and issues.

During the open session, the Committee heard a final report from the Task Force on Merit Review; an update on the proposed definition of research misconduct; and an update on the Government in Performance Results Act (GPRA). The A&O Committee is supportive of the recommendations of GRPA and agree with the March 14, 1997 draft statement submitted to Congress and to the Office of Management and Budget. The Committee recommended that the plan could still benefit from greater focus, sharper priorities, and presentation of mission and value in a less abstract form.

b. Education & Human Resources (EHR)

Dr. Malcom, Chairman, EHR, reported that the NSB Executive Committee acted on the IGERT program earlier in the day. The Committee (1) received a report on the Professional Opportunities for Women in Research and Education (POWRE) program, which is a coalition of a number of separate programs existing within the Foundation aimed at Ph.D. level women in science, mathematics and engineering.; and (2) received a briefing on the Children's Initiative by representatives from the White House. The briefing was followed by a wide-ranging discussion on cognition and learning and the implications for NSF programs.

EHR Subcommittee on Science & Engineering Indicators-1998

Dr. Mitchell-Kernan, Chairman, S&EI, reported that the Committee continued discussions of Chapter 8 and agreed to pursue a direction which would make the major focus of the Chapter that of the economic and social impacts of science and technology.

c. Executive Committee (EC)

Dr. Lane, Chairman, EC, reported that conflict-of-interest waivers had been issued to him and Dr. Zare and that they participated as members of the Executive Committee in the decisionmaking of the Partnerships for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (PACI) proposals. The Committee met with all non-conflicted Board members and had substantial discussion of the recommendations of staff on PACI. After considerable discussion with the non-conflicted Board members and consultants, including review of earlier discussions in Closed Session, the EC approved two items: (1) the new centers program under "Approval of the Partnerships for Advanced Computational Infrastructure' Program awards (NSB-97-50, Board book, Tab A1), and (2) "Phase-out funding of the NSF Supercomputer Centers Program" (NSB-97-51, Board book, Tab A2).

d. Programs & Plans (CPP)

Dr. Washington, Chairman, CPP, reported that two waivers, one for the Coast Guard and one for the Department of Defense were discussed and recommended. The Committee heard a presentation on the recompetition of large projects and facilities at NSF and requested staff to explore options on how the process for determining whether recompetition is appropriate, depending on the program or specific project.

There were three actions items brought before the Executive Committee for action earlier in the day.

Task Force on Polar Issues (PI)

Dr. Hess, Chairman, PI, stated that Dr. Cornelius Sullivan, Director, Office of Polar Programs reported on Mr. Norman Augustine's testimony before the House Science Committee on March 12, 1997 concerning the findings of the Antarctic External Review Panel. The Committee also heard presentations from Dr. Richard Greenfield, Director, Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Geosciences (GEO) and Dr. Richard Robinson, program officer for the Polar Cap Observatory project on the plans to build an atmospheric observatory in the Polar Cap Region; and from Dr. Carol Seifer, Program Officer, Arctic Social Sciences Program, GEO, on the findings from studies of ice core data and archeological studies of human behavior how humans reacted to climate change in the North Atlantic several centuries ago.

AGENDA ITEM 18: Other Business/Adjourn

There was no other business and the meeting adjourned at 12:40p.m.

        Susan E. Fannoney
Staff Assistant
A:  Appendix B to NSB/EC-97-14
B:  NSB/OPS-97-6
C:  NSB/MR-97-5

Appendix B to NSB/EC-97-14

In the absence of a quorum, Dr. Lane, Chairman, Executive Committee, reconvened the Executive Committee during the Friday, March 28 NSB Open Session to approve the following actions on behalf of the Board:

AGENDA ITEM 8: Minutes, February 1997 Meeting

The Executive Committee APPROVED the Provisional Open Session Minutes of the February 20-22, 1997 meeting (NSB-97-56, Board book, Tab D).

AGENDA ITEM 9: Closed Session Agenda Items

The Executive Committee reviewed the Closed Session Agenda items and APPROVED the resolution to close portions of the May 1997 meeting (NSB-97-39, Board book, Tab E). The Committee's action on the proposed resolution and certification is attached as Appendix B1.

AGENDA ITEM 12: Program Approval

The Executive Committee APPROVED the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) Program (NSB-97-48, Board book, Tab F), subject to availability of funds, and authorized the Director to take final action on grants, contracts, and other arrangements except when such actions require Board approval under existing policy guidelines (see also Agenda Item 12, NSB-97-96).

AGENDA ITEM 13: Action Item: Future NSB Operations

The Executive Committee APPROVED the recommendations, as amended, as set forth in NSB/OPS-97-6 (see Agenda Item 13, NSB-97-96).

AGENDA ITEM 14: Action Item: Proposed Merit Review Criteria

The Executive Committee APPROVED the criteria set forth in the final report and approved their use for all proposals reviewed beginning October 1, 1997; and authorized the Director, NSF, to proceed expeditiously with all steps necessary for complete implementation by that date; and requested the Director to report to the Board at its meetings in August and November 1997 on the status of implementation and use of the new criteria (see NSB-97-72, New General Criteria for Merit Review of Proposals, attached to these minutes at Appendix B2, and Agenda Item 14, NSB-97-96).

The Chairman recessed the Executive Committee meeting.

        Susan E. Fannoney
Staff Assistant
              National Science Board
B1:  Closing portions of May 1997 NSB meeting
B2:  NSB/97-72

Appendix B1 to NSB/EC-97-14
(Limited Distribution)
Record of Discussion
342nd Meeting
National Science Board
May 7-9, 1997
The Chairman, Executive Committee, presented a list of items to be considered in Closed Session at the May 7-9, 1997 meeting (NSB-97-39). A proposed resolution and a certification from the General Counsel regarding closing these portions of the meeting were also distributed. The Board adopted the proposed resolution as follows:

The Executive Committee DETERMINED that the following portions of the meeting of the National Science Board (NSB) scheduled for May 7-9, 1997 shall be closed to the public:

  1. That portion in which minutes of the closed sessions of earlier meetings will be discussed. An open meeting on that portion would be likely to compromise information and discussions properly held confidential under the Board's resolutions authorizing the closed sessions.

  2. Those portions having to do with discussions regarding nominees for appointment as National Science Board (NSB) members and National Science Foundation (NSF) staff, or with specific staffing or personnel actions. An open meeting on these subjects would be likely to constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

  3. Those portions having to do with future budgets not yet submitted by the President to the Congress.

  4. Those portions having to do with pending proposals and proposed awards for specific grants, contracts, or other arrangements. An open meeting on those portions would be likely to disclose personal information and constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy. It would also be likely to disclose research plans and other related information that are trade secrets, and commercial or financial information obtained from a person that are privileged or confidential. An open meeting would also prematurely disclose the position of the NSF on the proposals in question before final negotiations and any determination by the Director to make the awards and so would be likely to frustrate significantly the implementation of the proposed Foundation action.

        Susan E. Fannoney
Staff Assistant

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