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Agre: Invest in Science's Future

In remarks to international media at the start of the 2010 AAAS Annual Meeting, AAAS President Peter Agre said countries that neglect research spending during the economic downturn may be "discouraging a generation of scientists."

The Nobel laureate praised the European Union's efforts to build a "knowledge-based society," encouraging the United States to follow their lead. "Nations that fund science are investing in the future," he said, "while those who cut science spending are just hoping for the best."

In response to questions from journalists, Agre said recent news about errors in climate change reports "has caused significant damage" to the science community at large. But he urged researchers to "stay with their game plan, and do science the best we can" while communicating the difficulties involved in climate studies.

Promising a "laid-back" speech to fit the Southern California setting, Agre said his presidential address tonight will include stories from his work as a "cheerleader" for research on malaria and other disease of the developing world.