Comment [on “Planetary science, astrobiology, and the role of science and exploration in society”]



Jakosky and Golombek [2000] have addressed important public policy issues in their recent Forum piece (Eos, February 8, 2000, p. 58). Their analyses should be read carefully in the context of the numerous debates and discussions that have occurred in the last decade on the role of public funding for research. I wish to take this opportunity to comment and elaborate on several of the issues raised in their piece.

The American Geophysical Union has an active and vigorous program in public policy under the auspices of the Committee on Public Affairs (CORA). A full-time professional AGU staff member with strong policy credentials has guided the Union's activities in public affairs for the last 2 years.