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In the ongoing controversy over congressional earmarks, some new bones of contention have surfaced. Late last month, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee heard testimony that the dynamics of Washington's so-called “iron triangle” are adding to the inequities that many claim are caused by the earmarking of funds for scientific research.

Nonetheless, earmarking remains a legitimate part of the appropriations game, and a practice that many still champion. At the hearing, the president of Boston University, John R. Silber, lauded the “excellence” of projects funded by earmarks.