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In Saddam's Iraq, many top scientists were involved in research into weapons of mass destruction. Now, in a bid to head them off before they decide to spread their expertise elsewhere, the coalition is giving them new work.

In this article, Richard Stone tells how coalition authorities are developing three new non-proliferation initiatives: the establishment of an Iraq International Center for Science and Industry; international meetings between Iraqi and US scientists, under the aegis of the US Civilian Research and Development Foundation; and a US-funded effort to assess what is needed to rebuild Iraq's science infrastructure.

With Iraqi science lagging significantly behind that in the West, the rebuilding process will probably be slow. But given the state of public health, the environment and agriculture in the country, any progress is also likely to be welcome.

Link to full article in Science

Reference: Science 303, 1594 (2004)