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Keyworth resigns White House post.

Last week, Presidential Science Adviser George A. Keyworth II unexpectedly announced he will be leaving his White House post to consult on corporate intelligence gathering. The resignation, effective Dec. 31, comes at what both he and outside observers acknowledge is the pinnacle of his public career. Reticent about the decision, he has said only that he leaves the position on good terms and is anxious to focus his energies on teaching the intelligence-gathering skills he believes U.S. firms will find essential if they are to thrive in the face of growing foreign competition.

Keyworth feels especially comfortable about the timing of his departure because "the things that he has been working on most -- the things that are really important -- are at a kind of plateau," according one of his aides, Bruce Abell. For example, Abell says, "as a result of Geneva [the Strategic Defense Initiative, or SDI] is much more stable." Similarly, the administration's renewed emphasis on basic research "is well established," Abell says. And Keyworth is especially proud of the improved working relationship between industry and universities that has taken hold under the Reagan administration -- due in part to a number of his initiatives, like the engineering research centers that he helped develop.

Keyworth "is going to be a hard act to follow," says William Carey, executive director of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, based in Washington, D.C. In particular, Carey terms Keyworth's ability to garner 14 percent and 18 percent increases in federal support for basic research funding as "astounding." Noting that Keyworth's undaunting support of SDI has hurt his credibility with some scientists, Carey says, "On the whole he gets very high marks."

Carey and others suggest that Keyworth's decision to leave may in fact signal his recognition that growing congressional concern over the budget deficit would have prevented his being able to shelter science from the budget ax much longer.
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Title Annotation:George A. Keyworth
Author:Ralof, Janet
Publication:Science News
Date:Dec 7, 1985
Words:319
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