Big Science

This was the year that opponents believed they were finally going to do in the Superconducting Super Collider. After all, its most powerful backer, Lloyd M. Bentsen (D-Tex.), has left the Senate for the Treasury Dept. But the $8 billion particle accelerator is proving tough to kill. A House Appropriations subcommittee has already approved $620 million in funding for fiscal 1994, and the project may well survive a close vote in the full House in late June. The margin of victory could come from some of the 110 House freshmen. SSC backers have lobbied them hard, arguing that the collider is vital to U.S. competitiveness. The issue may come down to just how hard President Clinton, who is reviewing both the SSC and the space station, is willing to fight for them.