The JASON advisory group is studying how to best open university labs during the COVID-19 pandemic, ScienceInsider reports.
JASON, an independent group of scientists, typically offers the US technical advice on defense matters such as nuclear stockpiles. But as ScienceInsider reports, the advisory group started last month to look into how to restart university research while also keeping lab members safe. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Peter Fisher, who is leading the effort, tells it that numerous federal agencies have expressed interest in their work and its conclusions.
"We've got teams looking at risk factors, modeling, and good and bad operational strategies," Fisher says at ScienceInsider. He adds that the group's report is due next month and that they hope it will help guide university officials as they consider how to re-open.
ScienceInsider notes that no one is paying for JASON to conduct this analysis. The group, which is managed by the Mitre Corporation, lost its Department of Defense contract last year, though it then received a short-term contract.