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Science, Peace, and Understanding

By | February 10, 2003

I have two Iraqi friends, both scientists, both wonderfully witty people. One of them is perhaps the kindest, gentlest, best-humored man I've ever known; I was honored to serve as his best man when he married a Cumbernauld girl of Polish descent. Such Iraqi/Scots-Polish liaisons might often occur in the melting-pot of the US, but in late-1980s Dublin this was quite an exotic event. Unfortunately, no one from the Iraqi side of the family was permitted to be present. A couple of years earlier,

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Immunology Needs a '70s Groove

By | January 27, 2003

Turn to page 10 of this issue to view a first-rate Eureka moment, a full-blown YOOOO-REEEEEEE-KAAA epiphany: a photograph of the lab notebook page recording the discovery of the virus now known as HIV. The document deserves prominent display in a major museum. However, when I contacted author Francoise Barré-Sinoussi to ask for it, the reply was, and I paraphrase, "I should have that somewhere, let me get back to you." Who says that researchers are all egomaniacs? Since the discovery

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Playboy for Geeks?

By | January 13, 2003

An advertising colleague asked a potential client if he was familiar with The Scientist. "Yes, of course," the man responded. "It's the only real scientific magazine, a kind of Playboy for geeks." I have to admit to being delighted with this description. While I do not consider our readers geeks, nor am I an avid fan of Hugh Hefner, the phrase has connotations of a "wanna read," and that's exactly our aim with The Scientist. Plenty of science publications around have aspirations and pretensi

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