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Budget Cuts NIH Grants Again

By | January 26, 1987

WASHINGTON—The administration has proposed that the National Institutes of Health fund 700 fewer new and competing research grants this year as part of a plan to reduce the overall NIH budget in fiscal 1988. But it is unlikely that researchers will feel the pinch anytime soon. The proposal is part of a request to Congress to transfer $334 million already appropriated for this fiscal year. The present budget of $6.18 billion would drop by a corresponding amount, and the budget for next year

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But What Will He Do In Moscow?

By | January 26, 1987

STOCKHOLM—The return of 65-year-old academician Andrei Sakharov has given rise to many questions. One important question for scientists is: To what extent will the former prodigy and the youngest person to be elected a full member of the prestigious Soviet' Academy of Sciences resume his scientific activities, after seven years of isolation in Gorky? Speculation about how he might apply his scientific energies ranges over a large area. His insights might be very useful to those who have st

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In 1975, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) was remarkable more for its namesake, the legendary, ultra-reclusive billionaire, than for its $3 million research program. But Hughes' death in 1976, and the 1985 sale of the Hughes Aircraft Co. for $5 billion, have made the Institute remark-able to the tune of $200 million in biomedical grants last year alone. That figure is expected to climb to $300 million by 1990, making the Institute the largest private medical research organization in th

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Five NASA Scientists Reflect on a Year of Turmoil

By | January 26, 1987

To biochemist Nitza Cintron, a member of what she describes as "the NASA family," the Challenger accident brought with it a great sense of loss. As chief of the 75-person Biomedical Laboratories at Johnson Space Center, Cintron believes the accident has had a greater impact on operational responsibilities—supporting shuttle flights—than on basic research. But there are lots of projects that can only be done in space which have been temporarily suspended. Some of Cintron's own researc

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Joint Research Centers Part of Increase for NSF

By | January 26, 1987

WASHINGTON—A request from Director Erich Bloch for $270 million in additional funds for the National Science Foundation in fiscal 1988 should get a sympathetic hearing on Capitol Hill, according to congressional committee staff. But whether that will translate into votes is not yet clear. Bloch won administration support for the 17 percent increase, from $1.62 billion to nearly $1.9 billion, by arguing that strengthening the university research base is one of the best ways to keep American

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SAN FRANCISCO—One year ago the U.S. space program came to an abrupt and shocking halt. As the remains of the Space Shuttle Challenger plummeted into the sea, an already tenuous and drifting Space and Earth Science Program reeled under the shock wave. While NASA says none of its 22,800 employees worldwide have been laid off, the scientific programs, both at NASA facilities and elsewhere, have unquestionably been affected severely. Previous decisions to stretch out and delay flight projects

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Panel To Rank U.K. Priorities

By | January 26, 1987

LONDON—Industrial, government and scientific leaders here are about to launch a new effort to decide how best to spend the U.K.'s research dollars. The tripartite forum—as yet unnamed—is expected to be announced shortly by the government, which hopes to attract a well-known industrialist as its chairman. The idea for such a group came from the government's Advisory Council for Applied Research and Development (ACARD). The Council, a group of senior industrial and government res

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Physicists Cite Gender Bias

January 26, 1987

LONDON—More than half of the U.K. Institute of Physics's female members believe they have been discriminated against when applying for jobs. According to a survey by the Institute, many have suffered "patronizing attitudes, lack of rapport with male colleagues and chauvinistic or sexist remarks" and feel that they need to perform twice as well if they are to be considered as able as men. Of the Institute's 11,733 members, only 672 are women—but 63 percent of them completed the questi

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Recycling Scientists into Science Teachers

By | January 26, 1987

Ben Schrader wants to be a high school science teacher in Houston. The 55-year-old chemical engineer plans to reach his goal with the help of a new cooperative program, between the Chevron Corporation and three universities, that addresses both the problem of unemployment in the oil industry and the growing shortage of science teachers throughout the nation's secondary schools. Getting a good education has always been important to Schrader, who expects his youngest child, a high school senior, t

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Revolving Door in Biotech?

January 26, 1987

WASHINGTON—Employees in the biotechnology industry are enjoying more salary increases, cash incentive programs and educational assistance, yet the annual turnover rate for some positions is as high as 23 percent, according to a recent survey conducted by Radford Associates for the Industrial Biotechnology Association. The Biotechnology Compensation and Benefits Survey collected information from 126 biotechnology companies based primarily in the United States and Canada. Salary increases we

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