WASHINGTON-The 50 U.S. universities that spend the most on R&D already average more than three times the research space available at less affluent institutions, according to a new survey re leased late last month by the National Science Foundation. In addition, plans for expanding and refurbishing research space at these institutions in the next five years outstrip by 25 percent similar construction plans at the other 115 schools. What NSF calls the "top 50" schools expect to have 12.3 milli
The new gallium arsenide computer chips, with processing speeds nearly 10 times faster than silicon, provide plenty of food for thought to an electronics industry hungry for success. But observers still have little to chew on when they try to measure the chips' impact. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers wants to enrich the meal. It has joined with Nobel laureate Wassily Leontief of New York University's Institute for Economic Analysis on a model to help people evaluate the economic imp
PHILADELPHIA-The Nobel Prizes are not the result of an election among scientists for "best scientist of the year." But practicing scientists do pass judgment of a kind when they cite other scientists' work in their papers or build on that work to move into a new research area. By that yardstick, this year's laureates are worthy recipients of the prizes from the Swedish Academy of Sciences. All the winners have published work that has been highly cited by their peers and which has led to importan
WASHINGTON-The National Research Council wants to lend an in-dependent voice to the current stalemate on the release into the environment of genetically engineered organisms-but it lacks the cash. Its Board on Basic Biology concluded a two-day meeting last month with a resolution stressing "the scientific and economic urgency" of conducting such a study that would seek a scientific consensus on definitions and on classifications of risk. Last year four federal agencies rejected separate requests
WASHINGTON-A still-unpublished paper by two NIH scientists on professional misconduct has spawned sharp debate within the scientific community on the responsibilities of co-authors and the role of lawyers in the publications process. The authors of the 1983 report, Walter Stewart and Ned Feder, have appeared in recent months before two congressional committees and a steadily growing number of university gatherings to discuss their findings and the larger issues it has raised. But the possibility
More than 500 British scientists, including 22 Fellows of the Royal Society, have pledged to refuse any funding arising from the American Strategic Defense Initiative program. In addition, a major trade union representing researchers and technicians is campaigning to keep any contracts from going to U.K. laboratories. The Association of Scientific, Technical and Managerial Staffs opposes any siphoning of jobs from domestic research into defense. At the same time, a survey of members of the U.S.
PARIS-The corridors and elevators were visibly less crowded than in past years this fail at UNESCO headquarters here. But the shrinking staff is only one sign of the withdrawal of the United States, the United Kingdom and Singapore from the United Nations' principal educational and scientific agency. The agency's science and engineering programs have been cut by 37 percent, and its staff reduced from 167 to 126 professionals. Its $16 million budget, rather less than that available to the science
OTTAWA-The National Research Council managed to dampen the celebration of Canadian John Polanyi's Nobel Prize in chemistry last month by announcing on the same day that it was eliminating the section where he did his re search as part of widespread cuts in science funding. The Council said it would save $20 million by eliminating 200 positions and dozens of programs. (The Canadian dollar is worth 72 cents U.S.) About $12 million will be diverted to Canada's space program, to support its communic
HOUSTON-George Pimentel of the University of California at Berkeley has received the Robert A. Welch Award from the Welch Foundation for his work on the chemical laser. The award, which carries with it a prize of $150,000, recognizes extraordinary achievement in chemistry.
The arrest of Soviet physicist and U.N. employee Gennadi F. Zakharov on espionage charges this fall was the exception that proves the rule. Very little scientific spying is actually done by scientists. An FBI listing of 62 espionage prosecutions from 1945 to the present includes quite a few engineers and technicians and the expected large number of military and intelligence personnel. But other than Zakharov, who was ex changed in October for journalist Nicholas Daniloff after being indicted for