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Putting his Mind to the British Science Machine

By | October 6, 2003

 Colin Blakemore Colin Blakemore has always excelled at communicating science to the public. As president and now chair of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, he has been at the forefront of scientific dialogue in the United Kingdom for years. In his 1988 BBC television series, The Mind Machine, he proved that even "the most complex piece of machinery in the universe" could be made accessible to nonscientists. He was thrust into the spotlight more reluctantly in the 1

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Sweet Charity: New Funds for Discovery

By | October 6, 2003

Nonprofit foundations are not, by definition, out to make money; but they are making deals. Discontented with more traditional channels of scientific advancement, patient advocacy nonprofits are now working directly with industry to bring ideas to the bench and treatments to the marketplace. For a company in early-stage drug development, the timing couldn't be better. With seed money rare and willing venture capitalists (VCs) scarce, industry can turn to the succor of venture philanthropy (VP

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Caught in Political Crosshairs

By | September 22, 2003

AP Photo/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Jim Watkins  Thomas Butler It's open season on life scientists. The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is doggedly determined to prove that Thomas Butler, a researcher and international plague authority at Texas Tech University, is a biocriminal. Ebola investigator Steven J. Hatfill, formerly with the United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Disease (USAMRIID), may never recover from the suspicion cast by the FBI's constant surv

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Changing the Faces of Science

By | September 22, 2003

The Supreme Court's narrow ruling on the University of Michigan's admissions policy signaled a fragile affirmative action victory, and Shirley Malcom wasted no time stating her position on its relationship to her own career. "Being black and female got me in the room," says Malcom, seated in the sunny and spacious lounge of the American Association for the Advancement of Science office suite she considers her inner sanctum. "But that is of less importance than what I do in the room." She ent

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Don't Blame Me, I'm the Scientist

By | September 22, 2003

Ned Shaw The public distrusts their science and even colleagues can question their motives, but researchers in controversial fields say they're making the world a better place. "I can't think of more important work that I could be doing [for public health]," says Jim Swauger, a toxicologist at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Tobacco companies? A great place to contribute to public health? It's no joke to Tony Albino, whose long track record in cancer research and stint as director of the Amer

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Governments recruit US scientists for academic research

By | September 22, 2003

The science circulatory system that sends so many European researchers to the United States flows in two directions, as most European governments run programs to attract US researchers as well. As science has become truly international, and projects exceedingly expensive, cross-border flow of scientists has become vital to research progress. While European leaders of science are anxious to build one Europe by sponsoring partnerships with former Soviet Union satellites, they also encourage col

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Building La Dolce Vita with Science

By | September 8, 2003

Research collaboration between the National Institutes of Health and the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) began with the signing of a Letter of Intent at the end of July. This institutional agreement confirms a Memorandum of Understanding for greater US-Italian cooperation in health and medical science signed on April 1. The partnership is designed to promote research areas of mutual interest, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, women's health, and neuroscien

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Graph with Gusto

By | September 8, 2003

The charge that scientists are bad writers is hardly an aphorism. Just read any scientific paper outside of your field and you'll quickly be lost in a jungle of jargon and poorly explained concepts. Yet most scientists struggle mightily with wordsmithing, some going so far as to hire consultants, because they understand the importance of a well-written manuscript. The same does not always apply to illustrations, a catchall term for all graphical representations of scientific data, including d

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Stem Cell Pioneer

By | September 8, 2003

It's a day neurobiologist Oliver Bruestle remembers well. He dropped the letter into the mailbox in August, two years ago. Addressed to the German Research Society, Germany's main funding organization for biomedical research, the envelope contained a grant proposal for work on human embryonic stem cells (ESCs), to be imported from Israel. "I knew this would generate some waves," relates Bruestle, "but I definitely did not count on a tempest of these proportions." His proposal, routine by mos

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The Science of Entertainment

By | September 8, 2003

Courtesy of Edgeworx/A. Cross/J. Dunn for NOVA  SCIENTIST STAR Brian Greene uses special effects to initiate readers in string theory ABC Television turned the best-selling book Dinotopia, about a fantasy world where dinosaurs talk and play ping-pong, into a miniseries. The network celebrated by hosting a party at, of all places, the faculty club of the California Institute of Technology. The event featured network executives, celebrities, and an animatronic Tyrannosaurus rex. At least on

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