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West Is Urged To Seek, Use Japanese Data

By | October 5, 1987

COVENTRY, ENGLAND—Western scientists need to do more to obtain and make use of Japanese technical research results if their countries hope to remain competitive in many emerging areas. American and European scientists, administrators and industry representatives heard that message repeatedly from speakers at the International Conference on Japanese Information, held here last. month at the University of Warwick. They were also told that scientists should not expect any extraordinary ef

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Where Were You When the Space Age Began?

By | October 5, 1987

FREDERICK C. DURANT III “We were all gathered in Barcelona, Spain for the International Astronautical Federation conference, and there were delegates from about 20 countries. The head of the Soviet delegation was Leonid Sedov. We saw him at the airport on Saturday afternoon, and we knew nothing about the launch because in Spain under Franco they didn’t allow British papers in until they had been censored or reviewed. So a lot of us didn’t know about it until later, when peo

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'Step by Step' Toward Mars

By | September 21, 1987

Editor’s note: On August 17, NASA released the long-awaited report by former astronaut Sally K Ride, the first American woman in space and a member of the Rogers commission that investigated the crash of the Space Shuttle Challenger in January 1986. EntitIed “Leadership and America’s Future in Space,” the 63-page report urges on NASA an “orderly expansion outward from Earth,” rather than a program to “rush headlong toward Mars” advocated by some N

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As Usual, Anything But Ordinary

By | September 21, 1987

THE COLLECTED PAPERS OF ALBERT EINSTEIN Volume I: The Early Years, 1879-1902. John Stachel, ed. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1987. German-language volume: 433 pp. $52.50 HB. English translation: 196 pp. $22.50 PB (can only be purchased with German volume). Microfiche: $10. The publication of the first volume of the long-awaited, long-delayed Einstein papers is a most welcome event. And if this first volume is a taste of things to come, the complete set will represent a most im

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Australian Science Lobby 'Neutered'

By | September 21, 1987

TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA—The Australian scientific community is struggling to come to terms with its diminished political influence following the abrupt abolition of the Department of Science as part of a massive restructuring of federal departments after the national election July 11. “The science lobby, such as it is, has been neutered,” commented Ian Lowe of Griffith University, an expert on Australian science policy, who also described “a high level of confusion in t

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BA Lobby Asks Thatcher To Do More for Research

By | September 21, 1987

BELFAST—The British Association for the Advancement of Science, for the first time in living memory, has entered the political arena to defend the interests of British scientists. The association, assembled here for its 149th annual meeting, sent a letter to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher asking for more government spending on research and urging her to chair meetings of the newly created Advisory Council on Science and Technology. It said scientists would back the government’s

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Berlin Launches Academy

September 21, 1987

WEST BERLIN—The forging of stronger ties among researchers, and between academia and industry, are two important goals of this city’s new Academy of Science (see THE SCIENTIST, March 9, p. 5). The academy, after opening ceremonies later this week, will begin work on a research agenda that will span the natural and medical sciences as well as technology assessment. The first six projects, chosen from 39 proposals and each expected to last three years, will cover automation and the

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Center Links Mexican Firms To Academia

By | September 21, 1987

MEXICO CITY—The official opening here last month of the Center for Electronics and Information Technology (CETEI) underscores Mexico’s efforts to strengthen ties between academic and industrial R&D sectors. The new center was created to support the development of the country’s fast-growing electronics industry by mediating technological supply and demand. The government is encouraging such university-industry cooperation in effort to offset spending cuts it has in academic

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Chemists Urge Contact With Public

By | September 21, 1987

SAO PAULO—An international group of chemistry educators has recommended greater contact between working scientists and educators as part of an effort to improve public understanding of science. Delegates to the Ninth International Conference on Chemistry Education held here this summer suggested that scientists involve themselves in communicating news about their work to audiences beyond their professional groups. A conference resolution declared that national scientific bodies should

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Cladistics: A Mixed Bag of a Book

By | September 21, 1987

BIOLOGICAL METAPHOR AND CLADISTIC CLASSIFICATION An Interdisciplinary Perspective. Henry M. Hoenigswald and Linda F. Wiener, eds. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 1987. 286 pp. $25. It isn’t often that an analytical technique developed recently by scientists is found to have been in common use for decades or even centuries within the humanities. This symposium volume deals with one such case, which strikes parallels between current methods of phylogenetic analysis in bio

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