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Early Citations Mark 1987 Nobel

By | November 2, 1987

PHILADELPHIA—Nobel prizes in science normally recognize research of extraordinary excellence, as judged by literature citations to it and awards that have accumulated over a period of years. This year, however, the Nobel committee awarded the physics prize for recent research that illuminated the physical science community with the brilliance of a supernova. New physics laureates J. Georg Bednorz and K. Alex Milller, of IBM’s Zurich Research Labora tory, published their seminal pap

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Europe Prepares to Hike Space Budget

By | November 2, 1987

LONDON—The 13-nation European Space Agency is expected to endorse a series of projects later this month that could boost the agency’s annual budget from $1.7 billion to $3 billion by 1993. The new efforts include a more powerful version of its Ariane satellite launcher, a manned Hermes spacecraft and the Columbus orbitbig laboratory that would be part of the U.S. space station. Hermes, which zoom into orbit atop the improved Ariane rocket, would give Western Europe its first opport

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Forthcoming Books

November 2, 1987

ARCHAEOLOGY The Birth of Prehistoric Chronology: Dating Methods and Dating Systems In Nineteenth Century Scandinavian Archaeology. Bo Graslund. Cambridge University Press November, 150 pp, $39.50. Traces the origin and subsequent development of dating systems, examining how these systems grew and were improved and refined. BIOCHEMISTRY Biochemistry of Metabolism: Volume 11. David D. Davies, ed. Academic Press: November, 388 pp, $85. Discusses the metabolism of plants, emphasizing the b

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Get a Whiff of These Data

By | November 2, 1987

WASHINGTON—National Geographic magazine invited its readers to smell an armpit and, strangely enough, 1.5 million of them did. Readers put their noses to the grindstone as part of the magazine’s Smell Survey, a joint effort with the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia to sniff out data, on our olfactory sense. The data are now available to researchers. The September 1986 issue of the magazine included a scratch-and-sniff sheet (odorants encased in polymers) that conta

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Give U.S. Fellowships to Latin Americans

By | November 2, 1987

For several years I’ve been trying to sell people on an idea I have that derives from my deep appreciation of the talents of the Latin American scientists I’ve encountered over the past 30 years. These scientists are to be found in laboratories all over the world, usually as valued and honored émigrés or refugees from some political crisis. This idea is available to any statesman who would like to become at least as immortal as Fulbright or Rhodes. It is this: the United

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Good Music, Good Fun, Good Science

By | November 2, 1987

THE BIOCHEMISTS’ SONGBOOK Cassette Tape. Harold Baum. Pergamon Press, Elmsford NY, 1983. $11. Songbook. Pergamon Press, 1982. 62 pp. $6.50. In the UK, Taylor & Francis, Rankine Road, Basingstoke, Hants RG24 OPR. There’s no doubt about it; Harold Baum is a phenomenon of modem day biology and biochemistry education. He authored the original Biochemists’ Songbook, which was published in 1982 with a charming introduction by Sir Hans Krebs. Then in 1984 Biorhythms 1 and Biorhyth

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Graham Shakes Up U.S. Biotech Panel

By | November 2, 1987

ITHACA, N.Y.—Two years after its creation, the Reagan administration’s policy council for coordinating biotechnology regulation faces an uncertain future. Presidential science adviser William Graham has decided to replace the Biotechnology Science Coordinating Committee (BSCC) with a group more directly under his control. Two weeks ago he told THE SCIENTIST that “BSCC has been suspended. it is no longer in operation.” A clause in the BSCC charter required review and

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Happenings

November 2, 1987

John Simpson, University of Chicago physicist, was named the third Martin Marietta Chair in Space History by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington. Simpson designed and built U.S. instruments that were carried aboard Soviet spacecraft to encounter Halley’s Comet in 1986. During his year as chair, he will work with the Air and Space Museum and the University of Chicago to prepare historical accounts of his accomplishments. G. Tom Shires, professor

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It's a Fake! It's Genuine!--You Decide

By | November 2, 1987

THE FEATHERS FLY Is Archaeopteryx a Fake? A special temporary exhibition in the British Museum (Natural History), London, UK. Opened August 18, 1987. In 1985, the astronomers Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasing he wrote an article in the British Journal of Photography claiming that Archaeopteryx is a fake. An ordinary dinosaur fossil, they suggested, had been treated with a paste of powdered limestone, into which bird feathers had been pressed in order to create the illusion of an extraordin

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Let's Revitalize Math Education

By | November 2, 1987

Last spring I pointed to student participation in research as a way to improve undergraduate science education and promised to focus subsequently on precollege science education. (THE SCIENTIST, March 23, 1987, p. 9.) One key strategy for improving science education is the revitalization of elementary and secondary school math instruction. Mathematics is said to be the “queen of the sciences.” Indeed, it is basic to achievement in almost every field of science. But in the court

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