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By | September 5, 1988

In connection with a recent surge of criticism of science, much has been said about the self-correcting capacity of science. Unfortunately, the Stewart and Feder “affair” (The Scientist, July 11, page 1) shows that this process hardly works in real-life situations. Instead of being praised for their effort and devotion to uncover fraud in science, these two researchers have been charged with “indulging in scientific McCarthyism and even treason.” Other members of the

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Letters

By | September 5, 1988

I read with great interest your article on NIH researchers Walter Stewart and Ned Feder, who are investigating scientists for fraud and other misconduct. I think that the article did a good job in pointing out something quite different from what was intended, namely, the closed shop or “guild” mentality of the scientific community. The fact of the matter is that scientific research is a business, just like the music industry, the auto industry, or television repair. Witness J

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Letters

By | September 5, 1988

I found Dilsaver’s and Coffman’s opinion column on funding for AIDS and psychiatric research (The Scientist, July 11, page 11) both provoking and disturbing. By inviting comparison, debate, and scrutiny between research agendas—perhaps in response to Frank Press’s call (The Scientist, May 30, page 1) to set research priorities within the scientific community—the article provokes useful discussion. Yet by misrepresenting the tragedy of AIDS and by misapprehendin

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Letters

By | September 5, 1988

Concerning the article by Rex Dalton “Should Reviewers Sign Their Critiques?” (The Scientist, July 11, page 5), my answer to the question would be emphatically “yes!” The arguments against it are unrealistic. Reviewers should have accountability. I have a modest proposal an Author’s Bill of Rights, which follows: 1. The reviewer should have credentials of scholarship equal to those required of the author. (Passing the paper to the postdoc down the hall from th

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Letters

By | September 5, 1988

In the spirit of Dr. Garfield’s remarks in your July 25 issue, may I bring up problems I have with some statistics in articles in that issue? On page 18, you show an analysis of research output 1979 to 1987, state by state. The number of states marked in red versus those in black is suggestive that something is wrong, and the actual figures add up to a net increase of 7.6% for the 50 states and the District of Columbia. This may reflect an increase in co-authorship across stat lines

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Letters

By | September 5, 1988

One of your special features in The Scientist of July25 entitled “Good Scientists, Bad Science?” (page 1) has touched me such that I must respond. Granted there are scientists who give dissent a bad name, but that category would in my opinion include only those who falsify data in order to push an opposing hypothesis. These people should be made to feel the discontent of the scientific society to the fullest, but both cases cited in your articles seem not to fall into that cate

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Letters

By | September 5, 1988

More Anonymity Perhaps we need more anonymity instead of less (The Scientist, July 11, page 5), in the prepublication review process. Why should the reviewer know the name of the author? It is hard to see how this knowledge makes the process more fair, and it certainly may make it lesefair. ALICE M. BRUES Emeritus Professor Department of Anthropology University of Colorado Boulder, Co. 80309-0233

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Letters

By | September 5, 1988

I have been receiving your publication for several weeks and am writing to let you know that I find The Scientist to be informative and interesting. It widens the tunnel vision one gets from concentrating on one field. CYNTHIA A. PRICE Genetic Diagnostics Corp. 160 Community Drive Great Neck, N.Y 11021

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Nobelist Sam Ting says his CERN experiment is like the United Nations—‘except we get something done.’ Here’s why GENEVA--"I don’t know what your rules are,” the particle physicist Sam Ting tells. the officials from the Soviet Union as they drink coffee in his Geneva office. “I don’t even care. What I am saying is this: When the announcement of a discovery is made, the people on the podium are the people who get the. credit. If you want your sci

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National Lab Briefs

September 5, 1988

A flap over photographs has made the Applied Physics Lab at Johns Hopkins University the target of a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. The suit charges that staff photographer Terry Corbett was illegally fired in August 1987 after he refused to take pictures of demonstrators protesting the lab’s work on nuclear weapons. ACLU lawyer Charles Becker contends that the rights of demonstrators were violated when the Defense Department-funded lab gave pictures of the demonst

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