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NAS Faults Peer Review At USDA

By | August 10, 1987

WASHINGTON—Scientists and staff at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) do not understand the proper role of peer review and do notagree on its purpose, its use and the effect it has on scientific research projects, a new National Academy of Sciences report has found. The ARS, the principal in-house research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, employs more than 8,500 scientists, engineers and technicians at 127 locations. It distributes its $500 million annual budget̵

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LONDON—In an effort to build circulation in the Pacific Rim, Nature last month started printing in Japan. The press run of 3,500 copies— l0 percent of the weekly journal’s total circulation—is expected to reduce costs and speed delivery for subscribers. “Our first objective is to get more readers in Japan,” said Nature editor John Maddox. “We hope that will lead to our attracting more Japanese scientists as contributors. “What we are really up

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NSF Hiring Woes Disputed

August 10, 1987

WASHINGTON—A government report has failed to substantiate claims by the National Science Foundation that it has a problem hiring and retaining top-level science administrators. But the report has been denounced as “irrelevant” by the congressional committee that requested the information. In a four-page fact sheet, the Government Accounting Office found that the attrition rate (retirements, resignations and layoffs) of senior executives at NSF during the past three years was

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NSF to Grade Engineering Centers Soon

By | August 10, 1987

RENO, NEVADA—A comprehensive review this fall of the initial six engineering research centers funded by NSF will be the first decisive test of Director Erich Bloch’s efforts to bring about major improvements in U.S. engineering research and education. The ERC program has grown since 1985 to its current level of 13 centers and an annual budget of $30 million. The budget is expected to grow to $48 million next year and $65 million in fiscal 1989, and encompass as many as 25 centers

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Science Shortages: Real or Not?

By | August 10, 1987

Shortages and surpluses in supply and demand for scientists and engineers seem to be recurrent. A January 17, 1953 headline in the New York Times read: “Lack of Scientists is Called Critical: 2nd Report of U.S. Foundation says Russia is Outdistancing Us in Engineering Graduates.” A Wall Street Journal article quoted in the Congressional Record (Vol. 110, February 27,. 1964) questioned whether there was really a shortage of scientists and engineers (S/E) that year. After Apollo's s

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So They Say

August 10, 1987

Who’s the Boss? Conviction is growing throughout NASA and the aerospace industry that neither NASA Administrator James C. Fletcher nor Presidential Science Advisor William R. Graham, Jr., is providing leadership for strong civil space program action and support for aggressive new space goals. Many of the country’s most experienced space managers are threatening to quit, while others express open hostility and disappointment with the U.S. space program’s top management. The Wh

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AAAS Fellowships: W. Thomas Wander, AAAS, 1333 H St., N.W., Washington, DC 20005. (202) 326-6496, Brookings Institution: Center for Public Policy Education. 177$ Massachusetts Ave., N.W.. Washington, DC 20036- (202) 797-6000. Columbia U.: W. Averell Harriman Institute for Advanced Study of the Soviet Union. 420 W. 118th St., 12th Floor, New York, NY 10027. (212) 280-4623. Harvard U.: Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government. 79 John F. Kennedy St., Ca

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SSC Bidders Get More Time

August 10, 1987

WASHINGTON—States competing for the Superconducting Supercollider have been given 30 more days to submit their proposals to the Department of Energy. The department’s original deadline of August 3 for proposals, announced last winter, produced howls of outrage from states that had waited to mount their campaigns until President Reagan threw his support behind the multibillion-dollar project. They complained they could never catch up to the handful of states that had already spent

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Taking Evolutionary Responsibility

By | August 10, 1987

ON THE BRINK OF EXTINCTION Conserving the Diversity of Life. Woridwatch Paper 78. Edward C. Wolf. Woridwatch Institute, Washington. DC, 1987. 54 pp. $4. Considerable attention has been focused recently on the potential for degrading and destroying ecosystems (particularly tropical ecosystems) and the accompanying loss of species as a result of increased human activities. The controversy over the magnitude of projected species loss has caught the public’s attention. For those interested

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The Dos and Don'ts of Fume Hood Safety

By | August 10, 1987

Chances are excellent that if you ask laboratory workers to describe the ventilation system for their laboratories, they will not include themselves as part of the system. Yet they are as much a part of the successful operation of the system as the fume hood itself. All the engineering in the world is not going to do any good if the systems designed and installed are not properly used. Yet how many lab workers have ever received on-the-job training in the proper use of a fume hood and its ass

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