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During the last two decades, space officials assumed that there would be a smooth and continuous transition from numerous, extended-duration space shuffle flights in the late 1980s to a large orbiting space station by 1992. We know now that this logical evolution in our capabilities will not occur; a large gap has been created by the Challenger loss and the delay in the availability of the space station. In order to keep the United States and U.S. industry competitive, we need to fill this

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University Briefs

June 27, 1988

I’d Like You To Know Me Better H. T. Kung, professor of computer science at Carnegie-Mellon, had a good thing going. Instead of asking industry for money to fund his research, he would brashly invite companies to bid for the privilege. In the past, this tactic snared top dollars from General Electric, Honeywell, and Intel. But when Kung recently invited 12 major high-tech firms to join him on his latest project, a computer network, he only received sub-par offers. “We were too opti

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Why Scientists Need To Repent

By | June 27, 1988

Joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine’ just persons, which need no repentance. New Testament, Luke, XV, 7 Heaven, as well as his scientific colleagues, greet with joy the scientist who is willing to amend previously published observations. No one I consistently correct; even a Noble laureate may end up with egg on his face. Yet regretfully, there is already procedure for altering one's earlier communications on the scientific literature. At

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'On/Off' Science Careers Are Gaining Favor

By | June 13, 1988

There is a growing market out there for part-time and/or temporary work in the sciences. Employers have long seen the advantages—savings in overhead and benefits plus greater flexibility in many activities—but now the practice of research is changing, moving toward almost interchangeable scientists performing routine, clearly divided tasks. At the same time, based on our work in the professional relations office of the American Chemical Society I see an increasing interest in this

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A Star Dies, And A Cottage Industry Is Born

By | June 13, 1988

Research A Star Dies, And A Cottage Industry Is Born Author: DAVID PENDLEBURY Date: June 13, 1988 It took 160 thousand years for light from an exploding star in the Large Magellanic Cloud to reach Earth, but only one year for astronomers and physicists to emit their own burst of energy in the form of journal articles on this once-in-a-lifetime event. Since February 23, 1987, when the first light from the explosion was seen, the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) has recorded some 180 ar

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Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department revolutionizes psychology CAMBRIDGE, MASS--Daniel Osherson works with equations on paper. He is interested in the abstract and arcane topic of "inductive inference”" in particular, the theory of how evidence can support a hypothesis. William Quinn toils over collections of fruit flies in a biology lab, trying to discern how small genetic differences can cause subtle changes in memory and learning among populations of Drosophila. As unlikely as it m

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Articles Alert

June 13, 1988

The Scientist has asked a group of expert. to periodically comment upon recent articles that they have found noteworthy. Their selectIons, presented here in every issue, are neither endorsements of content nor the result of systematic searching. Rather they are personal choices of articles they believe the scientific community as a whole may also find i.nteresting. Reprints of any articles cited here may be ordered through The Genuine Article, 8501 Market St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19004. BY SOK

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Association Briefs

June 13, 1988

No other scientific field has as many Nobel laureates per capita as the field of crystallography, and the American Crystallographic Association boasts five living Nobelists among its members. Six laureates—including all five ACA member Nobelists—will be in Philadelphia from June 26 to July 1 for the association’s annual meeting. Their symposium on Methods and Applications in Macromolecular Crystallography helps explain why conference organizers are predicting the highest atte

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The Japanese think so and have-tried to sign up super startups who can’t attract U.S. corporations to their superwares SACRAMENTO, CALIF--"It’s too low-tech for some people," admits Ray Anderson cheerfully. "But I like the idea: using low tech to make high tech." Anderson casts a slightly apologetic glance around his company’s big workshop. A crazy quilt of clutter fills it: stacked chairs, boxes, empty Pepsi cans, silvery asbestos-lined gloves, metal shelves, wooden benches

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Dorothy Pierce was a good pal to the four people who worked for her. They all called her “Dottie.” But as a supervisor, she also had to be tough enough to motivate her team of biotech researchers when the going got rough—and it did, it got very rough at Richmond, Calif. based Stauffer Chemical. The team’s moniker? The corn transformation group. Its task? To become the first scientists in the world to implant a foreign gene into maize. That was a year ago. Today, the fiv

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