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New Shock Horror Probe

By | July 27, 1987

From today's edition of The Daily Beast: Proximity to wood causes countless cases of hyperactivity in Britain every year, according to a sensational report published yesterday by the 'whistle-blower' Mother Earth Consortium. Wood may also lead to other 'biohazards' that have not yet been identified. 'Our findings show,' said Dr. Mark Weinberg, bullish leader of the new Nader-style lobby group, 'that wood should be abandoned immediately as a constructional material. Houses, furniture and pencils

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Not Only Arrogance, But Deception

By | July 27, 1987

Were there not serious ethical, political and scientific issues raised by genetic engineering and the release of human-altered organisms into the environment, Thomas Jukes' response (The Scientist, May 18, 1987, p. 13) could be dismissed as merely more of the arrogant, contemptuous attitude shown by many scientists toward the general public. But in fact there are real issues involved, and so his petulant outburst and repetitive assertions of complete safety involve not only arrogance, but decept

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Problem-Solving on Expert Systems

By | July 27, 1987

Research and Development in Expert Systems III M.A. Bramer, ed. Cambridge University Press, New York, 1987. 227 pp. $39.50. Expert systems are computer programs that incorporate domain-specific human expertise. They grew out of the fields of artificial intelligence and software engineering, with the intention of offering a methodology for developing software capable of addressing the markets' increasing needs. By shortcutting some of the fundamental goals of artificial intelligence and softwar

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Returning to Science: It Can Be Done

By | July 27, 1987

In the late 1970s, the National Science Foundation sponsored a series of career facilitation programs designed to retrain women with scientific degrees who had spent several years out of the laboratory while raising families. I recently 'undertook a follow-up study of 75 women who participated in one of those programs—a year of special intensified course work in chemistry or toxicology at American University. The general conclusion was that the program was very successful in ensuring job p

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Rutgers Program Helps Minority Grad Students

By | July 27, 1987

NEW YORK—Olatunde Branche, a 31-year-old zoology student at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn., was ready to abandon his quest for a Ph.D. because of the cost. Then a professor showed him a magazine advertisement that described a minority fellowship program at Rutgers University. Four years later, Branche is within a few months of receiving his doctoral degree. "That program provided me with the money and the incentive," said Branche, who came to the United States seven years ago

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So They Say

July 27, 1987

Verbatim excerpts from the media on the conduct of science. Frank Press On Social Science Science is not a body of facts and theories, but a way of considering problems and viewing the world. Scientists observe phenomena, develop hypotheses, conduct experiments, analyze findings and generate knowledge. They may measure gamma rays or public opinion, but the process is the same. It is this process that is science. Social scientists contribute enormously to important national issues, and all of us&

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Space Research Advances on 3 Continents

By | July 27, 1987

WASHINGTON—Experimenters starved for spaceflight opportunities may find all the lab space they need in Earth orbit if a small Colorado company is able to turn the space shuttle's giant external fuel tanks into privately owned orbiting science facilities. Next week a group of 40 scientists, government officials and engineers will attend a closed workshop in Boulder to take a first crack at defining science requirements for the "Labitat," as the External Tank Company (ETCO) has labeled its p

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Survey Challenges U.K. Brain Drain

By | July 27, 1987

LONDON—Fears of a brain drain of British scientists have been quieted by a new survey from the Royal Society. Many researchers have pointed to the success of overseas recruitment—with U.S. institutions seen as the chief culprits—as a consequence of continuing tight research budgets in British labs. But the Royal Society was unable to find figures to back up the often politically motivated rhetoric. Overall, its report produces a picture of a global intellectual market from whic

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The Latitudes of Art and Science

By | July 27, 1987

Art and Cartography: Six Historical Essays. David Woodward, ed. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1987. 249 pp. $65. From a scientific perspective, a map represents the distillation of all available scientific data about an area into a single graphic representation. From an artistic perspective, a map communicates philosophical ideas or feelings. Cartography represents a superb example of the interface between art and science. Art and Cartography, a collection of six essays by humanist

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The NRC Doesn't Cut Corners on Safety

By | July 27, 1987

The excerpts from the book Safety Second by the Union of Concerned Scientists about the activities of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that appeared in the June 15, 1987 issue of The Scientist (p. 15) deserve comment. At the outset, it should be noted that the Union of Concerned Scientists is hardly an unbiased observer of the NRC. Since its formation, the organization has been critical of our agency and how we carry out our responsibilities. Nevertheless, we welcome constructive criticism and

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