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WASHINGTON—A new association to address the scientific and technical issues affecting society will be formed next month. The National Association for Science, Technology and Society will hold its first meeting during the Third National STS Conference on Technological Literacy February 5-7 in Arlington, Va. More than 1,000 scientists, educators and others are expected to gather to hear such speakers as William Baker, former chairman of Bell Labs; Rep. Robert Roe (1)- N.J.), chairman of

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Austin Gives Big Welcome To Sematech

By | January 25, 1988

Sematech has found a home and it’s a homerun for Texas." Texas Gov. Bill Clements was reacting to the news that Austin, the state capital and home of the University of Texas, has been picked as the site for a $1.5 billion advanced semiconductor research facility. State officials expect the project to provide a scientific boost to their ailing economy by offering employment to thousands and attracting new electronics firms to the region. Texas beat out 11 other finalists from an original

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Behind the Gates Of a 'Platonic Heaven'

By | January 25, 1988

WHO GOT EINSTEIN’S OFFICE? Eccentricity and Genius at the Institute for Advanced Study. Ed Regjs. Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA. 1987. 320 pp. $17.95. Since Albert Einstein’s sojourn there, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey has enjoyed a worldwide reputation as a preeminent think-tank. As the author, philosopher Ed Regis, puts it, the institute is a “Platonic Heaven” where esoteric thinkers can muse about the most abstract forms of the universe. H

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LONDON—Over two-thirds of British people believe that national prosperity depends upon advances in science and technology, while 80 percent feel that it is important for the future of their country to be a leader in science. But a Gallup survey of more than 1,000 people also found that half of the respondents think that scientists are too secretive and that scientific discovery can pose dangers to humanity. Asked to name “the three most famous scientists, living or dead,” 3

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Choppin On Hughes And Its New Ventures

By | January 25, 1988

Virologist Purnell W Choppin (pronounced "Sho-pan") took office September 1 as president of Howard Hughes Medical Institute at a time of great ferment. His predecessor, Donald S. Fredrickson, deported after a dispute involving controversial management and spending practices [see THE SCIENTIST, June 1, 1987, p. 2, and June 29, p. 1]. At the some time, as port of its agreement last spring with the Internal Revenue Service, HHMI has agreed to increase its financial awards, by on average of at leas

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D Budget

By | January 25, 1988

OSLO—Norwegian scientists and policy-makers have overwhelmingly agreed to spend a large share of the nation’s growing R&D budget over the next five years on environmental technologies. The Royal Norwegian Council for Scientific and Industrial Research recently agreed to campaign for a 40 percent increase in research funding (see THE SCIENTIST, November 2, 1987, p. 7). The council now has identified environmental technologies as an important area to receive additional money. The

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Dabbling in Historical Research

By | January 25, 1988

DOCTORS IN SCIENCE AND SOCIETY Essays of a Clinincal Scientist Christopher C. Booth. The Memoir Club. British Medical Journal, London, 1987. 318 pp. £14.95. Distributed in the U.S. by Taylor & Francis. Philadelphia. $32. As a student at Oxford in the early ‘70s, I shared a house with an odd assortment of characters, one of whom was researching a 10th century English king. One day he burst into the house in great excitement, proclaiming he had just found a manuscript that carried m

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BRUSSELS—Some 500 companies will benefit from the five-year, $2 billion budget set by research miniisters for the second phase of the European Economic Community’s Esprit program of information technology research. The agreement secures the immediate future for 3,000 researchers and 200 projects whose Esprit 1 funding had virtually expired and who had been pawns for the past year in the British government’s opposition to the EEC’s intended funding for collaborative re

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Finding a Niche and Staying There

By | January 25, 1988

KNOWING EVERYTHING ABOUT NOTHING Specialization and Change In Scientific Careers. John Ziman. Cambridge University Press, New York 1987. 196 pp. $29.95. The title of this book and the reputation of its author led me to hope for an insightful analysis of how the ever-increasing specialization of research has shaped modern science. What would 19th-century giants such as Helmholtz think of a scientific enterprise that generated half a million research papers per year, most of which are largely u

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Foreign Scientists Pioneer in Japan's Labs

By | January 25, 1988

TOKYO—Physicist Ron Scott returned to the United States in 1980 after working in Japan on a one-year grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation. But two years after going back to work for McDonnell-Douglas, he said with his easy Texas drawl, “I felt I hadn’t seen it all. So I returned to Sendai for six months to write a paper.” Six years later Scott is still in Japan, working in the northeastern city of Sendai as a research physicist for the Inaba Biophoton Proj

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