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A Master Naturalist's Manifesto

By | November 16, 1987

EVOLUTION AND ESCALATION An Ecological History of Life. Geerat J. Vermeij. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1987. 504 pp. $47.50. In an era in which the basic assumptions of evolutionary theory are being re-examined, it is interesting to read an “unreconstructed” adaptationist selectionist manifesto. Geerat Vermeij, professor of zoology at the University of Maryland, is a master naturalist. In Evolution and Escalation he takes the ideas developed from studies on adaptio

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APA Woos Research Psychologists

By | November 16, 1987

WASHINGTON—The American Psychological Association has beefed up its commitment to its scientific members as part of an internal realignment that intended to better serve the needs of an unusually diverse membership. A steady rise since the 1950s in the number of practitioners—those who provide health care directly to the public—has slowly tipped the balance against the academics and researchers who once dominated the 95-year-old association. As a result, that group has grown

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Crash, Budget Crunch Leave Science Anxious

By | November 16, 1987

With bears loose on the world’s major stock markets, academic, corporate and government scientists who seek cover face a forest of question marks. On Wall Street, where tremors from the recent precipitous plunge in share prices still ripple through the world economy, analysts predict an end to the easy credit and abundant capital that fueled recent growth in some science-based U.S. industries. While not everyone is predicting a recession, the prevailing mood is one of extremecaution,

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Digging Deep for the Human Factor

By | November 16, 1987

BONES OF CONTENTION Controversies in the Search for Human Origins. Roger Lewin. Simon and Schuster, New York, 1987:348 pp. $19.95. Human beings can err. Not only can they err, they can be driven to error by their prejudices, their preconceptions, their personal rivalries, even their religious beliefs, all of whieh may color their assessmentof the data. That’s the theme of Bones of Contention, Roger Lewin’s look into the controversies that have bedeviled paleoanthropology through

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Doing Research on People

By | November 16, 1987

Nowhere is the potential for conflicting obligations more worrisome than in situations where doctors simultaneously deliver medical care to patients and use them as research subjects. The idea of experimenting on patients conjures up two quite different pictures. The first depicts persons who are sick and suffering—perhaps even dying—being subjected to the manipulations of clinical investigators who use patients in their efforts to contribute to scientific knowledge, as well as

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The need for achieving a more internationally responsive outlook must be understood and acted upon throughout the system for engineering education in the United States. Changes in attitude and approach will be required at all stages, including high school, college, graduate school and continuing education programs, to achieve a set of offerings and opportunities that will enable U.S. engineers to function competitively throughout their careers. Several programs already provide examples of succ

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Forthcoming Books

November 16, 1987

ANTHROPOLOGY Culture and Human Nature: Theoretical Papers of Melford E. Spiro. Benjamin Kilborne, L.L. Langness, eds. University of Chicago Press: November, 344 pp $17.95 PB, $48 HB. A collection of Spiro’s major theoretical writings, focusing on his theories of culture and human nature, functional analysis and religion. BIOGRAPHY Memoir of the Life and Labours of the Late Charles Babbage, Esq. F.R.S. H.W. Buxton. M.I.T. Press: November, 425 pp, $50. Profile of Charles Babbage, the fou

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Freedom Leads to Fame For IBM's Lab in Zurich

By | November 16, 1987

ZURICH—With two Nobel prizes in as many years, something good has to be going on at IBM’s research laboratory in Rüschlikon on the outskirts of this city. But apart from an environment that offers fine wines, Swiss cheeses and, on a clear day, a postcard view of the Alps, is there a lesson for other industrial research labs? The IBM lab’s achievements are by now familiar. Last year’s Nobel Prize in physics went to IBM researchers Gerd Binning and Heinrich Rohrer

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Editor’s note: In late October the congressional Office of Technology Assessment issued a report, Starpower The U.S. and the International Quest for Fusion Energy (for a related story, seep. 8). The report, excerpted here, outlines four funding approaches for fusion research over the next few years. The Department of Energy (DOE) manages the U.S. fusion program, and its goal is to evaluate fusion’s technological feasibility— to determine whether or not a fusion reactor can be

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Happenings

November 16, 1987

PEOPLE Melvin N.A. Peterson, former director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s international deep sea drilling project at the University of California, San Diego, was nominated first chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Peterson will be one of NOAA’s chief policy advisers on environmental issues and will serve as its principal spokesman on science and technology. The International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry voted French inorgan

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