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Science Nominees Wait For OK to Begin Work

By | November 16, 1987

WASHINGTON—Almost five months after President Reagan announced the intention to nominate him, plasma physicist Robert Hunter waits in San Diego for word of his confirmation hearing to become director of the Office of Energy Research at the Department of Energy. The office, overseen since April by acting director James Decker after the departure of Alvin Trivelpiece, is the focal point for several of the hottest issues on the nation’s science agenda, including the Superconducting

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LONDON—An unusual alliance of scientific luminaries and the radical British Society for Social Responsibility in Science is campaigning for the adoption of an Oath for Scientists. Modeled after medicine’s Hippocratic Oath, it is a revised version of an earlier statement that recognizes the social impact of scientific developments. The 19 initial signatories of the oath include three Nobel laureates—Sir John Kendrew, president of the International Council of Scientific Unions

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So They Say

November 16, 1987

Reagan’s Non-Response to AIDS AIDS is the most serious threat to public health in decades. Historians will look back in astonishment at the Reagan Administration’s flaccid response during the first eight years of the epidemics has spread. They will ask how any President could fail to implement the most obvious public health measures, or tardily assign the making of national strategy to a quarreling commission with no recognizable expertise. They will wonder how his cabinet members

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Solitary Fusion Effort Too Costly, U.S. Told

By | November 16, 1987

WASHINGTON—The U.S. fusion program must accept “an unprecedented degree of collaboration” with Western Europe, Japan and the Soviet Union if it is to achieve its current goals, according to government officials and the authors of a new report to Congress. Going it alone is too expensive and, besides, the money isn’t available. That was the clear message from the Department of Energy and the congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) at a hearing last month b

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Soviet Scientist Raps Secrecy

November 16, 1987

LONDON—secrecy and the deliberate exclusion of information from the West are hadly damaging Soviet science, according to Academician Vitali Goldanski. In a strongly worded article in the general circulation monthly magazine Ogonyok (Little Flame), Goldanski recalled the harm caused by the misguided biological theories of Lysenko and drew attention to the problems faced by his colleagues in keeping abreast of outside developments. “In higher technical colleges everywhere,”

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Squibb to Fund Oxford Neuroscience

By | November 16, 1987

LONDON—Squibb Corporation, the U.S. pharmaceutical company, plans to spend $32 million over the next seven years at Oxford University on basic neuroscience research. The agreement is one of the biggest between industry and academia since Hoechst announced its $50 million, 10-year investment in molecular biology at the Massachusetts General Hospital in 1982. Squibb is the first company to respond with cash to a workshop, organized jointly by the university and Britain’s Medical R

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Swaminathan on Sowing Science

By | November 16, 1987

Agricultural scientist M.S. Swaminathah, often called the architect of India’s green revolution, has helped to transform his native country from a net food importer to one that today exports and stores its surplus grain. In addition to shaping agricultural development in the Third World, Swaminathan has taken an active interest in rekited issues involving environmental conservation and women’s roles in effecting and adapting to technological change. After receiving his Ph.D. from

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Texas Prof Wins Math Shootout at Pecos

By | November 16, 1987

AUSTIN, TEXAS—The Wild West has a new hero. Abraham Charnes, the founder of the Center of Cybernetic Studies at the University of Texas, has unhoistered mathematical equations to help Texas farmers win a long court battle over water rights from the Pecos River. The headwaters of the Pecos lie in central New Mexico. Flowing southward into West Texas to join the Rio Grande, the river runs through some of the most arid country in the United States. Texas and New Mexico have argued over

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A couple of years ago two eminent scientists performed an experiment. Nothing unusual in that, you might think. Think again; when did the eminent scientists of your acquaintance last perform an experiment personally? Come to that, when did you? These eccentrics proceeded in an odd way. They do not seem to have debated whether what they were proposing to do was respectable in Popperian terms, or only those of Feyerabend. No—they just did the experiment. They cannot have spent hours

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Does a scientist reach a peak in productivity at age 35? My experience indicates that’s not true for chemists, and it probably isn’t true for other disciplines in science. I am 75 years old. I reached retirement age (66) in 1978. The university held a grand retirement party. Many of my former coworkers, both graduate students and postdocs, numbering about 300 at that time, came to the festivities. I might easily have retired to a life of comfort and vegetation. But my wife urged m

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