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Want to Influence Policy? Get Elected!

By | April 4, 1988

Wisdom is truncated by the chemistry of the adviser and advisee. The president has available an awesome armament of potential sources of science advice if he feels the need for advice. Let’s see: there's the science adviser and his apparatus in the Office of Science and Technology Policy. There is President’s Science Advisor Council or the White House Science Council equivalent (roughly). There is the National Science Foundation Director and the entire NSF with its manifold infini

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Women Grad Students Need Encouragement, Too

By | April 4, 1988

In the annual Westinghouse Science Talent Search almost 40 years ago, the top girl and the top boy each received prizes. Although it is unclear which gender benefited most from the dual awards, the judges presumably wanted to recognize the abilities of both boys and girls. Despite the best attempts of the Talent Search and other efforts, women are still greatly underrepresented in the United States’ scientific and engineering workforce. This problem is suddenly achieving national atte

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Academic Couples Stymied By Attitudes in Workplace

By | March 21, 1988

ITHACA N.Y—In the late 1950s Mildred Dresselhaus was a post-doctoral associate at Cornell and her husband, Gene, was a junior faculty member there. But Cornell's rules barring nepotism prevented the couple from building physics careers there, and they packed their bags for MIT, which had an outstanding reputation for recruiting women faculty. Thirty years later, Mildred Dresselhaus is an institute professor of physics and electrical engineering and her husband is a senior scientist at

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Air Force's Basic Research Flies Off in New Directions

By | March 21, 1988

WASHINGTON—If Air Force pilots one day are able to use their brains’ internal chemistry to combat fatigue and stay alert during long periods of stress, the achievement will be the result of intensive research by military scientists. But it will also be due to a phone call that program manager Bill Berry made in the fall of 1982 to MIT neuroscientist Richard Wurtman. WASHINGTON--DC The National Institutes of Health has created an adminstrative structure for directing what could

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Congress Must Take the Lead in Biotech

By | March 21, 1988

In [the United States] biotechnology is still perceived primarily as a regulatory and legal problem, not an economic opportunity. A regulatory structure has been fashioned that is functioning quite well in assuring the public that the science of biotechnology is safe. Beyond the regulatory concerns, however, there is a political vacuum. Historically, I think, it is fair to say that our country rarely charts a long-term strategy for emerging technologies in order to assure they are properly rec

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DOS Utilities For Your PC

By | March 21, 1988

Editor’s note: This is the second article in a three-part series on utilities for IBM PCs or compatibles. For the first part, on enhancing input/output operations, see February 8, 1988, p. 22. A future article will deal with desktop utilities. The disk operating system (DOS) that you purchase to run on your personal computer consists primarily of a set of routines that application programs can call upon, together with a facility for loading programs. The various built-in commands like &

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Face To Face

By | March 21, 1988

As editor of the New England Journal of Medicine for more than a decade, Arnold S. Relman has played a significant role in setting publication standards for scientific journals. He champions the “Ingelfinger rule”promulgated by his predecessor, Franz Ingelfinger, which bars contributors from publicizing their articles before publication in the Journal. He also has strongly supported embargoes that permit reporters to receive advance copies of scientific journals on condition that th

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Forthcoming Books

March 21, 1988

This list of forthcoming books has been compiled from the latest information available from publishers. Dates of publication, prices and numbers of pages are tentative, however, and are subject to change. Soil Science Simplified. Second Edition. Mio I. Harpstead, Francis D. Hole and William Bennett. Iowa State University Press: April, $16.95, 204 pp. Explains the basic concepts of soil science including the physical, chemical and biological features, as well as soil management, classification

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Funding Cuts in Denmark Threaten Bohr Institute

By | March 21, 1988

COPENHAGEN—Government cut-backs have jeopardized the survival of one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious research centers. The Niels Bohr Institute, named in honor of the Danish pioneer of quantum theory, “will die out totally if we continue to lose permanent positions at the present rate,” said its director, Knud Hansen. “We simply cannot finance research posts for new, young scientists to replace those who are leaving through retirement and to take jobs ov

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Genes and Judges; A Growing 'Courtship'

By | March 21, 1988

COURTS Henry M. Butzel. The Edwin Mellon Press, Lewiston, NY, 1987.801 pp. $89.95. Knowledge about genetics is accumulating so rapidly that it is not surprising that our court system does not keep pace. In this book, Henry M. Butzel illustrates convincingly the wide gap between the use and misuse of genetic technology and jurisprudential decision making. Butzel covers many disparate areas of genetics—ranging from patenting recombinant microorganisms to the genetic effects of radiati

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