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Soviet Panel Hits Science Bureaucracy

By | January 25, 1988

The Soviet Academy of Sciences got more than it bargained for when in 1985 it created a commission to eliminate much of the red tape that has strangled innovation in the country’s more than 200 research institutes. Word of the cormmission’s existence sparked pleas for help from everyone from truck drivers to petty crooks in coping with the country’s gargantuan bureaucracy. The panel has since revised Its title to the “Commission for the Regulating of the Style and Met

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Still Crazy Enough to Study Aging

By | January 25, 1988

Curiosity about aging, stimulated by many long-lived relatives, motivated my research from the beginning. For many generations, some of them lived to age 90 or more. As a child I was intrigued by how differently people age, so that some retained mental clarity and memory into advanced old age while others began to fail 20 years earlier. Was this mostly hereditary, or also the result of nurtured expectations for high mental performance throughout life? Born in 1939 I thrilled to hear elderly r

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The Day I Let a Reporter Into My Lab

By | January 25, 1988

In the summer of 1985 Washington Post reporter Phil McCombs, whom I had met socially, approached me about being interviewed for a story he was planning. He wanted to profile a scientist who did biomedical research with animals. Although I was flattered, all my instincts screamed “NO! Don’t do it!” Being an untenured assistant professor building a laboratory at an emerging research institution, I felt there was nothing to be gained and everything to lose professionally if I gr

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The Day I Let a Reporter Into My Lab

By | January 25, 1988

In the summer of 1985 Washington Post reporter Phil McCombs, whom I had met socially, approached me about being interviewed for a story he was planning. He wanted to profile a scientist who did biomedical research with animals. Although I was flattered, all my instincts screamed “NO! Don’t do it!” Being an untenured assistant professor building a laboratory at an emerging research institution, I felt there was nothing to be gained and everything to lose professionally if I gr

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The Next Computer Revolution

By | January 25, 1988

COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS Physics Today. October 1987. Vol. 40, no. 10. Pages 25-72. American Institute of Physics, New York. The special articles in the October 1987 issue of Physics Today explore not only the use of computers by scientists, but also the discipline of computational science—a mode of operation complementary to, and distinguishable from, the familiar methods of theoretical and experimental science. The introduction and four review articles show clearly that computer simulati

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LONDON—Cambridge and Oxford are the academic foci for new research programs that the British hope will make them more competitive in the expanding field of high-temperature superconductivity. The Cambridge group will be Britain’s first University Research Center. Bolstered by $10 million in government funds over the next six years, it is expected to attract private support and generate marketable products within 10 years. The URC will be a new university laboratory within the Cav

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U.K. MPs To Get More Advice

January 25, 1988

LONDON—Embryo experimentation and the future of the fast breeder reactor are two of several topics that an Advisory Board for Science and Technology, due to be launched next month by the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, will tackle to help inform U.K. members of Parliament. Seen as the first step toward a U.S-style Office of Technology Assessment, the new board will consist of four MPs, four members of the House of Lords and four members of the scientific community. Although so f

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U.S. Absent From Japan's New Center

By | January 25, 1988

Japan launched an R&D program in superconductivity this month without the international collaborators that officials there had hoped to attract. Some U.S. researchers said they didn’t know they had been invited, while others are waiting to see how the program develops. The International Superconductivity Technology Center (ISTEC) that opened January 14 is being funded by about 50 Japanese companies, including large electronics firms such as Toshiba and Hitachi, electric utility compani

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Venture Capital for Biomedical Research

By | January 25, 1988

The strategic role of the private foundations Purnell Choppin observes in this issue (p. 16-17) that “the health of the biomedical research enterprise [in the United States] is inseparable from the health of the NIH.” Since two thirds of federal support for biomedical research in this country goes into or through the NIH, and since that amounts to one third of total national support for basic research in biomedicine, one can only agree with the statement of the president of the How

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The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has adopted new voting procedures for choosing its top officers that are, in part, a response to continued pressure by dissident members to give the rank and file a greater voice in the institute’s affairs. In the fall the 280,000 member international organization will use a system that allows members to vote for more than one candidate for each office. Officials said that this system, called approval plurality voting, is the

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