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Rising Indirect Costs Threaten Research

By | May 30, 1988

From Yale To Stanford, Universities Are Thoubled Shortfalls in overhead, depreciation, and other indirect costs can tear apart faculties and bring strong provosts to their knees. Indirect costs aren’t glamorous. They won’t solve the mystery of dinosaur extinction or find the charm in quarks. But whisper those two simple words in the ear of virtually any president or provost of a major research university, and you may see a strong person blanch. The reason: Indirect costs are risin

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Scintillating Days With Rutherford

By | May 30, 1988

[Ed. note: E.TS. Walton and John Cockcroft made history in the early 1930s by bombarding atomic nuclei with accelerated protons and "splitting the atom." But experimental physics was a low-tech, low-budget enterprise, then compared to today. "We had to make various parts of our apparatus," Walton recalled in a recent interview with The Scientist’s Bernard. Dixon. “But before requesting the necessary materials, everyone was expected to see if items salvaged from unwanted apparatus co

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Should Scientists Budget Science?

By | May 30, 1988

When NAS’s Frank Press said yes, some science leaders balked WASHINGTON--National Academy of Sciences president Frank Press took an unusually bold plunge into dangerous waters last month by calling for a new approach to funding science. Instead of forcing Congress to choose from among a bewildering array of costly projects, Press told NAS members, scientists themselves should decide what’s best. Frank Press has suggested that federal funding of science be divided into three ca

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Taking The Squeal Out

By | May 30, 1988

The device most people think of when they imagine a laser is actually a laser oscillator. A laser is actually a light amplifier. Dye laser oscillators are light sources that can be tuned to any color in the visible and near-visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum (3900A-9000A). Unlike other types of lasers, the dye laser amplifies light over a large range of frequencies. In this sense, the dye laser islike apublic address system, which amplifies sound over a large range of frequencies

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Teaching Macho Researchers Some Respect

By | May 30, 1988

Handling ‘hot’ chemicals was one thing, but now comes the AIDS virus "Traditionally, most chemists have been macho," says Shane Que Hee, an occupational medicine specialist at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. "In laboratories—not the tidiest places in the world—you see volatile chemicals not in fume hoods. You see people not wearing gloves. I have even known chemists who washed their hands with benzene." That sort of cowboy swagger is fast falling ou

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Tunable Dye Lasers Are Not Just For Physicists Anymore

By | May 30, 1988

The tunable dye laser, once a highly specialized instrument used only by laser physicists, is proving irresistible to a wider range of physicists, chemists, and engineers, as well as to biologists, physicians, psychologists, and even art historians. Recent advances in dye laser research and three noteworthy new products are pushing time-able dye lasers into more laboratories than ever before. A colliding pulse mode-locked dye laser kit developed by Clark Instrumentation Inc. produces 100-fem

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University Briefs

May 30, 1988

Retin-A, the acne drug that is prescribed for wrinkles, has also smoothed the future for the University of Pennsylvania’s dermatology department. The drug’s inventor and patent holder, longtime Penn dermatologist Albert Kligman, 71, has been donating his royalties to the department. The money, $4 million so far and climbing fast, frees the department from the hypocrisy” of grant-getting, says Kligman, and has been used to recruit faculty, buy equipment, and fund research. Un

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Up Front

By | May 30, 1988

When It Comes To Awards, Just Say Yes Few awards in science, outside the Nobel prizes, are as distinguished as the Crafoord Prize. Yet, until perhaps last month, many in the science community knew relatively little about it. Established in 1981 by Anna-Greta and Holger Crafoord, chairman of the medical supply company Gambro AB, the Crafoord Prize is intended to reward outstanding achievement in areas of science not recognized by the Nobels. On a rotating basis, the award is given annually t

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In 1985, Congress amended the Animal Welfare Act to recognize two basic facts of life: that dogs need exercise and that primates have psychological needs in addition to physical ones. Any self-respecting ethologist would, of course, argue that all mammalian species have these needs. Yet three years later, these amendments have not been put into effect. Organized science has once again gotten in the way, raising such a storm of protest that proposed regulations have been held up. Scientists w

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Xenophobes Posture, The Scientists Invent

By | May 30, 1988

But could recent U.S. and Chinese policies cripple Nobel-quality collaborations? HOUSTON--The homely laboratory is many worlds away from London’s Old Vic theater. But the two jumbled floors of the University of Houston’s Science & Research Building #1 are a stage nonetheless, the setting for one small but important scene in an international drama of Shakespearean proportions. For while two mighty governments indulge in spasms of xenophobia, citizens of those nations are quietly c

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