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Odhiambo on Science in Africa

By | November 2, 1987

Thomas R. Odhiambo, founder and director of ICIPE (the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology) in Nairobi. has won international recognition for his efforts as a scientist, educator and administrator to mobilize support for science in Africa. As a child in Kenya he developed a curiosity about wasps that helped inspire his later studies at Makerere University in Uganda and at Cambridge University in England, where he received a Ph.D. in insect physiology in 1965. After stints as

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Pugwash Is Alive and Well, Thank You

By | November 2, 1987

Frank Barnaby’s article “The Pugwash Conference Turns 30” (THE SCIENTIST, June 29, 1987, p. 11)is, on the whole, a fair assessment of the early accomplishments of Pugwash; but it does not do justice to its activities and development during the past decade. For example, Barnaby states that Pugwash “has already begun to fade away, leaving its goal of complete nuclear disarmament still totally unfulfilled.” That goal remains the centerpiece of Pugwash’s hope fo

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Research In Ireland

By | November 2, 1987

DUBLIN—An environmental institute praised for the quality of its research is being closed by the Irish government as part of a new round of civil service cuts to combat the country’s financial crisis. About 100 environmental scientists expect to lose their jobs at the An Foras Forbartha (AFF), which was set up to do research and provide technical information for the Department of the Environment. AFF is the most serious of several blows to science in the government campaign to tr

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Scientific Discussion Should Go Online

By | November 2, 1987

Innovation is the key to success in today’s world, with changes in technology, natural and human-caused changes in the environment and sociopolitical change taking place at an accelerating pace. To innovate successfully, we must take advantage of the natural resource sciences. Millions of dollars can be lost while research is waiting to be published researchers end up doing things that are not effective, or wasting opportunities to do things that are. I suggest that we utilize the new co

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The smaller and more specialized the scientific field being studied, the less predictable are changes in the factors that affect demand, such as scientific and technological advances, shifts in Federal funding priorities, and industrial research and development (R&D) spending. Small changes in the total supply of scientists and engineers can mask significant adjustment within and among fields. The total number of Ph.D.s awarded in science and engineering rose by 7 percent between 1980 and 1985

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Should the Scientist Be King?

By | November 2, 1987

Two years after Hitler came to power, the Hungarian-born physicist Edward Teller left Germany for the United States to escape politics and retreat into the laboratory. But no scientist in the 20th century has been more involved in politics than Teller. An eminent and controversial figure, Teller worked with many of the most brilliant scientists of his generation—Bohr, Fermi, Szilard and Oppenheimer. Often called “the father of the hydrogen bomb,” Teller is coming to be known a

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So They Say

November 2, 1987

The Genome on A Patent Platter? Congress, of course, does not own the human genome; nor is there any way under American law for Congress to stake out hegemony over our double helix and transfer a portion of this hegemony to others. The key lies in appreciating the First Amendment. My notion is that the biological universe and our perceptions of that universe comprise an idea marketplace. Debate over competing theories of this biological reality lies at the core of free expression and presuppos

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Sound Strategy for Competitive Cooperation

By | November 2, 1987

STRENGTHENING U.S. ENGINEERING THROUGH INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION Some Recommendations for Action. Committee on International Cooperation in Engineenng, National Academy of Engineering and Office of International Affairs, National Research Council, Washington, DC, 1987. 68 pp. In the earliest days of the American republic there were practically no home-bred engineers. As George Washington wrote in a letter to John Randolph, anyone wishing to dig a canal or build a bridge was obliged to R

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States Launch Lobbying Blitz For SSC Site

By | November 2, 1987

WASHINGTON—Ohio State University physicist William Palmer says he felt like “eollapsing in the corner” after working long hours to help his state complete its proposal for the Superconducting Supercollider. But the september 2 filing deadline was just the beginning of the race for the multi-billion-dollar high-energy physics project. Officials from Ohio and 24 other states barely had time to catch their breath before plunging ahead into the next phase of the campaign, which

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The SDI 'Quick Fix' Is Fading Fast

By | November 2, 1987

Now, more than four years after President Reagan challenged American scientists “to give us the means of rendering.. nuclear weapons obsolete,” the technological optimism and political currency behind his Strategic Defense Initiative have peaked. Fair-minded studies by respected scientific experts provide sobering evidence that SDI’s reach exceeds its grasp. Many members of Congress are aware of SDI’s declining technical credibility, -increasingly unwilling to support

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