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NIH Ousts Key Director

By | May 16, 1988

WASHINGTON--The National Institutes of Health has removed the head of the office that buys supplies and equipment for its intramural research program following a stinging government report that found widespread mismanagement of the federal fund being spent on supplies and equipment. A five-year battle between NIH and its parent, the Department of Health and Human Services, culminated last month in the replacement of Edwin ("Ted") Becker as director of NIH’s Office of Research Services

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On The Crest Of A Superconductivity Tsunami

By | May 16, 1988

Research On The Crest Of A Superconductivity Tsunami AUTHOR:DAVID PENDLEBURY Date: May 16, 1988 For a world awash in preprints, published papers, and press releases on superconductivity, we have IBM researchers J.G. Bednorz and KA. Miller to thank. Their 1986 article reporting superconductivity in a copper oxide compound at 35 K, opened the floodgates to several hundred superconductivity publications in the early months of 1987. The accompanying graph, based on data from the Institute for Scien

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Physicists Fear Civil War

By | May 16, 1988

Particle physicists battle solid-state physicists over slice of a shrinking pie BALTIMORE--Inside the gleaming vaults of the Baltimore Convention Center last month, 1,900 researchers were giving 1,200 talks, seminars, and press conferences, all part of the usually festive spring meeting of the American Physical Society. But in the corridors, much of the talk was anything but festive. The APS is torn by a bitter internal squabble pitting the society’s largest constituency, 9,000 solid-s

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Proton Decay Experiment On The Brink Of Extinction

By | May 16, 1988

The Proton Refuses To Decay, But Physicists’Funds Are Fading Fast Two thousand feet under the shores of Lake Erie, in a six-story salt cavern, one of the most sophisticated light detectors ever constructed is waiting. Every second, several particles speed through the instrument’s enormous pool of water and collide with atoms in it, setting off flashes of light to be detected and recorded. But these events are merely physics’ flotsam and jetsam—things to be identified, c

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Pseudomedicine Is A Multibillion Dollar Business In The U.S. On weekends, medical researcher Waflace I. Sampson often leaves his suburban home and drives up the peninsula into San. Francisco. He sees himself as an investigator "his quarry, an epidemic that’s ravaging the City by the Bay." But it’s not the AIDS virus he’s after. Although a hematologist by training, Sampson is hunting tainted medicine, not tainted blood He’s a quackbuster. In recent months, Sampson un

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When research is mobilized around combating a virulent infectious agent, risk-taking is inevitable. That has been true in the pursuit of a polio vaccine and a cure for smallpox, in the study of cancer-causing viruses, and most recently, in AIDS research. While the responsible course of action is to limit as much as possible the risks to investigators and laboratory technicians, those goals can only be accomplished within certain limits. Infectious organisms are opportunistic, always seeking n

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Rockefeller U. Scientists Write, And Others Cite

By | May 16, 1988

When it comes to peer recognition, papers published by Rockefeller University scientists get more than their share of attention. A lot more. In fact, the average journal article by a Rockefeller scientist was cited nearly three times more often than the average scientific paper tracked over a 12-year period (1973 to 1984) by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). Also cited far more than the average were papers published by faculty at Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Columbia, and the Univ

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Roland Schmitt Talks Science

By | May 16, 1988

When Roland W. Schmitt retired from his job as a senior vice president of General Electric Co. and director of GE’S Research and Development Center on January 31, he had little time to spend in leisure activities. On March 1, the 64-year-old physicist became the 16th president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY He takes over an academic institution that is unique in its links with industry RPI has centers dedicated to interactive computer graphics, manufacturing productivit

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Ruckus Over NSF Grant Reversal

By | May 16, 1988

It Pulled The Plug On Two Engineering Centers, Provoking Debate Over Its Program Goals The National Science Foundation’s announcement in 1985 that it hoped to set up a network of up to 25 university-based engineering research centers set off a frantic scramble to snare a center—and a roiling debate about the value of the idea. After all, Director Erich Bloch’s vision to spend a half-billion dollars over the next decade on projects intended to improve both U.S. industrial co

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Back in 1985, chemist Peter Schultz drew considerable attention when, at the young age of 29 and after only two years on the job as assistant professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, he was promoted to associate professor with tenure, one of the quickest such promotions in the institution’s history. Today, the young Schultz’s fast-rising career has soared once again. At the age of 31, he has been named this year’s winner of the National Science Foun

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