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The Ecology of Computation

By | May 16, 1988

A new form of computation is emerging. Propelled by advances in software design and increasing connectivity, networks of enormous complexity known as distributed computational systems are spreading throughout offices and laboratories, across countries and continents. Unlike standalone computers, these growing networks seldom offer centralized scheduling and resource allocation. Instead, computational processes (the active execution of programs) migrate from workstations to printers, servers,

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The Thrills Of Science Under Startup Stress

By | May 16, 1988

Life In The Fast Lane At Nova Pharmaceuticals, And The Not-So-Sweet Smell Of Success To hear pharmacologist Bill Kinnier tell it, life at Nova Pharmaceutical Corp. has finally settled down. He’s back to being a full-time scientist He gets to go home at a normal hour. He even has a new secretary all to himself. The only problem is: Kinnier misses the old days. Take the summer of 1984. Nova, a hot pharmaceutical startup, had been born of a dream that renowned Johns Hopkins University neu

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New Rules Seen As Serious Threats To Academic Freedom LONDON--Gerald Draper is a worried man. Head of the Childhood Cancer Research Group at Oxford University, he often speaks at meetings of parents who live near nuclear installations, helping them understand why the risk of radiation-induced leukemia in their children is small. It is a daunting task, because the question of whether leukemia rates rise around nuclear power plants is one of the most contentious scientific issues in Britain.

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University Briefs

May 16, 1988

Hewlett-Packard Co. founder David Packard has just given $2 billion to the trust he and his late wife established in 1964 and young researchers will be among the beneficiaries. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation plans to dole out 20 $500,000 awards this year and has already asked 50 top research universities to nominate two junior professors each. But only natural scientists and engineers need apply; research projects in medicine, space activity, and high-energy physics are ineligible. Th

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Why I Walked Away From Star Wars--And A Good Job

By | May 16, 1988

Opinion Why I Walked Away From Star Wars--And A Good Job AUTHOR: RICHARD RUQUIST Date: May 16, 1988 Years before the term Strategic Defense Initiative had been coined, no one was more enthusiastic about a defensive missile shield than Richard Ruquist. The questions seemed purely technical back then, and Ruquist was an engineering bloodhound on a hot trail. But after scores of analyses, the scientist concluded that it was a terrible mistake—that a defensive system in space would be vulne

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'The Crime of the Century' and the Man Behind It'

By | May 2, 1988

Atom Spy. Robert Chadwell Williams. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. 1987. 267 pp. $25. KLAUS FUCHS The Man Who Stole the Atom Bomb. Norman Moss. St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1987. 216 pp. $16.95. Any thorough account of the role of physicists in World War II requires evaluation of the activities of Klaus Fuchs, the notorious German refugee physicist who, through the 1940s, leaked top atomic secrets to the Soviet Union while actively contributing to American and British atomic

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A Botanist In Newspaperland

By | May 2, 1988

Ask a scientist about the media and you will get an opinion. But what do they actually know about it? They see the products, newspapers, TV programs, radio broadcasts, and may even have had their own work featured at some time, more or less accurately. But their conception of how these things actually come into being usually is extremely hazy, and the media itself does little to dispel the veil over this creative process. The British Association for the Advancement of Science coordinates a pr

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An Astrophysicist's Pursuit of Science

By | May 2, 1988

Aesthetics and Motivation in Science. S. Chandrasekhar. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1987. 170 pp. $23.95. In this small, attractive volume, the well-known astrophysicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar presents seven lectures on the motivation of scientists, the meaning of beauty in science, and contrasting patterns of creativity in science and the arts. Presented on various occasions during a 40-year period, the lectures are printed without alteration. Thus, as Chandrasekhar notes,

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WASHINGTON--Between 12,000 and 14,000 scientists are expected to attend the 88th annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) in Miami Beach next week. The six-day meeting, which begins Sunday, May 8, will feature 315 sessions (including poster sessions), exhibits by more than 300 companies, a placement service and a special student science day. Also, ASM’s Committee on Continuing Education of the Board of Education and Training is sponsponsoring 24 advance workshops for

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Baruch Blumberg: Science on TV

By | May 2, 1988

For cancer researcher and medical historian Baruch S. Blumberg, communication is central element in the scientific enterprise This month, many Americans will see him in that role when public television station across the country broadcast "Plagues." A host of the one-hour program, Blumberg traces the origins of several deadly epidemics: malaria, which may have contributed to as many as half of all human deaths to date the 1849 outbreak of cholera in London; the 1918 Spanish flu; and Legionnair

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