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LONDON—The death of defense scientist David Sands in a car crash March 30 was neither a suicide nor a crime, the Basingstoke coroner has ruled. Sands, who worked for Easams, a company owned by Marconi, is one of at least four scientists working in the United Kingdom who have died in puzzling circumstances in the past several months. The ruling was the third time in nine months that local coroners have failed to decide the cause of death in cases involving scientists with military connectio

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Seeking Truth in the Killing Fields

By | June 15, 1987

Forensic anthropologist Clyde Snow has spent his life surrounded by victims of violent death. A career with the Federal Aviation Administration taught him to extract causal messages hidden in the wreckage of a commercial airplane. That knowledge made the 59-year-old Oklahoman an obvious choice when the Argentine government in 1984 contacted the American Association for the Advancement of Science for help in preparing evidence that could bring to justice those responsible for the deaths of some o

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So They Say

June 15, 1987

Verbatim excerpts from the media on the conduct of science. Political Power Play When professors play politics, the bitterness is often inversely proportional to the stakes. That was the case when some scientists recently denied Prof. Samuel Huntington of Harvard membership in the National Academy of Sciences. Actually, Huntington's vocation, properly pursued, makes him unsuited to the academy as it evidently wants to be understood. And his civic virtue would make him uncomfortable in the academ

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Sometimes the Public Is Right

By | June 15, 1987

Scientists have no difficulty in accepting the proposition that they can be wrong. They work in an inherently uncertain enterprise, where mistakes are inevitable and where error ought to be no disgrace. On the other hand, many scientists are uneasy with what is often a closely linked proposition—that lobbyists and campaigners they perceive as being practitioners of "anti-science" can be right. Whether confronted with the supposed hazards of food irradiation or the supposed dietary benefit

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The Military Threat to R&D

By | June 15, 1987

One needn't be opposed to defense spending to decry the disproportionate allocation of federal R&D funds that has gone to the military sector during the Reagan administration. The administration's budget request for fiscal year 1988 would bring to 72 percent the share of federal research dollars earmarked for defense-related programs. But a roughly three-fourths portion for military R&D is historically anomalous: from 1965 to 1980, the federal pie for R&D was divided about equally between defens

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The first anniversary of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in April refocused world attention on the safety of nuclear power. The Union of Concerned Scientists recently released Safety Second (Indiana University Press, 1987), a critical study of the US. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's first decade. In this excerpt from the book, the union outlines its recommendations for improving the NRC so that safety comes first. The goal of Congress in establishing the Nuclear Regulatory Com

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U.S. Told to Spend $500M On Agricultural Biotech

By | June 15, 1987

WASHINGTON—The federal government ought to be spending $500 million a year by 1990 on competitive grants for research in agricultural biotechnology, a National Research Council committee has told the Department of Agriculture. In a report issued late last month, the Committee on a National Strategy for Biotechnology in Agriculture urged a major restructuring of U.S. agricultural research. It argued that the country needs much more emphasis on basic research and improved techniques and appl

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What Science Alone Can't Solve

By | June 15, 1987

Few real-world problems can be solved by the application of a single discipline yet, for the most part, we in the developed countries continue to train people as specialists. Worse still, the educational systems of developing countries have been encouraged to follow the same pattern. Agricultural education is a case in point. Agriculture is the most important activity in developing countries, occupying the majority of the people—men, women and children. The need to improve agricultural pro

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3rd World Needs New Materials: U.N.

By | June 1, 1987

NEW YORK—Superconductive power lines, high-strength composite cements and genetically engineered artificial sweeteners produced in the United States, Western Europe and Japan might seem of little concern to the people of Brazil, Zaire or other Third World nations. But an upcoming report from the U.N. Center for Science and Technology for Development (UNCSTD) says such a belief is not only mistaken but also damaging to the economies of those developing countries. It hopes to illustrate tha

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A Glimpse of China's Technology

By | June 1, 1987

Technology Transfer in China: Selected Papers. Lisbeth A. Levey, ed. American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, D.C., 1986. This publication from the American Association for the Advancement of Science contains several papers presented at a May 1986 symposium entitled Innovations in Technology Transfer: International Comparisons (China, Europe, Japan and the United States). The papers form a somewhat incoherent collection when considered under the topic of technology transf

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Mettler Toledo
BD Biosciences
BD Biosciences