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Selling Mathematics to the Media

By | June 29, 1987

A New Year's review of 1986 in the British newspaper The Guardian included a collective obituary of public figures who had died during that year. There were long sections devoted to the arts, politics and sports. The only scientists mentioned were part of a ragbag collection of Nobel Prize winners (including the Peace Prize) and buried in the middle of them was—of all people—Lafayette Ronald Hubbard, of Scientology fame. As Old Mother Time begins to close her net curtains on this dec

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So They Say

June 29, 1987

"When there is a fire, you don't check to see if the water has calcium in it," says French researcher Daniel Zagury. "You just throw it on the fire." The fire this time is AIDS, which now infects an estimated five million to 10 million people world-wide, including as much as a quarter of the young adults in some African cities. But Dr. Zagury's firefighting methods have ignited a furor be-cause he used himself as an experimental animal to test an experimental AIDS vaccine. In so doing, he brea

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States Study Economic Conversion

By | June 29, 1987

BOSTON—An informal network of local and state activists is using economic rather than political arguments in a campaign to divert spending on military R&D to civilian projects. The effort to reduce a local economy's dependence on defense con tracts and replace it with a variety of civilian R&D projects is known most often as economic conversion, although it goes by a variety of other names. Based on a desire to avoid the historical fluctuations in funding that have plagued communities who

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Supply and Demand for Scientists

By | June 29, 1987

As new graduates in science and engineering are learning, it is not as easy to get job offers as it was two or three years ago. However, as the number of graduates starts to fall with the drop in the college age population, employment opportunities are expected to expand, and many forecasters project significant shortages of EMPs—engineers, math and computer scientists, and physical scientists— through much of the next decade. The key to correct forecasting, of course, is to be able

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Thatcher Plans to Do More With Less

By | June 29, 1987

LONDON—Prime Minister Thatcher's landslide victory in Britain's general election June 11 means that U.K. science is unlikely to receive more money from her Conservative government. Instead, the scientific community is bracing for changes designed to make better use of existing funds. The state of British science rarely surfaced in a campaign pre occupied with welfare and defense. Although both main opposition parties—Labour and the alliance of the Liberals and Social Demo crats̵

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The Pugwash Conference Turns 30

By | June 29, 1987

On July 7 the Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs will be 30 years old. Most international institutions serve their original purpose well for 10-15 years and then decline, but continue to linger on. The more successful the institution, the longer it lingers, perhaps in the hopes that its past successes will be repeated. Pugwash seems to be a case in point. It has already begun to fade away, leaving its goal of complete nuclear disarmament still totally unfulfilled. During its lifetim

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The Research Enterprise of the 198Os

By | June 29, 1987

The New Alliance: America's R&D Consortia. Dan Dimancescu and James Botkin. Ballinger Publishing Co., Cambridge, MA, 1986. 232 pp. $29.95. In just over 200 pages, the authors of The New Alliance skillfully analyze the mechanics of a question of strategic importance to the future of the United States: can the technology-based consortia of the 1980s make the nation's economy competitive again? The strong and weak forces, as well as the changing nature of 14 representative industry-university-gov

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Tropical Biology: A Legacy of Neglect

By | June 29, 1987

Unlike most scientific fields, conservation biology rests on an explicit ethical principle: biological diversity is valuable in itself, irrespective of the economic or practical value particular species. A corollary is that untimely extinction of populations or species is bad. The highest priority of conservation biology is to design and establish viable parks in the tropics, where options for preserving biological diversity are quickly being fore closed. Some pioneering projects in conservatio

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U.S. Science Dept. Plan Reprised

By | June 29, 1987

WASHINGTON—The bandwagon on Capitol Hill to boost American competitiveness has breathed new life into proposals to place federal science agencies under one roof. In recent weeks, Rep. George E. Brown Jr. (D-Calif.) has reintroduced bills to create a federal Department of Science and Technology and a new agency, the National Policy and Technology Foundation, to coordinate research and efforts to translate knowledge into products. Brown has introduced similar measures in the past, without n

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UK Expeditionary Group Mixes Science and Sport

By | June 29, 1987

LONDON—Joe Bradwell and his party of 25 were due to leave England this week on the latest in a series of highly unusual scientffic excursions. Their destination this year is the Karakoram range of mountains in the Himalayas, where they will continue studies on altitude sickness that have im proved strategies for combating this condition—and earned them a considerable reputation for self-experimentation. It is 11 years since A.R. (Joe) Bradwell got together with fellow physicians John

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