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NATO's Strategy for Science

By | June 29, 1987

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) unites 16 nations in a military and political alliance for the defense of the West. But there is a lesser-known and nonmilitary third dimension to NATO—its activities to foster cooperation in civilian science, both basic and applied. NATO's involvement in science rests on its 30-year old agreement that a strong, dynamic alliance requires a sense of community based upon a common cultural heritage, of which science and technology form an importa

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NIH to Fund Genome Grants

By | June 29, 1987

WASHlNGTON—The National Institutes of Health has invited investigators to apply for grants in two key areas related to the mapping and sequencing of the human genome. The announcement is the latest step in the federal government's expanding efforts to mobilize the research community for this billion-dollar project. The announcement, which appeared in the May 29 issue of the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts (Vol. 16. no. 18), represents a continuation of policies outlined at a meeting las

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NSF Plan to Fund Center Surprises Two 'Partners'

By | June 29, 1987

WASHINGTON—National Science Foundation officials are hoping that an arranged marriage between Duke University and the National Institutes of Health will extend NSF's engineering research centers into the life sciences and provide a model for other joint ventures by federal research agencies. But progress has been slow because, as with most such marriages, the couple was the last to know. This spring the National Science Board agreed to spend up to $32 million over the next five years to cr

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Older Centers Aided by NSF Working Well

By | June 29, 1987

Long before NSF Director Erich Bloch began beating the drums for multimilliondollar interdisciplinary research centers, foundation officials quietly embarked on a program to provide seed money for smaller cooperative research efforts between universities and industry. The program, which since 1979 has stimulated the creation of more than 40 such centers at schools around the country, offers valuable lessons in how to build industrial ties without sacrificing the quality of scientific research on

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Ponnamperuma on Promoting Third World Science

By | June 29, 1987

Chemist and exobiologist Cyril Ponnamperuma was born in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and took a degree in philosophy at the University of Madras. He went on to study chemistry at Birkbeck College in London under crystallographer J.D. Bernal, a pioneer in studies of the origin of life. After receiving a Ph.D. in 1962 from the University of California, Berkeley, Ponreamperuma joined NASA'S Exobiology Division and kiter became chief of its chemical evolution branch. Since 1971 he has directed the Lab ora

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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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