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Scientists Praise U.K. AIDS Efforts

By | October 5, 1987

LONDON—A new, open-ended program to fund AIDS research has drawn praise from British scientists who see the directed initiative as a refreshing change from the parsimonious attitude taken by the government toward most basic research efforts. Six months ago the government announced a special allocation of $23 million over three years for AIDS research. The program, overseen by the Medical Research Council, has already involved 24 laboratories at universities, hospitals and biotechnology

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So They Say

October 5, 1987

Giving Away Your Rights [N]owhere in our Constitution does it give Congress or the President the right to set science policy or determine what technology the nation should support or disregard. Rather like literature and art, that right remains with the people. Unfortunately, scientists and engineers in the U.S. have been giving this right away. The exception to an independent and critical spirit towards science and technology policies may occur when the nation is engaged in deadly combat. A

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The Ascent of Sputnik: A Reminiscence

By | October 5, 1987

Editor’s note: October 4 marks the 30th anniversary of the launching of Sputnik 1 by the Soviet Union. In this issue of THE SCIENTIST we look back to the beginning of the space age with a reminiscence by Joshua Lederberg. Other prominent scientists and public figures recalled the ascent of Sputnik and reflected on present-day Soviet- U.S. competition in space during interviews with freelance writer Neil McA leer. Excerpts from seven interviews appear on p. 12. When Sputnik was launched

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The Role of Information Scientists

By | October 5, 1987

The American Society for Information Science (ASIS) is celebrating its 50th anniversary in Boston this week. It is an appropriate moment, therefore, to emphasize to the scientific community the strategic and growing role that information scientists play in scientific research, in technological advancement and, in broader terms, in the transformation of society. In fact, information and the transformation of society is the theme of this year’s ASIS conference. Since 1945 our world has u

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West Is Urged To Seek, Use Japanese Data

By | October 5, 1987

COVENTRY, ENGLAND—Western scientists need to do more to obtain and make use of Japanese technical research results if their countries hope to remain competitive in many emerging areas. American and European scientists, administrators and industry representatives heard that message repeatedly from speakers at the International Conference on Japanese Information, held here last. month at the University of Warwick. They were also told that scientists should not expect any extraordinary ef

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Where Were You When the Space Age Began?

By | October 5, 1987

FREDERICK C. DURANT III “We were all gathered in Barcelona, Spain for the International Astronautical Federation conference, and there were delegates from about 20 countries. The head of the Soviet delegation was Leonid Sedov. We saw him at the airport on Saturday afternoon, and we knew nothing about the launch because in Spain under Franco they didn’t allow British papers in until they had been censored or reviewed. So a lot of us didn’t know about it until later, when peo

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'Step by Step' Toward Mars

By | September 21, 1987

Editor’s note: On August 17, NASA released the long-awaited report by former astronaut Sally K Ride, the first American woman in space and a member of the Rogers commission that investigated the crash of the Space Shuttle Challenger in January 1986. EntitIed “Leadership and America’s Future in Space,” the 63-page report urges on NASA an “orderly expansion outward from Earth,” rather than a program to “rush headlong toward Mars” advocated by some N

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As Usual, Anything But Ordinary

By | September 21, 1987

THE COLLECTED PAPERS OF ALBERT EINSTEIN Volume I: The Early Years, 1879-1902. John Stachel, ed. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1987. German-language volume: 433 pp. $52.50 HB. English translation: 196 pp. $22.50 PB (can only be purchased with German volume). Microfiche: $10. The publication of the first volume of the long-awaited, long-delayed Einstein papers is a most welcome event. And if this first volume is a taste of things to come, the complete set will represent a most im

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Australian Science Lobby 'Neutered'

By | September 21, 1987

TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA—The Australian scientific community is struggling to come to terms with its diminished political influence following the abrupt abolition of the Department of Science as part of a massive restructuring of federal departments after the national election July 11. “The science lobby, such as it is, has been neutered,” commented Ian Lowe of Griffith University, an expert on Australian science policy, who also described “a high level of confusion in t

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BA Lobby Asks Thatcher To Do More for Research

By | September 21, 1987

BELFAST—The British Association for the Advancement of Science, for the first time in living memory, has entered the political arena to defend the interests of British scientists. The association, assembled here for its 149th annual meeting, sent a letter to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher asking for more government spending on research and urging her to chair meetings of the newly created Advisory Council on Science and Technology. It said scientists would back the government’s

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