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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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Better Living Through Organic Chemistry

By | May 2, 1988

This ink was compounded with the assistance of organic chemistry. The paper on which it is printed is another expression of that science. So, too, are the trees whence that paper came and the receptors in your eyes by which you see. Lift up your eyes. Except for glass (inorganic chemistry), it is unlikely that you can see anything that is uninfluenced by organic chemistry. Even the metal and concrete you see probably have been painted and waterproofed. Chemistry, especially the organic vari

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Biologists in Demand

By | May 2, 1988

Demand for biologists in disciplines represented by member societies of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), especially at the postdoctoral training/research associate level, shows strong indications of exceeding the supply significantly. A combination of increasing numbers of positions and decreasing output from universities appears to be at work here; growth in size and number of biotechnology companies and decline in numbers of appropriate age groups which

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