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Outliners Create Order From Chaos

By | May 30, 1988

Before I had a PC, I wouldn’t have thought of using a paper and pencil outline before writing an article or committee report. Now it’s rare that I don’t use my PC’s outliner. Not only do I compose full outlines before sitting down to write papers, but I prepare most of my course and professional lectures either partially or entirely in an outliner. What makes an outlining program (at least one of the good ones) so much more powerful than paper and pencil is the ease o

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They were never in the same place at the same time, yet three renowned scientists, working in tandem, came up with a new dinosaur Gorgosaurs were close relatives to the well-known Tyrannosaurus rex, huge beasts, up to 45 feet long and weighing as much as five tons. This skull was small, supposedly the remains of a baby gorgosaur. But it just didn’t look like a gorgosaur to Bakker. He told as much to the museum’s curator, Michael Williams, but he couldn’t prove his hunch. A

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The review process at NIH downgrades promising interdiscplinary work in cardiovascular disease because the review system is biased toward individual disciplines, says a former president of the American Physiological Society. Howard Morgan of the Geisinger Clinic in Danville, Pa. has charged that high-quality proposals from academic physiologists are, being ignored by individual study sections because section members lack a sufficiently broad clinical perspective to appreciate the value of

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Portrait Of The Scientist As A Renaissance Man

By | May 30, 1988

THE BUSINESS OF SCIENCE: Winning And Losing In The High-Tech Age Simon Ramo Hill and Wang; New York; 289 pages; $19.95 Scientists like Simon Ramo are rare think of a utility infielder who batts .300, knocks in 100 RBI’s, and wins a Golden Glove award to boot Trained as a physicist at Cal Tech Ramo proved adept at technological innovation, with 25 patents by the time he was 30. He made major contributions to the development of microwave radar during World War II and helped develop the el

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Scholarly and academic publishing is now in a state of unprecedented turmoil because of mergers and takeovers. Harper & Row is now linked with Collins (UK); D. Reidel in Europe has joined with Kluwer British publisher Longman has absorbed Addison-Wesley. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich fought off a raid by Robert Maxwell, but went into debt in the process and was forced to lay off staff. Such events are relatively new in the publishing world. Until World War II, science publishing was very much a

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Rising Indirect Costs Threaten Research

By | May 30, 1988

From Yale To Stanford, Universities Are Thoubled Shortfalls in overhead, depreciation, and other indirect costs can tear apart faculties and bring strong provosts to their knees. Indirect costs aren’t glamorous. They won’t solve the mystery of dinosaur extinction or find the charm in quarks. But whisper those two simple words in the ear of virtually any president or provost of a major research university, and you may see a strong person blanch. The reason: Indirect costs are risin

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Scintillating Days With Rutherford

By | May 30, 1988

[Ed. note: E.TS. Walton and John Cockcroft made history in the early 1930s by bombarding atomic nuclei with accelerated protons and "splitting the atom." But experimental physics was a low-tech, low-budget enterprise, then compared to today. "We had to make various parts of our apparatus," Walton recalled in a recent interview with The Scientist’s Bernard. Dixon. “But before requesting the necessary materials, everyone was expected to see if items salvaged from unwanted apparatus co

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Should Scientists Budget Science?

By | May 30, 1988

When NAS’s Frank Press said yes, some science leaders balked WASHINGTON--National Academy of Sciences president Frank Press took an unusually bold plunge into dangerous waters last month by calling for a new approach to funding science. Instead of forcing Congress to choose from among a bewildering array of costly projects, Press told NAS members, scientists themselves should decide what’s best. Frank Press has suggested that federal funding of science be divided into three ca

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Taking The Squeal Out

By | May 30, 1988

The device most people think of when they imagine a laser is actually a laser oscillator. A laser is actually a light amplifier. Dye laser oscillators are light sources that can be tuned to any color in the visible and near-visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum (3900A-9000A). Unlike other types of lasers, the dye laser amplifies light over a large range of frequencies. In this sense, the dye laser islike apublic address system, which amplifies sound over a large range of frequencies

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Teaching Macho Researchers Some Respect

By | May 30, 1988

Handling ‘hot’ chemicals was one thing, but now comes the AIDS virus "Traditionally, most chemists have been macho," says Shane Que Hee, an occupational medicine specialist at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. "In laboratories—not the tidiest places in the world—you see volatile chemicals not in fume hoods. You see people not wearing gloves. I have even known chemists who washed their hands with benzene." That sort of cowboy swagger is fast falling ou

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