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BRUSSELS—Some 500 companies will benefit from the five-year, $2 billion budget set by research miniisters for the second phase of the European Economic Community’s Esprit program of information technology research. The agreement secures the immediate future for 3,000 researchers and 200 projects whose Esprit 1 funding had virtually expired and who had been pawns for the past year in the British government’s opposition to the EEC’s intended funding for collaborative re

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Finding a Niche and Staying There

By | January 25, 1988

KNOWING EVERYTHING ABOUT NOTHING Specialization and Change In Scientific Careers. John Ziman. Cambridge University Press, New York 1987. 196 pp. $29.95. The title of this book and the reputation of its author led me to hope for an insightful analysis of how the ever-increasing specialization of research has shaped modern science. What would 19th-century giants such as Helmholtz think of a scientific enterprise that generated half a million research papers per year, most of which are largely u

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Foreign Scientists Pioneer in Japan's Labs

By | January 25, 1988

TOKYO—Physicist Ron Scott returned to the United States in 1980 after working in Japan on a one-year grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation. But two years after going back to work for McDonnell-Douglas, he said with his easy Texas drawl, “I felt I hadn’t seen it all. So I returned to Sendai for six months to write a paper.” Six years later Scott is still in Japan, working in the northeastern city of Sendai as a research physicist for the Inaba Biophoton Proj

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Foreign Scientists Pioneer in Japan's Labs

By | January 25, 1988

TOKYO—Physicist Ron Scott returned to the United States in 1980 after working in Japan on a one-year grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation. But two years after going back to work for McDonnell-Douglas, he said with his easy Texas drawl, “I felt I hadn’t seen it all. So I returned to Sendai for six months to write a paper.” Six years later Scott is still in Japan, working in the northeastern city of Sendai as a research physicist for the Inaba Biophoton Proj

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Germany Boosts Spending on Space

By | January 25, 1988

The money represents an increase of 6 percent over 1987, compared with a 4 percent rise in the government’s overall science budget. Sectors due to receive a reduced share of the $4.7 billion budget include research into the use of coal and other fossil fuels (down 10.5 percent) and nuclear fission technology (down 15.3 percent). Biotechnology (up 7.7 percent), oceanography (up 11 percent) and ecology (up 8 percent) are among the beneficiaries. Presenting his budget to the Bundestag, Re

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Happenings

January 25, 1988

PEOPLE AWARDS OPPORTUNITIES ETCETERA MEETINGS During the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ winter hearing in December, Ernest L. Daman, senior vice president and director of research for Foster Wheeler Corporation, Livingston, N.J., was elected ASME president, effective June 1988. Daman joined Foster Wheeler in 1947 as an engineer in its research division, and became director of research in 1960. In 1976 he was elected chairman of the board of the Foster Wheeler Developme

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Hieroboology: The Study of Sacred Cows

By | January 25, 1988

Humans are addicted to cherished principles, certainties that have been expensively acquired and should not be questioned. Science is in this respect extremely human—it is always relieved to feel that however large our ignorance there are some questions that appear to have been settled once and for all. Around these questions it tends to draw the wagons: anyone who insists on reopening them is eccentric, misguided if not anti-scientific. However, if we look at scientific history, the de

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Hieroboology: The Study of Sacred Cows

By | January 25, 1988

Humans are addicted to cherished principles, certainties that have been expensively acquired and should not be questioned. Science is in this respect extremely human—it is always relieved to feel that however large our ignorance there are some questions that appear to have been settled once and for all. Around these questions it tends to draw the wagons: anyone who insists on reopening them is eccentric, misguided if not anti-scientific. However, if we look at scientific history, the de

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In Memoriam Peter Medawar

January 25, 1988

Editor's note: On October 2, 1987, the British immunologist Sir Peter Medawar died at a London hospital following a stroke. Among other achievements, Sir Peter shared the 1960 Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine with Sir Macfarlane Burnet for their joint work on the theory of acquired immunological tolerance. The work led to tremendous advances in liver, heart and kidney transplants. He was also a noted author and philosopher of science (see THE SCIENTIST, November 17, 1986, p. 23, for a re

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Industry Blasts Thatcher's College Cuts

By | January 25, 1988

LONDON—Leaders of Britain’s highly successful doing industry say that reduced government spending on academic research in chemistry, biology and medicine will limit industry’s ability to hire talented people and turn new ideas into profitable products. Coming from one of Britain’s leading research-based manufacturing businesses, the attack may well influence the Thatcher government as it comes under increased pressure to boost funds for basic research in higher educat

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