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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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Berlin Launches Academy

September 21, 1987

WEST BERLIN—The forging of stronger ties among researchers, and between academia and industry, are two important goals of this city’s new Academy of Science (see THE SCIENTIST, March 9, p. 5). The academy, after opening ceremonies later this week, will begin work on a research agenda that will span the natural and medical sciences as well as technology assessment. The first six projects, chosen from 39 proposals and each expected to last three years, will cover automation and the

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Center Links Mexican Firms To Academia

By | September 21, 1987

MEXICO CITY—The official opening here last month of the Center for Electronics and Information Technology (CETEI) underscores Mexico’s efforts to strengthen ties between academic and industrial R&D sectors. The new center was created to support the development of the country’s fast-growing electronics industry by mediating technological supply and demand. The government is encouraging such university-industry cooperation in effort to offset spending cuts it has in academic

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Chemists Urge Contact With Public

By | September 21, 1987

SAO PAULO—An international group of chemistry educators has recommended greater contact between working scientists and educators as part of an effort to improve public understanding of science. Delegates to the Ninth International Conference on Chemistry Education held here this summer suggested that scientists involve themselves in communicating news about their work to audiences beyond their professional groups. A conference resolution declared that national scientific bodies should

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Cladistics: A Mixed Bag of a Book

By | September 21, 1987

BIOLOGICAL METAPHOR AND CLADISTIC CLASSIFICATION An Interdisciplinary Perspective. Henry M. Hoenigswald and Linda F. Wiener, eds. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 1987. 286 pp. $25. It isn’t often that an analytical technique developed recently by scientists is found to have been in common use for decades or even centuries within the humanities. This symposium volume deals with one such case, which strikes parallels between current methods of phylogenetic analysis in bio

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Cray Decision May Set Back Future Work

By | September 21, 1987

WASHINGTON---The decision by Cray Research Inc. to abandon development of its most advanced supercomputer project has dealt a blow to the U.S. supercomputer industry and may set back researchers in the 1990s, say some specialists in the field. “I think the United States has lost one of its very serious efforts in supercomputing,” said Lawrence Lee, director of the Cornell National Supercomputer Facility in Ithaca, N.Y, who added that the step may have “serious repercussion

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D

By | September 21, 1987

ADVANCING MATERIALS RESEARCH Peter A. Psaras and H. Dale Langford, eds. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 1987. 408 pp. $47.50. This enlightening book is destined to survive the test of time as a historical record of a momentous pe- riod of change. Its wide-ranging articles represent views of distinguished leaders in the interdisciplinary field of materials science. Conceived primarily in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Interdisciplinary Laboratory/Materials Research Labo

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Devising a Good Computer Search Request

By | September 21, 1987

Computerized searching is the interaction of a human with a computer to retrieve information stored in data bases. A scribbled note with the cryptic message “computer search lung cancer chemotherapy” can be interpreted in many ways. There are thousands of articles on this topic; does the researcher really want a list of all citations? More to the point, does he or she really want to pay for all of them? What type of cancer? What type of chemotherapy? Is there a specific antineopla

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Diplomats Strive for Scientific Literacy

By | September 21, 1987

WASHINGTON—In many areas of science or technology—from climate changes to new manufacturing technology—the lines between science and foreign policy blur and sometimes disappear. “Things that used to be domestic aren’t any more,” said Robert W. Rycroft, deputy director of the graduate program in science, technology and public policy at George Washington University and an associate professor of public affairs and political science. “There are severe i

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