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U.S. Absent From Japan's New Center

By | January 25, 1988

Japan launched an R&D program in superconductivity this month without the international collaborators that officials there had hoped to attract. Some U.S. researchers said they didn’t know they had been invited, while others are waiting to see how the program develops. The International Superconductivity Technology Center (ISTEC) that opened January 14 is being funded by about 50 Japanese companies, including large electronics firms such as Toshiba and Hitachi, electric utility compani

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Venture Capital for Biomedical Research

By | January 25, 1988

The strategic role of the private foundations Purnell Choppin observes in this issue (p. 16-17) that “the health of the biomedical research enterprise [in the United States] is inseparable from the health of the NIH.” Since two thirds of federal support for biomedical research in this country goes into or through the NIH, and since that amounts to one third of total national support for basic research in biomedicine, one can only agree with the statement of the president of the How

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The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has adopted new voting procedures for choosing its top officers that are, in part, a response to continued pressure by dissident members to give the rank and file a greater voice in the institute’s affairs. In the fall the 280,000 member international organization will use a system that allows members to vote for more than one candidate for each office. Officials said that this system, called approval plurality voting, is the

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Why Does the U.S. Neglect Euro-Science

By | January 25, 1988

Roughing up the media is a sport played by scientists the world over, whenever two or more are gathered together. Some of the illegations tossed around on these occasions are wildly misdirected - as when biochemist, Tart attacks newspaper reporter Haig for giving publicity to the theories of chemist Robertson. Others are wildly unrealistic—as when physicist Dole criticizes television host Kennedy for not describing his work vith all of the calculated cautions and caveats found in his 6,00

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Why Does the U.S. Neglect Euro-Science

By | January 25, 1988

Roughing up the media is a sport played by scientists the world over, whenever two or more are gathered together. Some of the illegations tossed around on these occasions are wildly misdirected - as when biochemist, Tart attacks newspaper reporter Haig for giving publicity to the theories of chemist Robertson. Others are wildly unrealistic—as when physicist Dole criticizes television host Kennedy for not describing his work vith all of the calculated cautions and caveats found in his 6,00

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Why It's OK to Sometimes Split Infinitives in Papers

By | January 25, 1988

I have on occasion split the infinitive and one should never do that. Yet it’s hard to remember what is so bad about splitting infinitives, except that it offends those people who had their grammar belted into them and never dared to ask questions. You should certainly not ignore the rules of style in favor of expediency, but there are situations where only a split infinitive gives the right emphasis. "Write down key words or short sentences as they come to mind. "Arrange the keys in

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3 Dynamos Behind Syntex's Success

By | January 11, 1988

When I started Syntex Pharmaceuticals in Britain nearly a quarter of a century ago, the triumvirate to whom I reported in Mexico were all youngish scientists themselves, and all paper millionaires by their own remarkable efforts. The chairman of the corporation, George Rosenkranz, not only was one of the founders of the modern steroid industry, but he also had seen himself through the Eidgenössiche Technische Hochschule in Zurich by playing soccer for the Grasshoppers, acting at the Stadt

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A Fellowship For U.S.-Japanese Harmony

By | January 11, 1988

Recent events have resulted in a great deal of publicity about competitiveness. Among the so-called races in high technology, the biotechnology race has attracted much attention and comment. In the United States, there is much concern about the perceived possibility that history may repeat itself, and that a technology that was invented in the United States may find its most impressive commercial applications developed in Japan. It is all very well to talk about competitiveness, not withstandi

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A Nobel Ode

January 11, 1988

A Nobel Ode STOCKHOLM--The Nobel Foundation plans to sell stock in a new firm being formed to preserve the value of the annual prizes it awards.. . . This year's prizes.. . will each be worth $340,000... . Shrewd investments in the past decade. . . have reversed years of declining value for the prizes, and have raised the foundation's assets to near the real value of the original estate in 1900. --From THE SCIENTIST October 5, 1987, p.4. Lend an ear to hear the story of my galloping succe

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Although Stanford University's Donald Knuth released the initial version of TeX (pronounced "tech" nearly 10 years is still one of the most powerful and flexible typesetting programs available. In 1982, Knuth rewrote the program extensively, producing the TeX that today remains unsurpassed in typesetting mathematical and scientific sumbols. Until 1984, it ran almost exclusively on mainframes, minicomputers and workstations; since then, however, a number of implementations have appeared for micr

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