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A Supercomputer Exchange: The Supercomputer Era

By | September 7, 1987

THE SUPERCOMPUTER ERA Sidney Kann and Noms Parker Smith. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Cambridge, MA, 1987. 313 pp. $19.95. Supercomputers are not new. They have been in existence since the invention of computers. Today, however, they have become indispensable tools at the cutting edge of science and technology. They enable scientists to solve problems and develop new technologies for tomorrow’s industry, affecting national employment patterns, wealth and national security. Until recent

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A Theory That Missed the Mark

By | September 7, 1987

Although many scientists must narrowly fail to make an important discovery, it is hard not to feel guilty for not having pushed oneself just that little bit harder. Early in my career as a psychologist, I began to study vision in the octopus. I chose this strange beast because it was an invertebrate; hence its visual system, though highly developed, has evolved from structures very different from that of vertebrates. I believed (perhaps rather naively) that by finding the differences betwee

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AIDS Crisis Calls for 'Firm Leadership and Direction'

By | September 7, 1987

Q: The AIDS report is a major example of IOM’s increased visibility. Its recommendations have been widely disseminated. Are you happy with the response it’s gotten from policymakers? THIER: The response from the research community has been pretty reasonable. The major concern is that we pointed out that education is our only major intervention until therapies and vaccines are developed, but the amount of activity relating to education has been very modest. We also were concerned th

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Campus Reacts to Strobel

By | September 7, 1987

BOZEMAN, MONT.—The deliberate violation by a Montana State University scientist of EPA regulations on the release of genetically engineered organisms has evoked sharply different reactions from scientists and top administrators on campus. While colleagues criticize him in harsh terms, university officials say they welcome the increased attention to the impact of federal regulations on science. At issue is plant pathology professor Gary Strobel’s June release into the wild of a ge

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Congress Poised to Create 15-Member Panel on AIDS

By | September 7, 1987

WASHINGTON—A bill calling for the creation of a national advisory panel on AIDS is moving swiftly through Congress. The bill, which passed the House last month and could be taken up as early as this month by the Senate, would authorize the president and Congress to appoint a 15-member panel to make policy recommendations in the areas of AIDS research, testing, treatment and education The bill specifies that at least eight members would be “recognized experts” in the fields

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D Effort

By | September 7, 1987

TOKYO—Stung by foreign criticism of its scant contributions to basic research, Japan has taken steps to break down its traditionally rigid system of funding university research and to launch new ventures. Budget figures released this summer show that government support is strongest, in fact, for the least traditional of the new programs, some of which involve substantial foreign participation. The Science and Technology Agency (STA) achieved a 23 percent increase in funds for its nont

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D Help

By | September 7, 1987

WASHINGTON—Small new high-tech firms that struggle for their share of the federal research and development pie have cast a vote of confidence for the Small Business Innovation Research program, which helps them get it. Ninety-five percent of the nearly 800 small companies responding to a General Accounting Office survey said it is worthwhile participating in the program, which by next month will have handed out $1.1 billion in federal R&D funds. “The program opened up a new area

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Dinosaur Artists: Exhibiting a New Science?

By | September 7, 1987

DINOSAURS, MAMMOTHS AND CAVEMEN The Art of Charles R. Knight. Sylvia Czerkas, curator. Exhibit at Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC, June-August 1987. DINOSAURS, PAST AND PRESENT Sylvia Czerkas, curator. Exhibit at Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC, June-August 1987. What impact has dinosaur art had on the public’s understanding of dinosaurs? Scientists have been aware of remains of gi

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English Spoken Here

By | September 7, 1987

English has very nearly become the universal language of science. Whether for publication or for international conferences and symposia, English now dominates scientific communication. By what degree is apparent from the contents of the journals indexed in ISI’s Science Citation Index. This group of journals, selected by both peer judgment and the citation patterns of the world’s scientists, represents the most important portion of the scientific literature. Although this is only a

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Europeans Seek Academy Of Science

By | September 7, 1987

LONDON—An international group of eminent scientists hopes to establish a European Academy of Science to provide a new voice for researchers. Sir Arnold Burgen, a biologist and former foreign secretary of the Royal Society has taken the lead in convening an ad hoc group with representatives from seven European nations to discuss the academy. Its proposal received a favorable reception this summer at the European Science Foundation’s council meeting in Bonn. The Royal Society has ag

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