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Why So Few Women Bioscientists at the Podium?

By | May 4, 1987

If visual impact correctly represented the position and participation of women in the biosciences, we could all join the Hallelujah Chorus and say the battle for recognition of women has been won and that further efforts could be laid to rest. Yes, it is true that more women have obtained junior staff appointments and that a few have even obtained senior appointments, more so than would have happened 10 years ago. But can one really say that women are hired in proportion to their numbers and acc

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'84 Law Angers Defense Contractors

By | April 20, 1987

WASHINGTON—A 1984 law to encourage competition among defense contractors has forced federal agencies to become aware of the importance of evaluating all possible bidders for contracts, but also has slowed the procurement process and angered many industry officials. The Competition in Contracting Act was an attempt by Congress to end "sweetheart" deals between the Pentagon and individual defense contractors. Its requirement that agencies seek bids from a range of contractors has led some ag

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'Like Joining a Select Club'

By | April 20, 1987

John Keats has vividly described his excitement on seeing for the first time Chapman's translation of Homer. I had a somewhat similar experience in 1942. During my early surgical training in Australia, the only grafts I learned about, apart from blood transfusion, were autografts of skin, bone and fascia, and allografts (called homografts in those days) of cornea. I was iguorant of the numerous attempts by surgeons to use allografts of skin, and of the long controversy about whether these did or

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17th Century Fusion of Physics and Theology

By | April 20, 1987

Theology and the Scientific Imagination: From the Middle Ages to the Seventeenth Century. Amos Funkenstein. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1986. 421 pp. $47.50. In the grand old tradition of Arthur Lovejoy's The Great Chain of Being—only rarely practiced today— Amos Funkenstein has given us a taste of what we've been missing. By tracing the intellectual vicissitudes of a set of theological/philosophical ideas from the 12th to the 18th centuries, he is able to make importa

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A Revised Science Trust Fund

By | April 20, 1987

The National Coalition for Science and Technology (NCST) has been advocating the establishment of a Science Trust Fund. In its current version, the Fund is expected to provide approximately $1 billion a year for civilian—sector technology. The Fund has evolved from the version outlined earlier (The Scientist, March 9, 1987, p. 10), and it will continue to evolve. As our chairman, Don Stein, has said, "Science legislation, like science, develops through the free and open discussion of ideas

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A Soul-Searching Scientist at 35

By | April 20, 1987

Like lawyers, doctors and other professionals, scientists spend long years educating and preparing themselves for their careers. But unlike other professionals, scientists seem to do their best work early in life, leaving their later years for administration, consultation and other tasks not necessarily connected to their primary task of solving nature's puzzles. In this excerpt from his new collection of essays, A Modern Day Yankee in a Connecticut Court (Viking Penguin, 1986), Alan Lightman, a

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A Year Later, Chernobyl Research Still Under a Cloud

By | April 20, 1987

Igor Suskov is a cytogeneticist who wants to learn a new technique to analyze the extent of mutation in human cells resulting from radiation. But the Soviet scientist may never get the chance, because the people who have developed the assay are at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the site of classified research on U.S. nuclear weapons. Suskov's request is caught in the political and scientific fallout that continues one year after the accident inside reactor unit #4 at the Chernobyl nucle

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AAAS's Trivelpiece on Science Support

By | April 20, 1987

Nuclear physicist Alvin W Trivelpiece, the new executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, brings to the post experience in academia, industry and government. He received his master's degree and doctorate at the California Institute of Technology, then went on to teach at the University of California at Berkeley (1959-66) and the University of Maryland (1966-76). In 1973-75, on leave from his faculty post, Trivelpiece was assistant director for research in the d

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Adolph Hitler's Biological Soldiers

By | April 20, 1987

The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide. Robert Jay Lifton. Basic Books, New York, 1986. 576 pp. $19.95. The extermination of six million European Jews during World War II was the greatest organized genocide ever perpetrated. The people who committed this crime against humanity included members of the German medical profession. The Nazi Doctors, the long-awaited book by Robert Lifton, a distinguished professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, i

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Agencies Balk at Report on Diversity

By | April 20, 1987

WASHINGTON—Federal research administrators have reacted coolly to suggestions from the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment that their agencies become more active in support of programs to preserve biological diversity. In a lengthy report released in late March, OTA pressed Congress to increase funding to existing programs that foster or protect biological diversity, such as the Endangered Species Program and the National Plant Germplasm System. In addition, OTA proposed a specif

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