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NSF Pitches 5-Year Funding For Centers

By | March 7, 1988

WASHINGTON—NSF Director Erich Bloch has thrown Congress a curveball in the hope that legislators won’t knock his request for a 19 percent budget increase out of the ballpark. Bloch's 1989 budget contains a new pitch to salvage his plan for a dozen or more university-based science and technology centers. It requests $150 million up front—nearly half of the overall $333 million increase sought by NSF—for a five-year program that would be isolated from the foundationR

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OECD Developing Guidelines For Cooperation in Science

By | March 7, 1988

PARIS- U.S. proposal to resolve imbalances in scientific cooperation among nations may be adopted as early as this spring by science ministers from the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. The organization’s Committee for Scientific and Technological Policy meets later this month to review the latest draft of a proposal put forth last fall by White House science adviser William Graham. U.S. officials believe that such common principles of scientific cooperation can als

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Panel Backs Journal Retractions

By | March 7, 1988

{WantNoCacheVal} Panel Backs Journal Retractions Medical journals should print retractions of questioned or fraudulent research even if the lead author or co-authors have not submitted or approved such statements said a top official of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. "Journal editors have a responsibility to keep the scientific record clear," said Edward J. Huth, a physician and North American coordinator for the international committee. Last month the group published

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Reagan Seeks 5.4% Boost at NIH

By | March 7, 1988

WASHINGTON—The proposed 5.4 percent increase next year for NIH is expected to be taken more seriously by Congress than previous budgets that President Reagan has submitted for health research. The 1989 request would lift the current NIH budget of $6.667 billion to $7.123 billion, a figure that includes $588 million for AIDS research. Last year NIH received $448 million for AIDS, a little less than one-half of the total federal spending on the disease. “This is the most realisti

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Scientists, Whistle-Blowers and the Vanunu Affair

By | March 7, 1988

What should scientists and technicians working in a military research establishment do if they come across classified information that they believe should be made public? If they decide to publish information concerning a clear threat to world security, how should the international scientific community respond? Should it assist whistle-blowers if they are put on trial for breaking the country's secrecy laws? The plight of Mordechai Vanunu dramatically raises all these questions. Vanunu, a 33

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LONDON—The United States appears to have acceded to Western European demands for greater control over certain elements of the space station, paving the way for an agreement as early as next month on the $30 billion international project. Previous talks had floundered on American insistence that it remain in sole charge of the orbiting base, which is due to house laboratories for scientific experiments and accommodate about eight people. But last month, at a meeting in Washington with re

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Superconductivity News: The Heat is On

By | March 7, 1988

The discovery of high-temperature (950K) superconductors has incited a stampede of activity in the last 18 months, not only in research labs, but also in newsrooms and editors' offices. According to the December 1, 1987 issue of High-Tc. Update, 12 new publications in press or planned are aimed at keeping scientists and industrialists up to date on the scientific, governmental and commercial activity involving the new superconducting ceramics. Add to this at least seven existing newsletters th

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The Legacy of the Nazi Lagers

By | March 7, 1988

On April 11, 1987, the Italian chemist and author Primo Levi was found dead in his apartment building in Turin. Reportedly depressed over worldwide violence, his deteriorating health, and a case of writer’s block, he apparently threw himself down the stairwell of his building. A survivor of Auschwitz, Levi had written a series of works, including The Periodic Table (Schochen Books, 1984), that intermingled stories of his captivity with metaphysical reflections (see THE SCIENTIST, May 18,

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Too Many Journals? Nonsense!

By | March 7, 1988

Every few weeks I read another journalist’s jab at the value and quantity of scientific journals. When discussing the ever-expanding literature, reporters of the popular press frequently indulge in superficial analyses that distort reality, whether through misunderstanding or exaggeration. Nancy Jeffrey revealed profound misunderstanding in “Mollusks, Semiotics and Dermatology: Narrow Scholarly Journals Are Spreading” (Wall Street Journal, August 27, 1987, p. 25). She invites

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Two Saved From Death In Somalia

By | March 7, 1988

WASHINGTON—The Somalia government has commuted the death sentences of two American-trained scientists whose brutal treatment in prison was the focus of an onsite visit by a delegation from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine. The two men, civil engineer Suleiman Nuh Ali and mathematician Abdi Ismail Yonis, have instead received 24-year prison sentences after having been convicted of treason during a trial last month. A spokesman for the Somalia government sa

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