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Building African Science Upon Folk Traditions

By | November 2, 1987

Q:Must traditional folk practices in Africa be abandoned for the scientific culture to flourish? ODHIAMBO: I don’t think so. In fact, if you analyze folklore, particularly storytelling, there’s a tremendous amount of natural history in it. All one has to do is translate what is being stated into more modern language—simply make those stories current. I don’t see a conflict at all between the traditional knowledge base and the modem technology base. I think we can use th

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Canadian Consortium Formed

November 2, 1987

OTTAWA—The Canadian Institute of Advanced Studies, which has lured home a number of Canadian scientists through its network of university research fellows (see THE SCIENTIST, April 20, p.1), has now sparked the formation of an industry consortium to put their findings to practical use. Precarn Associates Inc. is a nonprofit association of 22 corporations that, according to its prospectus, “will sponsor, manage and disseminate the results of longterm pre-competitive research projec

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Cautions for Astronomy's Golden Age

By | November 2, 1987

All my life—or at least from the time I knew what astronomy was—I wanted to be an astronomer. But being an astronomer has not turned out to involve doing the kinds of things I imagined when I decided to go to graduate school 25 years ago. I went to Carleton College, one of the best of the small midwestern liberal arts schools. Influenced by the commitment of my professors to teaching, I planned to become a teacher at a school like Carleton. A physics professor, however, convinc

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D Hike Promised In Norway

By | November 2, 1987

OSLO—Last year’s slump in oil prices not only ended a heady period of growth for Norway’s economy, but it also plunged the nation into its worst fiscal crisis in decades. Despite these problems, the government’s firm belief in the value of technological development has led to a promise to increase R&D spending significantly over the next five years. Norway’s continued commitment to science is made possible in part by its having prepared during the recent boom ye

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D Policy

By | November 2, 1987

CHICAGO—A campaign to increase federal support for research and industrial applications of new technology began last month with a series of conferences held throughout the country. The conferences were designed both to garner support and thinking on new R&D initiatives and to provide regional views on global competitiveness and the declining technological status of the United States. Sponsored by the businessoriented Conference Board and the Council on Research and Technology (CORETECH

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Early Citations Mark 1987 Nobel

By | November 2, 1987

PHILADELPHIA—Nobel prizes in science normally recognize research of extraordinary excellence, as judged by literature citations to it and awards that have accumulated over a period of years. This year, however, the Nobel committee awarded the physics prize for recent research that illuminated the physical science community with the brilliance of a supernova. New physics laureates J. Georg Bednorz and K. Alex Milller, of IBM’s Zurich Research Labora tory, published their seminal pap

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Europe Prepares to Hike Space Budget

By | November 2, 1987

LONDON—The 13-nation European Space Agency is expected to endorse a series of projects later this month that could boost the agency’s annual budget from $1.7 billion to $3 billion by 1993. The new efforts include a more powerful version of its Ariane satellite launcher, a manned Hermes spacecraft and the Columbus orbitbig laboratory that would be part of the U.S. space station. Hermes, which zoom into orbit atop the improved Ariane rocket, would give Western Europe its first opport

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Forthcoming Books

November 2, 1987

ARCHAEOLOGY The Birth of Prehistoric Chronology: Dating Methods and Dating Systems In Nineteenth Century Scandinavian Archaeology. Bo Graslund. Cambridge University Press November, 150 pp, $39.50. Traces the origin and subsequent development of dating systems, examining how these systems grew and were improved and refined. BIOCHEMISTRY Biochemistry of Metabolism: Volume 11. David D. Davies, ed. Academic Press: November, 388 pp, $85. Discusses the metabolism of plants, emphasizing the b

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Get a Whiff of These Data

By | November 2, 1987

WASHINGTON—National Geographic magazine invited its readers to smell an armpit and, strangely enough, 1.5 million of them did. Readers put their noses to the grindstone as part of the magazine’s Smell Survey, a joint effort with the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia to sniff out data, on our olfactory sense. The data are now available to researchers. The September 1986 issue of the magazine included a scratch-and-sniff sheet (odorants encased in polymers) that conta

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Give U.S. Fellowships to Latin Americans

By | November 2, 1987

For several years I’ve been trying to sell people on an idea I have that derives from my deep appreciation of the talents of the Latin American scientists I’ve encountered over the past 30 years. These scientists are to be found in laboratories all over the world, usually as valued and honored émigrés or refugees from some political crisis. This idea is available to any statesman who would like to become at least as immortal as Fulbright or Rhodes. It is this: the United

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