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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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Bland Blueprint for Biotech

By | April 20, 1987

Industrial Biotechnology in Europe: Issues for Public Policy. Duncan Davies, ed. Frances Pinter, London, 1986. 156 PP. £22.50. Distributed in North America by Longwood Publishing Group, Dover, NH. $30 HB, $14.50 PB. In 1967 Jean-Jacques Servan Schreiber published the instant best seller The American Challenge, which argued that Europe's weakness in high-technology industries could lead to economic stagnation and loss of political self-determination. Since this call for action, it has become

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Congress May Study Cell Line Ownership

By | April 20, 1987

WASHINGTON—Congress may take up legislation to govern ownership of human tissue and cell lines. The issue of who owns a cell line—the human source of the original tissues and cells or the scientists who derived the cell line from them—has caught the fancy of two influential legislators. Sen. Albert Gore (D-Tenn.), vice chairman of the Congressional Biomedical Ethics Board, said that present confusion over the issue "could impede important research." He thinks legislation may be

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Critics Question Need For AIDS Foundation

By | April 20, 1987

WASHINGTON—Resolution of the dispute between American and French researchers over credit for discovery of the AIDS virus and the development of blood tests for the antibody has delighted the science community. But the related decision to create an international AIDS research foundation is being viewed with skepticism by many experts in the field. Under the agreement, announced March 31 by President Ronald Reagan and French Prime Minister Jacques Chirac, the U.S. Department of Health and Hu

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D

By | April 20, 1987

SYDNEY—A high-level advisory panel has recommended that Australia reorganize and spend more on its system of public funding for university-level research. The government has not yet responded to the report, which is shaping up as a test of the political influence of the nation's university and research communities. The Australian Science and Technology Council (ASTEC), which reports to Prime Minister Bob Hawke, said in its report that research at Australian universities is hampered by limi

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D Funding

By | April 20, 1987

LONDON—Government spending on research is becoming a major issue in Britain's upcoming elections, with the major parties staking out their positions. Campaigning is not officially underway, but the election is expected to take place by early autumn. There is a growing split between the Conservative administration of Margaret Thatcher, which argues that state expenditure on research is about right, and opponents who believe more cash is needed to strengthen basic research and stem the trans

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Diesel's Social Ideas

By | April 20, 1987

I would like to comment on John B. Rae's review of my book Diesel: Technology and Society in Industrial Germany (The Scientist, March 9, 1987, p. 23). While the growth of industrial society in the 19th century certainly produced many social problems, "the social question" (die soziale Frage) was a concept well recognized by numerous commentators both in Germany and elsewhere. They defined it as the social evils (poor working conditions, urban slums, etc.) produced by the Industrial Revolution an

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Early Conceptions of Human Origins

By | April 20, 1987

Theories of Human Evolution: A Century of Debate, 1844-1944. Peter J. Bowler. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1986. 318 pp. $32.50. Peter Bowler, a historian of science specializing in evolution, has approached the complex arena of human evolution from a fresh perspective. He has intertwined the themes of orthogenesis, Lamarckian use-inheritance, evolutionary convergence, vitalism and natural selection into a thoroughly engrossing view of ideas on human evolution prior to the modern s

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WASHINGTON—The Department of Energy will boost the undergraduate training of scientists and engineers with a program offering students and faculty a semester of hands-on research at one of five national laboratories. Up to 300 juniors and seniors, each receiving travel, housing and weekly stipends, will participate in energy-related investigations during the next academic year at Argonne National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Oak Ridge National L

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