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Where Are We Headed in Space?

By | December 14, 1987

THE SPACE STATION A Personal Journey. Hans Mark. Duke University Press, Durham, NC, 1987. 288 pp $24.95 SPACE The Next Twenty-Five Years. Thomas R. MoDonough. John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1987. 228 pp. $17.95. SPACE 2000 Meeting the Challenge of a New Era. Harry L Shipman. Plenum Publishing Corp., New York, 1987. 442 pp. $19.95. The Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy of 1986 and the rash of launch failures that followed it left the U.S. space program in a quagmire of uncertainty and recriminati

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WASHINGTON—White House science adviser William Graham has formed a new committee to shape administration policy in the life sciences. The 24-member coordinating committee will be chaired by Beverly Berger, assistant director for life sciences in the Office of Science and Technology Policy. It will consist of representatives from nine Cabinet-level departments and nine federal agencies, including several with the duty to regulate rather than finance research in the life sciences. The co

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AGU Takes Larger Role In Science Policy Debate

By | November 30, 1987

WASHINGTON—The American Geophysical Union, a 20,000-member scientific society best known for its journals and professional meetings, is becoming more active in shaping federal policy on Earth and space science research. AGU’s higher proffle includes polling its members on science policy questions and setting priorities for geophysical research. It may eventually include active lobbying on Capitol Hill. Until recently, the 70-year-old non-profit organization has focused almost e

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Changes Urged in Teaching Calculus

By | November 30, 1987

WASHINGTON—College calculus traditionally has acted as a filter in the scientific pipeline to make sure that only the best people get through. But some educators think the filter has become clogged, keeping many good students out of science and engineering and slowing the progress of those who do pass through. What’s needed, they say, is a new method of teaching calculus that is so inspiring that it actually pumps students into related disciplines. The first formal step in that p

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Children's Books, Reviewed

By | November 30, 1987

Dinosaurs Walked Here and Other Stories Fossils Tell (Patricia Lauber, Bradbury/Macmillan, 1987, 64 pp., $15.95, ages 8 and up) is an excellent introduction to paleontology that discusses how fossilized remains of plants and animals reveal characteristics of the prehistoric world. Fossil bones, teeth, shells, leaf prints, eggs, insects and animal tracks reveal stories of plant and animal extinction or adaptation and changes in the Earth’s surface and climate. The text is accompanied by

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Children's Science Books

By | November 30, 1987

Two things in my childhood contributed more than all the others to my choice of science as a career. The first was the $1 chemistry set I received on my seventh birthday. The second, of equal importance and impact, was reading science books. I read all the books on science and scientists that came my way, from the well-known classics to the most transient science fiction. Thus it is with a profound sense of nostalgia in recalling my 50-year love affair with chemistry that I review this selecti

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Consortium Targets Business Awards

By | November 30, 1987

SANTA FE, N.M.—John Pearson, director of Michigan State University’s Technology Transfer Center, was encouraging a local entrepreneur to visit the campus to seek the scientific advice he needed. “Gee, I wouldn’t even know what to wear,” the businessman responded. Unfortunately for Pearson, the differences between academia and small businesses run deeper than apparel. That’s why he and colleagues in 24 states have formed a consortium of universities to help

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PARIS—Czech universities and institutes of the country’s Academy of Sciences may be permitted to conduct research for industrial clients along the lines of a model already established in Yugoslavia and beginning in the Soviet Union. Speaking at the Czechoslovakian Science and Technology Information Center here, the president of the J.E. Purkyne University in Brno said that the five-year plans covering the nature and funding of applied research may be modified to permit such contract

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Decoding the Music of the Spheres

By | November 30, 1987

The principal contributions to astronomy that I have been able to make in the past 50 years of my professional life involve the study of binary stars—in particular, pairs of stars that are so close as to mutually eclipse each other in the course of each revolution and that, in so doing, exhibit characteristic telltale changes of light. The importance of such systems is that they offer us the only possible means to determine the masses and absolute dimensions of stars other than our Sun.

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Drug Panel Asks Protection For Volunteers

By | November 30, 1987

LONDON—The U.K. Medicines Commission is calling for a clampdown on independent contractors who hire healthy volunteers to test experimental drugs, but the code may never be enacted. The drug regulation agency, headed by Rosalinde Hurley of London University, wants a register of contractors, limits on payments to experimental subjects, and guarantees that the volunteers will get full medical backup and nofault compensation if they suffer side effects. Its proposal is prompted by concern

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