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The Arrogance of 'Pop Science'

By | July 13, 1987

Now that Time Inc. has sold Discover, its prize-winning popular science magazine, no major magazine or commercial television show started during the popular science "boom" of the last decade has succeeded. What happened? And, more important to science professionals, what's going to happen? The Rise and Fall Between 1977 and 1986 nearly 20 new magazines, 17 new television shows, and more than 60 newspaper sections devoted to popular science appeared. Several of these new ventures breached the wal

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The Foreign Science Student in Japan

By | July 13, 1987

Witnessing Japan in its transition to inter nationalization is interesting. That includes reading about people like Takashi Mukaibo who are doing that (The Scientist, May 4, 1987, p. 14). While apparently there are a lot of efforts in spreading internationalization with a religious fervor in Japan, it is still not uncommon to see a foreigner being watched like an alien from another planet. Japan has just discovered how to use brain power from developing countries and as a result enrollment of f

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The Image of Scientists Matters

By | July 13, 1987

In the past few years I have perceived an increased anti-science sentiment especially in the press—in the United States and other nations. Despite a spectacular history of medical miracles, labor-saving devices and new knowledge being delivered up by scientists and engineers, both the public and the press nowadays seem as likely to fear scientific contributions as to welcome them. Certainly the development and use of the atomic bomb and the incidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl hav

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The Vast Visions of Edward Teller

By | July 13, 1987

Better a Shield Than a Sword: Perspectives on Defense and Technology. Edward Teller. The Free Press, New York, 1987. 225 pp. $19.95. Edward Teller has written a remarkable book. But then that should not be surprising. He is a very remarkable man. Teller is one of the great scientists of our time and his scientific contributions as sure him a place in the history of physics. He is also a philosopher and a man who has had a decisive influence on the thinking of America's major political leaders si

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Tracking Research in the Fast Lane

By | July 13, 1987

WASHINGTON—Whether the topic is AIDS or supernovas or high-temperature superconductivity, the blistering pace of discovery is prompting researchers in hot fields to flock to special meetings, spend hours on the phone, scan computer data bases and swap reams of journal article preprints in an effort to keep up and to record their own contributions. As scientists in those fields become increasingly dependent on such methods, however, some are concerned that the resultant short cuts have lowe

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Tracking Science in Antarctica

By | July 13, 1987

Antarctic Science D.W.H. Walton, ed. Cambridge University Press, New York, 1987. 280 pp. $39.50. Antarctic Science is unique in that it is the first book that attempts to present a comprehensive history of scientific research on Antarctica. Five scientists from the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge—David Walton, Christopher Doake, John Dudeney, Inigo Iverson and Richard Laws—have combined their expertise in this coherent, well-balanced book. Its publication is timely as it chroni

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U.S. Fears Overblown, Japan Says

By | July 13, 1987

TOKYO—American fears that Japan is coordinating a national effort to achieve world supremacy in high-temperature superconductivity R&D are exaggerated, say Japanese scientists and officials, who point out that the government lacks the money and clout to orchestrate such a campaign. "Too many people in the U.S. are overestimating our abilities," said Masatoshi Urashima, director for development of advanced industries in the Agency for. Indus trial Science and Technology under MITI (the Min

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Videotapes Humanize the World of Chemistry

By | July 13, 1987

Eminent Chemists: Video programs featuring distinguished chemists discussing their achievements. The American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C. Personal encounters with some of the greatest contemporary American chemists are not everyday occurrences for today's students. This series of videotapes produced by the American Chemical Society, 'however, is designed to change that. For chemical educators who wish to open new dimensions to students, these tapes not only help combat the dehumanized vie

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Welch's Mark on Modern Medicine

By | July 13, 1987

William H. Welch and the Rise of Modern Medicine. Donald Fleming. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1987. 240 pp. $8.95 PB. This lively, brief biography of William Henry Welch also explores the transition of American medicine from craft-based skill to science-based profession. As a leading scientific "Influential," Welch was largely responsible for bringing Germany's laboratory ideal of "learning by doing" to the United States, introducing scientific methods to American medical sch

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What Do Viruses Do?

By | July 13, 1987

In his interesting essay "What Viruses Might Do for a Living", Lewis Thomas suggests that viruses may have speeded up the evolutionary processes by helping organisms exchange genetic information.' Related ideas have also been discussed by Benveniste and" Thdaro and much earlier by Ravin, who in his discussion of "heritable infections," called attention to certain similarities between viruses and genes. I would like to speculate on a slightly different version of this idea. The function of' the

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