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More Than a History of the Bomb

By | May 18, 1987

The Making of the Atomic Bomb. Rlchard Rhodes. Simon and Shuster, New York, 1986. 788 pp. $22.95. This book is much more than a history of the atomic bomb. It is the story of the scientists who discovered that atoms consisted of nuclei and electrons, that atomic phenomena are quantized, and eventually that energy could be derived by splitting the heaviest nuclei. The author presents the scientists as real people with curiosity, imagination and fears in the turbulent years from the turn of the c

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Needed: Information on Technology's Impact

By | May 18, 1987

The watchword in Washington and the rest of the United States is competitiveness. There have been more discussions by more people about America's ability (or inability) to compete internationally than perhaps about any other topic this year. And with each announcement of further erosion in the U.S. balance of payments, the intensity of that discussion escalates. The problem has been at least two decades in the making. American industry did not modernize its manufacturing processes soon enough.

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New Blood for Soviet Academy

By | May 18, 1987

LONDON—Younger directors will soon be appointed to about one-half of the 260 institutions directed by the Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R. This follows the recent announcement by the new president of the academy, Guri Marchuk, that directors must retire at age 70 rather than holding their appointments for life, as is now the case. In addition to directors now being "prematurely" retired, many other senior scientists who enjoyed lifelong tenure will have to leave their posts when they re

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New Research Chief Sees Foreign Cooperation on SSC

By | May 18, 1987

WASHINGTON—The Superconducting Supercollider will have international partners in its construction, promises the new acting director of the Office of Energy Research within the Department of Energy. On April 27 James Decker took over as head of the $1.8 billion research program when Alvin Trivelpiece became executive director of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The 46-year-old Decker, who was hired by Trivelpiece in 1973 after working as a plasma physicist at AT&T B

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Paving New Pathways in Physiology

By | May 18, 1987

Walter B. Cannon:The Life and Times of a Young Scientist. Saul Benison, A. Clifford Barger and Elin L. Wolfe. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1987. 506 pp. $30.00. This biographical history is as interesting to read as a suspense novel, containing elements of personal and institutional conflict and intrigue, local and national politics, international conflict and cooperation, and scientific, educational and administrative creativity. A foreword by Howard E. Morgan, former president of

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Physicists Question SDI Weapons

By | May 18, 1987

CRYSTAL CITY, VA.—The American Physical Society's report on the science and technology of directed energy weapons, released here at the society's spring meeting last month, is a scientific document with inescapable implications for defense policy. Its reception indicates that every action connected with such a report can be, and almost inevitably is, interpreted in a political light. Specifically, the report suggests that several of the fundamental assumptions of the Strategic Defense Ini

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Release Also Frees Scientist

By | May 18, 1987

BERKELEY, CALIF.—On April 29 Steven E. Lindow drove seven hours to the remote Tulelake area of northern California to begin open-air tests of bacteria genetically altered to combat frost formation on potato plants. For the University of California at Berkeley plant pathologist, however, the trip marked the end of a five-year journey. In 1982 Lindow discovered that the removal of a specific gene from the ubiquitous bacterium Pseudomonas syringae could shut down production of a chemical res

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So They Say

May 18, 1987

Verbatim excerpts from the media on the conduct of science. A Word From the Frost Fighters ... Those protesting the test of a frost-fighting substance in a Brentwood strawberry patch have sat through too many showings of "Attack of the Giant Tomatoes." Protesters have gone to great lengths to make the field test of genetically altered bacteria into a science fiction soap opera in which men in white coats from Advanced Genetic Sciences, an Oakland-based biotechnology firm, are the mad-scientist

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Society

By | May 18, 1987

A Guide to the New Chemical Age. Hugh D. Crone. Cambridge University Press, New York, 1986. 245 pp. $39.50 HB, $14.95 PB. There are roughly as many atoms on Earth now as there were 50 years ago. All the chemist can do is rearrange these to create new molecules and materials. Chemists have been synthesizing new substances at an exponential rate in the last half-century. The materials affect our lives in every conceivable way. From the vinyl floor in the kitchen (or the polyurethane varnish on the

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Stronger Links Between School, Industry Sought

By | May 18, 1987

ORLANDO, FLA.—Key industry and university research administrators are laboring over a model agreement meant to simplify and increase collaboration between the two groups. This unprecedented attempt to draft an agreement to govern various types of industrial sponsorship of university research is an outgrowth of a pilot project involving five federal research agencies and 10 Florida universities. That demonstration project, begun in April 1986, is aimed at freeing scientists from much of th

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