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March 9, 1987

STOCKHOLM—The Swedish government hopes to increase its budget for research and development by $180 million over the next three years. The 3 percent increase will raise its R&D spending, already among the highest in the world at a rate of 2.7 percent of Gross National Product, to $5.7 billion. Nearly one-half of the new money will go into higher education, new research posts and professorships. The government will also push ahead with its controversial plan to compel commercial banks to con

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D Policy

By | March 9, 1987

WELLINGTON, N.Z.—There are prospects for a major change in science and technology policy in New Zealand following the release of a comprehensive and plain-speaking report. The report, completed in December but just now being discussed, said the "key to prosperity" lies in moving the nation rapidly toward a Scandanavian-type economy based on science and technology, (e.g. small, high-value, high tech products in medicine, electronics and biotechnology). The report is named after Sir David Be

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Decoding the Great Recombinant DNA Debate

By | March 9, 1987

The Gene-Splicing Wars: Reflections on the Recombinant DNA Controversy. Raymond A. Zilinskas and Burke K. Zimmerman, eds. Macmillan Publishing Company, New York, 1986. 288 pages. $24.95. Recombinant DNA became part of the vocabulary of scientists and the public in the 1970s. During that decade a fierce debate—not a war— on the biological hazards of rDNA research raged. Many of the scientists involved view it as one of the most anguished and bitter controversies in modern science. Th

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Diesel: The Man and the Engine

By | March 9, 1987

Diesel: Technology and Society in Industrial Germany. Donald E. Thomas, Jr. The University of Alabama Press, University, 1987. 291 pp., illus. $26.95. The life of Rudolf Diesel invites attention. Here was a man with a brilliant achievement to his credit, a novel power plant with the potential for revolutionizing industry and transportation. The creation of the diesel engine called for both scientific insight and technical skill, and Diesel demonstrated convincingly that he possessed both. Yet,

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Establish a Trust Fund for Science Research

By | March 9, 1987

President Reagan has proposed doubling the National Science Foundation (NSF) basic research budget by 1992. Equally important, he states in his budget message: "The Nation's future position in global markets will depend upon: the allocation of national resources to the generation of new knowledge; and the effective and timely transfer of this new knowledge to specific applications." This noble statement could as easily have been made by countless senators or representatives. Despite these noble

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Happenings

March 9, 1987

Harlyn 0. Halvorson, professor of biology and director of the Rosenstiel Basic Medical Sciences Research Center at Brandeis University, has been elected president and director of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass. In 1962 Halvorson taught the summer physiology course at MBL and served as an instructor there through 1967. Since that time he has been an MBL summer investigator. Halvorson has taught at several universities, including the University of Michigan Medical School, the

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How Scientists Control the News

By | March 9, 1987

"True descendants of Prometheus, science writers take the fire from the scientific Olympus, the laboratories and the universities, and bring it down to the people." That was how William Laurence, a science writer for The New York Times, described the work of science writers in the 1930s. Fifty years later, many scientists might be more likely to compare their opposite numbers in the media to the troublesome Pandora, whose impulsive opening of the box sent by Zeus unleashed a host of evils on hum

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How to Furnish a Lab

By | March 9, 1987

This is the third and final article in this series on laboratory design. The first article was "How to Plan a Lab Building" (The Scientist, November 17, 1986, p. 15). The second was "The Cost of Lab Remodellng" (The Scientist,January 12, 1987). Having decided to build a new laboratory or remodel an existing one, you still must think about how to furnish your lab space. In a sense, the factors you must consider are similar to those in purchasing furniture for your home. You want furniture that i

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If Only Biblical Literalists Really Were Literal

By | March 9, 1987

Craig V. Svensson (The Scientist, January 26, 1987) claims to be a biblical literalist. Those of us who spend some of our spare time combating the obfuscations of creationism wish heartily that this claim were true, for the literal words of the Bible are much more compatible with Darwinism than is the pseudoscientific bilge of creationism. The fact is that fundamentalism cannot get by without hundreds of nonbiblical canons for which there is no authority but the word of scientifically illiterate

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Math Clinic Puts Theory to Practice

By | March 9, 1987

CLAREMONT, CA.—Teledyne Microelectronics needed a better way to market its light-emitting diode panel displays for military and commercial aircraft and vehicles. So last year it asked a team of applied mathematics students from Harvey Mudd College to design and build the computer, drive, electronics and software for such a demonstrator. "We've very satisfied," explained Richard Davis, an engineer with the Torrance, Calif., company. "They did an excellent job." The demonstrator, which can b

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