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Contest Winner Sends An SOS to Congress

By | February 22, 1988

Ed Connors wants to send an SOS message to Congress: “Sorry, Out of Scientists.” That message makes Connors, a professor of mathematics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the winner of THE SCIENTIST’s slogan contest (see November 2, 1987, p. 2). Readers were invited to submit “the best phrase to describe the pending shortage of scientific manpower in the United States” in five words or less. Connors tried but failed to get a local slogan competition

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Essays of a Third World Scientist

By | February 22, 1988

ESSAYS OF A THIRD WORLD SCIENTIST OBRAS ESCOGIDAS Selected works by Oscar Varsavsky. Pedro Sánz, Alfredo Eric Calcagno, eds. Centro Editor de América Latina, Buenos Aires, 1983. 416 pp. I met Oscar Varsavsky in a cavernous classroom of the University of Buenos Aires engineering school in the mid-1950s. He was my recitation instructor for a mathematics class, and at the time I was not aware that he had a doctorate or that he was more qualified than the professor. Today I am well awa

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French Lament Decline of Mathematics

By | February 22, 1988

PALAISEAU, FRANCE—France takes great pride in its mathematical tradition. But its position has slipped since the days of Blaise Pascal, Pierre Fermat, Evariste Galois and the fictitious Bourbaki. Frenchman have collected five of 30 Fields medals awarded by the International Mathematicians' Congress since 1950, but only one has come in the past 20 years. And the number of mathematicians has declined precipitously since the 1970s, triggering a shortage that threatens the country’s p

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Happenings

February 22, 1988

PEOPLE DEATHS MEETINGS CORRECTION Avedis Donabedian, Professor of Public Health at the University of Michigan, will retire in May. Donabedian joined the university in 1961 as an associate professor of public health economics. He was born in Beirut and studied at the American University of Beirut and the Harvard School of Public Health. Klaus Fuchs, 76, the German-born nuclear physicist who was jailed in the 1950s for giving U.S. and British atomic bomb secrets to the Soviet Union, d

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How I Learned the Fine Art of Collaboration

By | February 22, 1988

Collaboration “to work together, especially in a joint intellectual effort.” So says Mr. Webster. In practice, however, we all know that collaboration involves the art of getting credit for someone s work, an intellectual effort that can leap continents and disciplines in a single bound. I didn’t realize that during my first attempt at collaboration. Several years ago I spent some time using the Dodge procedure to produce ghosts from pig red blood cells. This entails lysing

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Letters

February 22, 1988

PETA Not Extremists UNESCO’S Vision A Friendlier TeX Elisabeth Carpenter’s informative article about animal liberation actions (December 14, 1987, P. 1) paints People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (rather typically I’m sorry to say) as an extremist group. Sadly, the major focus of our work seldom makes the papers or the six o’clock news. A mediawide tendency to link PETA with the Animal Liberation Front and similar groups is the result of PETA’s re

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Math Society Copes with Change at 100

By | February 22, 1988

BOSTON—For the 20,000 members of the American Mathematical Society, this year’s centennial is an occasion for both celebration and concern. American mathematics in many ways is at its zenith in terms of prestige and scope. Yet federal support for the “pure” mathematics represented by the AMS has failed to keep up with inflation, and there is little hope for a turnabout until the federal deficit is brought under control. There is turmoil as well inside the AMS. After a

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New Orleans Welcomes Pittcon

February 22, 1988

New Orleans Welcomes Pittcon Some 30,000 spectroscopists, analytical chemists and other interested scientists are gathering in New Orleans this week to attend Pittcon, the 39th annual Pittsburgh Conference & Exposition on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy. The five-day meeting, one of the longest on the U.S. convention calendar, will feature seminars and symposia on themes ranging from drug testing and cholesterol counts to scanning tunneling microscopes and artificial intelligenc

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New Products At Pittcon

February 22, 1988

Editor’s note: The following products will be featured at the 39th Annual Pittsburgh Conference & Exposition on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy February 22-26 at the New Orleans Convention Center. The conference is sponsored by The Society for Analytical Chemists of Pittsburgh and The Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh. This 1988 Buyers Guide of specialty gases provides information on 59 pure gases and hydrocarbon liquids in up to seven purity grades, as well as more than

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Rx for M.D.-Researchers: Back to the Lab

By | February 22, 1988

Changing times have depleted the ranks of physicians who enter into careers as researchers. The shortage of physician-scientists has prompted the National Institutes of Health, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and similar organizations to offer fellowships and other incentives to entice graduated M.D.s into research careers. But these inducements may come too late in the education of a physician. Scientists often choose their careers because they were exposed at some point to a laboratory.

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