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British Cautious On Space Station Lab

By | February 9, 1987

LONDON—Britain may be moving out of step with its European partners over plans to take part in NASA's $12 billion space station. British space officials reported January 22 at an international conference sponsored by the Royal Society that Britain will urge a more cautious approach than that being advocated by the European Space Agency. The 13-member agency this year expects to draw up final plans for Columbus, its contribution to the U.S.-financed space station scheduled to be assembled i

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CERN Asks For Advance

February 9, 1987

GENEVA—A cash crisis has forced CERN (the European Center for Nuclear Research) to ask member countries for an advance on this year's subscription. Although this year's operating budget has not been set (the latest estimate is ($1.2 billion), CERN has suffered from the escalating costs of building a new electron/positron collider (LEP). The facility, scheduled to open in 1989, will study the recently discovered W and Z particles. Germany and France, which together contribute nearly one-hal

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Contemplating a Science Court:

By | February 9, 1987

The past two decades have seen much discussion among legal and science professionals about the competence with which our elected officials decide upon public policy matters that have a scientific or technological dimension. A consensus seems to have formed that the present system of decision making is flawed, that policymakers lack the expertise to weigh complex technical data, and that scientific facts are too often mangled in the political arena, thus rendering rational decisions nearly imposs

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D?

By | February 9, 1987

WASHINGTON—The idea of making American industry more competitive through increased support for industrial and academic research and development is becoming a rallying cry for high-powered lobbying efforts here. This winter has seen the birth of two privately funded, independent coalitions that unite members of high-tech industries, universities, trade associations and nonprofit organizations. It has also seen the formation of a 160-member Congressional Caucus on Competitiveness, and the in

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Electronic Lab Notes

By | February 9, 1987

A laboratory notebook is one of a scientist's most valuable tools if it is kept up to date, if its entries are complete, detailed and properly authenticated by witnesses, and if it is secure against damage and loss. Electronic notekeeping can be easier and more useful than traditional handwritten records. However, many scientists and lab managers who have relied on traditional paper-based records are concerned about depending on electronically recorded notes. What are the advantages and disadvan

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Euromath Project Launched

By | February 9, 1987

LONDON—The European Economic Community has begun to address the traditional isolation within mathematics with a project to help scientists from 20 countries retrieve information and hold conferences electronically. The project, called Euromath, has received an $830,000 grant from the European Commission for its first phase. The money will be divided among researchers at centers ranging from the National Institute of Higher Education in Dublin to the Fashinformationszentrum in Karlsruhe, We

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Feuds, Politics Slow African Food Research

By | February 9, 1987

LONDON—Agricultural research in Africa is being blocked by political interference, mismanagement and cultural disputes among the Western community of scientists working in the region. The mid-December meeting of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research featured harsh criticism of two of the 13 member centers, according to delegates at the meeting in Washington. In closed-door sessions, the delegates also debated the group's overall research program. The West African Ri

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Honesty Is the Best Policy

By | February 9, 1987

False Prophets: Fraud and Error in Science and Medicine. Alexander Kohn. Basil Blackwell, New York, 1987. 240 pp., illus. $24.95. It cannot be said that False Prophets created false expectations. The subtitle on the dustjacket is "Fraud and Error in Science and Medicine." The principal jacket illustration is Thomas Wycks' painting of an alchemist in his laboratory amidst a hodgepodge of pots, flasks, books, apparatus and the trappings of arcane inquiry. The back cover carries a photo of a black

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Humane Society Should Stop Criticizing, Start Funding

By | February 9, 1987

The letter by Randall Lockwood and Martin L. Stephens (The Scientist, December 15, 1986, p. 10) implies that behavioral researchers, who have not welcomed the recent mandate to provide for the psychological well-being of captive primates, are simply ignorant of the set of prescriptions that the authors provide. These include a varied environment over which the animals can exert some control, the opportunity to perform all possible species-specific behaviors, and provision of compassionate careta

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ATLANTA—What is the role of basic research in an organization with an applied mission? That issue has surfaced in the recent investigation of the AIDS program at the Centers for Disease Control. A three-member panel from the Institute of Medicine, in a December report, concluded that one of the AIDS laboratory units had suffered from poor scientific management, low morale and productivity, and a lack of clear research goals. The AIDS lab was created in 1983, when knowledge about the diseas

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