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New Science Office Deputy Relishes Policy Debates

By | January 25, 1988

WASHINGTON—Thomas Rona, confirmed in late November as associate director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, is described in a press release as an electrical engineer with a Sc.D. from MIT. But it is ideas, not objects, that excite him. During a long career at Boeing Aerospace Rona was an anomaly, a self-proclaimed “exotic brain” whose job was to hunt for long range opportunities outside the defense contractor’s normal product line. That search

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Research (Mis)Management in France

By | January 25, 1988

LA RECHERCHE MAL MENEE (Research Misled.) Pierre Piganiol, Editions Larousse. Pals, 1987 288 pp. Fr 69 The Creativity of French research is on the decline. State-supported research is too isolated from industry, too centralized and often “functionnalized,” to the extent that researchers are discouraged from physical as well as intellectual mobility. The most prestigious engineering schools have not given enough importance to research, but often serve as stepladders for students to

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Scientists Must Help Stop the Arms Race

By | January 25, 1988

“The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking" wrote Albert Einstein in 1946. A new book, Breakthrough: Emerging New Thinking (Walker and Co., 1988), attempts to change those modes of thinking. The Beyond War Foundation, a nonprofit educational group, brought together dozens of scholars from Western nations and the Soviet Union to discuss the politics, science and ethics of nuclear disarmament. In this excerpt from the book, which is also being publish

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So They Say

January 25, 1988

"Bizarre Bifocals," by Editorial "That Nagging Feeling," by Donald E. Fink "No Longer a Mad Scientist's Dream," by Clive Hollands "Biology Behind Bars," by Editorial "An Appalling Appearance," by "Reagans Science Aide Cautious on Expanded Soviet Ties" "Are Proper Processes In Place?," by Stuart Pugh "Profit or Perish," by Calvin Sims "Too Much Redundancy," by Larry W. Sumney "More Spin-Ins Than Spin-Offs," by Lester C. Thurow "Selling Science," by John R. Hensley "Invent

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Soviet Panel Hits Science Bureaucracy

By | January 25, 1988

The Soviet Academy of Sciences got more than it bargained for when in 1985 it created a commission to eliminate much of the red tape that has strangled innovation in the country’s more than 200 research institutes. Word of the cormmission’s existence sparked pleas for help from everyone from truck drivers to petty crooks in coping with the country’s gargantuan bureaucracy. The panel has since revised Its title to the “Commission for the Regulating of the Style and Met

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Soviet Panel Hits Science Bureaucracy

By | January 25, 1988

The Soviet Academy of Sciences got more than it bargained for when in 1985 it created a commission to eliminate much of the red tape that has strangled innovation in the country’s more than 200 research institutes. Word of the cormmission’s existence sparked pleas for help from everyone from truck drivers to petty crooks in coping with the country’s gargantuan bureaucracy. The panel has since revised Its title to the “Commission for the Regulating of the Style and Met

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Still Crazy Enough to Study Aging

By | January 25, 1988

Curiosity about aging, stimulated by many long-lived relatives, motivated my research from the beginning. For many generations, some of them lived to age 90 or more. As a child I was intrigued by how differently people age, so that some retained mental clarity and memory into advanced old age while others began to fail 20 years earlier. Was this mostly hereditary, or also the result of nurtured expectations for high mental performance throughout life? Born in 1939 I thrilled to hear elderly r

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The Day I Let a Reporter Into My Lab

By | January 25, 1988

In the summer of 1985 Washington Post reporter Phil McCombs, whom I had met socially, approached me about being interviewed for a story he was planning. He wanted to profile a scientist who did biomedical research with animals. Although I was flattered, all my instincts screamed “NO! Don’t do it!” Being an untenured assistant professor building a laboratory at an emerging research institution, I felt there was nothing to be gained and everything to lose professionally if I gr

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The Day I Let a Reporter Into My Lab

By | January 25, 1988

In the summer of 1985 Washington Post reporter Phil McCombs, whom I had met socially, approached me about being interviewed for a story he was planning. He wanted to profile a scientist who did biomedical research with animals. Although I was flattered, all my instincts screamed “NO! Don’t do it!” Being an untenured assistant professor building a laboratory at an emerging research institution, I felt there was nothing to be gained and everything to lose professionally if I gr

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The Next Computer Revolution

By | January 25, 1988

COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS Physics Today. October 1987. Vol. 40, no. 10. Pages 25-72. American Institute of Physics, New York. The special articles in the October 1987 issue of Physics Today explore not only the use of computers by scientists, but also the discipline of computational science—a mode of operation complementary to, and distinguishable from, the familiar methods of theoretical and experimental science. The introduction and four review articles show clearly that computer simulati

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