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Britain's Research Circuit

By | April 6, 1987

The Politics of British Science. Martin Ince. Wheatsheaf Books, Brighton, Sussex, 1986. 227 pp. £18.95 HB, £8.95 PB. The British government spends about 4.5 billion pounds (about $7 billion) a year on R&D. This is a little more than 2 percent of GNP—not much different in percentage terms than most other advanced industrial countries. The difference, as Martin Ince and others point out, is that more than half of the British expenditure goes to military research; only the United St

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Changes in Math May Lead To Improved Instruction

By | April 6, 1987

WASHINGTON—The changing nature of the field of mathematics has spawned efforts to alter the way math is taught in elementary and secondary school classrooms. The National Academy of Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, working with educators and policy-makers, have launched long-term projects to reform curricula, tests and textbooks. A key ingredient is expanded use of calculators and computers in the classroom. Last fall the National Science Foundation awa

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Citation Data Is Subtle Stuff

By | April 6, 1987

When starting to compile citation data from the scientific literature over 25 years ago, I aimed to create a new tool for information retrieval—the Science Citation Index (SCI). Out of this came a useful by-product: a large and ever increasing database containing indicators of intellectual connections among scientists and their publications. The SCI attracted the attention of historians and sociologists of science and served as a catalyst to the field of scientometrics, which uses quantita

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D

By | April 6, 1987

OTTAWA—The Canadian government has promised to match contributions from industry in a new program to increase funding for research. But its procedures have led scientists and industry officials to doubt whether the program, which began April 1, will really stimulate industrial support for universities. The idea seemed simple enough last year when it was first announced: for every dollar provided for eligible university research by the private sector, the federal government would kick in an

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Data Base Helps Ideas Find Home

By | April 6, 1987

LONDON—A novel international data base compiled on floppy disks may soon help American scientists disseminate their ideas for commercial applications of their work. This new venture in worldwide technology transfer is called Techstart International Inc. The New York company was founded by two entrepreneurs, Peter Ruof, formerly of the World Bank, and Paris del L'Etraz, a computer systems analyst with the Union Bank of Switzerland. The company plans to develop a network of national boards t

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Gravitating Toward Wave Theory

By | April 6, 1987

In October 1954 I arrived at King's College, London, as the new professor of applied mathematics. In a small department with a small research group, the choice of topic for myself and my closest colleagues was clearly crucial. I felt it had to be a subject not widely pursued at the time because we could not compete with the big battalions. Having already had some interest in the theory of gravitation and having at London C.W. Kilmister, with F.A.E. Pirani soon to follow me from Cambridge, the ch

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Happenings

April 6, 1987

Frank Press, noted geophysicist and former science adviser to President Carter, has been reelected to a second six-year term as president of the National Academy of Sciences. During his first term as president of the 15,000-member Academy, Press was credited with initiating several major science policy studies by the National Research Council and streamlining NRC's report-writing process. He has held faculty appointments at Columbia University, the California Institute ofTechnology and the Massa

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How Democratic Is Science Policy?

By | April 6, 1987

Who governs science and technology in a democracy? Can democracy and the world of science even be reconciled? In Governing Science and Technology in a Democracy (University of Tennessee Press, 1986), Malcolm L. Goggin, a political scientist and editor of the volume, presents viewpoints of a dozen professionals in science, law, philosophy and political science. The book is a collection of papers from a two-day conference in Houston in 1985. In this excerpt from the book, Goggin discusses four imp

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Japanese Translation Gets Boost

By | April 6, 1987

WASHINGTON—Some members of Congress are urging the administration to do more to carry out a law passed last year to help U.S. researchers and industry stay abreast of Japanese competition. At a Senate subcommittee hearing last month, Commerce Department officials were asked about their progress in implementing the Japanese Technical Literature Act. The act calls for the government to monitor technical developments in Japan, consult with the private sector about its needs for such informati

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Lavoisier Died For Lucre

By | April 6, 1987

Anthony Michaelis' article "Our Unknown Martyrs" (The Scientist, February 9, 1987, p. 13) listed several famous scientists who "gave their lives" for science. I wish to point out that Lavoisier's demise was a consequence of his unpopular occupation as fermier general. He was one of many financiers who had purchased the right to collect taxes, most likely at a profit, and who were executed en masse by Ia Republique in 1794. —Willem H. Koppenol Dept. of Chemistry University of Maryland Balt

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