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Minnesota Center Loses NSF Funds

By | March 23, 1987

MINNEAPOLIS—Officials at the Minnesota Supercomputer Center are providing 334 scientists with free computer time until the end of the month while the state's congressional delegation wages an uphill battle to restore the center's recent loss of funding from the National Science Foundation. The free time on the center's Cray II and Cyber 205 supercomputers was made available after NSF gave center president John Sell two days' notice in mid-February that his facility would receive no more fu

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SYDNEY—The Education Department of New South Wales is exploring ways to encourage more girls to take up science and technology. The initiative by the state's Technology Strategy committee follows a widely publicized case in which a 15-year-old girl at Canterbury Girls' High School was not permitted to take courses in computer studies and graphics that were available to her twin brother at the nearby Boys' High School. Alleging sexual discrimination, the girl won her case before the state's

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My Daughter Beatrice

By | March 23, 1987

I would like to comment on the review of my book, My Daughter Beatrice about my daughter Beatrice Tinsley (The Scientist, December 15, 1986, pp. 24-25). At the time of her death, I was overwhelmed to find how greatly my dear daughter was appreciated as a friend as well as a cosmologist by those brilliant people among whom she worked. As stated in my foreword, I had only a limited selection of readers in mind when I wrote the memoir, but I am very happy to think that someone as experienced as Vir

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NASA Studies Impact of Mars Flight

By | March 23, 1987

WASHINGTON—A former astronaut's plea that NASA make human exploration of Mars "a primary goal" of the nation's space program has raised concern that such a program would restrict other space science research. Michael Collins, chairman of the Council's Task Force on Space Program Goals, urged the NASA Advisory Council March 3 to undertake a multinational program of Mars exploration as a tonic for post-Challenger malaise. "We need to restore some health to the invalid," Collins said of the a

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New Forum for Technology Managers

By | March 23, 1987

International Journal of Technology Management. Volume 1, Nos. 1/2. Dr. M.A. Dorgham, editor in chief. Inderscience Enterprises Ltd., Geneva, 1986. Professional management is an important topic, and although experience is a key capability, the old practice of learning simply by doing has been obsolete for decades. The microeconomic models, case studies and psychological ideas have had adequate forums in management journals. But technology, partly because of its great range and complexity, has be

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NIH Reverses Cuts in Grants

By | March 23, 1987

WASHINGTON—The National Institutes of Health has halted further cuts in the size of new research grants, an action it took in response to a proposed cut in funding for this year, and begun to restore funds to grants that were reduced. On February 25 NIH reversed a decision, made January 21, that took between 4 and nearly 20 percent from each grant to make sure the agency did not run out of money before the end of the fiscal year September 30. The Reagan administration has proposed that $33

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Progress: Paradox for a Democracy

By | March 23, 1987

The Advancement of Science, and Its Burdens: The Jefferson Lecture and Other Essays. Gerald Holton. Cambridge University Press, New York, 1986. 351 pp., $39.50 HB, $12.95 PB. Both scientific knowledge and the relations between science and society have undergone dramatic changes in the 20th century. Abstract theories like those of relativity and quantum mechanics have provided a basis for the relatively rapid development of powerful new technologies that affect the lives of all members of societ

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Promoting Undergraduate Science

By | March 23, 1987

One year ago the National Science Board, the policy-making arm of the National Science Foundation, issued its report on undergraduate education in science, mathematics and engineering in the United States. The study confirmed fears that the quality of instruction in these fields had eroded during the past decade. It described the situation as a "grave long-term threat to the nation's scientific and technical capacity, its industrial and economic competitiveness, and the strength of its national

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Reasons for Optimism in the Search for E.T.

By | March 23, 1987

I wish to thank Harlan J. Smith for his flattering review of my book The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (The Scientist, February 9, 1987, p. 21). He fears that I'm too optimistic we'll find signs of E.T. within the next decade or so, but there are many reasons for this. First, never before in history will the sky have been searched so thoroughly (for example, by Ohio State, the Harvard/Planetary Society, NASA and the Soviet SETI projects). Also, the Planetary Society is now discussing

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Scientific Ideas Can Be Wrong

By | March 23, 1987

Craig K. Svensson's "A Creationist Responds" (The Scientist, January 26, p. 12) asks a central question: "Who has the right to control which view my child is taught in a public school classroom?" He then answers his question from two viewpoints—parent and professor. Svensson's answer as a parent is clear. Parental religious beliefs should control exposure to ideas. Young people should never be exposed at public expense to ideas in conflict with those of their parents. He alleges constituti

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