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So They Say

February 23, 1987

Verbatim excerpts from the media on the conduct of science. Geography of Soviet Science It is not out of place but very urgent these days to recall [Mikhail] Lomonosov's ideas on the close union between science and practice or "the arts" as he used to call it. He wrote: "Science shows arts the way; the arts hasten the origin of science. Both serve the common benefit." Great are the tasks facing Soviet science today. One of them is to extend the geography of science. In this respect, I should lik

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So They Say

February 23, 1987

Frank H.T. Rhodes, president of Cornell University for the past 10 years, was nominated to the National Science Board by President Reagan last month. He will succeed Donald B. Rice of the Rand Corporation on the 24-member policymaking board of the National Science Foundation. Before joining Cornell, Rhodes was a professor of geology and mineralogy at the University of Michigan from 1968 to 1977, serving for three years as dean of the College of Literature, Science and the Arts and later as vice

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SSC Faces Uncertain Future

By | February 23, 1987

WASHINGTON—President Reagan's decision to support the construction of a Superconducting Supercollider (SSC) may be the most significant step in its long history. But the January 30 announcement is far from the last word on the subject. A host of unresolved issues remain, from its high price and its uncertain return to its impact on the scientific community in the United States and around the world. Politics is sure to play a major role in choosing the site, including the value of support f

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The Utility of Trial and Error

By | February 23, 1987

The Neglect of Experiment. Allan Franklin. Cambridge University Press, New York, 1986. 290 pp., illus. $42.50. A physicist-turned-philosopher, Allan Franklin is interested in experiment. The "neglect" of his title attaches to his new discipline. Philosophers and historians have traditionally taken the nature and role of scientific experiment for granted. Only recently have a few students of science, Franklin among them, seriously begun to examine experimentation. This book collects his essays, a

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Union Chief Faults U.K. On Spending

By | February 23, 1987

PALMERSTON NORTH, N.Z.—The head of the major trade union representing scientists and technologists in Britain has denounced "the failure of successive British governments, particularly the present Conservative administration, to provide sufficient funds for science and for R&D, or to take a positive lead in drawing up a national strategy for science." Speaking at the ANZAAS Congress here last month, Clive Jenkins, general secretary of the Association of Scientific, Technical and Managerial

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We Must Be Technologically Competitive

By | February 23, 1987

The principal responsibility of the U.S. government, and that of any free nation, is to provide for the economic well being of all of its citizens and for the national security. It seems, however, that the state of our economy and trade relations are treated today as secondary to geopolitics and defense issues in the thinking of the executive branch. The expanding U.S. budget and trade deficits are symptomatic of the real ailment in the United States: the decline of our industrial base and a pen

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What Cost the Supercollider?

By | February 23, 1987

For decades, increasingly expensive particle-accelerator projects have been advocated in language almost identical to that now being used to promote the $6 billion superconducting supercoflider (SSC), including promises of "scientific leadership," "spin-offs," of technological and medical "breakthroughs," and so forth. But there is only meager evidence that past promises have been fulfilled and that present promises are any more credible. In a story on the SSC, The New York Times on January 19 s

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Workshop Promotes Robotics in the Lab

By | February 23, 1987

SANTA FE, N.M.—The Department of Energy believes robotics and other automated processes can free molecular biologists from much of the tedious work now performed manually in their laboratories. But responses among the 160 scientists, technicians and research administrators who attended a workshop on the subject here last month suggest the department needs to work on its sales pitch. The three-day meeting was organized by Tony Beugelsdijk, a chemist specializing in laboratory robotics at Lo

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AAAS: On the Brink of Gradual Change

By | February 9, 1987

WASHINGTON—Next week's annual meeting in Chicago will permit the American Association for the Advancement of Science to carry out its fundamental mission of promoting the public understanding of science. But something of even greater importance to the 139-year-old organization will take place after the meeting, when a successor to Executive Director William Carey will be announced. Carey, 70, is retiring March 31 after serving for a dozen years as head of the oldest, largest and most prest

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Altering the Public Image of Science

By | February 9, 1987

Storm Over Biology: Essays on Science, Sentiment, and Public Policy. Bernard D. Davis. Prometheus Books, Buffalo, NY, 1986. 324 pp. $22.95. "What is this, a vanity publisher?" This, according to The New York Times, was Stephen Jay Gould's response to the printing of these provocative essays. In contrast, I am grateful that Bernard Davis has seen fit to publish them in book form, as I am with each new collection of Gould's charming essays. The book consists of 44 chapters, all but one reprinted f

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