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PYIs Prosper, but Program Falls Short

By | September 21, 1987

WASHINGTON—The Presidential Young Investigators award program is supposed to lure newly minted scientists and engineers away from industry and into academia by offering them up to $100,000 a year for their research. The 200 young scientists chosen each year by the National Science Foundation are also asked, somewhat paradoxically, to build ties with industry by obtaining matching funds for the federal dollars they receive. But four years after it was begun, the PYI program has failed

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Sale of Lab To Unilever Endorsed

By | September 21, 1987

CAMBRIDGE, U.K.—The former director of the Plant Breeding Institute here has endorsed the government’s selection of Unilever as the new owner of the facility. The sale of the PBI and the National Seed Development Organization is part of Prime Minister Thatcher’s strategy to privatize many government-owned companies and institutions. The PBI is the country’s major institute for research on plant breeding, and the NSDO earned nearly $7 million last year by marketing se

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So They Say

September 21, 1987

Notions of NIH Directors: Past,., The fiscal year (FY) 1956 budget [for NIH] became operational on 1 July 1955.... The level of NIH activity at the time... amounted in total to $96.4 million. To some the figure may seem large. But the gross figures had little relevance to the science opportunities it would provide and to the needs of medicine. In view of the need for new knowledge in medicine, the main deficiency preventing progress was the inadequate funding of research.... It was equally

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Spaniard in Lead for UNESCO Post?

By | September 21, 1987

PARIS—Only a few weeks before UNESCO’s 50-nation Executive Board meets here for its semiannual session, a scientific front-runner has emerged in the race to succeed Senegal’s Amadou Mahtar M’Bow as director-general. He is Federico Mayor Zaragoza, a 53-year-old Spanish biochemist and pharmacologist who was deputy director-general for UNESCO, the chief U.N. agency for scientific research from 1978 to 1981. He has since served as minister of education and research in Ma

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SSC: On Land, In Space

September 21, 1987

WASHINGTON—This month’s deadline for submitting proposals for the $44 billion Superconducting Supercoilider has left the Department of Energy with 43 places to put the world’s biggest scientific construction project. All of the states expected to be in the running (see THE SCIENTIST, March 9, p. 1) submitted their bids on time, although California’s arrived with only eight minutes to spare after a legislative fight on affirmative action hiring goals. Some states couldn

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Suicides in Science: A Search for Answers

By | September 21, 1987

SAN FRANCISCO—It’s not uncommon for one scientist to build on the work of another. But it’s rare for that research to spawn an organization dedicated to saving the lives of its subjects. For Molly Gleiser, a chemist at the University of California-Berke- ley, the idea for Suicide Prevention Among Scientists began with an 1984 article in Chemical and Engineering News that described a study of the causes of death among female chemists. One figure jumped out at her: the suici

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Teller on SDI, Competitiveness

By | September 21, 1987

One of the most eminent and controversial scientists of this century, nuclear physicist Edward Teller is perhaps best known for his role in the development of nuclear weapons at Los Alamos National Laboratory during World War II. Often called the “father of the hydrogen bomb,” he also played a controversial role in the loss of security clearance by J. Robert Oppenheimer, the former director of Los Alamos. More recently Teller has been an outspohen advocate of defensive weap- ons, in

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The Argument from Design

By | September 21, 1987

COSMIC JOY AND LOCAL PAIN Musings of a Mystic Scientist. Harold J. Morowitz. Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1987. 321 pp. $18.95. Harold Morowitz is a distinguished Yale biophysicist and former master of Pierson College. He is also the author of two charming collections of essays: The Wine of Life and Mayonnaise and the Origin of Life. Morowitz spent his last sabbatical on a yacht docked off the West Maui mountains in Hawaii. In that yacht he produced a book that is wise, thoughtf

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The Ifs, Ands and Buts of Nuclear War

By | September 21, 1987

A WORLD BEYOND HEALING The Prologue and Aftermath of Nuclear War. Nicholas Wade. W.W. Norton & Co., New York, 1987.190 pp. $15.95. The title suggests a description of the post-nuclear world, but this book has a much more ambitious purpose: . to present a concise and impartial account of nuclear war—how a nuclear war might start; what nuclear weapons do to people, cities, and the natural environment; and what the chances are of economic and ecological recovery in the aftermath of a nucl

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The Long Shadow of The Nazi Doctors

By | September 21, 1987

The “medicalization” of mass killing in Nazi Germany is one of the most horrible incidents in the history of science—a time that must never be forgotten. We owe that to those millions who did not survive—both the victims of the Holocaust and those who fought against it. In order to transform curing into killing it was necessary that many physicians become murderers or the helpers of murderers. All those who committed these crimes against humanity are responsible for

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