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The Case Against the SSC

By | June 1, 1987

I would like to lay out the scientific case against the Superconducting Supercollider because I think many of my colleagues who understand this case are hesitant to make it, not least because some of the arguments are two-edged. I am very hesitant myself, because I am not against the project, except insofar as it competes for resources which I see as needed more elsewhere. Let me organize my thoughts in terms of four slogans, each of which is aimed at sowing doubt about one of the myths supporti

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The Limits of Science for Policy

By | June 1, 1987

"If centuries are to be burdened with names, our own may bear the title of the century of science," write David Collingridge and Colin Reeve in their book Science Speaks to Power: The Role of Experts in Policymaking (Frances Pinter Publishers Ltd., 1986). As science and technology become increasingly important in issues of broad social import, how can science best inform the policymaking process? Historians and sociologists of science debate the merits of new agencies like the Science Policy Sup

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US Seeks Science Diplomats

By | June 1, 1987

WASHINGTON—The U.S. State Department is seeking scientifically literate recruits to join its 4,000-member Foreign Service. The campaign signals the department's recognition that science and technology are key factors in many international economic and political issues. The department says it wants "unintimidated amateurs"—peopie who know something about science and technology, can identify the foreign policy component of scientific issues, ask the right questions and find the right e

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Washington Lobbyist Reaps Contracts and Controversy

By | June 1, 1987

WASHINGTON—Two years ago, having decided to create a microelectronics center to help the area's sagging economy, the Rochester Institute of Technology realized it needed additional funds for construction and equipment. Its president, M. Richard Rose, contacted the Washington lobbying firm of Cassidy and Associates. Last summer Congress specified that $11.1 million from the Defense Department's budget go to the institute for a variety of purposes, including the new center. Today, smocked st

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A Look Inside NAS Election Process

By | May 18, 1987

WASHINGTON—The recent controversy over the rejection of Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington for membership in the National Academy of Sciences, which spilled over into a rare public debate, has focused attention on the academy's election process. It's an elaborate procedure, deliberately shrouded in secrecy, that repeatedly screens out candidates until a consensus emerges on those most worthy of NAS membership. it is built around a system that divides all of science into five cl

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A Reliable Summary of Science in India

By | May 18, 1987

Status Report on Science and Technology in India: 1986. Compiled by P.S. Shankar, S.K. Rastogi and S. Arunachalam. Council of Scientific & Industrial Research, New Delhi, India, 1986. 64 pp. This report, compiled by PS. Shankar et al at the Publications and Information Directorate of the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research in New Delhi, gives an overview of the science and technology administration, activities and efforts in India. Essentially prepared as a conference paper, the report

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AID Grant Funds Contraceptives

By | May 18, 1987

NORFOLK, VA.—The Howard and Georgeanna Jones Institute for Re-productive Medicine, which pioneered human in utero fertilization and embryo transfer in the United States, has moved strongly into research on contraceptives. The Contraceptive Research and Development Program (CON-RAD) is supported by a large grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development, $28 million over five years. Some of the work is being done here, but about two-thirds of the budget is going into extramural re

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APS: Star Wars 'A Decade or More Away'

By | May 18, 1987

Editor's Note: On April 23, the American Physical Society released the findings of a special study group on the science and technology of directed energy weapons such as those proposed in the Strategic Defense Initiative. The 424-page report concludes that the technology for these weapon systems would have to improve by factors of 100 to 1 million or more before they would perform acceptably. The following excerpts are taken from the executive summary and first chapter of the report. The Ameri

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At Home on the Intellectual Range

By | May 18, 1987

At 10 I wanted to be a chemist, and at 16 a poet. At 18 I entered college as an English major but soon realized that I loved social science courses more than literature courses. In dismay, I consulted a college career counselor, who suggested social science as a compromise between a humanities discipline and a biological science. So I became a sociologist (though if the truth be known, I still hanker after biology and harbor a secret ambition to write a novel). After majoring in sociology I wen

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D Budget Impasse Heads for EEC Summit

By | May 18, 1987

LONDON—The summit meeting of European Economic Community leaders in Brussels on June 29-30 appears to be the earliest chance to resolve the longstanding deadlock over a new, five-year European research budget. The EEC's Framework Research Program embraces several collaborative R&D projects. Britain stands alone now in its opposition to the $7.5 billion budget suggested by Belgium as a compromise between a much larger figure requested by the European Commission and a smaller one proposed ea

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