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U.K. Company Offers The BEST of Academia

By | September 21, 1987

BELFAST—The strengths and opportunities within British academic research are being offered to industry, government agencies and scientists as part of a national academic data base created last year. The information, known as British Expertise in Science and Technology (BEST), was developed by the publishing firm Longman Cartermill, at the University of St. Andrew’s. Set up in March 1986, BEST covers 180 institutions and contains 14,000 records of scientists and their work. Michae

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U.S.-Soviet Space Talks Open

By | September 21, 1987

WASHINGTON—Members of the first of five newly created U.S.-Soviet joint scientific working groups have reached a tentative agreement to exchange data on space life sciences and rekindled hope for longlasting coordination of overall research efforts in space. The joint group, which met for six days last month in Moscow, agreed to update a comprehensive space biology and medicine text published jointly in the 1970s and to form a subgroup to explore cooperative projects in extraterrestria

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When Scientists Think Like Accountants

By | September 21, 1987

Scientists and technologists in industry complain about being subjected to accountants, but, as Mark Twain would point out, they do nothing about it. In self-defense they learn to read balance sheets and to use the jargon of accountants, but they regard these as being trivial matters not worthy of serious thought. They therefore pay little or no attention to the assumptions that are buried deep below practice and of which accountants themselves seldom are conscious—assumptions that, to

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Where Are the Independent Critics?

By | September 21, 1987

"In The Politics of Food he [Geoffrey Cannon] shows that the Officially Secret decisions of a closed circle of little-known but powerful people in Whitehall and Westminster, meeting in committees with representatives of the giant food manufacturers, without reference to us or our MPs in Parliament, has [sic] resulted in a national food policy that could he the death of us all.” Hyperbole is an essential tool for the “writers” who compose those stirring constellations of wo

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Writing for Scientists

By | September 21, 1987

The only person who can or should be allowed to create your resumé is you. Only you know ALL the facts, strengths and weaknesses, your likes, dislikes, what you want and where you want to be. Potential employers must, within a few seconds, be able to visualize you as filling a specific position in their company perfectly, and as the solution to the problem which they face. To accomplish this feat, you must provide as much pertinent information as possible—condensed onto approxi

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...And Well-Informed, Responsible Opposition

By | September 7, 1987

I was appalled at Michael J. Moravcsik’s commentary on the SSC (THE SCIENTIST, June 1, 1987, p. 11). I welcome the expression of differences when they are based on well-informed points of view. The first of his four points might generously be interpreted in that way. The other three are glaringly factually incorrect and, therefore, quite irresponsible. First, elementary particle physics is today’s “physics of the very small.” The previous two generations of that most

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A Supercomputer Exchange: Supercomputers and Their Use

By | September 7, 1987

SUPERCOMPUTERS AND THEIR USE Christopher Lazou. Oxford University Press, New York, 1987. 227 pp. $45. Computers have been assisting experimental and theoretical scientific investigations for several decades. Recently a new phenomenon has emerged, under the banner of supercomputers. The true distinguishing characteristic of supercomputers is their power to model accurately phenomena of the real world that have been inaccessible to either experimental or theoretical science. Supercomputing (per

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A Supercomputer Exchange: The Supercomputer Era

By | September 7, 1987

THE SUPERCOMPUTER ERA Sidney Kann and Noms Parker Smith. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Cambridge, MA, 1987. 313 pp. $19.95. Supercomputers are not new. They have been in existence since the invention of computers. Today, however, they have become indispensable tools at the cutting edge of science and technology. They enable scientists to solve problems and develop new technologies for tomorrow’s industry, affecting national employment patterns, wealth and national security. Until recent

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A Theory That Missed the Mark

By | September 7, 1987

Although many scientists must narrowly fail to make an important discovery, it is hard not to feel guilty for not having pushed oneself just that little bit harder. Early in my career as a psychologist, I began to study vision in the octopus. I chose this strange beast because it was an invertebrate; hence its visual system, though highly developed, has evolved from structures very different from that of vertebrates. I believed (perhaps rather naively) that by finding the differences betwee

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AIDS Crisis Calls for 'Firm Leadership and Direction'

By | September 7, 1987

Q: The AIDS report is a major example of IOM’s increased visibility. Its recommendations have been widely disseminated. Are you happy with the response it’s gotten from policymakers? THIER: The response from the research community has been pretty reasonable. The major concern is that we pointed out that education is our only major intervention until therapies and vaccines are developed, but the amount of activity relating to education has been very modest. We also were concerned th

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