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Democratizing Science Advice

By | July 27, 1987

Proposals to ensure that the president receives a diversity of expert science advice have proliferated in recent years. President Reagan's science advisers have served as advocates of the administration's science policies, rather than as objective conduits for communication between the president and the science community. Few would deny that the science adviser has a challenging assignment. He must brief the president on many varied expert opinions on science and technology matters (including th

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Director Out As Sigma Xi Ponders Role

By | July 27, 1987

BOSTON—The executive director of Sigma Xi, one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious scientific societies, has been forced out in a bitter dispute over the proper role of the organization. C. Ian Jackson, hired in 1981 as an outsider with a new vision for the 101-year-old honorary society, was asked to leave June 19 by the organization's board of directors. The board was scheduled to meet last weekend to discuss plans for choosing his successor. "I am not leaving voluntarily," Jackso

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Dutch 'Lack Vision, Courage'

By | July 27, 1987

AMSTERDAM—The Dutch space program, once a leader in scientific research on many fronts, has been weakened to the point of ineffectiveness, according to scientists and aerospace industry officials. The chief cause, they say, is a reluctance by the government to adopt a long-range plan and commit the resources necessary to achieve it. "The Dutch government lacks vision and courage," said Karel Wakker, professor of space technology at the Technical University in Delft. "In most European count

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Astrophysicist Fang Lizhi, one of China's most outspoken advocates of democracy, was vice president of the University of Science and Technology in Hefei during the student demonstrations that started there last December and spread to other cities, including Beijing. In January, Fang was dismissed from his university post and shortly thereafter was expelled from the Communist Party. Accused of inspiring the student unrest and "attempting to depart from the socialist road, "Fang was sent back to B

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From Biology, Morality

By | July 27, 1987

The Biology of Moral Systems. Richard D. Alexander. Aldine Publishing Co., Hawthorne, NY, 1987. 301 pp. $34.95 HB, $16.95 PB. Richard Alexander, a distinguished sociobiologist with a substantial record of research accomplishments, believes that the foundations of human morality lie in evolutionary biology. In The Biology of Moral Systems, he takes issue with the moral philosophers and theologians who ignore it. Not only have our bodies been shaped by evolutionary forces; our minds and souls hav

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Genentech Patent Voided

By | July 27, 1987

LONDON—Genentech's British patent on the blood clot-dissolving tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) has been revoked after a three-week trial that featured some of the world's leading biotechnologists. But High Court Justice John Whitford was not persuaded by the assertion of Nobel laureate Paul Berg of Stanford that Genentech had a monopoly on the skills needed to make TPA by recombinant DNA techniques when it filed its patent application in May 1983. Biochemist WJ. Brammar of the Universit

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Happenings

July 27, 1987

Carl M. Mansfield, professor and chairman of radiation therapy and nuclear medicine at Thomas Jefferson University, has been elected president-elect of the American Radium Society. The new president is Morris J. Wizenberg, attending radiation therapist and head of the division of radiation oncology at Mercy Health Center in Oklahoma City. The 800-member ARS, founded in 1916, is an interdisciplinary society of cancer physicians dedicated to promoting cancer research and encouraging cooperation an

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Irish Bolster Applied Research

By | July 27, 1987

DUBLIN—The Irish government, after months of delay and speculation, has committed itself to a science and technology development program with a special emphasis on biotechnology. Although the Irish government is in the midst of making sharp cuts in public spending, Prime Minister Charles Haughey said this new allocation to develop science and technology "will be a permanent feature of the annual budget." Ireland spends about $600 million annually on science, a significant sum for a country

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Japan Prepares for Growth

By | July 27, 1987

TOKYO—A scientific work force five times larger than at present should be well along on developing a Japanese space shuttle and a manned space station by the year 2000, according to a panel studying the country's space program. That vision is one of several recommmendations in a report to Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone by the Space Development Committee. It is meant as a guide for government ministries as they seek budget approval for specific projects in the years ahead. Japan's space p

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Lab Safety: Naked Came the Chemist

By | July 27, 1987

Life in general is not without its hazards, but contemporary opinion is united in the belief that safety in the workplace is of paramount importance. A manager can always ensure absolute safety in any workplace by closing it down. Many managers are now doing just that because some of the physical safety precautions that have been imposed on them make their work slower and more difficult and weaken competitiveness—sometimes for very questionable gains in safety. For example, one of my forme

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