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September 21, 1987

PEOPLE William R. Brody, chairman of Resonex Inc., a manufacturer of magnetic resonance imaging devices, has been named professor and director of the department of radiology and radiological science at The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. In 1984, Brody founded Resonex Inc. after spending six years with the department of radiology and electrical engineering at Stanford University. This month, he will assume the responsibilities of Martin W. Donner, who has held the post at Johns Hopkins sin

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HHMI Expands Under New President

By | September 21, 1987

WASHINGTON—The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) next month will announce a $40 million-a-year program ranging from support for graduate training in the biomedical sciences to funding of health policy and cost-containment studies. Purnell Choppin, HHMI’s former vice president and chief scientific officer who was appointed president of the institute on September 1, said the education prograin will include funds to upgrade science departments at undergraduate colleges and sup

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In Chernobyl's Sarcophagus

By | September 21, 1987

The first reporter on the scene of the Chernobyl accident in late April 1986 was Vladimir Gubaryev, science editor of Pravda, the Communist Party newspaper in the Soviet Union. An engineer by training, Gubaryev had covered science for the paper for 10 years while also writing plays and a score of books. His experience at Chernobyl prompted him to write the play Sarcophagus, first published in the September 1986 issue of the Soviet literary journal Znamya (“The Banner”). The play is

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Jorge Rocca is not your average Presidential Young Investigator. Unlike the majority of his colleagues, he says the award was ‘‘a big factor’’ in his decision to remain in academia. ‘‘We like what we do,’’ he said about young researchers who have begun to build a record of achievement. ‘‘But the award strongly biases you to stay and make good use of the money." Rocca, who is using part of his PYI money to build short-wavelength laser

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Letters

By | September 21, 1987

DeBakey Never Replied In the July 27, 1987 issue (p. 1) Michael DeBakey denies my findings of “overcrowding of animals and improper supervision” in the animal care laboratories under his jurisdiction. He claims I “obviously [have] a convenient memory” and, according to the article, says I was “pleased by the conditions and about the high quality of the facility.” This is not the first time that DeBakey has called me a liar in the press. To keep the record s

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Medicine's Scientific Prescription

By | September 21, 1987

THE DEVELOPMENT OF AMERICAN PHYSIOLOGY Scientific Medicine in the Nineteenth Century. W. Bruce Fye. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1987. 308 pp. $35. The centennial of the American Physiological Society in 1987 has stimulated the publication of several books, some that were in preparation independently and others engendered specifically by the occasion. This excellent volume tracing the origins of the scientific approach to medical training and practice falls into the forme

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Muddled Thinking Is Hard to Swallow

By | September 21, 1987

Ever since I first became involved in research in 1932 I have been struck by the difference in quality of the thinking of even quite emi- nent scientists when they apply their minds, on the one hand, to their own specialized subjects and, on the other hand, to affairs of everyday life. Nor am I restricting my comments to the phenomenon of the distinguished Fellow of the Royal Society at the peak of a creative career who shows himself in committee to lack common sense, to say the least, when c

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NASA, Morton Thiokol Must Rethink Risk

By | September 21, 1987

On January 28, 1986 the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds into its flight, killing the seven astronauts aboard and sending the U.S. space program into limbo. All space flight involves risk, but it’s the job of the people on the ground to assess tbat risk and minimize it. The question today is whether NASA and Morton Thiokol, the firm responsible for the design of the rocket booster that failed in the flight, have adequately re-examined their approach to the issue of risk asse

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Not the End of the Physician-Scientist

By | September 21, 1987

In 1984 Gordon N. Gill, professor of medicine at the University of California at San Diego, published an essay entitled “The End of the Physician Scientist?” He described how from the mid- 1960s to the early 1980s the biomedical research enterprise in the United States passed largely out of the realm of clinical investigators and into that of Ph.D. scientists working at the molecular leveL He also noted that in the United Kingdom and Europe the split between basic science and clini

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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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