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Gravitating Toward Wave Theory

By | April 6, 1987

In October 1954 I arrived at King's College, London, as the new professor of applied mathematics. In a small department with a small research group, the choice of topic for myself and my closest colleagues was clearly crucial. I felt it had to be a subject not widely pursued at the time because we could not compete with the big battalions. Having already had some interest in the theory of gravitation and having at London C.W. Kilmister, with F.A.E. Pirani soon to follow me from Cambridge, the ch

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Happenings

April 6, 1987

Frank Press, noted geophysicist and former science adviser to President Carter, has been reelected to a second six-year term as president of the National Academy of Sciences. During his first term as president of the 15,000-member Academy, Press was credited with initiating several major science policy studies by the National Research Council and streamlining NRC's report-writing process. He has held faculty appointments at Columbia University, the California Institute ofTechnology and the Massa

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How Democratic Is Science Policy?

By | April 6, 1987

Who governs science and technology in a democracy? Can democracy and the world of science even be reconciled? In Governing Science and Technology in a Democracy (University of Tennessee Press, 1986), Malcolm L. Goggin, a political scientist and editor of the volume, presents viewpoints of a dozen professionals in science, law, philosophy and political science. The book is a collection of papers from a two-day conference in Houston in 1985. In this excerpt from the book, Goggin discusses four imp

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Japanese Translation Gets Boost

By | April 6, 1987

WASHINGTON—Some members of Congress are urging the administration to do more to carry out a law passed last year to help U.S. researchers and industry stay abreast of Japanese competition. At a Senate subcommittee hearing last month, Commerce Department officials were asked about their progress in implementing the Japanese Technical Literature Act. The act calls for the government to monitor technical developments in Japan, consult with the private sector about its needs for such informati

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Lavoisier Died For Lucre

By | April 6, 1987

Anthony Michaelis' article "Our Unknown Martyrs" (The Scientist, February 9, 1987, p. 13) listed several famous scientists who "gave their lives" for science. I wish to point out that Lavoisier's demise was a consequence of his unpopular occupation as fermier general. He was one of many financiers who had purchased the right to collect taxes, most likely at a profit, and who were executed en masse by Ia Republique in 1794. —Willem H. Koppenol Dept. of Chemistry University of Maryland Balt

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Mary Treat Makes History

By | April 6, 1987

I was interested to read the book review "More Than Just Marie Curie" by Margaret Rossiter (The Scientist, February 9, 1987, p. 18). It is really good news that Marilyn Bailey Ogilvie's biographical dictionary of women scientists is now available. Until quite recently only a single book (Mozan's Woman in Science) was available in English addressing the early history and biography of women in science, and that was originally published in 1913. Fortunately, in just the past few years we have seen

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Microbiologists Argue Threat to Future

By | April 6, 1987

ATLANTA—Are academic microbiology departments suffering from the increased attention being paid to molecular biology and related disciplines? Scientists at the recent annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology here could not agree if the issue was simply a semantic argument or a symptom of a genuine crisis. "A number of forces are converging to create a problem … and together they may deal us a blow that could be lethal" to the future of microbiology, suggested M. Michae

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NASA Chases New Supernova

By | April 6, 1987

WASHINGTON—In the scramble to point every available instrument at the recently discovered supernova in the Large Magellanic Cloud, NASA plans a campaign of balloon flights, rocket launches and airborne observations to begin next month. The crash program, if approved by NASA Administrator James Fletcher, will cost $15 million. It will include 16 or 17 instrumented balloon flights extending through late next year, as well as sounding rocket flights and infrared observations using NASA's Kuip

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National Science Week Is Up, Up and Away

By | April 6, 1987

WASHINGTON—At 1:30 p.m. today, around the corner from the White House, high school students plan to set loose one thousand balloons with self-addressed information cards. They will join 224,000 balloons launched simultaneously around the country by students from 600 schools, in one of the more visible displays of National Science and Technology Week '87. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation and funded largely by corporate donors, Science Week is observing its third year. Its messag

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NIH Must Meet the Hughes Challenge

By | April 6, 1987

For the past 30 years the forefront of biomedical research has been synonymous with the efforts of the U.S. research community, shaped and financed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Now NIH's pre-eminence is at risk, challenged by the emergence of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) as a leader in the field. Since 1985, HHMI—with assets of $45.2 billion—has spent the better part of $485.4 million at 48 academic centers. Hughes researchers, many of them former stars o

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