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Long-Term NIH Grants Raise Doubts

By | December 14, 1987

WASHINGTON—Recent increases in the number and type of longterm grants from the National Institutes of Health may intensify competition between new awards and grants continued from previous years. But officials say the self-limiting nature of the new longterm grants and new institute controls should prevent problems that forced elimination of seven-year awards in the 1970s. “In any given year, about 85 percent of the NIH budget is a commitment [to grants] from previous years,”

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Mayor Charts UNESCO's Course

By | December 14, 1987

Spanish biochemist and administrator Federico Mayor Zaragoza, who on November 15 began a six-year term as director-general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, picks up the reins at a critical time for the institution. One challenge is to reverse Western nations’ sense of alienation from UNESCO, and to induce the United States, the United Kingdom and Singapore, which withdrew from the organization in 1984-85, to return to the fold, adding their funding

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Muse in a Test Tube The Cloud Chamber for N.C. 1952-72

By | December 14, 1987

‘You crack an atom, what’s left? Particles, bits. It’s like Meccano: proton, neutron, quark. Don’t you see.. The things you knew. The rest of us set our horizons at the girls’ school down the road. Whatever you dreamed of, you left us in the dark. (‘I couldn’t follow him’, one friend confessed after the fact, then ‘Why? The waste, the waste! then again, ‘Did he know something we don’t?’) '... . there’s nothing to it

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Police Are Slow To Probe Attacks On Animal Labs

By | December 14, 1987

A three alarm fire gutted half of a $5 million animal care facility under construction at the University of California Davis. At UC-Riverside, intruders ripped doors from their hinges, smashed equipment and poured red paint mixed with glue on computers before making off with 467 research animals. At the U.S .Departmen t of Agriculture research institute in Beltsville, Md., raiders sprinted away three dozen cats and seven pigs, leaving vegetarian recipes as calling cards. More than 25 raids on U

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Reaping Biotechnology's Benefits

By | December 14, 1987

AGRICULTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY Strategies for National Competitiveness. Committee on a National Strategy for Biotechnology in Agriculture Board on Agriculture National Research Council. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 1987. 205 pp. $14.95. While the benefits of biotechnology have been visible more in the arena of human health care than in agriculture, this technological revolution ultimately may have its greatest impact in the enhancement of efficient agricultural productivity. Whether th

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Reconciling Science and Theology

By | December 14, 1987

NATHANIEL SOUTHGATE SHALER And the Culture of American Science. David N. Livingstone. The University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, AL, 1987. 395 pp. $32.95. David Livingstone, in his analysis of the writings of Nathaniel S. Shaler (1841-1906), documents Shaler’s attempt to reconcile the conflicts between science and theology that dominated scientific discussion in the late 19th and early 20th century. Shaler, a Harvard geologist and prolific writer, was often prophetic in his discussi

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Rich, Informative and Welcome Collection

By | December 14, 1987

WOMEN OF MATHEMATICS A Biobibliographic Sourcebook. Louise S. Grinstein and Paul J. Campbell, eds. Greenwood Press, Westport, CT, 1987. 292 pp. $45. A recent article in THE SCIENTIST called upon readers to question reports of shortages of scientists and engineers (“Science Shortages: Real or Not?,” Edith. Fairman Cooper August 10, 1987, p. 30). Whatever, the employment patterns are for mathematicians, 19 percent of doctorates in the field currently are awarded to women. Over the pa

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So They Say

December 14, 1987

Superconductivity and acquired immune deficiency syndrome are remote from each other on the spectrum of research problems. But, like most other scientific matters of our time, they exist in a political dimension, since Washington controls money and policy for research. The different responses accorded these problems by the Reagan administration provide a tale of values—and it’s not a pleasant one. The political response to superconductivity was swift, sure-footed, and backed with

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Soviets Urged to Shorten Life of State Secrets

By | December 14, 1987

BRUSSELS—In 1972 Victor Brailovsky, then a 37-year-old cyberneticist, and his 32-year-old wife Irma, a computer scientist, applied for a visa to leave the Soviet Union. Four years later Victor was granted permission to emigrate to Israel but Irma was not. The reason, according to Soviet authorities, was that “she had been able during her work to listen and hear something secret.” Fifteen years later the Brailovskys finally arrived in Israel. Last month, at a meeting here orga

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Split on Abortion Delays Bioethics Panel

By | December 14, 1987

WASHINGTON—The start of a report to Congress on fetal research, due next May, is being delayed by differences on abortion among the 12 congressional members of the Biomedical Ethics Board. Last August the board was able to appoint only the dozen “expert” members to its advisory committee. Their disagreements have prevented their filing the two slots reserved for citizens “who possess no specific expertise” in research, medicine or ethical issues. The advisory com

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