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What's the Sporting Use of Science?

By | October 19, 1987

One of the most highly motivated scientists I have observed over the years has devoted much of his career to testing athletes for illicit drugs. He is an energetic man, a resourceful technician and a person clearly inspired by the goal of achieving total fairness in the gladiatorial arena. He argues forcefully for the proposition that international sporting competitions (indeed, any sporting competition) should be free of artificial chemical crutches. His ideal is the Olympic ideal—the n

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A Physiologist Who Never Said Die

By | October 5, 1987

CONTROLLING LIFE Jacques Loeb and the Engineering Ideal in Biology. Philip J. Pauly. Oxford University Press, New York, 1987. 252 pp. $24.95. Few scientists today would consider modeling their professional development on the life of Jacques Loeb (1859-1924). Despite considerable accomplishments, Loeb felt embattled for most of his career. As a German Jew, he was alienated from American academic and social circles, and on several occasions his religion served to limit and even deny him prof

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A Report That Brings Space Biology Down to Earth

By | October 5, 1987

A STRATEGY FOR SPACE BIOLOGY AND MEDICAL SCIENCE For the 1980s and 1990s. Committee on Space Biology and Medicine, Space Science Board, Commission on physical Sciences, Mathematics and Resources, National Research Council. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 1987. 196 pp. This report, which represents the collective thinking of some 60 scientists, was developed over the course of two and a half years in series of meetings of the Space Science Board’s Committee on Space Biology and

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WASHINGTON—Although women and minorities still make up only a small percentage of scientists in most fields, their presence is being felt within the governing body of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. This fall, for the first time in AAAS’s history, all four candidates for the two vacancies on the board of directors are women and/or minorities. And the next AAAS president is University of Chicago physicist Walter Massey, who is black. AAAS officials downpl

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Artificial Intelligence: Making Up Our Minds

By | October 5, 1987

MACHINES AND INTELLIGENCE A Critique of Arguments Against the Possibility of Artificial Intelligence. Stuart Goldkind. Greenwood Press. Westport, CT, 1987. 138 pp. $29.95. MAN-MADE MINDS The Promise of Artificial Intelligence. M. Mitchell Waidrop. Walker and Company, New York, 1987. 288 pp. $22.95 HB, $14.95 PB. After 30 years, investigators and critics of artificial intelligence (AT) continue to differ in their definitions of the domain and the fundamental claim that AI is or is not possib

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ASIS Marks 50 Years Spreading Information

By | October 5, 1987

WASHINGTON—As it starts a year-long celebration of its 50th birthday with a gala annual meeting in Boston this week, the American Society for Information Science faces a couple of paradoxes that together constitute an identity crisis. While the information industry is growing rapidly, the membership of ASIS is not. The society’s diversity, attested to by a membership drawn from a wide swath of academia, industry and government, has the disadvantage of diffusing its professional

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Citizens GroupsTarget New Campus Facilities

By | October 5, 1987

SAN FRANCISCO—Animal rights and environmental groups have targeted several proposed research facilities here in what univer- sity officials see as a serious threat to basic research and academic freedom on their campuses. Although there is a nationwide pattern of activity by various groups (see related story on p. 5), the Bay area has emerged as a major hot spot. At present Stanford University, University of California-Berkeley and UC-San Francisco are all fighting for permission to ex

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City Debates Animal Research Plan

By | October 5, 1987

CAMBRIDGE, MASS.—City officials here are wrestling with a proposal to place experiments involving animals under the control of a new council-appointed body that would have the right to delay or veto any work it did not like. The city council is in the midst of hearings leading to a possible vote on two ordinances relating to animal research at Harvard University, MIT and other private institutions within the city limits. The first proposal would seek to ensure that all laboratories are

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Drug Companies Must Adapt to the 'Bioburst' Era

By | October 5, 1987

“Bioburst” as the name Richard Noel Re gives to the revolution now taking place in molecular biology. In his book Bioburst: The Impact of Modern Biology on the Affairs of Man (Louisiana State University Press, 1986), Re discusses how that revolution will permeate contemporary life. He uses the discovery of cyclosporin A to illustrate the new flexibility needed in the pharmaceutical industry to deal with this revolution. The excerpt below is taken from the book. Chance favors the

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EDINBURGH—Already renowned for its summer arts festival, the Scottish capital is preparing for an annual international science festival each spring. Organizers have already obtained a pledge of $120,000 from the town council, and hope to raise an additional $750,000 in each of the first three years of the festival. They plan a group of smaller events next year before kicking off the festival in 1989. The festival is expected to attract both scientists and the public. If a success, it

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