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Where to Shop for New and Used Research Equipment

By | November 30, 1987

In the normal course of research administration, requests for instruments are submitted annually when budget estimates are prepared, as part of the organization’s capital budget. Depending on the type of laboratory and its place in the hierarchy, the laboratory head may have little or no control over the annual amount allocated for capital equipment. Justifications submitted with budget requests may be sound and persuasive, but if the approving authorities send it back with the total s

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'Part of My Life Since Childhood'

By | November 16, 1987

CRC HANDBOOK OF CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS 68th edition. Robert C. Weast, ed. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. 1987. 2,464 pp. $69.95. (Price will increase to $74.95 in December.) The CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics has been part of my life since childhood. My father’s copy was pressed into service for a junior high school crystal-growing project and I have been using it ever since. Calcium nitrate is still cubic, colorless and hygroscopic, in case you wondered. Over the years, the handboo

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2 Germanys Reach Out In Sci-Tech

By | November 16, 1987

WEST BERLIN—East Berlin’s Humboldt University and West Berlin’s Technical University are less than three miles apart. But the Wall makes scientific communication almost impossible. What applies to the two Berlins is equally true for the two (Germanys. “Just inviting people to give a talk at a seminar simply did not work out,” said Dietrich Dörner a professor of psychology who studies machine intelligence. His attempt last summer to invite a colleague faile

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A Capitalist Seeks High-Tech Ideas

By | November 16, 1987

NEW YORK—Venture capitalist William J. Kane remembers “Flex Infusion Inc.” all too well. He spent nearly 40 hours investigating the nascent company’s product, people and plans—and then didn’t invest a dime. “We liked what we saw, got good feedback on the attractiveness of their technology and the potential of the applications,” said Kane, 31, a senior associate at Harvest Ventures Inc. here. "But we were still uncomfortable with the rate of gr

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A Master Naturalist's Manifesto

By | November 16, 1987

EVOLUTION AND ESCALATION An Ecological History of Life. Geerat J. Vermeij. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1987. 504 pp. $47.50. In an era in which the basic assumptions of evolutionary theory are being re-examined, it is interesting to read an “unreconstructed” adaptationist selectionist manifesto. Geerat Vermeij, professor of zoology at the University of Maryland, is a master naturalist. In Evolution and Escalation he takes the ideas developed from studies on adaptio

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APA Woos Research Psychologists

By | November 16, 1987

WASHINGTON—The American Psychological Association has beefed up its commitment to its scientific members as part of an internal realignment that intended to better serve the needs of an unusually diverse membership. A steady rise since the 1950s in the number of practitioners—those who provide health care directly to the public—has slowly tipped the balance against the academics and researchers who once dominated the 95-year-old association. As a result, that group has grown

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Crash, Budget Crunch Leave Science Anxious

By | November 16, 1987

With bears loose on the world’s major stock markets, academic, corporate and government scientists who seek cover face a forest of question marks. On Wall Street, where tremors from the recent precipitous plunge in share prices still ripple through the world economy, analysts predict an end to the easy credit and abundant capital that fueled recent growth in some science-based U.S. industries. While not everyone is predicting a recession, the prevailing mood is one of extremecaution,

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Digging Deep for the Human Factor

By | November 16, 1987

BONES OF CONTENTION Controversies in the Search for Human Origins. Roger Lewin. Simon and Schuster, New York, 1987:348 pp. $19.95. Human beings can err. Not only can they err, they can be driven to error by their prejudices, their preconceptions, their personal rivalries, even their religious beliefs, all of whieh may color their assessmentof the data. That’s the theme of Bones of Contention, Roger Lewin’s look into the controversies that have bedeviled paleoanthropology through

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Doing Research on People

By | November 16, 1987

Nowhere is the potential for conflicting obligations more worrisome than in situations where doctors simultaneously deliver medical care to patients and use them as research subjects. The idea of experimenting on patients conjures up two quite different pictures. The first depicts persons who are sick and suffering—perhaps even dying—being subjected to the manipulations of clinical investigators who use patients in their efforts to contribute to scientific knowledge, as well as

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The need for achieving a more internationally responsive outlook must be understood and acted upon throughout the system for engineering education in the United States. Changes in attitude and approach will be required at all stages, including high school, college, graduate school and continuing education programs, to achieve a set of offerings and opportunities that will enable U.S. engineers to function competitively throughout their careers. Several programs already provide examples of succ

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