This climate of opinion meant that women determined to have serious research careers often did not marry. In the words of one biologist now in her seventies, "marrying was not considered the thing to do [for women scientists]. In science, you're dedicated. You go into a shroud, you don't wear normal clothes. . . you shouldn't get married; you shouldn't have children."
Messages to Capitol Hill
Mr. Bloch's critics were outraged. In fact, such a letter may have violated a Federal law that restricts Federal officials from spending Government money in lobbying Congress. And it did violate an unwritten law that prohibits agency officials from encouraging voters to pressure Congressmen to act favorably toward their agency.
But Mr. Bloch is unrepentant. "We probably overstepped our bounds, but I have been told that most people are doing just the same in other agencies, just hiding it better," he said. "We won't do it again, but there is nothing wrong with getting the scientific and engineering communities together and petitioning Congress for money."
It's such a small amount of money that refusing to take it isn't going to halt SDI…. Better that SDI money is used for research by competent scientists, than have it wasted…. 'Star Wars' technology is at the leading edge. We must be involved for the spin-off, and also to stop the brain drain of bright young researchers to the USA…. My government (or industrial) lab has applied for an SDI contract— we should take it to help avoid redundancies…. The large amount of money that the SDI programme is throwing at, for example, infrared sensors will enable much more rapid progress to be made in basic infrared astronomy....
Science and scientists should look the 'Star Wars' gift horse very carefully in the mouth. Even from the most selfish point of view, it's unlikely to aid healthy development of any subject area. With their wider responsibility as citizens, scientists are able to appreciate that the President's dream of 'an impenetrable shield', however noble it may have been in conception, provides no answer to present insecurities. Instead, it gives an-other particularly vicious twist to the spiraling arms race.
Presumption of Honesty
Out in the Cold
"Try to stop," says a voice through a small hole in the foam and steel wall. The technician worries that I will shake loose the temperature sensors on my skin. I go rigid, then try to relax. Neither method works. I stare at the two overhead fans and wonder when my 30-minute session in the "cold box" will end.
It could be worse. Here in the basement of the University of Minnesota-Duluth medical school, some students stand for hours in tanks full of ice water; outside, others are paid to jump into frigid Lake Superior and turn themselves into "human ice cubes." These are the sorts of things they do here at the Hypothermia Research Laboratory, which operates under the watchful eye of Robert S. Pozos, the head of the medical school's physiology department.
Undoing Keyworth's Damage
The problem is not so much the creation of this new role as the loss of the old one. If anything, the President needs sound technical advice now more than ever, and he does not appear to be getting it.
Nothing stands out more here than Keyworth's role in the SDI program; his public statements give no indication that he understands the technical objections to strategic defense, nor has he conveyed any such understanding to the President. As the Reagan Administration continues to pursue this massive, costly program, there appear to be no channels for independent technical criticism to reach the Administration. Keyworth ought to have provided such a channel, and it is to his great discredit that he did not.
AIDS: Open the Lines of Communication...
The question asks much more than it might appear to. Society is faced with a disease that says something not just about a person's death, but also about his or her life.
Why is it so important when a person dies to state publicly that the cause of death was AIDS? Hasn't the victim suffered enough from the disease? Hasn't the family? Aren't there some things in a person's life about which the public does not have a right—or need—to know?
For AIDS victims to get the kind of medical, economic and social support that they need, the disease must be humanized, and that can only be done by writing and talking about real people.
That AIDS is becoming a household word attests to the wide dimensions of the tragedy. A greater tragedy, however, will occur if discussion of the disease is not completely open and honest.
And Close The Book on Theory
Opening the Door to Abuse
"There is no question that growth hormone is already being abused in the United States and potentially on a much larger scale in Europe," said Don Rosenfeld, associate professor of pediatrics at Stanford University.
Let Them Have Chips
The rationale behind this drive is supposed to be self-evident. We have become convinced that, in Charles Lecht's words: 'Machines can do everything better than people.' But what is not so obvious is that this is a matter of faith rather than demonstrable truth.