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Is More News Better?

February 9, 1987

WASHINGTON—Undaunted by a lack of advertising and the general decline of science magazines, more U.S. newspapers are adding a weekly science section to their pages. But despite the 350 percent increase in the number of such sections in the last two years—from 19 to 66 according to a recent survey from the Scientists' Institute for Public Information—it's not known if the growth has improved the type or quality of coverage. SIPI, a New York-based nonprofit group that works to im

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Italians Scorn Nuclear Power

February 9, 1987

ROME—Nuclear power is becoming a major political issue here as the country awaits the formation in April of a new coalition government. Last month a newspaper poll indicated that 72 percent of the public would vote to abandon nuclear power entirely, and a referendum will be needed if the Christian Democrats and their partners in the current government cannot agree on a policy. Shortly after the results were published, the government postponed until later this month a widely publicized nati

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Newsletter To Focus on Its Impact

By Jeffrey Mervis | February 9, 1987

WASHINGTON—The founding editor of the now-defunct Science 86 is launching a monthly newsletter that will examine the impact on society of advances in science and technology. The eight- to 10-page newsletter, to be called Science Impact, is scheduled to debut in May. Allen Hammond, who will serve as its editor and publisher, is no stranger to new publications. He created the "Research News" section of Science magazine and several years later persuaded its publisher, the American Association

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NSF Seeks Biotech Bids

February 9, 1987

WASHINGTON—The National Science Foundation, aiming to encourage interdisciplinary research and a more efficient use of expensive equipment in areas relating to biotechnology, is channeling up to $8 million this year into the creation of multi-user research facilities. The Foundation plans to fund two types of research centers through its new biological centers program. This year 10 to 15 awards averaging $500,000 each are expected to be made for multi-user instrumentation facilities known

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Organic Chemist Appointed French Science Minister

By Robert Walgate | February 9, 1987

LONDON—An organic chemist with a taste for politics—a talent that promises to be much in demand in the months ahead—has been named the new French minister for science and universities. Jacques Valade, 57, was appointed January 22 to succeed physicist Main Devaquet, who resigned after his proposals to restrict student entry to French universities triggered large-scale and violent protests last fall. The protests appeared also to reflect a deeper unhappiness with the policies of

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As a freshman congressman in 1963, Rep. George E. Brown Jr. (D-Calif.) was an early opponent of U.S. military involvement in Vietnam. Last year, he helped lead a successful congressional drive for a moratorium on testing of experimental anti-satellite weapons and supported a pledge by university physics students and professors to refuse funding from the Strategic Defense Initiative program. Throughout his career on Capitol Hill, in fact, Brown, while representing a district heavily dependent on

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Science News Sails Along

By Laura Tangley | February 9, 1987

WASHINGTON—The growing popularity and continued financial health of Science News offers hope to readers saddened by the recent demise of two mass-circulation science magazines sacrificed in an attempt to bail out a third. Published here continuously since 1922 by the nonprofit Science Service, Science News reached its highest circulation level ever in 1986, going from 179,000 subscribers in June to more than 215,000 by the end of December. The magazine does not know how many of its new rea

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U.S. Controls Hamper Trade With Allies

By Jeffrey Mervis | February 9, 1987

WASHINGTON—The Japanese buy infrared, optical lasers from the American firm of Spectra-Physics for the cutting, welding and heat treating of various manufactured products. But each time any of its lasers need servicing or spare parts, Spectra-Physics has to navigate the slow and complex U.S. export licensing procedure that was created for another purpose, namely, to ensure that certain types of advanced technology do not pass to the Soviet Union and its allies. Although the San Jose-based

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Basic Science Budget Remains Flat at NASA

By John Rhea | January 26, 1987

WASHINGTON—With the Space Station leading the way, NASA has requested a 16 percent increase in its research and development activities as part of a $9.5 billion budget for next year. R&D would rise from $3.1 billion this year to $3.6 billion under the proposal for fiscal year 1988. The fastest growing program within that category is the Space Station, projected to grow from $420 million this year to $767 million in the new budget. That increase, however, may draw fire from a Congress worri

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LONDON—Strategic research in Britain should be funded by a new route that is independent of the support given to academic science through the University Grants Committee and research councils and the customer-contractor relationship used by government departments for applied research. This view is contained in a new report on civilian R&D from the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology, a body of ten peers with considerable experience in science and engineering. The repo

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