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ESA Nations Ask What Comes After Ariane

By Peter Marsh | January 12, 1987

LONDON—Competing schemes to take Western Europe into a new era in extraterrestrial transportation are posing a conundrum for the continent's space planners. At the heart of the debate is just how ambitious Western Europe wants to be in its next generation of space launchers, together with whether the countries involved can put aside their contrasting approaches and agree on a common goal. At issue is the next big transportation project for the 13-nation European Space Agency (ESA), the Par


Experts Debate NSF Pre-College Program

By Amy Mcdonald | January 12, 1987

WASHINGTON—A recommendation that Congress look into taking responsibility for pre-college education programs away from the National Science Foundation has caught the attention of the science community. But the suggestion from retiring Rep. Donald Fuqua (D-Fla.) that the Department of Education could better handle the job is viewed more as an attempt to stir up science educators than to take the Foundation out of the business of elementary and secondary school science. In a brief discussion


Japan Slowly Permits Foreign Faculty

By Fumihiro Tsubura | January 12, 1987

TOKYO—It was, admits American seismologist Robert Geller, a simple task: to complete a requisition to repair the departmental roof. But the fact that a nonnative member of the Tokyo University faculty was given this duty indicates the change in Japanese attitudes toward foreign scientists. A 1982 law allows foreign nationals to teach at public universities. The law changed an interpretation of the Japanese constitution that required faculty, as government employees, to be "persons of Japan


New Law Allows Drug Export

January 12, 1987

WASHINGTON—President Reagan has signed a controversial health bill that allows U.S. firms to export drugs prior to approval by the Food and Drug Administration and provides a federal no-fault compensation system for children injured by vaccines. The drug export provision was strongly supported by pharmaceutical manufacturers who can now export prescription drugs to 21 foreign countries providing the drug has been approved for use in that country and the manufacturer is actively seeking app


Science Looms Large In German Elections

By Dede Williams | January 12, 1987

FRANKFURT—"If it weren't for all those chemical accidents, we'd have an easy time with this election," Helmut Kohl remarked in early December. The West German chancellor was responding to a poll that showed environmental issues had passed unemployment, the general economy, and other subjects as the principal issue in the January 25 election. But only 26 percent thought Kohl's party, the conservative, business-oriented Christian Democrats (CDU), was best equipped to deal with it, compared w


A war surplus searchlight was the unlikely piece of equipment which a young English chemist, George Porter, pressed into the service of science during the late 1940s. As a Cambridge researcher following five years in the Royal Navy, he was investigating chemical reactions thought until that time to be instantaneous in nature and, thus, unmeasurable in the laboratory. Porter's ingenuity paid off Barely 20 years later, he shared the 1967 Nobel Prize in chemistry (with Manfred Eigen and Ronald Norr


Space Research Carries On

By John Rhea | January 12, 1987

WASHINGTON—Smaller payloads, alternative boosters and suborbital flights are making it possible for space scientists to carry out their experiments in the aftermath of the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger one year ago this month. NASA's billion-dollar budget for space science survived relatively unscathed for the current year, and officials are hopeful that the same will be true for fiscal 1988. But flight time, not money, is the biggest immediate problem for scientists, acknowled


U.K. Toughens Animal Regulations

By Philip O'donoghue | January 12, 1987

LONDON—A more restrictive law aimed at British biologists who use laboratory animals goes into effect this month. The Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act of 1986 applies to anything done in the name of science that might cause "pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm" to animals. Routine tests, antiserum production and a host of small interferences occurring during behavioral or field studies are covered for the first time. The law replaces the grimly-named Cruelty to Animals Act, which


'Gell-Mann Opened My Eyes'

By John Polkinghorne | December 15, 1986

Author: JOHN POLKINGHORNE Date: December 15, 1986 I am a subscriber to the “great man” theory of the history of science—the view that it is the insights of the men of genius that actually propel the subject. No doubt there is also a role for those of us who belong to the army of honest toilers, providing the background of expectation and exploitation, but the big ideas come from the big men. The first big man of theoretical physics that I knew was Paul Dirac, whose intellec


Americans Confident Of Leaders In Science

By Amy Mcdonald | December 15, 1986

WASHINGTON—There is no single survey of American attitudes to-ward science that compares with the British and French polls. How-ever, the National Science Board of the National Science Foundation regularly reviews existing surveys in its biennial Science Indicators, an assessment of the overall state of American science and technology. The 1985 edition reports: Forty-seven percent of 943 respondents to a 1985 survey said they had a “great deal of confidence” in scientific le


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