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Look Out Bell Labs! Here Comes NEC

By | September 19, 1988

In the last decade, the Japanese have succeeded in convincing their competitors in the world market that the old saw—that the Japanese can imitate, not innovate—no longer cuts the mustard. But it would appear that they have yet to convince themselves. For while any expert in global economics would say that the Japanese are capable of doing a lot more than simply knocking off United States inventions and turning those knockoffs into irresistibly cheap and sought-after exports, the Jap

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Sometime in the next few weeks, the space shuttle Discovery should lift off into orbit. The mission will end a long and agonizing drought for the United States space program, and no group will be more eagerly watching than the nation's space scientists. For on Discovery's rocket plumes will be riding the hopes for launching such key science payloads as the Hubble space telescope, the Galileo planetary probe, and the Gamma Ray Observatory. But ending what many have called a "crisis" in space scie

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National Lab Briefs

September 19, 1988

After years of battling their local nuclear power plant—and winning—Long Island environmental activists have turned on Brookhaven National Lab. The accusation? Its chemical and radiation releases are a threat to residents. The battle came to a head last month in Suffolk Life, a half-million circulation weekly that has run several articles in the past few years about local environmental investigations of the lab. In an August 3 editorial, the paper traced a string of environmental cal

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New Products

September 19, 1988

The "Library of Physical Chemistry Software," consisting of 26 interactive programs and documentation, can be used to support and supplement a physical chemistry curriculum. Available this month for the first time and priced at $450, Freeman and Company touts this software package as "useful for in-class demonstrations as a problems-oriented primer for beginners and as a refresher program for researchers." The six-diskette set addresses properties of gases, thermochemical calculations, phase dia

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A research proposal's chances of being funded by the National Institutes of Health vary noticeably, for better or worse, depending on which specific one of the agency's 13 institutes it is assigned to. For example, according to NIH figures released this summer, the National Center for Nursing Research (NCNR) in 1987 funded the highest percentage of proposals that had been approved by its peer reviewers, 61.5%. Meanwhile, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease fu

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Peer-Review ""Failures""

By | September 19, 1988

I applaud NIH's examination of the peer review process (The Scientist, August 8, page 1) and the agency's attempt at procedural reforms aimed at funding the best possible science. At bottom, much of the concern with the peer-review system at NIH, as with professional journals, lies in the inescapable fact that the same small pool of experts serves as both reviewer and reviewee for an extended time in many domains, facilitating two inappropriate practices—backslapping and backbiting. The sm

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People

September 19, 1988

After spending the past two years as deputy assistant secretary-general for scientific and environmental affairs at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Brussels, Marcel Bardon is back at the National Science Foundation. Reassuming his post as director of the NSF's physics division, effective Sept. 1, Bardon replaces acting physics director Gerard M. Crawley, a rotating program manager who will return to teaching and research at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Lab at Michigan State U

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Physicist Mixes Science And Politics In Bid For Senate

By | September 19, 1988

Among the myriad political races in the United States this election season, one in particular has captured my interest. It is not the presidential contest between Vice President Bush and Governor Dukakis, nor is it any widely publicized, high-profile battle for governor or senator in a major state—contests that might be expected to receive the attention of the national media. Rather, it is a primary race for the U.S. Senate, as yet unnoticed by the national press, in the nation's smallest

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Private Institute Briefs

September 19, 1988

The Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago is searching for a director to launch a Department of Conservation/Research that will coordinate the institute's investigations into the reproduction, behavior, and nutrition of captive animals and endangered species. "We want someone to come in and look at what we've been doing and lay out a master plan," says biologist Dennis Meritt, assistant director of the zoo. The new director will be able to decide the size and scope of the new department, but must continue

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Cited as "the pioneering figure and founder of modem death psychology," Herman Feifel has won the American Psychological Association's 1988 award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Knowledge for his lifetime achievements in psychology. The 73-year-old Feifel, chief of the psychology service at the Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic in Los Angeles, and emeritus clinical professor of psychiatry and the behavioral sciences at the University of Southern California School of Medic

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