News

Child Care Still A Rarity At Meetings
Child Care Still A Rarity At Meetings
Critics encourage scientific societies to address the needs of women members by accommodating children at professional gatherings Last fall, Miriam Forman, director of professional programs for the American Physical Society, decided to break with tradition. At a major meeting of the society, held last month in Cincinnati, the children of the 2,000 members expected to attend would be as welcome as their parents. Forman contracted a company to run a five-day program for infants and childre
D.C. Insider Says Scientists Must Court Politicians
D.C. Insider Says Scientists Must Court Politicians
Former congressman Walgren, now a lobbyist, advises his clients to befriend lawmakers before advancing their own cause WASHINGTON--Scientists who feel frustrated because they can't get Congress to consider their remedies for what ails science can take a tip from a former legislator who is already sympathetic to their cause: Leave your data at home and start thinking instead about becoming friends with the congressional member whose ear you're trying to gain. Doug Walgren was such a frien
Chemists Anxious About Discipline's Fate
Chemists Anxious About Discipline's Fate
Academic and industrial researchers hold differing views on whether--and how severely--the chemistry profession is suffering Talk to academic chemists these days and they're likely to tell you they're worried. The anxiety they feel doesn't concern a difficult experiment; rather, they fear for the future of their profession. They see fewer United States college students majoring in chemistry. But they also see diminishing quality in the current crop of doctorates. They see unfilled job open
Top-Level Science Advisers From Six Nations Huddle Privately
Top-Level Science Advisers From Six Nations Huddle Privately
A secluded meeting at a New York estate offers the opportunity to talk openly and informally about science issues WASHINGTON--Top-level science advisers from a half-dozen nations, including the United States and the Soviet Union, recently held a weekend conference in the countryside near New York, The Scientist has learned. At least one participant has suggested that the late-February meeting could turn out to be the first in a series of regularly held gatherings of top international scien
Swedish Academy Of Sciences Awards Crafoord Prize To Carnegie Astronomer
Swedish Academy Of Sciences Awards Crafoord Prize To Carnegie Astronomer
Allan R. Sandage, an astronomer at the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution, in Pasadena, Calif., has been chosen to receive the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences' 1991 Crafoord Prize. The $260,000 Crafoord Prize has been given annually, on a rotating basis, since 1982 for contributions in fields not recognized by the Nobel Prizes--mathematics, astronomy, geosciences, and biosciences. According to the award citation, Sandage was honored for his contributions to "the study of galaxies,

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
p.4 A New Name For Cold Fusion Faisal Foundation Embraces Conservation Knocking Down The Doors Red Squirrel Redux The Patient Is Healthy The public may have long ago forgotten the phenomenon of cold fusion. And most of the scientific community never accepted what two University of Utah researchers said they had found two years ago when they applied an electric current to palladium rods wrapped in platinum coils and immersed in heavy water. But there is a core of researchers still on the

Opinion

Salvador Luria's Cathedral: Responsible, Humane Science
Salvador Luria's Cathedral: Responsible, Humane Science
In the last few decades the relationship between the scientific enterprise and the society in which that enterprise is carried out has become increasingly tense and complex. The problem arises, I believe, from the internal stresses and contradictions within both society and science. Our society is fundamentally based on the premise of democracy. Modern democracy is the daughter of the rationalism of the 17th and 18th century and is therefore, in a sense, the twin sister of science. It is, by i

Letter

Terms Of Gender
Terms Of Gender
The difficult and sensitive issue of women in science was given extensive consideration in your Oct. 15, 1990, issue. The term "gender" was used frequently to refer to persons of the female sex. This approach is becoming an increasingly popular way to refer to the male and female sex of people, perhaps to de-emphasize the biological basis of differences between men and women. However, gender is a grammatical term referring to the sex (masculine, feminine, or neuter) of nouns or pronouns. People
NSF Responds
NSF Responds
I'd like to correct a number of factual errors and misleading statements in "NSF Cuts Back On Faltering Science, Technology Centers" [The Scientist, Feb. 4, 1991, page 1]. The article leaves the impression that Science and Technology Centers (STCs) have become a low priority at NSF. In fact, that is not the case. The STC program is not "faltering." Since your article was researched, nine new centers have been established and others are expected to be announced within the next few weeks. No mas
Laser Tweezers
Laser Tweezers
I wish to clarify one point in the article "Special Report: Cell Biologists Combine Old With New Tools" [The Scientist, Dec. 10, 1990, page 28]. Although the article says that Cell Robotics was created "...to develop and commercialize a line of laser trapping modules, or `laser tweezers,'" an accompanying box lists products with price ranges that may imply that these instruments are currently ready for delivery. These products are not projected to be available for "beta" testing until late 1991

Commentary

The Paradox Of Today's Chemistry Profession
The Paradox Of Today's Chemistry Profession
By many measures, chemistry is the central and most successful of all sciences--in the world at large and supremely in the United States. America boasts an enviable record of Nobel laureates in chemistry over the past three decades; the chemical process industries routinely compile trade surpluses of billions of dollars; and the American Chemical Society is the world's largest single-discipline scientific society. And yet, and yet... Chemists see themselves as beleaguered, unloved, unappreciat

Research

The Highest-Impact, Highest-Influence Chemistry Journals
The Highest-Impact, Highest-Influence Chemistry Journals
For chemists, including those convening in Atlanta for the American Chemical Society's spring meeting this month, there is no shortage of reading material. The Philadelphia-based Institute for Scientific Information catalogs some 300 chemistry journals for its Science Citation Index database. In an attempt to determine which of these publications are considered by chemists to be the most influential, The Scientist looked to SCI to identify those journals whose articles have been the most freque

Hot Paper

Superconductivity
Superconductivity
J.D. Jorgensen, B.W. Veal, A.P. Paulikas, L.J. Nowicki, et al., "Structural properties of oxygen-deficient YBa2Cu3O7-d," Physical Review B, 41:1863-77, 1990. James D. Jorgensen (Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Ill.): "YBa2Cu3O7-d is the compound that pushed the record temperature for superconductivity from 35 K to 92 K. Shortly after its discovery, many researchers realized that the superconducting properties could be varied dramatically by changing the oxygen content. The composition c
Immunology
Immunology
M.J. Elices, L. Osborn, Y. Takada, C. Crouse, et al., "VCAM-1 on activated endothelium interacts with the leukocyte integrin VLA-4 at a site distinct from the VLA-4/fibronectin binding site," Cell, 6:577-84, 1990. Mariano J. Elices (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston): "The ability of leukocytes to migrate through the body is an essential underpinning for normal immune surveillance and relies on a dynamic interaction between circulating leukocytes and the endothelium. The leukocyte integrin
Cell Biology
Cell Biology
F.-U. Hartl, W. Neupert, "Protein sorting to mitochondria: evolutionary conservations of folding and assembly," Science, 247:930-38, 1990. Franz-Ulrich Hartl (University of Munich, Germany): "In this paper we summarize recent progress in understanding the principles of intracellular protein sorting to mitochondria. These `cells' within cells represent an attractive model system for studies of the membrane translocation and assembly of proteins. Mitochondria are derived from endosymbiotic bac
Molecular Biology (2)
Molecular Biology (2)
A. Kazlauskas, C. Ellis, T. Pawson, J.A. Cooper, "Binding of GAP to activated PDGF receptors," Science, 247:1578-81, 1990. Andrius Kazlauskas (National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, Denver): "The GTPase activator protein of ras (GAP) is one of a number of recently discovered proteins that appear to maintain nucleotide binding proteins such as ras in an inactive state, that is, coupled with GDP instead of GTP. Since regulation of GAP activity could affect cellular leve
Molecular Biology
Molecular Biology
D.S. Bredt, S.H. Snyder, "Isolation of nitric oxide synthetase, a calmodulin-requiring enzyme," PNAS, 87:682-5, 1990. Solomon Snyder (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore): "As a card-carrying neuroscientist and psychiatrist, I am supposed to be concerned primarily with things of the brain. However, when I first read the seminal papers that showed that nitric oxide was responsible for the ability of neurotransmitters to dilate blood vessels, I was fascinated. I wondered whet

Profession

Making The Transition From Bench Scientist To Lab Leader
Making The Transition From Bench Scientist To Lab Leader
During a break in a seminar at a biotechnology firm, a chemist approached his lab supervisor to chat about a project. "You know, we're really behind," the chemist said. "I think I need to come in this weekend and run some samples." 1. Don't lose touch with the lab. Take time--even if it's only a few minutes a week--to talk individually to lab team members about their work. 2. Address problems as soon as they arise. 3. Clearly define the objective of each lab project. 4. Let scientists be
Women Astronomers Say Discrimination In Field Persists
Women Astronomers Say Discrimination In Field Persists
Author: BARBARA SPECTOR, p.20 The good news for women astronomers is that their numbers are increasing, according to a recent survey of members of the Washington, D.C.-based American Astronomical Society. But along with this good news comes some additional, disquieting information: Many of these women astronomers reported having been the victims of, or having observed, gender-based discrimination or sexual harassment at some point in their careers. Pamela H. Blondin, who prepared the report,

Briefs

Funding Briefs
Funding Briefs
p.20 Federal agencies involved in studies of the brain and behavior are focusing increasingly on cognition. The National Institute of Mental Health plans to spend $3 million to support research to determine the behavioral principles and brain mechanisms of cognition. The National Institute on Aging is seeking applications for research and training in the neural and psychological mechanisms underlying cognition in aging. The NIMH program in cognition in mental health and mental disorders will a

Technology

Special Report: An Exciting Era In Chemistry Instrumentation
Special Report: An Exciting Era In Chemistry Instrumentation
Instrumentation AUTHOR: MICHAEL ROOT, p.23 Improvements in chemical instrumentation have been accelerating within the last few years, and many of the technology advances have been further enhanced by new or derivative methods. With innovative techniques that allow chemists to study the composition and reaction dynamics of more materials with greater efficiency, accuracy, and sensitivity, it's an exciting time for the field of chemistry. There was a time when nearly all work in the field was d