News

Healy Proclaims Her Long-Range Objective: Rapid Escalation In Number Of NIH Grants
Healy Proclaims Her Long-Range Objective: Rapid Escalation In Number Of NIH Grants
Clearly established research goals, awards of shorter duration, and vigilance over costs will do the trick, says the agency,s director BETHESDA, Md.--National Institutes of Health director Bernadine Healy hopes to increase by almost 50 percent the total number of grants the agency awards over the next several years. To do it, she says, NIH must trim budget requests by principal investigators and tighten up on indirect costs paid to institutions, manipulate the length of its grants awarded to av
Chemists Assess Opportunities In Their Changing Profession
Chemists Assess Opportunities In Their Changing Profession
Attending some scientific conferences can be as frustrating for the career-driven researcher as a stroll through a bookstore is for the book-starved browser. With offerings so vast, one simply may not have the time or the energy to satisfy the intellectual appetite. In the spring of 1990, the advisory committee to the NSF chemistry division decided to conduct its annual meeting a little differently. Instead of devoting one hour to one topic before moving on to another, committee members deci
The Sticky Business of Noncaloric Sugars
The Sticky Business of Noncaloric Sugars
Gilbert Levin has had sweet dreams for a long time. Levin is the president and founder of Biospherics Inc., a Beltsville, Md.-based environmental and health technology company. For nearly two decades, he has sought a noncaloric sweetener boasting both the bulk of table sugar and the ability to withstand cooking heat--in short, the ultimate food additive. Now he thinks he's found it, in a sugar called tagatose. He and the other Biospherics scientists who have studied the tagatose molecule hope
Kennedy Resigns As Indirect Costs Controversy Mounts
Kennedy Resigns As Indirect Costs Controversy Mounts
WASHINGTON: On July 29, as Donald Kennedy announced his resignation as president of Stanford University, research institutions throughout the United States were rushing to meet a 5 P.M. deadline to comment on changes in the rules governing how much they can charge for the indirect costs of doing federally funded research. Although the timing was a coincidence, the simultaneity of the activities symbolized Kennedy's inability to quell, through personal response, the indirect costs controversy t
Kennedy Resigns As Indirect Costs Controversy Mounts
Kennedy Resigns As Indirect Costs Controversy Mounts
Although the timing was a coincidence, the simultaneity of the activities symbolized Kennedy's inability to quell, through personal response, the indirect costs controversy that has plagued the U.S. academic world for the past several months--a controversy that Kennedy and his institution principally precipitated. His peers in academe note that failure even as they give expression to their sympathy. "The events of the past year are a sorry climax to a brilliant career," says Richard Atkinson,
LEFT-HANDED SUGAR GETS A FREE RIDE OUT OF YOUR SYSTEM
LEFT-HANDED SUGAR GETS A FREE RIDE OUT OF YOUR SYSTEM
Volume 5, #16The ScientistAugust 19, 1991 LEFT-HANDED SUGAR GETS A FREE RIDE OUT OF YOUR SYSTEM Chemical compounds can exist in forms that are mirror images of each other. Like gloves, they can be either left-handed or right-handed. Sugars are such "handed" molecules. Human digestive enzymes have evolved to act upon right-handed sugar molecules, while often allowing left-handed forms to pass directly through. Both l-tagatose, the left-handed form, and d-tagatose, the right-hand
WHERE ARE NSF'S CHEMISTRY DOLLARS HEADED?
WHERE ARE NSF'S CHEMISTRY DOLLARS HEADED?
Volume 5, #16The ScientistAugust 19, 1991 WHERE ARE NSF'S CHEMISTRY DOLLARS HEADED This year, the National Science Foundation's chemistry division is asking Congress for a 10 percent increase, or $10 million above FY 1991's $100 million, to offset a trend of the past five years that merely kept the division's budget apace with cost-of-living increases. About half of the increase would be distributed across the board to the organic, inorganic, physical, and analytic subdivision
PUT THEM ALL TOGETHER, THEY SPELL CHEMISTRY
PUT THEM ALL TOGETHER, THEY SPELL CHEMISTRY
Volume 5, #16The ScientistAugust 19, 1991 PUT THEM ALL TOGETHER, THEY SPELL CHEMISTRY In the spring of 1990, the advisory committee to the NSF chemistry division decided to conduct its annual meeting a little differently. Instead of devoting one hour to one topic before moving on to another, committee members decided to hold the meeting like a retreat. Says NSF chemistry division director Kenneth Hancock: "We decided to sit back and literally ask where the intellectual frontier
Harvard Biochemist Jeremy Knowles Named To Top Arts And Sciences Post
Harvard Biochemist Jeremy Knowles Named To Top Arts And Sciences Post
Harvard Biochemist Jeremy Knowles Named To Top Arts And Sciences Post Veteran Computer Systems Designer Mayo Takes Helm as Bell Labs seventh President John L. Zabriskie Robert Gall Thomas Waldman Jeremy R. Knowles, a British-born chemist who has been at Harvard University since 1974, has been appointed dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. In his new job, second in importance only to the presidency, Knowles oversees the finances, organization, and educational policies of Harvard Co
Obituary
Obituary
Roger Revelle, a California oceanographer who predicted global warming as early as the 1950s, died July 15 at the age of 82. He was a professor emeritus at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, at the time of his death. Revelle helped found UC-San Diego in 1960. One of the university's five undergraduate colleges is named Revelle College in his honor. Revelle's career, which spanned nearly 60 years, encompassed a wide range of interests. From 1951 until

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
UC VS DOE Far East to West FASEB Attracts Two Societies The Infinite Voyage Part, V The Rat Next Door A few months ago, some University of California officials hinted that the UC system's 45-year stint as caretaker of the Energy Department's national labs could come to an end if DOE officials carried out a plan to open the negotiations to other bidders on soon-to-expire contracts for running the labs. The potential crisis passed, however, as DOE announced it would be negotiating exclus

Opinion

How Do We Measure What We Get When We `Buy' Research?
How Do We Measure What We Get When We `Buy' Research?
Editor's Note: Today's academic scientists are being asked more frequently than in the past to defend the value of their research. And the pursuit and acquisition of knowledge, once accepted at face value as positive objectives within a democratic society, are no longer good enough, by themselves, to justify scientific investigations. Politicians and the public now demand to know what they are getting for their money, and the most satisfying answers tend to be couched in terms of economic payo

Letter

A Note Of Explanation
A Note Of Explanation
I would like to provide a note of explanation regarding Marcia Clemmitt's article on scientists- turned-project managers (The Scientist, May 27, 1991, page 1). The production of high-flux neutron beams from steady-state reactors has historically set a very high standard for beam stability and reliability that those of us building the next generation of synchrotron research facilities should try to achieve for the X-ray research community. In my own case, I was trained as a neutron scatterer lo
Give Mims A Chance
Give Mims A Chance
I recently received my first copy of The Scientist (the May 13, 1991, issue), in which I read the article about Forrest Mims III [page 12]. There were a lot of points raised about his raising false issues, being a religious fundamentalist, controlling the content of Scientific American, compromising his knowledge of science in favor of his religious beliefs, and not being able to communicate about science. From the same article, I gathered that Mims has a track record that speaks for itself. I
An Inspiration
An Inspiration
I enjoyed the article on honorary degrees in the June 24 issue of The Scientist [page 1], and I agree with Frederick Kelly of the American Association of University Administrators that honorary degrees given to truly deserving individuals serve to enhance the commencement proceedings and make the event more memorable. This is particularly true for smaller schools. On May 18, Delaware Valley College, a small, private school in eastern Pennsylvania, awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree

Commentary

Public Scientific Literacy: We Can Achieve It!
Public Scientific Literacy: We Can Achieve It!
Why is the United States' population scientifically illiterate? One reason is that our society measures intellectual sophistication by one's knowledge of the arts, history, philosophy, economics, politics, and language, but excuses ignorance of basic scientific facts--such as the difference between a molecule and an atom--and the central role that science has played in bringing about improvements in the quality of life and knowledge that produces objectivity of thought and freedom from supersti

Research

Second Wave Of `Buckyball' Researchers Kicks Off Efforts
Second Wave Of `Buckyball' Researchers Kicks Off Efforts
Two years ago, the 60-carbon, soccer ball-shaped buckminsterfullerene was just a curiosity for Larry Lewis, a staff chemist at the General Electric Co. Corporate Research & Development center in Schenectady, N.Y. At the time, his interest in the recently identified molecule was restricted to "what if" questions inspired by perusing numerous journal articles about it. He couldn't do any lab work with it, though, Lewis says, because "there wasn't enough of the stuff to do chemistry with." But al
GREAT BALLS O' CARBON
GREAT BALLS O' CARBON
Volume 5, #16The ScientistAugust 19, 1991 Great Balls O' Carbon It was late on an August evening six years ago that Rice University professor Richard Smalley sat in his kitchen, cutting out shapes from a legal pad and taping them together. He was trying to come up with a model having 60 vertices to represent the 60-carbon molecule which he and his collaborators generated in the lab by laser-vaporizing carbon in helium gas. Chemist Harold Kroto was one of these collaborators. He
FULLERENE VENDORS
FULLERENE VENDORS
Volume 5, #16The ScientistAugust 19, 1991 FULLRENE VENDORS Aldrich Chemical Co. P.O. Box 355 Milwaukee, Wis. 53201 Phone: (800) 558-9160 25 mg for $60, 100 mg for $180 Materials and Electro-chemical Research Corp. 7960 S. Kolb Rd. Tucson, Ariz. 85706 Phone: (602) 574-1980 1 g soot $20; 2-5 g $18/g; 6-10 g $16/g; 11-20 g $15/g; 21-50 g $12/g; 51-100g $10/g buckminsterfullerene 100 mg (C60/C70) $100; 1g $450; 2-5 g $350/g Research Materials Inc. 1667 Cole Blvd. Building 19 Suite
BUYING BUCKYBALLS
BUYING BUCKYBALLS
Volume 5, #16The ScientistAugust 19, 1991 BUYING BUCKYBALLS Restaurants succeed because people would rather buy the food than prepare and cook it themselves. The situation may be the same with fullerenes--and that's what a handful of companies are banking on. "You can get nice, pure stuff if you make it yourself, but that route is not without problems. It takes about a week to get 250 milligrams of pure material. So the prices are not out of line at all," says Christopher Foote

Hot Paper

Molecular Biology
Molecular Biology
C.V. Gunther, J.A. Nye, R.S. Bryner, B.J. Graves, "Sequence-specific DNA binding of the proto-oncoprotein ets-1 defines a transcriptional activator sequence within the long terminal repeat of the Moloney murine sarcoma virus," Genes & Development, 4:667-79, 1990. Barbara J. Graves (University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City): "This paper reported our laboratory's serendipitous discovery that ets-1 encodes a sequence-specific DNA-binding protein. Our results implicated this proto-onc
Geophysics
Geophysics
C. DeMets, R.G. Gordon, D.F. Argus, S. Stein, "Current plate motions," Geophysical Journal International, 101:425-78, 1990. Charles DeMets (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena): "Accurate models for the present-day velocities of the earth's major tectonic plates have long been useful tools in the earth sciences. Through careful analysis of abundant high-quality seafloor and earthquake data, we have constructed a model free from the significant biases present
Chemistry
Chemistry
W. Kratschmer, K. Fostiropoulos, D.R. Huffman, "The infrared and ultraviolet absorption spectra of laboratory-produced carbon dust: evidence for the presence of the C60 molecule," Chemical Physics Letters, 170:167-70, 1990. W. Kratschmer, L.D. Lamb, K. Fostiropoulos, D.R. Huffman, "Solid C60: a new form of carbon," Nature, 347:354-58, 1990. Wolfgang Kratschmer (Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, Heidelberg, Germany): "We stumbled over the soccer ball-shaped C60 molecule when we produce

Profession

Journal Referees Report That Authors Call Many Of The Shots
Journal Referees Report That Authors Call Many Of The Shots
Publish or perish. It's a dictum drummed into the heads of scientists from the time they begin their studies. Jobs, grants, and promotions--everything of possible import to the budding academic scientist--hinge, to a great extent, on getting one's research into print. But self-advancement also goes hand-in-hand with the progress of science, for publishing papers is the prime means by which important findings are disseminated within the scientific community. To publish a paper in a journal, wher
MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARIES OF DOCTORAL SCIENTISTS BY FIELD AND SEX, 1989
MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARIES OF DOCTORAL SCIENTISTS BY FIELD AND SEX, 1989
Volume 5, #16The ScientistAugust 19, 1991 MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARIES OF DOCTORAL SCIENTISTS BY FIELD AND SEX, 1989 Field Total Men Women All Scientists $52,200 $54,500 $44,400 Physical Scientists 56,000 57,100 47,500 Chemists 55,000 55,900 46,900 Physicists/Astro. 58,600 59,100 48,700 Math Scientists 51,600 52,200 45,200 Mathematicians 51,600 52,400 43,800 Statisticians 51,500 51,700 48,300 Computer/Info. Specialists 58,500 60,100 50,000 Environmental Scientists 55,100 55,600 43,
New NSF Report On Salaries Of Ph.D.'s Reveals Gender Gaps In All Categories
New NSF Report On Salaries Of Ph.D.'s Reveals Gender Gaps In All Categories
Editor's Note: This story, which discusses the salaries of men and women scientists, is the first of a two-part series on the National Science Foundation's Biennial Ph.D. Survey. The second part, which will focus on the salaries of scientists in various ethnic groups, will appear in the Sept. 16, 1991, issue of The Scientist. Reinforcing the widely held belief that women scientists face inequalities in compensation, a recent National Science Foundation survey reveals that female Ph.D. research

Briefs

Funding Briefs
Funding Briefs
Young biomedical scientists will lose a major source of postdoctoral training funds as a result of the decision by the Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust to terminate its Markey Scholars in Biomedical Science program. The trust, created by the heir to the Calumet Farm horseracing fortune, was established in 1982 with the stipulation that all its funds be distributed by 1997. The trustees decided that its seventh round of scholars, announced in February, would be its last. Since the Scholar Aw

Technology

Peptide Chemistry Penetrates A Growing Range Of Disciplines
Peptide Chemistry Penetrates A Growing Range Of Disciplines
Peptides--the amino acid chains that make up proteins--were long relegated to a sideline of the much larger field of protein chemistry. But over the last few decades, their importance has grown as the understanding of these biological building blocks has become essential to a multitude of sciences, from agriculture to therapeutics to the Human Genome Project. As peptide chemistry continues to make its way into other disciplines, it behooves researchers from these disciplines to gain a basic gro