January 1992

News

University Officials Struggle To Find True Price Of Science
University Officials Struggle To Find True Price Of Science
Indirect costs scandals and a new federal mandate pressure budget officers to grapple with what they see as a befuddling to grapple with what they see as a befuddling task WASHINGTON--University research administrators across the United States are moving to comply with a newly imposed limit on how much money they can recover from the government to compensate their schools for administrative support of federally funded research. And in the process of observing the new federal regulation,
Cetus: A Collision Course With Failure
Cetus: A Collision Course With Failure
Insiders say that the biotech firm got too big for its britches--while putting all of its eggs into one basket Biotechnology firm Cetus Corp., which more or less disappeared from sight in the wake of last month's $700 million takeover by its Emeryville, Calif., neighbor Chiron Corp., once seemed to have all the tools needed to succeed. But the company didn't survive--despite its talented scientists, deep pockets, and the prospect of a blockbuster product. And the factors that led to the ing
Radcliffe President Lambastes Competitiveness In Research
Radcliffe President Lambastes Competitiveness In Research
WASHINGTON--Fierce rivalries and ruthless competition among scientists traditionally have characterized the United States research environment, according to Radcliffe College president Linda Wilson. But leaders of the nation's science establishment should reexamine the value of this approach to science, she maintains, if the profession hopes to attract more women and minorities. Wilson, a chemist and former vice president for research at the University of Michigan, expressed her views last
HEALY URGES SCHOOLS TO TIGHTEN THEIR BELTS
HEALY URGES SCHOOLS TO TIGHTEN THEIR BELTS
HEALY URGES SCHOOLS TO TIGHTEN THEIR BELTS Author: JEFFREY MERVIS Date: January 20, 1992 National Institutes of Health director Bernadine Healy says that university administrators need to act more like their private-sector colleagues when it comes to dealing with the issue of indirect costs. If they don't, she warns, rising overhead rates will eat into the amount of new money available for academic research grants. "Every corporation in this country is trying to hold down it
Healy Urges Schools To Tighten Their Belts
Healy Urges Schools To Tighten Their Belts
National Institutes of Health director Bernadine Healy says that university administrators need to act more like their private-sector colleagues when it comes to dealing with the issue of indirect costs. If they don't, she warns, rising overhead rates will eat into the amount of new money available for academic research grants. "Every corporation in this country is trying to hold down its costs," Healy says, "and I think that university presidents need to do the same thing. Unfortunately, I
Average 1990 Monthly Salaries, Master's Degree Holders Years Of Experience
Average 1990 Monthly Salaries, Master's Degree Holders Years Of Experience
DISCIPLINE 2 7 10 15 18 24-25 Atmos., Earth, Marine and Space Science $2,864 $3,555 $3,848 $4,214 $4,625 $5,221 Biological Science N/A 2,975 3,748 3,457 3,651 4,021 Chemistry N/A 3,066 3,168 3,544 4,063 4,727 Computer Science 3,189 3,819 4,170 4,483 4,722 5,130 Mathematics 3,171 3,882 4,479 5,000 4,833 5,673 Optics/Lasers 3,669 3,571 4,430 4,758 4,447 5,467 Physics 3,370 3,405 4,414 4,584 4,872 5,349 Source: The Hay Group, 1991

Notebook

Notebook
Notebook
Rejection Rate Rises at NIH Bromley Bids Farewell to Sununu Good Swaps Science Advisory Post Kassirer Won't Play the Name Game Stick to Politics and Religion Congress thinks that NIH's peer reviewers, who in 1990 rejected only 5 percent of the proposals they judged as members of NIH study sections, are too easy on scientists, and last year they asked NIH to do something about it. So last fall, as part of a broader series of changes in the peer review system, NIH created a new category-

Opinion

OTA's Gibbons: `Important New Realities' Face U.S. Science
OTA's Gibbons: `Important New Realities' Face U.S. Science
More than a decade later, it seems that Gibbons has met the challenge. He presides over a $21 million budget and a 150-member staff of scientists and technologists who, with the help of outside experts, produce more than two dozen major reports each year, conduct hundreds of briefings for federal officials, and appear regularly before Congress and at scientific meetings and conferences. A recent report from the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government cites the agency's "sol

Commentary

Let's Get Serious About Scientific Misconduct
Let's Get Serious About Scientific Misconduct
So, with the public's trust in its institutions already crumbling, the scientific community must get serious about the way it deals with alleged fraud and misconduct. To be convinced of this, we can call to mind the protracted, torturous unwinding of the notorious Baltimore case. As most of us are aware, it was back in 1986 that a paper bearing the name of Nobelist David Baltimore was published in the journal Cell (45:247, 1986). It contained an important conclusion based on data that did not

Letter

A Positive Experience
A Positive Experience
I believe my impression of a lack of opportunity for foreign scientists in upper-level academia currently is realistic. However, that is not the stated goal of my sponsoring program (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science), nor was it my own. The difficulties in attaining such a position are certainly enhanced by cultural differences; however, I do not believe that this reflects any cultural bias on the part of the Japanese. Their intention of generating research collaborations and dialogu
Creationist Beliefs
Creationist Beliefs
Date: January 20, 1992 Forrest Mims III (The Scientist, Oct. 28, 1991, page 12) responds to the three questions I posed in my letter in the July 22 issue of The Scientist [page 12]. The first concerned the creationist claim that animals were drowned by the Great Flood, and the fossilized bones of the best swimmers are in the top layers. The book Scientific Creationism (San Diego, Creation Life Publishers, 1974, pages 118-20) states that fossils of "mammals and birds would be found in general at
The More Things Change. . .
The More Things Change. . .
I read with interest the article by Linda Marsa entitled "Mentoring: A Time-Honored Tradition Changes Over Time" (The Scientist, Oct. 28, 1991, page 19). As a faculty member over the past 20 years with a modest number of prot‚g‚s, I recently became interested in a more thorough investigation of this important and elusive process. I enlisted the services of a colleague, Don Petersen, and in our search through the literature we read many of the same key phrases found in the article, s

Research

Soil Scientists And Volunteers Dig In To Save The Earth
Soil Scientists And Volunteers Dig In To Save The Earth
In Blaenavon, South Wales, on a warm September morning last year, a psychotherapist from Colorado and a computer repairman from northeastern England, both on vacation, sat on a grassy hill slope and measured how water flowed through the layer of topsoil covering the hill. Their readings will help determine the quality of this land, which is currently used for sheep grazing. The next day, on a nearby tract of land, a California elementary school teacher and a New Hampshire accountant, both als

Hot Paper

Molecular Biology
Molecular Biology
R.P. Beckmann, L.A. Mizzen, W.J. Welch, "Interaction of Hsp 70 with newly synthesized proteins: implications for protein folding and assembly," Science, 248:850-54, 1990. Richard P. Beckmann (Eli Lilly and Co., Indianapolis; formerly at University of California, San Francisco): "Stress proteins were originally identified as a group of proteins whose synthesis is selectively increased or induced after stress. Later it was shown that most stress proteins are synthesized under normal growth condit
Molecular Biology
Molecular Biology
S. Ghosh, A.M. Gifford, L.R. Riviere, P. Tempst, et al., "Cloning of the p50 DNA binding subunit of NF-kB: homology to rel and dorsal," Cell, 62:1019-29, 1990. Sanker Ghosh (Yale University School of Medicine; formerly at Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, Mass.): "NF-kB is a transcription factor that is widely used for the inducible expression of a large number of cellular and viral genes. This has resulted in the study of NF-kB by researchers interested in diverse areas
Neuroscience
Neuroscience
M. Sheng, M.E. Greenberg, "The regulation and function of c-fos and other immediate early genes in the nervous system," Neuron, 4:477-85, 1990. Morgan Sheng (Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco; formerly at Harvard Medical School, Boston): "The nervous system is beautifully adapted for rapid electrical signaling, but it has become clear in recent years that nerve cells do not just form passive conducting networks--they show marked long-ter
Chemical Physics
Chemical Physics
E. Hasselbrink, S. Jakubith, S. Nettesheim, M. Wolf, et al., "Cross sections and NO product state distributions resulting from substrate mediated photodissociation of NO2 adsorbed on Pd(111)," Journal of Chemical Physics, 92:3154-69, 1990. Eckart Hasselbrink (Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Berlin): "Over the last three years there has been a growing interest in photochemistry on single crystal surfaces. Fundamentally, this concerns the electronic interaction between an adsorb

Profession

D Scientists' Salary Increases
D Scientists' Salary Increases
Base pay for many research-and-development scientists was restrained by economic forces in 1990, with increases in some cases managing only to match the rate of inflation, according to a survey report recently released by the Washington, D.C.-based Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology. For instance, chemists with a bachelor's degree and two years' experience made an average of $2,465 per month in 1990, 4.2 percent more than in 1989. Atmospheric scientists with a master's deg
People: Fourth Bristol-Myers Squibb Pain Award Is Presented To UNC Nociceptor Pioneer
People: Fourth Bristol-Myers Squibb Pain Award Is Presented To UNC Nociceptor Pioneer
Edward R. Perl, Sarah Graham Kenan Professor of Physiology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, is the recipient of the fourth annual Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Pain Research. The award, which consists of a $50,000 prize and a silver medallion, was presented to Perl in November at the annual meeting of the American Pain Society in New Orleans. Perl, 64, was recognized for his discovery of nociceptors, nerve endings in skin and tissue that convey i

Briefs

Funding Briefs
Funding Briefs
The GTE Corporation Lectureship Program in Technology and Ethics offers U.S. colleges and universities grant support for an on-campus lecture series to promote public discussion of ethical issues in science and technology. Programs will be open to the public as well as to members of the sponsoring institution, and are designed to promote interdisciplinary discussion of technology issues and allow the institutions' faculty and students to hear the views of outside experts. Eligible institutio
Funding Briefs
Funding Briefs
The Louis Jeantet Foundation for Medicine will support one to three clinical or basic biomedical research projects in 1993 by distinguished scientists, at a total funding level of approximately $1.2 million. Scientists, physicians, and institutions are invited to nominate researchers for the awards on the basis of the excellence of nominees' past and present research. Candidates being considered for final selection will be asked to submit specific research proposals. Eligible candidates may b
People Briefs
People Briefs
YUDI P. GUPTA has been appointed to head the new Arlington, Va., office of the Houston Applied Research Center (HARC). HARC is a private, nonprofit organization that fosters ties between science and the marketplace. Its research interests include high-energy physics, space technology, materials science, lasers, geotechnology, supercomputing, and molecular biology. The Arlington office will focus on working with federal agencies and with the Washington, D.C., offices of HARC's partners in industr

Technology

New Software For PCs Helps Take Anxiety Out Of Statistics
New Software For PCs Helps Take Anxiety Out Of Statistics
In the last few years, developers of statistical software have tried hard to reach the nonstatistician. User-friendly, menu-driven programs, with high-resolution graphics to visualize the results of statistical analyses, are becoming increasingly available. And while software packages may not take the place of a fundamental understanding of statistics, they can help improve the statistical literacy of a scientist who understands the basics. Many of the software manuals include detailed explanat