March 1988

News

Air Force's Basic Research Flies Off in New Directions
Air Force's Basic Research Flies Off in New Directions
WASHINGTON—If Air Force pilots one day are able to use their brains’ internal chemistry to combat fatigue and stay alert during long periods of stress, the achievement will be the result of intensive research by military scientists. But it will also be due to a phone call that program manager Bill Berry made in the fall of 1982 to MIT neuroscientist Richard Wurtman. WASHINGTON--DC The National Institutes of Health has created an adminstrative structure for directing what could
NSF Feels Heat On Delayed Centers
NSF Feels Heat On Delayed Centers
WASHINGTON—The National Science Foundation’s science and technology centers program, intended to be a beacon for collaborative U.S. research that would speed applications to the marketplace, instead has become a lightning rod for criticism from the scientific community. NSF’s decision not to fund any such centers this fiscal year provoked keen disappointment among scientists, especially those who had raced to meet the January 15 deadline. A number of applicants echoed the
Academic Couples Stymied By Attitudes in Workplace
Academic Couples Stymied By Attitudes in Workplace
ITHACA N.Y—In the late 1950s Mildred Dresselhaus was a post-doctoral associate at Cornell and her husband, Gene, was a junior faculty member there. But Cornell's rules barring nepotism prevented the couple from building physics careers there, and they packed their bags for MIT, which had an outstanding reputation for recruiting women faculty. Thirty years later, Mildred Dresselhaus is an institute professor of physics and electrical engineering and her husband is a senior scientist at
Red Tape Hurts Union Research, Says Soviet Scientist
Red Tape Hurts Union Research, Says Soviet Scientist
BOSTON—A Soviet committee created to reduce bureaucracy and increase efficiency within the scientific establishment has received more than 5,000 letters by citizens from all walks of Soviet life. Last month the chairman, Yuri Osipyan (see THE SCIENTIST, January 25, p. 1), carried his message to the annual meeting here of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Osipyan is also director of the Soviet Institute of Solid State Physics. Soviet scientists are eager for more
Funding Cuts in Denmark Threaten Bohr Institute
Funding Cuts in Denmark Threaten Bohr Institute
COPENHAGEN—Government cut-backs have jeopardized the survival of one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious research centers. The Niels Bohr Institute, named in honor of the Danish pioneer of quantum theory, “will die out totally if we continue to lose permanent positions at the present rate,” said its director, Knud Hansen. “We simply cannot finance research posts for new, young scientists to replace those who are leaving through retirement and to take jobs ov
Registry of Psychologists Raises Their Status in U.K.
Registry of Psychologists Raises Their Status in U.K.
. LONDON—The first register of chartered psychologists is being created to emphasize to the public the discipline’s scientific base. The move follows the granting of a Royal Charter to the British Psychological Society, the same status given in recent years to other scientific bodies such as the Institute of Biology. Registration will allow the public, for the first time, to check a psychologist’s credentials; only those registered will be able to use the term “charte
N.C. Academy Finds A Policy Niche
N.C. Academy Finds A Policy Niche
BOSTON—State science academies, which traditionally ply the backwaters of the scientific world, can actually play vital roles in public debates that involve science and technology, according to an environmental policy specialist. The North Carolina Academy of Sciences (NCAS) has shown the way by playing an active role in setting standards for hazardous waste landfills and designing a state regulatory approach to toxic air pollutants, reported Richard N.L. Andrews, director of the Univ
Wanted: Bigger Slice for Biomedicine
Wanted: Bigger Slice for Biomedicine
WASHINGTON—There are two ways for biomedical research to receive more federal funds: from new money generated by raising taxes, or through a larger share of the existing budget. While the biomedical commnunity as a whole is just beginning to tackle the problem, one group—the American Federation for Clinical Researchers—has already decided that biomedical research should receive a larger slice of the current pie at the expense of military research. On March 3 the New Jersey-
Of Super Tuesday and Superconductivity
Of Super Tuesday and Superconductivity
Campaign ‘88 has now passed through the Straits of Super Tuesday. Not all candidates passed in safety. Republican George Bush swamped his opponents, while among the Democrats the field was narrowed considerably, with Michael Dukakis, Albert Gore and Jesse Jackson the apparent survivors. Whoever the eventual nominees for the two parties, the pair should focus their debates, at least in some part, on ways to ensure the effective use of our scientific assets. In our last issue we ran a p
The Crisis in Soviet Computer Science
The Crisis in Soviet Computer Science
During my recent stay in Moscow I was told several different variations on the following anecdote. Japanese experts were invited to assess the state of Soviet electronics and computer technology, and to tell their hosts how long it would take for the Soviet Union to catch up to Japan. “We thought you were behind us 15 or 20 years,” the Japanese experts responded, “But now we have come to the conclusion that it is forever.” A professor in Moscow told me that in the 194
How I Work as Poet and Scientist
How I Work as Poet and Scientist
How I Work as Poet and Scientist Author:RONALD HOFFMANN Date: March 21, 1988 I begin with a vision of unity of creative work in science and in the humanities and arts. The shared ground is clear: both involve acts of creation, accomplished through craftsmanship, with an attention to detail. Both science and art value the true economy of statement. They share a desire to communicate, although that often gets obscured by jargon and by the deadening ritual of the research report in science, by too
Congress Must Take the Lead in Biotech
Congress Must Take the Lead in Biotech
In [the United States] biotechnology is still perceived primarily as a regulatory and legal problem, not an economic opportunity. A regulatory structure has been fashioned that is functioning quite well in assuring the public that the science of biotechnology is safe. Beyond the regulatory concerns, however, there is a political vacuum. Historically, I think, it is fair to say that our country rarely charts a long-term strategy for emerging technologies in order to assure they are properly rec
Face To Face
Face To Face
As editor of the New England Journal of Medicine for more than a decade, Arnold S. Relman has played a significant role in setting publication standards for scientific journals. He champions the “Ingelfinger rule”promulgated by his predecessor, Franz Ingelfinger, which bars contributors from publicizing their articles before publication in the Journal. He also has strongly supported embargoes that permit reporters to receive advance copies of scientific journals on condition that th
The Most Important Single Work in the Physical Sciences
The Most Important Single Work in the Physical Sciences
Last year the world of science celebrated the 300th anniversary of Isaac Newton’s Principia. Trinity College, Cambridge (UK) celebrated the event with a Newton Tercentenary Conference last summer. One result of the conference is the book 300 Years of Gravitation (Cambridge University Press, 1988), edited by Stephen Hawking and Werner Israel. The book contains 16 review papers by leading researchers in cosmology, relativity and particle physics. In his pref- ace to the book, excerpted bel
Revisiting an Intellectual Crossroads
Revisiting an Intellectual Crossroads
8p.m. Only two hours late. Not like arriving at 5 a.m. by car from Udine or Venice or somewhere, after winter fog in Milan. The Italian government had hoped that the center would help revive Trieste, once the great port of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but in the summer of 1987 it is still off the main air routes. I’m glad to get a lift along the spectacular coast road to the tiny resort of Grignano—but not, this time, to the homely Hotel Mi- gnon. Surprisingly, the luxurious Adria

Letter

Letters
Letters
Room for Religion? On the Fast Track Animal Rights M.D.s in the Lab Date: March 21, 1988 The article Salam on Science and World Development” and its accompanying sidebar on science and religion (February 8, 1988, p. 20) struck me as being perfectly reasonable: an outstanding scientist, his belief in the supernatural, and his integration of Islam and physics. However, such an article today about a scientist who is a Christian would probably never appear in THE SCIENTIST, or if i

Technology

DOS Utilities For Your PC
DOS Utilities For Your PC
Editor’s note: This is the second article in a three-part series on utilities for IBM PCs or compatibles. For the first part, on enhancing input/output operations, see February 8, 1988, p. 22. A future article will deal with desktop utilities. The disk operating system (DOS) that you purchase to run on your personal computer consists primarily of a set of routines that application programs can call upon, together with a facility for loading programs. The various built-in commands like &

Books etc.

Science With a Social Conscience
Science With a Social Conscience
LABORATORY Scientists as Political Activists in 1930s America. Peter J. Kuznick. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1987. 363 pp. $29.95. Science faced calamity on several fronts during the 1930s, and this fine book by Peter J. Kuznick, assistant professor of history at The American University, tells how American scientists responded. Scientists, he writes, entered the decade with “a peculiar sort of hubris.” They were elitist, politically conservative or uninvolved, an
Laying Geology's Groundwork
Laying Geology's Groundwork
TO GEOLOGY The Foundations of a Science, 1650-1830. Rachel Laudan. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1987. 278 pp. $27.50. BY JERE H. LIPPS A disparity exists in geology between causal and historical practitioners of the science. Perhaps most geologists aim to decipher the Earth’s history, but an ever-larger number is concerned with the causes of geological phenomena, making them more akin to physicists and chemists than to the British founding geologists typically held in suc
Genes and Judges; A Growing 'Courtship'
Genes and Judges; A Growing 'Courtship'
COURTS Henry M. Butzel. The Edwin Mellon Press, Lewiston, NY, 1987.801 pp. $89.95. Knowledge about genetics is accumulating so rapidly that it is not surprising that our court system does not keep pace. In this book, Henry M. Butzel illustrates convincingly the wide gap between the use and misuse of genetic technology and jurisprudential decision making. Butzel covers many disparate areas of genetics—ranging from patenting recombinant microorganisms to the genetic effects of radiati
Two More for the World Sci-Tech Series
Two More for the World Sci-Tech Series
Reviews Two More for the World Sci-Tech Series AUTHOR:BERNARD DIXON Date: March 21, 1988 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN THE USSR Longman Guide to World Science and Technology, vol. 6. Michael J. Beny, ed. Longman, Essex, UK, 1988. 405 pp. £63. Distributed in the U.S. and Canada by Gale Research Co., Detroit. $95. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN FRANCE AND BELGIUM Longman Guide to World Science and Technology, vol. 7. E. Walter Kellerman Longman, Essex, UK, 1988. 131 pp. £63. Distributed in the
Forthcoming Books
Forthcoming Books
This list of forthcoming books has been compiled from the latest information available from publishers. Dates of publication, prices and numbers of pages are tentative, however, and are subject to change. Soil Science Simplified. Second Edition. Mio I. Harpstead, Francis D. Hole and William Bennett. Iowa State University Press: April, $16.95, 204 pp. Explains the basic concepts of soil science including the physical, chemical and biological features, as well as soil management, classification

So They Say

So They Say
So They Say
People on the Private Side I set up the [National Cancer Institute’s biological response modification program beginning in 1980, and I left in February of 1984, and during that time I actually was trying to get more private involvement, to get a closer interface with the biotechnology industry, to get rotating scientists in from outside to try to open up and liberalize some of the viewpoints within the N.C.I. system.... They almost totally rejected it. It was a real closed shop in ter

New Products

New Products
New Products
Designed for loading DNA sequencing samples, the SYPD 3 uL syringe reduces sample contamination. Disposable polycarbonate tips of either 0.34 or 0.19 mm OD prevent sample mixing. Samples do not come in contact with the plunger. The calibrated plunger allows for sample delivery in 0.5-3.0 uL to 0.05 uL increments. The syringe sells for $125. Hoefer Scientific Instruments. NIR Spectrophotometer These fiber optic accessories enhance the versatility of the company’s 6250 near infrared (NI

Happenings

Happenings
Happenings
Brian Wilkinson, professor of civil engineering and deputy dean of the Royal Military College of Science at Shrivenham, U.K., has been appointed director of the Natural Environment Research Council’s Institute of Hydrology and head of NERC's Wallingford Laboratory, effective July 5. Wilkinson spent nine years with the Water Research Center as head of the water resources division and head of the communications group. To 18 Individuals. The National Academy of Sciences will present t

Uncategorized

NAS Awards 15 Science Prizes To 18 Individuals.
NAS Awards 15 Science Prizes To 18 Individuals.
{WantNoCacheVal} NAS Awards 15 Science Prizes To 18 Individuals. NAS Awards 15 Science Prizes To 18 Individuals. The National Academy of Sciences will present the following awards at Its 125th annual meeting on April 25, Including two new awards in mathematics and the neurosciences. Robert P. Langlands professor of mathematics. The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, N.J.. the NAS award In mathematics; Seymour S. Kety, senior scientist NIMH Intramural Research Program, and Louis

Profession

Teaching After Science Careers
Teaching After Science Careers
Sixty-year-old Donald G. Simpson, a retired air force lieutenant colonel, says he has a lot to offer the students in his science classes at Sanderson High School in Raleigh, N.C. “I know what to expect from the students because I’ve raised my own family. I think those school teachers who are kids themselves can’t understand their students as well as I can.” Fifty-seven-year-old Daniel Trollinger, a chemist at General Electric in Columbia, Md., is in the process of get