News

Center Links Mexican Firms To Academia
Center Links Mexican Firms To Academia
MEXICO CITY—The official opening here last month of the Center for Electronics and Information Technology (CETEI) underscores Mexico’s efforts to strengthen ties between academic and industrial R&D sectors. The new center was created to support the development of the country’s fast-growing electronics industry by mediating technological supply and demand. The government is encouraging such university-industry cooperation in effort to offset spending cuts it has in academic
BA Lobby Asks Thatcher To Do More for Research
BA Lobby Asks Thatcher To Do More for Research
BELFAST—The British Association for the Advancement of Science, for the first time in living memory, has entered the political arena to defend the interests of British scientists. The association, assembled here for its 149th annual meeting, sent a letter to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher asking for more government spending on research and urging her to chair meetings of the newly created Advisory Council on Science and Technology. It said scientists would back the government’s
U.S.-Soviet Space Talks Open
U.S.-Soviet Space Talks Open
WASHINGTON—Members of the first of five newly created U.S.-Soviet joint scientific working groups have reached a tentative agreement to exchange data on space life sciences and rekindled hope for longlasting coordination of overall research efforts in space. The joint group, which met for six days last month in Moscow, agreed to update a comprehensive space biology and medicine text published jointly in the 1970s and to form a subgroup to explore cooperative projects in extraterrestria
Suicides in Science: A Search for Answers
Suicides in Science: A Search for Answers
SAN FRANCISCO—It’s not uncommon for one scientist to build on the work of another. But it’s rare for that research to spawn an organization dedicated to saving the lives of its subjects. For Molly Gleiser, a chemist at the University of California-Berke- ley, the idea for Suicide Prevention Among Scientists began with an 1984 article in Chemical and Engineering News that described a study of the causes of death among female chemists. One figure jumped out at her: the suici
U.K. Company Offers The BEST of Academia
U.K. Company Offers The BEST of Academia
BELFAST—The strengths and opportunities within British academic research are being offered to industry, government agencies and scientists as part of a national academic data base created last year. The information, known as British Expertise in Science and Technology (BEST), was developed by the publishing firm Longman Cartermill, at the University of St. Andrew’s. Set up in March 1986, BEST covers 180 institutions and contains 14,000 records of scientists and their work. Michae
Chemists Urge Contact With Public
Chemists Urge Contact With Public
SAO PAULO—An international group of chemistry educators has recommended greater contact between working scientists and educators as part of an effort to improve public understanding of science. Delegates to the Ninth International Conference on Chemistry Education held here this summer suggested that scientists involve themselves in communicating news about their work to audiences beyond their professional groups. A conference resolution declared that national scientific bodies should
Australian Science Lobby 'Neutered'
Australian Science Lobby 'Neutered'
TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA—The Australian scientific community is struggling to come to terms with its diminished political influence following the abrupt abolition of the Department of Science as part of a massive restructuring of federal departments after the national election July 11. “The science lobby, such as it is, has been neutered,” commented Ian Lowe of Griffith University, an expert on Australian science policy, who also described “a high level of confusion in t
HHMI Expands Under New President
HHMI Expands Under New President
WASHINGTON—The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) next month will announce a $40 million-a-year program ranging from support for graduate training in the biomedical sciences to funding of health policy and cost-containment studies. Purnell Choppin, HHMI’s former vice president and chief scientific officer who was appointed president of the institute on September 1, said the education prograin will include funds to upgrade science departments at undergraduate colleges and sup
Cray Decision May Set Back Future Work
Cray Decision May Set Back Future Work
WASHINGTON---The decision by Cray Research Inc. to abandon development of its most advanced supercomputer project has dealt a blow to the U.S. supercomputer industry and may set back researchers in the 1990s, say some specialists in the field. “I think the United States has lost one of its very serious efforts in supercomputing,” said Lawrence Lee, director of the Cornell National Supercomputer Facility in Ithaca, N.Y, who added that the step may have “serious repercussion
Diplomats Strive for Scientific Literacy
Diplomats Strive for Scientific Literacy
WASHINGTON—In many areas of science or technology—from climate changes to new manufacturing technology—the lines between science and foreign policy blur and sometimes disappear. “Things that used to be domestic aren’t any more,” said Robert W. Rycroft, deputy director of the graduate program in science, technology and public policy at George Washington University and an associate professor of public affairs and political science. “There are severe i
Sale of Lab To Unilever Endorsed
Sale of Lab To Unilever Endorsed
CAMBRIDGE, U.K.—The former director of the Plant Breeding Institute here has endorsed the government’s selection of Unilever as the new owner of the facility. The sale of the PBI and the National Seed Development Organization is part of Prime Minister Thatcher’s strategy to privatize many government-owned companies and institutions. The PBI is the country’s major institute for research on plant breeding, and the NSDO earned nearly $7 million last year by marketing se
Berlin Launches Academy
Berlin Launches Academy
WEST BERLIN—The forging of stronger ties among researchers, and between academia and industry, are two important goals of this city’s new Academy of Science (see THE SCIENTIST, March 9, p. 5). The academy, after opening ceremonies later this week, will begin work on a research agenda that will span the natural and medical sciences as well as technology assessment. The first six projects, chosen from 39 proposals and each expected to last three years, will cover automation and the
Glaxo to Pursue Work of Biogen Lab
Glaxo to Pursue Work of Biogen Lab
ZURICH—Officials at Glaxo, the British pharmaceutical giant that has agreed to purchase the Geneva research laboratory of Biogen N.Y., have promised that the facility will retain a degree of autonomy as an intemational center of excellence in biotechnology. John Barr, a spokesman for Glaxo, said that the laboratory will be integrated into the company’s general research program and renamed the Glaxo Institute for Molecular Biology. The new director of research will be Allan Will
SSC: On Land, In Space
SSC: On Land, In Space
WASHINGTON—This month’s deadline for submitting proposals for the $44 billion Superconducting Supercoilider has left the Department of Energy with 43 places to put the world’s biggest scientific construction project. All of the states expected to be in the running (see THE SCIENTIST, March 9, p. 1) submitted their bids on time, although California’s arrived with only eight minutes to spare after a legislative fight on affirmative action hiring goals. Some states couldn
Spaniard in Lead for UNESCO Post?
Spaniard in Lead for UNESCO Post?
PARIS—Only a few weeks before UNESCO’s 50-nation Executive Board meets here for its semiannual session, a scientific front-runner has emerged in the race to succeed Senegal’s Amadou Mahtar M’Bow as director-general. He is Federico Mayor Zaragoza, a 53-year-old Spanish biochemist and pharmacologist who was deputy director-general for UNESCO, the chief U.N. agency for scientific research from 1978 to 1981. He has since served as minister of education and research in Ma
Germanys Sign Science Pact
Germanys Sign Science Pact
WEST BERLIN—West and East Germany have agreed to pursue more than two dozen scientific and technological projects as part of a joint agreement signed last week. The announcement was made on the occasion of the first visit to Bonn by East German General Secretary Erich Honecker The agreement comes after 34 rounds of negotiations in the 15 years since the two countries first established formal relationships. A panel of government officials and scientists from each country will be create
Jorge Rocca: In Search of Big Payoff
Jorge Rocca: In Search of Big Payoff
Jorge Rocca is not your average Presidential Young Investigator. Unlike the majority of his colleagues, he says the award was ‘‘a big factor’’ in his decision to remain in academia. ‘‘We like what we do,’’ he said about young researchers who have begun to build a record of achievement. ‘‘But the award strongly biases you to stay and make good use of the money." Rocca, who is using part of his PYI money to build short-wavelength laser
PYIs Prosper, but Program Falls Short
PYIs Prosper, but Program Falls Short
WASHINGTON—The Presidential Young Investigators award program is supposed to lure newly minted scientists and engineers away from industry and into academia by offering them up to $100,000 a year for their research. The 200 young scientists chosen each year by the National Science Foundation are also asked, somewhat paradoxically, to build ties with industry by obtaining matching funds for the federal dollars they receive. But four years after it was begun, the PYI program has failed
Teller on SDI, Competitiveness
Teller on SDI, Competitiveness
One of the most eminent and controversial scientists of this century, nuclear physicist Edward Teller is perhaps best known for his role in the development of nuclear weapons at Los Alamos National Laboratory during World War II. Often called the “father of the hydrogen bomb,” he also played a controversial role in the loss of security clearance by J. Robert Oppenheimer, the former director of Los Alamos. More recently Teller has been an outspohen advocate of defensive weap- ons, in
Muddled Thinking Is Hard to Swallow
Muddled Thinking Is Hard to Swallow
Ever since I first became involved in research in 1932 I have been struck by the difference in quality of the thinking of even quite emi- nent scientists when they apply their minds, on the one hand, to their own specialized subjects and, on the other hand, to affairs of everyday life. Nor am I restricting my comments to the phenomenon of the distinguished Fellow of the Royal Society at the peak of a creative career who shows himself in committee to lack common sense, to say the least, when c
In Chernobyl's Sarcophagus
In Chernobyl's Sarcophagus
The first reporter on the scene of the Chernobyl accident in late April 1986 was Vladimir Gubaryev. He later wrote a play about the incident, excerpted here.

Letter

Letters
Letters
DeBakey Never Replied In the July 27, 1987 issue (p. 1) Michael DeBakey denies my findings of “overcrowding of animals and improper supervision” in the animal care laboratories under his jurisdiction. He claims I “obviously [have] a convenient memory” and, according to the article, says I was “pleased by the conditions and about the high quality of the facility.” This is not the first time that DeBakey has called me a liar in the press. To keep the record s

Commentary

Not the End of the Physician-Scientist
Not the End of the Physician-Scientist
In 1984 Gordon N. Gill, professor of medicine at the University of California at San Diego, published an essay entitled “The End of the Physician Scientist?” He described how from the mid- 1960s to the early 1980s the biomedical research enterprise in the United States passed largely out of the realm of clinical investigators and into that of Ph.D. scientists working at the molecular leveL He also noted that in the United Kingdom and Europe the split between basic science and clini

Opinion

'Step by Step' Toward Mars
'Step by Step' Toward Mars
Editor’s note: On August 17, NASA released the long-awaited report by former astronaut Sally K Ride, the first American woman in space and a member of the Rogers commission that investigated the crash of the Space Shuttle Challenger in January 1986. EntitIed “Leadership and America’s Future in Space,” the 63-page report urges on NASA an “orderly expansion outward from Earth,” rather than a program to “rush headlong toward Mars” advocated by some N
NASA, Morton Thiokol Must Rethink Risk
NASA, Morton Thiokol Must Rethink Risk
On January 28, 1986 the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds into its flight, killing the seven astronauts aboard and sending the U.S. space program into limbo. All space flight involves risk, but it’s the job of the people on the ground to assess tbat risk and minimize it. The question today is whether NASA and Morton Thiokol, the firm responsible for the design of the rocket booster that failed in the flight, have adequately re-examined their approach to the issue of risk asse
The Long Shadow of The Nazi Doctors
The Long Shadow of The Nazi Doctors
The “medicalization” of mass killing in Nazi Germany is one of the most horrible incidents in the history of science—a time that must never be forgotten. We owe that to those millions who did not survive—both the victims of the Holocaust and those who fought against it. In order to transform curing into killing it was necessary that many physicians become murderers or the helpers of murderers. All those who committed these crimes against humanity are responsible for
When Scientists Think Like Accountants
When Scientists Think Like Accountants
Scientists and technologists in industry complain about being subjected to accountants, but, as Mark Twain would point out, they do nothing about it. In self-defense they learn to read balance sheets and to use the jargon of accountants, but they regard these as being trivial matters not worthy of serious thought. They therefore pay little or no attention to the assumptions that are buried deep below practice and of which accountants themselves seldom are conscious—assumptions that, to
Where Are the Independent Critics?
Where Are the Independent Critics?
"In The Politics of Food he [Geoffrey Cannon] shows that the Officially Secret decisions of a closed circle of little-known but powerful people in Whitehall and Westminster, meeting in committees with representatives of the giant food manufacturers, without reference to us or our MPs in Parliament, has [sic] resulted in a national food policy that could he the death of us all.” Hyperbole is an essential tool for the “writers” who compose those stirring constellations of wo

New Products

Devising a Good Computer Search Request
Devising a Good Computer Search Request
Computerized searching is the interaction of a human with a computer to retrieve information stored in data bases. A scribbled note with the cryptic message “computer search lung cancer chemotherapy” can be interpreted in many ways. There are thousands of articles on this topic; does the researcher really want a list of all citations? More to the point, does he or she really want to pay for all of them? What type of cancer? What type of chemotherapy? Is there a specific antineopla

Books etc.

D
D
ADVANCING MATERIALS RESEARCH Peter A. Psaras and H. Dale Langford, eds. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 1987. 408 pp. $47.50. This enlightening book is destined to survive the test of time as a historical record of a momentous pe- riod of change. Its wide-ranging articles represent views of distinguished leaders in the interdisciplinary field of materials science. Conceived primarily in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Interdisciplinary Laboratory/Materials Research Labo
The Argument from Design
The Argument from Design
COSMIC JOY AND LOCAL PAIN Musings of a Mystic Scientist. Harold J. Morowitz. Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1987. 321 pp. $18.95. Harold Morowitz is a distinguished Yale biophysicist and former master of Pierson College. He is also the author of two charming collections of essays: The Wine of Life and Mayonnaise and the Origin of Life. Morowitz spent his last sabbatical on a yacht docked off the West Maui mountains in Hawaii. In that yacht he produced a book that is wise, thoughtf
As Usual, Anything But Ordinary
As Usual, Anything But Ordinary
THE COLLECTED PAPERS OF ALBERT EINSTEIN Volume I: The Early Years, 1879-1902. John Stachel, ed. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1987. German-language volume: 433 pp. $52.50 HB. English translation: 196 pp. $22.50 PB (can only be purchased with German volume). Microfiche: $10. The publication of the first volume of the long-awaited, long-delayed Einstein papers is a most welcome event. And if this first volume is a taste of things to come, the complete set will represent a most im
Medicine's Scientific Prescription
Medicine's Scientific Prescription
THE DEVELOPMENT OF AMERICAN PHYSIOLOGY Scientific Medicine in the Nineteenth Century. W. Bruce Fye. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1987. 308 pp. $35. The centennial of the American Physiological Society in 1987 has stimulated the publication of several books, some that were in preparation independently and others engendered specifically by the occasion. This excellent volume tracing the origins of the scientific approach to medical training and practice falls into the forme
The Ifs, Ands and Buts of Nuclear War
The Ifs, Ands and Buts of Nuclear War
A WORLD BEYOND HEALING The Prologue and Aftermath of Nuclear War. Nicholas Wade. W.W. Norton & Co., New York, 1987.190 pp. $15.95. The title suggests a description of the post-nuclear world, but this book has a much more ambitious purpose: . to present a concise and impartial account of nuclear war—how a nuclear war might start; what nuclear weapons do to people, cities, and the natural environment; and what the chances are of economic and ecological recovery in the aftermath of a nucl
Cladistics: A Mixed Bag of a Book
Cladistics: A Mixed Bag of a Book
BIOLOGICAL METAPHOR AND CLADISTIC CLASSIFICATION An Interdisciplinary Perspective. Henry M. Hoenigswald and Linda F. Wiener, eds. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 1987. 286 pp. $25. It isn’t often that an analytical technique developed recently by scientists is found to have been in common use for decades or even centuries within the humanities. This symposium volume deals with one such case, which strikes parallels between current methods of phylogenetic analysis in bio
Forthcoming Books
Forthcoming Books
BIOLOGY Annual Review of Phytopathology. R James Cook, ed. Annual Reviews: September, 460 pp, $31. A collection of original scientific papers that cover all aspects of phytopathology; includes “Historical Perspectives,” “Development of Concepts,” and “Biological and Cultural Control.” Crows of the World. Second Edition. Derek Goodwin. Univ. of Washington Press: September 25, 300 pp, $45. Discusses all aspects of crows including their appearance, biology, b

So They Say

So They Say
So They Say
Notions of NIH Directors: Past,., The fiscal year (FY) 1956 budget [for NIH] became operational on 1 July 1955.... The level of NIH activity at the time... amounted in total to $96.4 million. To some the figure may seem large. But the gross figures had little relevance to the science opportunities it would provide and to the needs of medicine. In view of the need for new knowledge in medicine, the main deficiency preventing progress was the inadequate funding of research.... It was equally

Happenings

Happenings
Happenings
PEOPLE William R. Brody, chairman of Resonex Inc., a manufacturer of magnetic resonance imaging devices, has been named professor and director of the department of radiology and radiological science at The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. In 1984, Brody founded Resonex Inc. after spending six years with the department of radiology and electrical engineering at Stanford University. This month, he will assume the responsibilities of Martin W. Donner, who has held the post at Johns Hopkins sin

Profession

Writing for Scientists
Writing for Scientists
The only person who can or should be allowed to create your resumé is you. Only you know ALL the facts, strengths and weaknesses, your likes, dislikes, what you want and where you want to be. Potential employers must, within a few seconds, be able to visualize you as filling a specific position in their company perfectly, and as the solution to the problem which they face. To accomplish this feat, you must provide as much pertinent information as possible—condensed onto approxi