Of Science Sidney Perkowitz My big annual conference-the American Physical Society meeting-held in March, will have come and gone in St. Louis by the time you read this. That simple fact won't mean much to you, but it catapults me 33 years into the past. I gave my first scientific paper in St. Louis, in March 1963, at the same annual meeting of the same scientific society. I'm not one for the treacherous emotion of nostalgia, but this time I am giving in just a little. I remember how scared I was as a graduate student, and how I asked my adviser to hang around for moral support. (luckily, my post-talk questioning was benign.) Nostalgia soon palled, however. Instead, my excursion into the past made me think of how the 1996 meeting differs from the 1963 version, and of how science has changed in the intervening period.

In 1963, American science was...

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