News
Physicists Cite Gender Bias
The Scientist Staff | Jan 26, 1987
LONDON—More than half of the U.K. Institute of Physics's female members believe they have been discriminated against when applying for jobs. According to a survey by the Institute, many have suffered "patronizing attitudes, lack of rapport with male colleagues and chauvinistic or sexist remarks" and feel that they need to perform twice as well if they are to be considered as able as men. Of the Institute's 11,733 members, only 672 are women—but 63 percent of them completed the questi
Basic Science Budget Remains Flat at NASA
John Rhea | Jan 26, 1987
WASHINGTON—With the Space Station leading the way, NASA has requested a 16 percent increase in its research and development activities as part of a $9.5 billion budget for next year. R&D would rise from $3.1 billion this year to $3.6 billion under the proposal for fiscal year 1988. The fastest growing program within that category is the Space Station, projected to grow from $420 million this year to $767 million in the new budget. That increase, however, may draw fire from a Congress worri
Budget Cuts NIH Grants Again
Ron Cowen | Jan 26, 1987
WASHINGTON—The administration has proposed that the National Institutes of Health fund 700 fewer new and competing research grants this year as part of a plan to reduce the overall NIH budget in fiscal 1988. But it is unlikely that researchers will feel the pinch anytime soon. The proposal is part of a request to Congress to transfer $334 million already appropriated for this fiscal year. The present budget of $6.18 billion would drop by a corresponding amount, and the budget for next year
Suits on Biotech Rules Dismissed
Gregory Byrne | Jan 26, 1987
WASHINGTON—Six months after the federal government published its set of proposed regulations governing biotechnology, two lawsuits aimed at overturning those regulations have failed. On December 22 Judge Gerhard A. Gesell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed a suit filed by environmental activist Jeremy Rifkin that sought to overturn the June 26 announcement on the grounds that it bypassed established federal rulemaking procedures. The same day, Gesell dismisse
Joint Research Centers Part of Increase for NSF
Jeffrey Mervis | Jan 26, 1987
WASHINGTON—A request from Director Erich Bloch for $270 million in additional funds for the National Science Foundation in fiscal 1988 should get a sympathetic hearing on Capitol Hill, according to congressional committee staff. But whether that will translate into votes is not yet clear. Bloch won administration support for the 17 percent increase, from $1.62 billion to nearly $1.9 billion, by arguing that strengthening the university research base is one of the best ways to keep American
Sharing Called Rx for U.S.-Japan Tensions
Carol Turkington | Jan 26, 1987
WASHINGTON—American companies can learn a great deal from the Japanese approach to research planning and the contribution it makes to productivity, a group of U.S. research directors have concluded after a visit there last fall. But the two countries stand to gain even more from a full and continuous exchange of information, suggest a second group of American and Japanese officials that is in the midst of an extended discussion on issues of scientific collaboration. "In all of Japanese ind
Revolving Door in Biotech?
The Scientist Staff | Jan 26, 1987
WASHINGTON—Employees in the biotechnology industry are enjoying more salary increases, cash incentive programs and educational assistance, yet the annual turnover rate for some positions is as high as 23 percent, according to a recent survey conducted by Radford Associates for the Industrial Biotechnology Association. The Biotechnology Compensation and Benefits Survey collected information from 126 biotechnology companies based primarily in the United States and Canada. Salary increases we
Five NASA Scientists Reflect on a Year of Turmoil
Ray Spangenburg | Jan 26, 1987
To biochemist Nitza Cintron, a member of what she describes as "the NASA family," the Challenger accident brought with it a great sense of loss. As chief of the 75-person Biomedical Laboratories at Johnson Space Center, Cintron believes the accident has had a greater impact on operational responsibilities—supporting shuttle flights—than on basic research. But there are lots of projects that can only be done in space which have been temporarily suspended. Some of Cintron's own researc
Scientists in SDI Debate Look for Middle Ground
Louis Weisberg | Jan 26, 1987
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—University of New Mexico physicist Charles Bickel admits to being surprised by his encounter last summer with Roger Hagengruber, vice president for exploratory systems at Sandia National Laboratories. "I had suspected we were further apart on SDI," he said. The revelation came as the two physicists participated in the Trinity Conference last June in Santa Fe. Before a public forum and assisted by a mediator, they engaged in a process called "dialoguing." After stating the
Sakharov Release May Bolster Ties with West, Say Activists
Jeffrey Mervis | Jan 26, 1987
WASHINGTON—The release of Andrei Sakharov from internal exile in Gorky could lead to improved relations between Soviet scientists and their colleagues around the world, say several scientists active in the human rights movement. The decision December 16 by Soviet party leader Mikhail Gorbachev to allow Sakharov to return to Moscow and to continue both his scientific and human rights activities is generally viewed as a bold move that deserves applause from scientists everywhere. What is les