Date: December 15, 1986

WASHINGTON-Irregular funding and public ignorance are major problems facing scientists today, according to a survey of members of the scientific honor society Sigma Xi. The respondents believe that the distribution of government grants depends largely on "who you know" and that it is difficult for institutions lacking state-of-the-art equipment to obtain funds.

The survey of more than 4,000 scientists in the United States and Canada was conducted by Sigma Xi as part of its centennial celebration. The questionnaire was sent last spring to 10,000 active members of the 115,000-member society, which awards membership based on scientific research achievements.

A bare majority (51 percent) of the respondents are researchers in colleges or universities. Twenty-nine percent work in the private sector, and 15 percent in government labs. More than three-quarters hold doctoral degrees. By discipline, survey respondents mirror the distribution of the entire society: 27 percent from...

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