[Editor's note: The interdisciplinary nature of the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held last month in New Orleans, offers a perspective on the status of science in the United States that is not available at the typical scientific meeting, where most discussions are centered on a single discipline or specialty. For the benefit of those who were not in New Orleans - as well as those who were present but otherwise occupied - here's a sampling of some of the things you missed.]

A current profile of the Soviet Union's economy bears a remarkable resemblance to the economy of the United States during the Depression, says James Beniger, a communications professor at the University of Southern California. Beniger made his comments during a symposium on the "informatization of Soviet society," in other words, what it would take to bring that country into the modern...

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