THE SCIENTIST VOLUME 7, No:18 September 20, 1993 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) Articles

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THE SCIENTIST VOLUME 7, No:18 September 20, 1993 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) =============================================================== Articles published in THE SCIENTIST reflect the views of their authors and not the official views of the publication, its editorial staff, or its ownership. =============================================================== *** THE NEXT ISSUE OF THE SCIENTIST WILL APPEAR ON *** *** OCTOBER 4, 1993 *** *** *** ******************************************************* THE SCIENTIST (Page numbers correspond to printed edition of THE SCIENTIST) FOR SEARCHING PURPOSES: AU = author TI = title of article TY = type PG = page NEXT = next article TI : CONTENTS PG : 3 ================================================================= September 20, 1993 NEWS TOUGH ALL OVER: The dynamics of the current employment marketplace in industry and academia are quite distinct, in terms of both goals and financing. One point at which the two arenas converge, however, is in the area of employment opportunities: Job prospects in both sectors are being described as "dismal" PG : 1 GOOD REPORT, BAD NEWS: A new National Science Foundation report finding, among other things, that United States elementary and secondary science and math teachers are poorly prepared to teach their subjects is being praised throughout the scientific community for its comprehensiveness--but skeptics doubt whether NSF will use the statistics to rally the support they say is badly needed to bolster education initiatives PG : 1 Report finds minority education catching up, but slowly PG : 10 ROLE PLAYING: Increasing efforts at bringing about technology transfer on the part of academic institutions across the United States are spawning fundamental questions about the role and the mission of higher education as it relates to science (Second part of a two-part series) PG : 1 RESERVATIONS: An ambitious Interior Department initiative--the establishment of a National Biological Survey--has come under fire from watchdog groups concerned that the reassignment of scientific personnel from other agencies in the department into the new bureau will weaken both those agencies and the newly created survey PG : 3 OPINION ETHICAL GUIDELINES: With increased frequency, corporate entities are striking potentially lucrative deals with individual researchers supported by universities and private research-funding organizations. Purnell W. Choppin, president of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, puts forth several of his organization's conflict-of-interest policies, devised to ensure that scientists are kept on the proper ethical path as they participate in these profit-pursuing arrangements PG : 11 COMMENTARY: Although occasional problems emerge in the world of science publishing (such as sloppiness in peer review), the entire field is more robust than ever as far as delivering timely information to a vast audience of researchers, science policymakers, and the public at large is concerned, says publisher Eugene Garfield PG : 12 RESEARCH RESEARCH CIRCULATION: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute leads a list of top-20 institutions in cardiovascular and respiratory medicine research as determined by the citation impact of their published papers. This attests to the health of intramural research efforts at the National Institutes of Health, according to Science Watch, which conducted the survey PG : 15 HOT PAPERS: A geophysicist discusses the climatological effects of the eruption of the Mount Pinatubo volcano PG : 16 TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY GETTING THE WORD OUT: Today's powerful word-processing packages provide nearly everything a scientist demands in putting together a paper or a grant proposal, either through the software packages themselves or by way of integration with other software PG : 17 PROFESSION HEAVY COMMITMENT: The challenges and rewards of textbook authorship are quite different from other forms of scientific writing most researchers have been exposed to--and worth the extensive time and effort, authors say PG : 19 THE FIRST RECIPIENT of the Harry C. Rowsell Award, granted by the Scientists Center for Animal Welfare, will be Harry C. Rowsell himself, founder and first executive director of the Canadian Council on Animal Care PG : 21 SHORT TAKES NOTEBOOK PG : 4 CARTOON PG : 4 LETTERS PG : 12 CROSSWORD PG : 13 OBITUARIES PG : 21 SCIENTIFIC SOFTWARE DIRECTORY PG : 30 (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: September 20, 1993 TI : Universities Reassess Social Role As Tech Transfer Activity Mounts With distinctions between academia and industry becoming blurred, researchers fear the derailment of campus science AU : FRANKLIN HOKE TY : NEWS PG : 1 Technology transfer, now energetically sweeping research university campuses nationwide, is helping meet important aims for academic institutions, industry, and the public, according to scientists and administrators. Through royalty streams and direct support, industry is providing badly needed backing for academic laboratories no longer able to rely on federal funding. And new businesses and their products, spawned by taxpayer-supported basic research, are stimulating local and national economies while also addressing real problems, such as human disease. But as the distinctions between academia and industry progressively blur, serious concerns are emerging that the traditional missions of the university in society are being altered, academic scientists and officials say. The long-standing dual goals of teaching and generating new knowledge are giving way to political pressures for universities to participate more vigorously in creating economic strength. Institutions of higher learning and their departments, like their individual scientists, are finding themselves potentially compromised by conflicts of interest as they behave more like businesses<197>and as the amount of money changing hands grows. "We're going from a world of almost exclusively pure science, where the point of the work did not relate to the ultimate effect on commercial concerns, or the country, or even health, to a situation where those concerns are paramount, and the basic science is secondary," says Robert W. Rubin, vice president for research at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Fla. "It's a change in thinking, a change in ethics, a change even in the way you do the science, in the order of the experiments that you do. I'm not saying that it's bad; I'm not saying that it's good. It's just a big change." Accompanying, or perhaps leading, this transition are conflicting public expectations of the univer-sities' ultimate purposes. "Universities have become part of the competitive infrastructure of western industrialized countries," says David Blumenthal, chief of the health policy research and development unit of Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. "Anybody getting federal or state money is now looked to to help fight the economic war that's followed the Cold War. But there are tensions in society about whether the universities should be objective and above the fray or roll up their sleeves and be part of the team. And we haven't resolved that yet." Blumenthal adds: "The question of what will happen to the basic research mission of the universities is uncertain. A lot has to do with how this change is managed." Management of the change is seen as the province of each institution, with little guidance provided. The result is a set of institutional experiments in balanced promotion of technology transfer as universities attempt to meet the demands placed on them, while also seeing to their own needs. "Society as a whole is renegotiating a contract with the universities," says Rodney W. Nichols, chief executive officer of the New York Academy of Sciences and former executive vice president of Rockefeller University. "What do we expect of universities in terms of economic contributions to the country? They're no longer a protected reserve. And since they're not, they are being asked to play more of a role in the economic health of the country. Now, we're asking each institution to figure out how it may be able to do that best with whatever resources it's got." A handful of recent cases has served to crystallize these issues for scientists, administrators, and the public. These include the University of California's plan, announced in December of last year and now in abeyance following faculty protests, to create a for-profit Technology Development Corporation. Under the plan, the university would own 51 percent of the corporation, whose purpose would be to develop prototype products from university research. Critics said the move would pull the university away from its fundamental purposes--primarily, teaching and research--toward business. Others say that what the university was planning was not fundamentally different from what Boston University, for example, and a number of others have already done. Also, a proposed contract between the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, Calif., and the East Hanover, N.J.-based Sandoz Pharmaceuticals Corp.--the United States subsidiary of Sandoz AG of Basel, Switzerland--was the focus of broad criticism earlier this year. Under the contract, Sandoz would have given Scripps $300 million over 10 years in return for rights to all of Scripps' research results. Bernadine Healy, then director of the National Institutes of Health, called the contract "an aberration" at June hearings before the House Committee on Small Business' Subcommittee on Regulation, Business Opportunities, and Technology, chaired by Rep. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). She and others testifying suggested that Sandoz' exclusive control of Scripps' research, if taken as a model for technology transfer, might work to progressively hinder the open exchange of information essential to science. Other observers contend, however, that exclusive rights are necessary before companies will invest in product development. And, they say, the contract was not unique in kind, only in degree. Scripps is the largest private biomedical research laboratory in the U.S., receiving about $70 million a year in funding from the government. Although not a university, it resembles one in many ways, including the fact that it supports doctoral programs. Overall, the debate comes down to money. Were the federal government willing--or able--to fully fund research on campuses, scientists and administrators say, then perhaps some institutions could opt not to participate in technology transfer. But basic science laboratories in universities are finding federal support tighter than ever, and industry money will be an increasingly necessary portion of research budgets. "The money need is undeniable, but it's a sort of Faustian bargain," says a University of California, Los Angeles, molecular geneticist, on condition of anonymity. "What do we pay, by way of a price, in return for the money?" Conflicts Emerge Along with the money that has accompanied the growth in industry contracts of different types with academic scientists over the past decade or so have come concerns over conflicts of interest. Universities have stepped forward to propose policies that control, for example, a faculty member's equity in a company with which he or she might have arrangements. Prominent funders, including NIH, the National Science Foundation, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute are working to develop conflict-of-interest policies, paying close attention to the mixed nature of the entanglements in which their individual researchers may find themselves (see Opinion, page 11). But with more universities opening patenting and licensing offices every year or otherwise directly involving the institution in technology transfer, observers are becoming concerned about the potential for conflicts at the institutional level. And, while universities are charged with overseeing their faculties, the question of who should oversee institutions is a difficult one. "All the rules are directed at individual scientists," says Sheldon Krimsky, a specialist in science policy and chairman of the urban and environmental policy department of Tufts University, Medford, Mass. "And yet, more and more universities are taking this route of turning part of their capital assets into some commercial institution, in order to build another source of income. But how is a university going to set up a procedure to monitor itself, to monitor its institutional role in setting up corporate entities? That doesn't work." Problems are possible at every level of organization, too, according to the University of Miami's Rubin, citing an example from his own institution. There, a departmental chairman wanted to start a company that would fund his university research to create technology that would then be licensed by the company. The chairman would have a financial interest in the company. The university asked him to sign several conflict-of-interest statements, as part of its standing policy, which he did. These require him, for example, not to do efficacy research on compounds developed by the company. All of this was quite routine. "But then he added a twist," says Rubin. "He wanted all of the faculty in his department to have the right to buy into the company. And, at that level, we have said, `No, you cannot do it.' And the reason is that you end up with a whole new series of conflicts if you do that. "Suddenly, you've got an institutional pressure to buy stock in a company, a chairman coercing, perhaps, his own faculty to give a company that he has an interest in money. Now the entire department is compromised. It's no longer just one guy who we're looking at very carefully to make sure that he doesn't have a conflict of interest. It's an entire department, a whole discipline within the institution. And now the institution itself could be seen to be compromised." Potential conflicts above the level of the individual researcher will have to be addressed as technology-transfer activity continues to grow, some scientists insist. "The problem is not with the individual scientists," says the UCLA researcher. "It's with the universities. They're supposed to be monitoring the behavior of their individual scientists, but they've got much more at stake than any individual scientist." In the absence of any entity to monitor ongoing institutional experiments in ways to manage technology transfer--and the conflicts that may result--several observers suggest that, as with individuals, full disclosure can be a useful tactic. "Sunlight is the best disinfectant," says Nichols. "The sunlight of open debate from inside and outside the campus on what's going on will almost surely produce a better set of results--and new adaptations of incentives--from every experiment that gets started." Ownership Vs. Open Science A persistent worry for basic scientists in working with industry is the need companies have to protect proprietary information, scientists say. The two parties can struggle over this issue, with the universities pushing for the right to speak and publish fully and openly and industry trying to shield research results it has paid for from competitors. This potential problem was one of the main objections critics had with the original proposed Scripps-Sandoz contract, which gave Sandoz control over all research at Scripps. "That contract placed enormous restrictions on scientists," says Krimsky, "because Sandoz was going to define the research agenda and control the products of knowledge, channel them specifically for Sandoz' use. What that does to a scientific community is that it places constraints on free and open exchange of ideas. And so much of science depends upon this open exchange of ideas." Others, too, key on this point--excessive control over research information--as one of the most potentially damaging aspects of too-exclusive arrangements between companies and universities. "There's an intellectual ferment in a major research university, a chemistry department, or a biology subdepartment, where students are all learning from each other," says Cornelius Pings, president of the Association of American Universities in Washington. "And there's a sense of excitement in being able to discuss it. What gets talked about over a beer in the evening may be as important as any measurement made in the laboratory. "Now, if a student is cast into a circumstance where his or her professor says, `You can't talk about what you're doing because Company X owns our results,' or `We're going to have to hold up the release of your thesis, or your final Ph.D. exam, until Company Y has been able to review it,' at that point, the university has literally sold out part of its intellectual freedom and compromised that intellectual environment." Debating The Coming University Most scientists and administrators see the move to an ever-greater economic role for universities as virtually inexorable. And many see the change as a beneficial one, for the universities and the public. They say the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act, which allowed universities to own patents from federally funded work in their labs for the first time, has been very successful in moving research findings into development and practical use as quickly as possible while bringing needed funding to academic labs. But some observers remain concerned over the possible undermining of traditional university roles in society as the process moves forward. "What the university is there for, first, is to teach and to pursue new knowledge," says Pings. "But if it seems that what's important is the large contract from an individual company or industrial consortia, and managing that becomes more important than seeing that quality research is done and that attention is paid to education, then there's likely to be a distortion of the role of the university." "One of the things that universities do provide our society," says Blumenthal, "is a long-term view and a commitment to knowledge with benefit that's independent of its financial benefit. And to lose that function would be a real setback. Industry doesn't do that, and it doesn't claim to do it." He adds: "You can't ignore your obligation as a university, when new knowledge has practical application, to get it out quickly. But, at the same time, you have to make strongly the case that you are objective enough, protected enough, and reclusive enough so that you deserve to be treated differently. You can't have industry domination of your departments. They can't be viewed as outposts of commercial enterprises." "Eventually," says Pings, "it raises questions of whether our tax-exempt statuses are appropriate." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: September 20, 1993 TI : Job Market For Researchers Will Remain Sluggish In Both Academia And Industry, Observers Predict Officials in the two sectors foresee the weak U.S. economy continuing to inhibit hiring of scientists AU : MARCIA CLEMMITT TY : NEWS PG : 1 As the United States economy continues to struggle, corporations are taking a harder-than-ever look at their investments in scientific research and the bottom-line gains that these investments are apt to yield. Their conclusions are shaping the industrial job market for scientists in the next decade, observers say, and at this point prospects for employment in the industrial sector are far from bright. The situation isn't any better for investigators in the academic world, these observers also contend, pointing out that university administrators are laboring to cope with severe budget constraints on all fronts caused by cutbacks in funding by state governments and other sources. Addressing the gloomy employment prospects in both industry and academia, Daryl Chubin, new director for research, evaluation, and dissemination in the National Science Foundation's education and human resources directorate, says: "The market for people trained to be research scientists is dismal now. And as for the future, there's nothing you can project very far." "We all noticed things got worse in 1970," says David Goodstein, California Institute of Technology vice provost and a professor of physics and applied physics. "But everybody thought we'd go back to normal. The trouble with that prediction was that those times of golden opportunity were not normal. A period like 1950 through 1970 will never come again," he says, referring to the time when the U.S. government first began to support scientific research on a large scale, the proportion of American young people attending college increased from around 10 percent to more than 30 percent, and many U.S. corporations created or expanded research labs. Industry Outlook In industry, the employment outlook for scientists will depend as much on the value companies place on research as it does on overall economic trends, industry observers say. At present, except for a handful of companies in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and electronics industries, industrial research and development hiring is virtually at a standstill, industry experts say. Charles Larson, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Industrial Research Institute, an industry-supported group that studies and promotes corporate research and development, says a recent institute study of hiring trends showed that only 10 percent of surveyed companies planned to increase their employment of new science grads, while 40 percent planned to decrease such hiring. For the past two years, well over 80 percent of the companies the institute surveyed said they had no plans to expand R&D staffs in the near future. As for future prospects, Larson says, "at many companies there's currently a great deal of interest in measuring effectively how research and development relate to profits." Companies are struggling to assess the precise connection between the science they do and their financial success in worldwide competition. Those assessments will ultimately determine the size and nature of future R&D staffing, Larson says. In addition to these factors, industry experts say, much depends on how companies and scientists respond to the challenges of the global marketplace. According to Richard Ellis, director of research for the American Association of Engineering So-cieties' Engineering Manpower Commission, at least one aspect of the new global economy--the rise of multinational corporations--ought to be good news for U.S.-trained engineers and scientists. Increasingly, the labor marketplace, like the product marketplace, is "becoming not only national but international," Ellis says. "Young people from Canada, for example, don't limit themselves to the Canadian job market. Multinationals will surely recruit scientific and technical talent from the States." The United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that most nonacademic jobs for scientists will increase at the same rate as or, in a few cases, slightly more slowly than all other jobs in the economy over the next decade. Slower-than-average growth in industrial scientific jobs is projected in physics, astronomy, mathematics, chemical engineering, and forestry, largely because of government budgetary constraints and cutbacks in the defense and chemical industries, according to BLS. While hardly grim, this projection of an average job market is a far cry from the wealth of employment opportunities scientists and engineers have enjoyed over the last several decades, when many companies built substantial research staffs. BLS notes two main exceptions to this general downturn in the industry job market for researchers. The bureau expects faster-than-average growth in positions for science managers--experienced scientists or engineers who direct large research and technical staffs--and operations research analysts, who are usually experienced computer scientists, engineers, or mathematicians who apply scientific and mathematical principles to improve large organizations' efficiency. Academic Uncertainty Unlike industry, the strength of the academic market for scientists does not depend on research-profit evaluations or reactions to shifting patterns in the economy, at least not directly. In fact, according to academic science watchers, it depends more on universities' ability to increase faculty hiring in general than the relative value they place on science, observers say. And for the past several years, university budgets have been hit hard, with schools slow to hire even replacement faculty and hundreds of applicants clamoring for every available job. Also, as in industry, future academic hiring patterns are uncertain, dependent on funding priorities in shrinking state budgets as well as current faculty's decisions about retirement. Alan Fechter, executive director of the office of scientific and engineering personnel at the National Research Council, says the university job market has been especially hard hit because it depends on state budgets tightened by recession and federal cutbacks. "So the question is, will there be more recession, so budget stringencies will kick in again? Or, even if the stringency releases, how will states refocus their priorities?" Fechter asks. Betty Vetter, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology, is one of many science analysts who once believed that the academic job market would become much more hospitable to job seekers sometime in the next few years, given the mass retirements from academic institutions long predicted for later this decade. But with mandatory retirement prohibited under recently enacted federal law and universities already operating with leaner staffs, Vetter says that now she's not so sure. "As a part of that age group myself, I have to wonder," Vetter says, "will people retire anyway, or will they hold on till they're 95?" Moreover, she says, "At this point, academic institutions are not replacing faculty that leave." She points out that this raises the question of how schools will ultimately handle the small boom in students that was also anticipated later this decade and was expected to help fuel a surge in academic employment. Vetter and others say that many universities may look for cheaper ways to cope with large student bodies, such as expanding class sizes or hiring temporary faculty. "Many institutions are now simply proceeding with too few faculty, and accepting consequences like undergraduates' having to lengthen their college stay just to get the courses required in their majors," Vetter says. Accommodating The Future The sluggish job growth in both academic and industrial science represents far more than just a recessionary blip on the radar screen, say a growing number of scientists and science watchers. Instead, they point to deeper reasons why the robust expansion in scientific jobs that both sectors have enjoyed must end. They argue that investigators need to examine fundamental assumptions about training, career paths, and their own place in society. Caltech's Goodstein says that until recently the ranks of professional scientists have followed an exponential growth curve, with the majority of Ph.D. scientists training about 15 new doctorate-holding researchers each over the course of a career. "Since scientists are now reproducing scientists faster than people are reproducing people, it's a simple mathematical fact that early in the next century there will be more scientists than people," Goodstein jests. Goodstein explains that the job crisis many young Ph.D.'s now face is not just a sign of bad economic times or of a society that undervalues science. Instead, he argues, it's evidence that researchers have been too intent on creating new generations of Ph.D.'s in their own image, without regard to the fact that no society can accommodate an ever-increasing proportion of any one kind of worker. He says that scientists will have to cut back on Ph.D. production and spend some of their energies elsewhere--in, for example, joining the effort to improve science education for all U.S. citizens. Trained as a condensed-matter physicist and now working as a paralegal, Kevin Aylesworth knows firsthand the scientific job crunch Goodstein and others describe. Aylesworth, who founded the Young Scientists Network--an electronic bulletin board where young engineers and scientists can share their experiences--says his own college advisers did warn him that the job market would be tough, but that many other young investigators found no one who "would admit that this was a new age" and that especially tough times for young scientists were ahead. Aylesworth and others think that part of the problem may be that few universities and professional societies track young scientists' employment success after they finish a first postdoc. "Most do track what people do right after the Ph.D., but most just assume [that immediately after a first postdoc] people get jobs," Aylesworth says. "That means 50 percent of the relevant [employment] data is missing. That obviously makes it hard to get a true picture." Particularly disillusioning, he says, is that many young science Ph.D.'s have been told to hide the doctorate on their rsums when looking for non-bench-science jobs. "Employers aren't impressed by the degree," he says. "They have the idea it means you want to work only on problems with no practical value." The perception that a science Ph.D. has low utility in the general job market, coupled with the lack of science jobs for recent graduates, should be a wake-up call for scientists, says social scientist and longtime science watcher Sheila Tobias, currently a visiting scholar at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn. She says it's time for scientists to reexamine some assumptions about scientific training. "Instead of just funding and producing new scientists in the same old way, we need to examine what different things an advanced science degree is good for," Tobias says. "The federal government happily supports graduate students, but after the graduate training it throws them onto a market economy which now, apparently, doesn't have room for them." Tobias suggests that scientists rethink the value of their training for a wider range of futures, perhaps taking a hint from the lessons of many law school graduates. "Law employment is also cyclic," Tobias says, "so why does that training remain attractive? It's because law students expect their training to be regarded as valuable in lots of different careers." She says that those who train science students will have to do what scholars in other disciplines have done: broaden their perceptions about "the uses of science to individuals embarking on a lifetime of work." Marcia Clemmitt is a freelance science writer based in Washington, D.C. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: September 20, 1993 TI : NSF Study Finds Many Teachers Unprepared For Instructing Children In The Sciences New report provides NSF director-designate Neal Lane with data to bolster support for education initiatives AU : BARBARA SPECTOR TY : NEWS PG : 1 Scientists and educators say a new National Science Foundation report bears out the widely held suspicion that United States elementary and secondary science and mathematics teachers are lacking in their own education. The report found that K-12 teachers have not been adequately prepared to effectively transmit knowledge and enthusiasm to their students. While the NSF report is being praised throughout the scientific community for its comprehensiveness, some skeptics are questioning whether its contents will be used in the way they say would be most beneficial--to rally support for stepped-up funding and new efforts to improve the quality of math and science education in the U.S. The data, observers and NSF officials agree, provide a good opportunity for newly nominated NSF director Neal Lane and his staff to revise the foundation's education initiatives. The 507-page report, Indicators of Science & Mathematics Education 1992, is packed with statistics showing changes in science and math education in the U.S. over the past 20 years. In addition to its findings on teacher preparation and curriculum content, it contains charts and graphs measuring student achievement, persistence in math and science education, and career choices (see story on page 10). The goal of the report is to "look at the major kinds of events in schooling that affect student achievement," says its editor, Larry E. Suter of NSF's studies and indicators program in the division of research, evaluation, and dissemination in the directorate for education and human resources. Suter says the foundation plans to use the data "as a way of analyzing and thinking about how successful NSF programs are, and what works." The publication, expected to be updated every two years, was mandated by Congress in the Senate 1991 Appropriations Bill (HR 5158), requiring NSF to "establish a biennial science and mathematics education indicator re- port...that evaluates the progress of the United States in improving the science and math capability of its students, and the effectiveness of all Federal and State education programs." The Findings Suter says the report's chapter entitled "Science and Mathematics Teachers" leads the reader to the conclusion that "math and science teachers are not that well prepared--when you read this chapter, you can't get away from that fact." For example, the chapter includes the finding that fewer than half the seventh- through ninth-grade teachers surveyed had taken courses in computer programming. Such statistics "sound correct, from what I see anecdotally from teaching and from reading the mathematical journals," says Joan Birman, a professor of mathematics at Columbia University's Barnard College. "I hate to see it when a weak student goes off to teach math." The study also found that most elementary science or math teachers earned their bachelor's degrees in elementary education, with only a few majoring in science or math. Teachers in grades 7-12 whose second (rather than main) assignment was science or math frequently did not earn degrees in either discipline. For example, says Suter, commonly found in many school districts is the athletic coach who also teaches science. "That happened to me," he says, recalling that in his high school in Canyon County, Idaho, the football coach also taught chemistry. "We didn't learn much chemistry; he didn't know the periodic table, so we didn't learn that." Today's science and math teachers are "a product of a system that has not served them well," says John Rigden, director of physics programs at the American Institute of Physics, who last year took a leave of absence to work on the National Research Council's National Science Education Standards Project (R. Kaufman, The Scientist, July 6, 1992, page 3). "They have a lot of anxiety about science, which arises because they feel they're not well prepared." "Right now, we need a thorough in-service program [to achieve the goal of] updating knowledge in terms of both content and methodology--an extensive, comprehensive preparation in terms of what science is, what math is, and how to teach it," says Gerry Madrazo, president of the National Science Teachers Association and director of elementary schools for Guilford County in North Carolina. "I see no short-term solution," says Rigden. Even though today's teachers lack sufficient knowledge to properly instruct their students, the U.S. cannot afford to wait to fix the problem until a new generation of teachers begins work, he says: "We have to begin to do things right [with students in grades] K-12. We cannot waste 13 years of a child's life." Poorly prepared teachers are "at their worst when instruction is driven by a textbook," Rigden says. "The knowledge is codified, and the teachers are expected to express that codified subject--to stand up as a kind of authority on what they're reading. "They're asked questions, [but] they don't know [the answers]." A way of ameliorating the situation, Rigden says, is to have the class perform experiments in lieu of exercises from a textbook. "The teacher can do [the investigations] with the kids and almost become a student himself or herself." The success of this type of instruction is borne out by a finding in the NSF report that there is a positive correlation between student experimentation and achievement--students who did more hands-on work performed better on science tests than did those who did less experimentation. NSF's Next Step Luther S. Williams, NSF's assistant director for education and human resources, says the foundation will be examining all of its education programs in light of the new report's statistics on what approaches have proved successful. The goal, he says, is to "focus on those variables where we can make the most difference. Nothing is sacrosanct; there are no limits as to what will be changed. "The foundation has, overall, for K-12 math and science education $380 million [in its budget]," Williams says. "With nearly 16,000 school districts in the United States, the need is clearly a multibillion-dollar enterprise. I don't ever expect to have that kind of resource." Information in the report, he says, will enable NSF to "put our funds where we can do the most good." Bassam Z. Shakhashiri, Wil-liams's predecessor at NSF who is now a professor of chemistry at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, calls the report "a platform from which NSF can take a strong position" to bolster support for expanded education initiatives. "There are fantastic opportunities mentioned in this report that NSF ought to seize upon," he says. However, Shakhashiri adds, he is skeptical that what he believes are the needed steps will be taken. "This can be a very powerful tool in bringing about the fundamental, systematic, comprehensive changes that are necessary," he says. "The question is, will it be used that way? This could just end up being another report that sits on the shelf. "It's known what needs to be done--what we lack is the will to do it," Shakhashiri says, referring to the need for strong financial support for multiple federal, state, and local efforts aimed at improving science education. The first step, he says, is to "develop the vision, which is so crucial to have before you propose any initiatives. "I see NSF as the rallying point," says Shakhashiri, who while at NSF repeatedly urged that its education budget should be $600 million. "It's one thing to have an idea; it's another thing to implement the idea. NSF is not strictly a funding agency--it should have people in it who can speak out and rally support for the cause of improving the quality of math and science education. NSF has yet to show the strong leadership that can move the country." But Thomas B. Day, vice chairman of the National Science Board, NSF's oversight body, says that the report, rather than providing a justification for an increased NSF education budget, "reflects the fact that the National Science Board and Congress have put a rapidly increasing amount of money into education--it's a report of the results." Day, who is president of San Diego State University, notes that statistics in the report showing educational improvement for some groups of students indicate a positive con- sequence of recent hikes in the budget: "As a fraction of the NSF budget, the percentage of the total budget of the National Science Foundation that is put into these [education] activities has risen enormously. "The faculty in universities today are preparing the students who will teach the kindergarten students of tomorrow--and they, in turn, will become college professors," Day says. "[Education] demands attention at all points in the pipeline, and that's the perspective we have adopted in the past few years. Congress and the science board have shown a continued strong interest in this area." Another science board member, Marye Anne Fox, who holds the M. June and J. Virgil Waggoner Regents Chair in Chemistry at the University of Texas, Austin, says the report provides a great service in compiling in one publication "data which I think are not disputable." In addition, Fox says, it offers "internal and external assess- ments" of the success of NSF's education programs. In the past, she says, "the results weren't disseminated; that information was lost." With the publication of the report, "dissemination of the success stories [can] filter back to the people who [are] designing the program. The assessment strategy is an important component of providing this [education] program." New Leadership Shakhashiri says he is "very optimistic" about the steps that might be taken by NSF director-designate Lane. "He believes [in the need to] enhance the quality of science education at all levels--I'm convinced of that," says Shakhashiri, who praises Lane's work as chairman of the advisory panel to a 1988 Office of Technology Assessment report entitled Educating Scientists and Engineers: From Grade School to Grad School. He notes, however, that the jury will still be out on Lane until the public sees "the appointments he makes, the kind of funding that NSF secures from the Congress." At press time, a date for Lane's confirmation hearings had not been set. Shakhashiri notes that Lane, upon taking office, will have an important document already at his finger- tips: "He can use a lot of information in this set of indicators, not only to justify but to buttress NSF initiatives." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: September 20, 1993 TI : MINORITY EDUCATION: CATCHING UP . . . SLOWLY AU : BARBARA SPECTOR TY : NEWS PG : 10 Amid the many graphs and charts signaling problems in the preparation of elementary and secondary teachers in the new National Science Foundation report Indicators of Science & Mathematics Education 1992 are a few statistics that some observers are taking as a glimmer of hope. According to the report, minority students at the elementary and secondary level have made slow but measurable progress in math and science achievement over the past 20 years. The report found, for example, that in math achievement tests between 1973 and 1990, nine-year-old black students increased their scores by 18 points (out of 230), 13-year-olds bettered their scores by 21 points (out of 270), and 17-year-olds improved by 19 points (out of 300). Scores of nine- and 13-year-old Hispanic students increased by 12 and 16 points, respectively. By contrast, neither 13-year-old nor 17-year-old white students demonstrated improvement. "You don't often see change in these numbers [minority scores]--and here we see real change," says NSF's Larry E. Suter, who edited the report. Despite these signs of achievement among minority students, the report found, "Although the mathematics achievement scores of minority students have increased while those of whites have remained unchanged, little progress has been made in closing the gap in proficiency levels between white and minority students." Nonetheless, some minority scientists are taking these figures as good news. "What's most heartening is that the scores aren't decreasing," says Larry Gladney, a professor of physics at the University of Pennsylvania. "Anything that doesn't show a decline [in minority scores], as SAT [Scholastic Aptitude Test, recently renamed the Scholastic Assessment Test] scores have, is some reason for hope." However, Gladney believes, achievement tests are not the optimal way to assess students' proficiency in science. "What really counts is some kind of outcome-based assessment," he says. To determine whether young students are interested and talented enough to take up science as a career, Gladney says, one should really be measuring "how much reasoning ability students have acquired--for example, in applying the scientific method, [their ability to] express in words, written or spoken, a way of testing a hypothesis." Betty Vetter, in her position as executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology, compiles statistics on what happens to those who do decide to enter science fields. "Minorities are represented in science and engineering at a little less than half their rate in the population," she says. "They're not doing as well in terms of jobs as whites are. The numbers of minorities in science and engineering are so small, they don't have any clout, any more than women have any clout. They're making slow progress, but the gap is still immense." Pediatrician Helen Rodr!guez-Tr!as, a consultant based in Brookdale, Calif., who is president of the American Public Health Association, says that while minorities may be making slow but steady progress, "if it's slow, the steadiness is not particularly desirable. We're content with so very little. What we have to ask ourselves is: What are our goals? What do we, as a society, do? Why are we accepting the existence of a gap for so long? What do we really need to do to close it?" "Any progress is good news, but we have to be disappointed that the gap is still there," says George Langford, Ernest Everett Just Professor in the Natural Sciences at Dartmouth College. "We have to find out what is working and redouble our efforts there. We have to pay attention to the teaching of science and math throughout elementary and high school. We know this kind of change will take time." A good consequence of such findings, Langford says, would be an increase in the implementation of educational methods that have proved successful in order to "increase the rate of improvement over time." --B.S. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: September 20, 1993 TI : New Environmental Research Bureau Draws Fire From Watchdogs AU : RON KAUFMAN TY : NEWS PG : 3 Critics of an ambitious United States Department of the Interior initiative--the establishment of a $180 million National Biological Survey (NBS), designed to assess the health, distribution, and abundance of North America's biological resources--contend that the new bureau may cause more problems than it solves. They worry that the reassignment of more than 1,300 scientific personnel to the survey from other agencies in the department will cause disruption in those agencies and inefficiency in the new bureau. A major component of the Clinton administration's environmental program, NBS will be a free-standing bureau made up of staffers and scientists from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and five other bureaus when it begins its official operations on October 1. The reorganization was directed by Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt, with monies reappropriated from other agencies in the department. Some say the transfer of large numbers of scientists may disrupt some of the routine operations of the department's agencies that have developed through the years. Mark Reeff, resource director of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, a Washington, D.C.-based group that monitors conservation efforts and environmental laws, is wary of the project. He's concerned primarily because of the upsetting changes it might bring to the department's overall research structure and functioning, without appreciably improving performance in those areas. "Change makes everybody nervous, but I would hate to see what's worked not work just from the standpoint of trying to make something new," he says. Reeff says that removing nearly 1,200 scientists from FWS will effectively eliminate the agency's research capability and could hinder its management responsibilities. The Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for carrying out federal mandates concerning wildlife as well as for administering the National Fish Hatchery System, the Migratory Bird Conservation Act, and the National Wildlife Refuge system. "If you take scientists away from an agency in which they are now working, and put them in a new agency, it's pretty hard to see how that will help or even maintain the status quo" in fulfilling the department's research responsibilities, says Reeff. "Our primary concern is those traditional areas will suffer as a result of this reorganization." Specifically, NBS will acquire well over 6 percent of the Interior Department's 20,656 scientists. FWS will contribute 1,180 full-time employees to NBS. Of these, 1,027 are biological scientists and technicians. Former FWS deputy director F. Eugene Hester, who is now overseeing the task force setting up NBS, says that although agencies like FWS will be missing scientific staffers, they will not lose access to essential research information. "The managers will be getting the information essentially the same way they would have gotten it if the research had re- mained as a component of the Fish and Wildlife Service," he says. "The scientists are now part of the National Biological Survey, but they will continue to work on many of the things they've worked on before. The Fish and Wildlife Service will identify its research needs just as it has before, but will now transmit them to the National Biological Survey." However, Lonnie Williamson, vice president of the Wildlife Management Institute, a Washington, D.C., conservation group, says that over time, the reassigned scientists will probably be performing different research tasks in their new jobs at NBS. "What, in fact, they're doing is removing the information source from the management responsibility," he says. "And we have never seen a case where that has been fruitful in the past." Avoiding `Train Wrecks' Babbitt, the former governor of Arizona who has a master's degree in geophysics from the University of Newcastle in England, has said the goal of creating NBS and doing biodiversity studies is to prevent environmental "train wrecks." By this, he means collisions of fragile ecosystems and American business interests, such as has happened in the past few years between the loggers of the Northwest and the habitat of the spotted owl. "The purpose of the NBS is to provide a road map that will enable us to get ahead of the endangered species listing process and constructively solve environmental and economic conflicts," said Babbitt at a congressional hearing in April. "The survey will begin a process of unifying, streamlining, and coordinating biological research and provide a dynamic inventory of plant and animal species and their habitats." More than half of the NBS budget will be allocated to research on species biology, population dynamics, and inventorying and monitoring ecosystems. To accomplish the task, along with the transfer of the scientific personnel, NBS will require research activities to be performed by the Interior Department's four regional centers, 12 research laboratories, 40 field stations, and more than 70 cooperative research units. The drafting of the services of the cooperative research units worries Arnett C. Mace, dean of the Daniel B. Warnell School of Forest Resources at the University of Georgia in Athens. These units, generally located on a college campus, are joint activities of a federal agency, a state university, and the state government. Mace says each unit's scientific focus is determined by the partners and usually concentrates on high-priority research issues within each state. "These high priorities must be maintained," he says. "The principal research thrust should not be driven totally by national priorities." Mace says different states have a variety of research needs that cannot be combined. "There may be a divergence between the goals and objectives for the Georgia unit, the Florida unit, and the Minnesota unit," he says. "So there needs to be consultation with the states by the NBS . . . but at this point in time I think it's too early to determine how that's going to occur." Hester predicts that, by the end of NBS's first fiscal year, it will be a fully functioning agency, providing essential information on the nation's biological health. He says right now there is a "fear of the unknown." And although the change is substantial, he says, strong coordination efforts are being established to ensure that NBS makes a smooth formation into existence. "There has been a reaction that somehow, we are fixed to change the function of all these people, but I don't see it that way," he says. "Maybe over time there will be some consolidation, but it will be as a result of interactions with the cooperators and as an agreement of what the future direction should be." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: September 20, 1993 TY : NOTEBOOK TI : Gray Matter TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 Added to the chorus of voices expressing concern over the Clinton administration's health-care reform is a coalition of 67 national research, health, and senior citizen organizations calling itself the Task Force for Aging Research. In a statement released over Labor Day weekend through the Washington, D.C.-based National Alliance for Aging Research, which organized the group, the task force called upon the administration to allocate $1 billion in next year's budget for age-related health and medical research as a way to save billions in health care for older Americans. "Research to find new and better ways to prevent diseases must be the cornerstone of any health reform package and any cost-containment effort," the organization said in its statement. The coalition noted that the proposed 1994 federal budget cuts "would reduce or stop important research in aging, including Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular diseases and stroke, osteoporosis, arthritis, hearing loss, vision loss, and physician training in geriatrics." Among the task force members are the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, National Council of Senior Citizens, and American Nurses Association. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Parasitology Opportunities TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 The Burroughs Wellcome Fund of Morrisville, N.C., is accepting applications for its two awards for investigators in molecular parasitology. The award program is intended to "stimulate the advancement of fundamental biochemical, pharmacological, and molecular biological knowledge of major pathogens and anthropod vectors responsible for devastating human health in developing and tropical countries." The program's scholar award supports primarily researchers at the late assistant to early associate professor level who have made significant contributions to the field with a five-year, $350,000 stipend. The new investigator award is designed for independent investigators at the early stages of their careers, generally the early to mid-assistant professor level. The award amount is $150,000, payable over three years. The application deadline for both awards is January 14. For information, contact the Molecular Parasitology Program, The Burroughs Wellcome Fund, 4709 Creekstone Dr., Suite 100, Morrisville, N.C. 25760-9771; (919) 991-5100. Fax: (919) 941-5884. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : A Very Good Month? TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 Penn State University researchers have discovered that not all wines aged for a very brief period come with twist-off caps and are best served in a brown-paper bag. In fact, say the chemistry department investigators, depending on the variety, some wines do not improve with time. In studying wines made from vidal blanc grapes--grown in the Lake Erie region of New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio--assistant chemistry professor Mary G. Chisolm, along with graduate student Leise A. Guiher and undergrad Susan M. Zaczkiewicz, found that after two years, the wines tended to take on a vegetable-like taste. The researchers aren't sure exactly why this happens, but, using gas chromatography and the human sense of smell, they are trying to find out. The machine breaks down the components of the wine, while the sniffers detect the quality of the aromas of the components (citrus, pungent, cooked, rubbery, and so forth). What they have come up with is "the suggestion that all wines do not need to be aged and that perhaps at least some American white varieties are better if sampled young." The trio presented their findings at last month's American Chemical Society meeting in Chicago. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Poster Session TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 An offering from the National Women's History Project may find its way into some select company--joining the supermodels and athletes adorning teenagers' walls. The project is producing a series of posters called "Inventive Women," highlighting the accomplishments of women inventors. Each of the 11 women whose work and likenesses are featured on the posters holds U.S. patents for their inventions. For example, astronaut Ellen Ochoa (pictured here) holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and several patents for optical systems inventions used in robotic maneuvering and manufacturing; and Harriet Williams Strong (1844-1926), held patents on flood control/water storage dams and irrigation systems. For information on how to obtain the set of 11"x17", full-color posters, write the National Women's History Project, 7738 Bell Rd., Department P, Windsor, Calif. 95492, or call (707) 838-6000. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Art Imitates Death TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 A professor of physics at the University of California, Irvine, has written a scientific novel with a chilling plot line--it's about scientists developing technology to freeze bodies after death, and a computer hacker who believes God has instructed him to destroy them. The novel, Chiller, published by New York's Bantam Books, was penned by Gregory Benford, writing under the pseudonym Sterling Blake. Benford, who set his novel at UC-Irvine and says it's a tribute to the youth- and death-obsessed culture of Southern California, maintains that all the novel's characters--with the exception of a sociopathic killer named George--are based on people he has met in academia and while researching the book at the Riverside, Calif.-based Alcor Life Extension Foundation, a real-life nonprofit organization dedicated to freezing clients posthumously in the hopes that science will develop a way to revive them later. "It's a nice book; we rather enjoyed seeing him write it," says Hugh Hixon, a member of the board of directors of Alcor, which has 27 members currently in cryonic suspension and hundreds more signed up to be frozen after their deaths. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Why Publish? Because It's There TY : NEWS (NOTEBOOK) PG : 4 While it may seem like rather specialized reading, a new newsletter has worldwide implications, according to its editor. The second issue of the biannual Himalayan Notes appears this month, and Rasoul Sorkhabi, the newsletter's founder and editor, says the Himalaya region's environmental troubles--the construction of large dams, floods, and deforestation--as well as the geological and ecological aspects of the region's formation are of global significance. "The Himalaya provide scientists a natural laboratory where we can study how mountains of similar type on Earth form and what impact they have on the environment," say Sorkhabi, an Arizona State University geologist. The second issue will include articles on the 40th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary's first ascent of Mount Everest and the work of India's Wadi Institute of Himalayan Geography. For information, contact Sorkhabi at (602) 965-9852. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: September 20, 1993 TI : Conflict-Of-Interest Policies: What's Reasonable? -------- Editor's Note: The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the United States' largest private philanthropic biomedical research organization, operates more than 220 laboratories across the nation through long-term collaborative agreements with more than 50 universities, research institutions, and teaching hospitals--what HHMI refers to as "host institutions." HHMI investigators are employed by the institute and also hold academic appointments at these host institutions. All have laboratory teams supported by HHMI and administered by a national headquarters staff located in Chevy Chase, Md. HHMI spent more than $250 million in 1992 on medical research carried out by the scientists it employs. However, the institute's activities are not confined to bench research: Last year, for example, it awarded $51.5 million through a grants program devoted primarily to science education. HHMI's scientific, legal, and administrative staff in Chevy Chase oversees implementation of the organization's policies on research integrity. According to institute president Purnell W. Choppin, these policies are quite similar to, and apply alongside of, those of its host institutions, upon which HHMI relies to take the lead in commercializing intellectual property arising from research by HHMI investigators. Decisions involving the seeking of patents, the identification of potential licensees, the negotiation of licenses, and the determination of shares of royalties to be allocated to the inventors also are decided under the policies and procedures of the host institution. In the following essay, Choppin puts forth HHMI's views on issues involving consulting, intellectual property, and conflicts of interest. Concerning this perspective, Choppin says: "Our basic goals are the same as those of the larger academic biomedical research community: the pursuit of excellence in science, independence and unconflicted scientific judgment in research activities, and respect for the traditions of academic medical research." -------- AU : PURNELL W. CHOPPIN TY : OPINION PG : 11 Many academic scientists and institutions around the United States are grappling with issues like these: * Does a professor of genetics compromise his or her integrity by signing a lucrative consulting deal with a biotech company? * Can the company insist the professor spend a day a week on company business? * What if the company wants inside information on research in the professor's laboratory? We at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) have been thinking intensely about these and other issues involving intellectual property, research collaborations, consulting agreements, and the like. Our scientists, legal staff, and others have been working together to ensure that the directions of our scientific research are dictated by scientific interest and not by expectations of profit. We also seek to place all interested for-profit companies on a level playing field in their access to HHMI research results and to avoid inappropriate restraints on publication of scientific discoveries. We are hardly alone in addressing these questions. Universities and other institutions across the U.S. are searching for the proper balance between academic openness and the need to commercialize scientific advances. This is especially true in the biomedical arena, where progress has come swiftly and can lead to medical treatments and cures. When academic researchers and private firms interact effectively, everyone benefits, especially patients. But making the relationship too cozy threatens the independence of academic science. What's the solution? Obviously, a reasonable middle ground is needed, but it is easier to suggest this in the abstract than to define what it means in practical terms. Our experience at HHMI in trying to devise sensible policies may be helpful to readers wrestling with these issues elsewhere. HHMI encourages scientifically productive research collaborations between its investigators and for-profit companies. We recognize the importance of transferring research results in the public interest through effective commercial channels, and expect that our investigators will join with their academic and industrial colleagues in exchanging biological materials, discussing on- going research, and consulting. Our policies on research integrity provide for commercial interactions that are necessary and useful while protecting against apparent or actual conflicts of interest. For example, one of our investigators was part of a research team that reported success last year in developing a genetically engineered vaccine that protects laboratory mice against Lyme disease. The discovery was assigned to the investigator's university, which recently entered into an agreement with a pharmaceutical company to develop a vaccine for humans, dogs, and other animals. HHMI supported this agreement because it preserves the free conduct of academic research while also helping to overcome a disease that strikes thousands of Americans each year. In recent years and in a similar spirit, we have assigned more than 300 discoveries to our host institutions for development through commercial channels. Here's how we feel about several points that have proved contentious elsewhere: * How much time should an academic scientist be allowed to spend consulting for a company? Consulting should be a sidelight, not the main focus, of an academic researcher. Under HHMI's policies, an investigator must spend at least three-quarters of his or her time on research. The remainder of time may be devoted to academic duties at the host institution and, if time remains, to consulting. * Is it acceptable for an academic researcher to go beyond consulting and actually help run a company? Under HHMI's rules, consulting is limited to the exchange of ideas and may not involve the direction or conduct of research for a company. * What about owning a big share of the company? An HHMI investigator may not consult for a company in which he or she holds a significant equity interest. Currently, any interest representing more than 5 percent of the equity of a company is considered significant, but the allowable interest may be less than 5 percent, depending on circumstances, such as the capitalization and value of the company. * May a company get a peek at a scientist's academic research if it hires the scientist for consulting purposes? HHMI considers a consulting arrangement to be a private matter between an investigator and a company, and views the investigator's HHMI research as beyond the scope of private arrangements. Thus, a consulting arrangement may not give the company an edge over its competitors in access to the investigator's HHMI research. Our investigators must remain free to discuss and publish their HHMI research, and both HHMI and its host institutions must remain free to commercialize the results of this research. A consulting arrangement, in short, must avoid conflicts of interest and preserve the integrity of the research process. A firm signing an agreement with an HHMI investigator must agree that it has no rights to any intellectual property developed as a result of research financed by funds from HHMI or the university. * What if a company wants to license research findings? Our host institutions take the lead in commercializing our discoveries, but the institute reviews proposed licenses to ensure that any commitments involving future HHMI research are reasonable. * What about transferring biological materials? The institute reviews agreements on transfers of biological materials to or from commercial firms. We seek to ensure that, when a company provides biological materials to an institute investigator, any commitments bearing on institute research are reasonable. We recognize, of course, that other philanthropic institutions involved in biomedical research may reach different conclusions on these issues. HHMI's charter declares our purpose to be the "promotion of human knowledge within the field of the basic sciences (principally the field of medical research and medical education) and the effective application thereof for the benefit of mankind." Integrity in research is essential to this objective. Freedom to conduct biomedical research without conflicting commercial incentives best serves our abiding trust that extraordinary biomedical talent, given time and scope, will make lasting scientific contributions. We endeavor to hold on to this as our basic value. Purnell W. Choppin, a virologist and physician, is president of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Chevy Chase, Md. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: September 20, 1993 TY : COMMENTARY TI : Despite Problems With Peer Review, Science Publishing Is Healthier Than Ever AU : EUGENE GARFIELD TY : OPINION (COMMENTARY) PG : 12 In The Scientist's Sept. 6, 1993, edition (page 11), Penn State's Rustum Roy discussed today's science publishing environment. Although the thought-provoking essay carried a broad headline--"Science Publishing Is Urgently In Need Of Reform"--Roy's criticism centered on the comparatively narrow subject of peer review by scientific journals. There, at the heart of it, is where he wants to see reform. Using dramatic generalizations in characterizing the process of judging a research paper's worthiness, he suggested that peer review--as practiced by some journals--both reflects and sustains a number of social problems that exist within the scientific community. He assailed the process as an unfair, time-wasting, and potentially humiliating ritual that frequently inhibits rather than catalyzes the dissemination of valuable research findings. He lambasted the "peers" who do the reviewing, suggesting they are apt to be, at best, unqualified or irrelevant, or, at worst, motivated by bias and self-interest. Well, I empathized with his point of view and acerbic candor. The peer-review process isn't perfect, and, undoubtedly, Roy's objections resonated in the minds of many readers who, like me, have experienced arbitrary or inordinate delays in publication or have been subjected to flippant, unsubstantiated comments or unreasonable demands for additional work on a report. (Recently, I responded to such treatment by sending my manuscript to an alternative journal, where it was immediately accepted.) Instances or patterns of sloppiness in peer review certainly call for reform; all communities, including the science community, need continually to reexamine their traditions--no matter how venerable or widely accepted--to make sure they are properly serving their inhabitants. However, I cannot go along with the notion, as expressed in the headline given to Roy's essay, that all "science publishing" urgently needs reform. And I wouldn't want The Scientist's readers to think that I do. As Roy noted, today's world of science publishing embraces a wide array of specialized journals, science-oriented magazines, newspapers, and so forth. They serve audiences comprising everyone from the dedicated researcher to the reader with a pure fascination with, if little knowledge of, sophisticated science. Indeed, for my part, I experience a sort of love-hate relationship with the stack of back reading that always seems to confront me in my office and home study. I would love to read all the publications, cover to cover, and I hate to give up the pleasure and enrichment they offer because of a lack of time or energy. Add to this the steady flow of engaging and important books from publishing houses around the globe, and you have a universe of "science publishing" that, at least in terms of the information it provides to scientists and the lay public, appears to be getting more robust and valuable by the day. This is not a phenomenon or process generally in need of reform! For that matter, as far as the prohibitive or delaying nature of peer review goes, it is difficult to argue that a scientist having significant research to communicate will find it impossible to get a report published today, when enough journals exist to accommodate an annual output of more than a million papers. And there's another emerging component in the "science publishing" category these days that promises to speed up the dissemination of research findings: Many scientists are finding electronic publication of preprints and the distribution of fax copies as a quick and efficient means of rapidly making their findings known to colleagues and thus establish their priority of discovery or invention. If the peer review process is deficient and needs correction in the case of one publication or another, let's address the matter with a dedicated desire for improvement. Let's not allow our impatience with peer review's imperfection to obscure the fact that in a world increasingly needing to be informed on scientific issues and activities, science publishing overall is making a monumentally valuable contribution. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: September 20, 1993 TY : LETTERS TI : Senior Authors TY : OPINION (LETTERS) Owing to space limitations, reference to the hot paper by K.C. Cheng, et al., "8-Hydroxyguanine, an abundant form of oxidative DNA damage, causes G to T and A to C substitutions" (Journal of Biological Chemistry, 267:166-72, 1992), printed in the July 26, 1993, issue of The Scientist (page 16), did not include the names of senior authors Lawrence A. Loeb (University of Washington, Seattle) and Susumu Nishimura (National Cancer Research Institute, Tokyo), who initiated the collaborative effort. AU : KEITH C. CHENG Assistant Professor Division of Experimental Pathology Penn State College of Medicine Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Hershey, Pa. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Animal Welfare TY : OPINION (LETTERS) PG : 12 Susan Paris, president of Americans for Medical Progress (AMP), says in a letter to The Scientist (April 5, 1993, page 12): "Like all human beings, scientists have an obligation to treat animals in a humane, compassionate manner." What she does not say is that scientists, like other human beings, do not always fulfill this obligation. As a research scientist, I witnessed this firsthand. What Paris does not say is that in most states, laboratories are exempt from the anti-cruelty laws. What she does not say is that the scientific establishment fought, and is still fighting tooth and nail, against the Animal Welfare Act and its amendments, which impose at least some humane requirements. In a full-page advertisement in the New York Times (Feb. 7, 1993), the signatories of which include about a dozen scientists, AMP states that "the same movement that claims compassion for all living creatures is totally lacking in compassion for human beings." This statement is especially inappropriate for scientists, who should be dedicated to the truth. The fact is that, historically, those most concerned with human welfare were also those most concerned with the welfare of animals. In Victorian times, Quakers "found themselves involved with animal protection as naturally as temperance and antislavery" (James Turner, Reckoning with the Beast, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980). Albert Schweitzer, no misanthrope, said: "The ethics of reverence for life . . . make us join in keeping on the look-out for opportunities of bringing some sort of help to animals, to make up for the great misery which men inflict on them." As stated by Charles Wesley Hume in Man and Beast (published by Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, Garden City Press Ltd., Hertsfordshire, England, 1982): "Charity is indivisible. . . . Concern for the welfare of human beings and a similar concern for that of animals has been interlinked in history, and it is a fact of experience that those who care most sincerely for either of these good causes care also for the other." AU : MARJORIE ANCHEL Whitestone, N.Y. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Gene Discovery TY : OPINION (LETTERS) PG : 12 I read with great interest your feature article on the recent discoveries of disease-inducing genes (R. Lewis, The Scientist, June 28, 1993, page 14). The article failed to mention, however, the recent discovery of two other very significant disease-causing genes, reports of which were published in the same time frame as the disease papers cited. Both of these genes are required for human B cell differentiation and map to the X chromosome. Defects in one of the genes (CD40L) are the cause of X-linked hyper immunoglobulin M syndrome (X-HIGM) (R.C. Allen, et al., Science, 259:990, 1993; U. Korthauer, et al., Nature, 361:539, 1993), and defects in the other gene (atk) are the cause of X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA) (D. Vetrie, et al., Nature, 361:226, 1993). Since there has been such a flurry of research activity regarding these genes, as well, it seems to me an oversight to not also mention them in the article, especially in light of the fact that many individuals afflicted with these disorders are hoping for therapeutic intervention, too. AU : WILLIAM C. FANSLOW Immunex Research & Development Corp. Seattle (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: WHERE TO WRITE: Letters to the Editor The Scientist 3501 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19104 Fax:(215)387-7542 E-mail: Bitnet: ===================================== (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: September 20, 1993 TI : Study Attests To The Health Of Intramural Research Efforts At NIH TY : RESEARCH PG : 15 -------- Editor's Note: In a recent analysis of the citations-per-paper performance of institutions worldwide in cardiovascular and respiratory diseases from 1981 through June of last year, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) ranked first. The National Institutes of Health unit achieved the highest citation impact score, based on the frequency with which its reports were referred to in subsequent papers. And it also was one of the most prolific producers of papers in the field during the period studied. David Pendlebury, editor of the monthly newsletter Science Watch--which undertook the analysis--believes that NHLBI's achievement should be of interest to a broad range of bench scientists and science policymakers. "In the past few years," Pendlebury points out, "many scientists and policymakers have wondered aloud about the health of NIH's intramural program. And not a few have explicitly suggested that the intramural program has been receiving more than its `fair share' of research support as the flow of funds for the extramural program has become increasingly constricted. "However, in the field of cardiovascular and respiratory research as it traditionally has been approached--that is, through clinical studies--the institute has few peers in the influence of its research publications." Following is a report on Science Watch's analysis, which was originally presented in the newsletter's February 1993 edition (4[2]:1-2) and is reprinted here with the permission of Science Watch and its publisher, the Institute for Scientific Information in Philadelphia. --------- Researchers at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), in Bethesda, Md., should be heartened by the news that, during the last decade, their research reports posted the highest collective citations-per-paper record of any institution worldwide in the field of cardiovascular and respiratory medicine. McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston ranked second and third, respectively. To obtain these results, Science Watch surveyed 154,029 papers published between January 1981 and June 1992 in 64 dedicated cardiology and pulmonary medicine journals indexed by the Institute for Scientific Information. These titles represent the most influential in the field and include Circulation, the British Heart Journal, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, and the American Review of Respiratory Disease, among others. Not considered were articles dealing with cardiovascular or respiratory medicine topics that appeared in the Lancet, the New England Journal of Medicine, or other journals of general clinical medicine. Also, Science Watch chose to rank only those institutions that produced at least 300 papers in the surveyed journal set. The citations-per-paper average for all papers examined was 5.17, while the citation impact of United States papers turned out to be 7.47. Thus, papers from the institutions listed in the accompanying table outperformed the world average by at least 80 percent and the U.S. average by at least 25 percent. The list clearly reflects the dominance of the U.S. in this area of research. In fact, only two non-U.S. institutions--both Canadian--managed to crash the all-American party. McMaster snatched the second spot, and the University of Montreal secured 16th place. McMaster showed strongly, too, in Science Watch's previous institutional ranking for clinical medicine (Science Watch, 2[10]:7, November/December 1991). In attributing papers to a given institution, Science Watch followed exactly the author addresses listed on each paper. In certain cases, such as that of a university and its affiliated hospitals, addresses occasionally overlap. In the present study, for example, some papers presented an author's address as "Brigham & Women's Hospital," while others instead listed "Harvard University, Brigham & Women's Hospital." In the latter case, Science Watch attributed the paper both to Harvard and to Brigham & Women's. Those that presented only a "Brigham & Women's Hospital" address were not, however, assigned to Harvard, even though the hospital is affiliated with Harvard. Harvard, as it happens, tallied the most impressive figures in terms of output of papers and total citations: more than 3,000 papers and more than 34,000 citations. What's more, additional Science Watch analysis reveals that cardiovascular and respiratory medicine papers from Harvard and three of its affiliated hospitals--Brigham & Wom- en's, Massachusetts General, and Beth Israel--are gaining most significantly in impact compared with the other institutions listed in the chart, including NHLBI. According to citation impact scores for the five-year period 1987-91, Harvard and the three hospitals held the top four places, while NHLBI ranks fifth. Among all of the institutions on the accompanying 1981-92 list, Beth Israel Hospital made the most progress during the recent five-year period, jumping from 18th to fourth place on the citations-per-paper chart. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: September 20, 1993 TI : CARDIOVASCULAR AND RESPIRATORY MEDICINE: INSTITUTIONS RANKED BY CITATION IMPACT (Among those publishing more than 300 papers, January 1981-June 1992) RANK INSTITUTION NUMBER TOTAL CITATIONS OF PAPERS CITATIONS PER PAPER 1 National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute 1,342 20,094 14.97 2 McMaster University 418 5,284 12.64 3 Brigham & Women's Hospital 1,559 19,233 12.34 4 Stanford University 1,207 14,791 12.25 5 Harvard University 3,037 34,412 11.33 6 University of Pennsylvania 1,292 14,070 10.89 7 University of Virginia 639 6,871 10.75 8 University of California, Los Angeles 1,982 20,954 10.57 9 Massachusetts General 1,255 13,241 10.56 Hospital 10 University of Washington 1,261 13,018 10.32 11 University of California, San Francisco 1,938 19,953 10.30 12 City University of New York, Mt. Sinai Hospital 787 8,052 10.23 13 Johns Hopkins University 1,475 14,823 10.05 14 Cornell University 702 6,904 9.83 15 University of Montreal 544 5,226 9.61 16 Boston University 865 8,243 9.53 17 Vanderbilt University 675 6,368 9.43 18 Beth Israel Hospital 683 6,424 9.41 19 University of Florida 650 6,086 9.36 20 University of Minnesota 1,194 11,123 9.32 Source: Science Watch / Institute for Scientific Information (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: September 20, 1993 HOT PAPERS TI : GEOPHYSICS TY : RESEARCH (HOT PAPERS) PG : 16 G.J.S. Bluth, S.D. Doiron, C.C. Schnetzler, et al., "Global tracking of the SO2 clouds from the June, 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruptions," Geophysical Research Letters, 19:151-4, 1992. Gregg J.S. Bluth (Universities Space Research Association, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.): "In order to understand the Earth's climate system it is necessary to discern natural from man-made perturbations. The impact of volcanism on climate results from the ability of explosive eruptions to inject large amounts of sulfur dioxide (on the order of megatons) into the stratosphere. This sulfur dioxide chemically converts to sulfuric acid aerosol, leading to absorption of incoming solar radiation in the stratosphere and a net cooling of the Earth's surface. "The 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo was one of the largest volcanic events of this century, emitting roughly 20 megatons of sulfur dioxide. Pinatubo has served to renew interdisciplinary scientific interest in monitoring global volcanism and related climatic changes. "One of the most important advances in geosciences in recent times has been the development of satellite remote-sensing techniques. Given the violent and unpredictable nature of volcanism, the continual, worldwide observations of satellite instruments are well suited to studies of global volcanic activity. In 1982 it was discovered that data from the total ozone mapping spectrometer (TOMS), on board NASA's Nimbus-7 satellite, could be used to quantify sulfur dioxide emissions from volcanic eruptions (A.J. Krueger, Science, 220:1377-79, 1983). The TOMS instrument is currently the only way to detect, track, and measure the complete spatial extent of sulfur dioxide emitted from explosive eruptions. "Our estimates of sulfur dioxide produced by the Mount Pinatubo eruption provided valuable information to atmospheric scientists for the purpose of understanding the climatic response to volcanism. Perhaps more important, data from TOMS have shown that the amount of sulfur dioxide outgassed by large eruptions far exceeded what had previously been determined through ground-based study of volcanic deposits (leading to what is now called the `excess sulfur problem'). This discovery has spurred volcanologists to develop new models of magma chemistry and dynamics in order to reevaluate the geologic record of historic eruptions." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: September 20, 1993 TI : ONCOLOGY TY : RESEARCH (HOT PAPERS) PG : 16 M.B. Kastan, O. Onyekwere, D. Sidransky, et al., "Participation of p53 protein in the cellular response to DNA damage," Cancer Research, 51:6304-11, 1991. Michael B. Kastan (Johns Hopkins Oncology Center, Baltimore): "Since p53 is the most commonly mutated gene in human cancers characterized to date, it is the subject of intensive investigations. Though it has been clear since 1989 that it functions as a `tumor suppressor' gene or inhibitor of cell growth, the physiologic signals that led to a p53-mediated growth arrest had not been elucidated. In this paper we provided the first insights into when this growth-inhibitory signal was utilized: When cells were exposed to ionizing radiation, p53 protein levels rapidly rose in temporal correlation with cessation of replicative DNA synthesis. Since cells with wild-type p53 genes arrested in both the G1 and G2 phases of the cell cycle, but cells with mutant p53 genes arrested only in G2, we suggested that p53 function was necessary for preventing cells from replicating DNA that recently had been damaged. This role of p53 as a `cell-cycle checkpoint determinant' was confirmed by manipulation of p53 gene status in subsequent studies (S.J. Kuerbitz, et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 89:7491-5, 1992; M.B. Kastan, et al., Cell, 71:587-97, 1992). "Cessation of DNA replication following DNA damage presumably occurs so that the cell can repair the damage prior to replication; failure to do so would result in replication of a damaged DNA template and would be predicted to lead to increased genetic errors in daughter cells following cell division. In support of a critical role for p53 in preventing such a scenario, loss of p53 function has recently been linked to increased genetic instability (L.R. Livingstone, et al., Cell, 70:923-35, 1992; Y. Yin, et al., Cell, 70:937-48, 1992). "The observations that exposure to environmental DNA damaging agents appears to contribute to the vast majority of human malignancies and that p53 is mutated in a significant percentage of a wide variety of human tumors may be related because of this role of p53 in preventing progression through the cell cycle following certain types of DNA damage. An understanding of this p53-dependent response pathway could have implications for both cancer prevention and improved cancer therapies." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: September 20, 1993 TI : NEUROSCIENCE TY : RESEARCH (HOT PAPERS) PG : 16 S.R. Vincent, H. Kimura, "Histochemical mapping of nitric oxide synthase in the rat brain," Neuroscience, 46:755-84, 1992. Steven R. Vincent (Division of Neurological Sciences, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver): "This paper provided the first detailed mapping of the distribution of nitric oxide synthase throughout the brain. Most of the histochemical work was done during a delightful visit to Hiro Kimura's lab in Shiga, Japan. This project was made possible by the work of my former graduate student, Bruce Hope, who for part of his Ph.D. research had demonstrated that the enzyme nitric oxide synthase was responsible for the NADPH-diaphorase activity detected histochemically (B.T. Hope, et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 88:2811-4, 1991). In addition to being a specific marker for neuronal nitric oxide synthase, the NADPH-diaphorase technique has three features that have lead to its great popularity: it's cheap, easy, and nice to look at. "The NADPH-diaphorase reaction had been noted in neurons by Ekhart Thomas and Anthony Pearse in the early 1960s. Hiro and I, together with Uschi Scherer-Singler, rediscovered the technique in 1979 and showed that in an aldehyde-fixed brain the method gave a Golgi-like staining of various neurons. This led to widespread use of this histochemical technique in both experimental neuroanatomy and neuro- pathology. In particular, the method has often been applied to the postmortem analysis of schizophrenic, Alzheimer's, and Huntington's disease brains. "With the demonstration that NADPH-diaphorase provided a specific marker for nitric oxide synthase, many more people have begun to use this simple and robust technique. We and others have now mapped this signal transduction system in the peripheral and central nervous systems in a variety of species. The usefulness of this method became apparent just when the idea that nitric oxide might be a signal transduction molecule in the nervous system began to catch on. Thus, this histochemical technique should continue to be very useful for the delineation of nitric oxide synthase- containing cells that might serve as model systems in which to study this signal transduction system." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: September 20, 1993 TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY TI : Word Processors Keeping Pace With Scientists' Needs AU : CAREN D. POTTER TY : TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY PG : 17 Ten or 12 years ago, the first personal-computer word processors, running on primitive operating systems such as CP/M, were, for all their limitations, considered revolutionary. At least they beat using a typewriter--most of the time, anyway. Those first word processors brought the ability to store a document on a disk and to make revisions, but for scientists they had some significant drawbacks. For example, they were ill-equipped to handle such standard elements of scientific documents as tables, equations, and graphs. Researchers got around these limitations by leaving big spaces in the text into which they later pasted in--by hand--the necessary table or graphic. Today's more powerful word-processing packages, however, can handle nearly everything a scientist demands in putting together a paper for publication or a grant proposal, either by providing the needed functionality in the word-processing program itself or by offering better integration with other software. In those early years of word processing--and of personal computers generally--both hardware and software underwent a rapid evolution. Both areas saw a proliferation of different ideas and products, followed by a winnowing as users settled on favorites. As a result, word-processing software is now most likely to run on one of two basic personal computer configurations. It will probably use either a Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple Computer Corp. machine running under the Apple's proprietary Macintosh operating system, or a system from IBM Corp., Armonk, N.Y. (or a clone or compatible), running under the DOS operating system from Microsoft Corp. of Redmond, Wash. A third configuration gaining popularity, especially among scientists, uses the Windows operating system from Microsoft to give IBM machines a Macintosh-like look and feel. One advantage of the fact that users have tended to fall into just a few main computer camps is that, among software packages running on the same type of machine and using the same operating system, it is now fairly commonplace to share output between programs to produce an integrated final product. This is certainly true of the more sophisticated word processors now available. There are still a few limitations in the current crop of word processors that scientists may find somewhat frustrating; for the most part, though, today's packages are more than adequate for the demands of scientific publishing. Built-In Functions The main difference between today's word processors and earlier versions is that now they have so much built-in functionality that users rarely need to go to another program to prepare documents. In the past, users would have generated text and tables in the word processor, then called up a separate program to prepare graphs and perhaps a third to create equations. Each part would have been printed separately, and the user would assemble the document by hand. Today's high-end packages--priced at about $500--not only include tools for creating graphs, tables, and equations, but also give the user the ability to position these elements anywhere in a document. And, while it's true that it's now possible to create an entire document without leaving the word processor, for those who use other programs for their primary data handling--spreadsheets to create graphs, for example--it is also much easier to import and manipulate material from other software. No more scissors and paste. Along these lines, one of the software developments of the 1980s was the advent of page-layout programs. These are programs expressly designed to pull together into one document material from different originating software sources. And some scientists have used such programs--like Pagemaker from Seattle-based Aldus Corp., Quark Express from Quark Inc. of Aurora, Calif., and Publisher from Microsoft Corp.--to import different elements of a document and arrange them on a page. But, given the functionality built into advanced word processors now, page-layout programs are necessary only for the most complex or lengthy scientific publishing jobs--those involving digitized images or a self-published book, for example. Leading The Pack >From the many word-processing programs once available, current offerings have boiled down to just a handful. Of these, two of the best-selling packages--Word from Microsoft Corp. and WordPerfect from WordPerfect Corp. in Orem, Utah--also demonstrate the advanced functionality now available. "These are the most popular as far as scientists are concerned," says Cynthia Rogerson, marketing and sales manager for Design Science Inc. of Long Beach, Calif., which develops third-party application software compatible with word processors. Both of these packages are available in versions that will run on one of the three personal-computer operating systems discussed previously. Current versions are: Word 6.0 (DOS), Word 5.1 (Macintosh), and Word 2.0 (Windows); and Word-Perfect 6.0 (DOS), WordPerfect 2.1 (Macintosh), and WordPerfect 5.2 (Windows). The list price for each is $495. The tools built into these word processors for making graphs, tables, and equations range in capability from surprisingly good to barely adequate. Scientists whose needs will focus on a particular feature might have to weight that capability more heavily in comparing packages. The graph-making tool in Word, for example, is sophisticated enough to produce three-dimensional graphs from spreadsheet data or data entered by hand. By contrast, this function in WordPerfect is somewhat less versatile. Nonetheless, graduate student Terry Jones, in the department of biological sciences of Humboldt State University, Arcata, Calif., praises the table-making tool in WordPerfect. "It sure beats the old way of making a table, setting up all those columns using tabs," Jones says. "You just tell the software how many rows and how many columns you want, and it sets up a table for you." Both packages have built-in equation editors that can generate Greek symbols and arrange equations attractively on a page. Students preparing a thesis or dissertation will appreciate these programs' ability to automatically generate a table of contents or an index. Also, a "sort" feature can alphabetize a reference list with a few keystrokes. Regardless of how well these word processors' built-in tools work, scientists may prefer to use other applications for some of their document-preparation tasks. The best example of this, according to Susan Weaver, product marketing manager at Microsoft Corp., is the use of spreadsheets to create graphs and charts. This can be important for scientists, because spreadsheets have the ability to manipulate the potentially huge data sets resulting from experiments. Flexible Importation Both Word and WordPerfect can import information from a host of programs. Macintosh users have always had the ability to do this, using the system's "cut" and "paste" menu commands. Now, however, those who use DOS-based personal computers also have this capability. The makers of Word and Word-Perfect have seen to it that the DOS versions of their packages can import files from many popular software applications. And once the material is imported, the word processor allows users considerable control over the resulting image--including choosing its placement on the page, cropping it, and scaling it up or down. For those who have upgraded their DOS systems to run under the Windows operating system, however, the integration between a word processor and other programs has additional advantages, based on the Windows features called Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) and Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE). OLE establishes an active link between two programs. In other words, suppose Microsoft Corp.'s Excel spreadsheet program was used to create a pie chart from experimental data, and that chart was then placed into a Word manuscript. Later, when editing the manuscript, the author realizes the chart needs updating. Using the mouse, he or she simply double-clicks on the chart while in Word. The system automatically launches the spreadsheet, returning the user to the original chart so that it can be changed. "Once you've made your changes, it asks if you want to update the chart in your Word document," explains Weaver. "If you say yes, it automatically puts the new chart back into your document." DDE links two applications so that when one is updated the other is also automatically updated. Again using the example of Word and Excel, an author could create a table in a Word document based on data from an Excel file. Using DDE, the user can establish a link between the Excel file and Word document so that, when changes are made in the Excel data, the table in the manuscript will automatically be updated, also. Although most of the needs of scientists have been well addressed by Word and WordPerfect, users can still expect a few problems. These come from the fact that the primary market for word processors remains businesspeople, not scientists. As a result, the programs' built-in spelling checkers don't recognize many scientific terms and identify them as errors. There are ways around this, such as adding frequently used scientific terms to the dictionary provided by the word processor. But supplemental specialty dictionaries are also available that contain scientific terms. Alki Software Corp. of Seattle, for instance, offers a medical dictionary compatible with Word. A scientist may also find that the equation editor supplied with the word processor doesn't contain scientific symbols commonly used in his or her field. Here, too, third-party software can help solve the problem. Mathtype from Design Science Inc., for example, works with both Word and WordPerfect and provides a comprehensive set of symbols. Another source of symbols is Data-Cal Corp. of Chandler, Ariz. Even with these limitations, it's clear that word processing has come a long way from the days when the main features were text justification and the option of single, double, or triple spacing. For scientists, the ability to create or import all the elements of a scientific document and to arrange them elegantly on the page makes this technology an essential lab tool. Caren D. Potter is a freelance science writer based in McKinleyville, Calif. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : PERSONAL COMPUTER HARDWARE CONSIDERATIONS AU : CAREN D. POTTER TY : TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY PG : 17 Because word processing places relatively low demands on a personal computer's central processor compared to other types of software, it is often relegated to a lab's older, slower computers. The more powerful systems are saved for data acquisition and other computationally intense applications. Most current word processors require a computer with either two floppy disks or one floppy disk and a hard disk, but beyond that, their hardware requirements in terms of the central processor, random-access memory (RAM), and disk space are minimal. This is not true, however, if a scientist is using one of the word processors that runs under the Windows operating system. The problem is not the word processor itself this is still an nonchallenging application for most computers. The problem is Windows. This DOS add-on, which makes an IBM-family personal computer look and operate something like a Macintosh, requires substantial computing power, memory, and disk space. The minimum configuration recommended by Microsoft Corp. for running Word under Windows, for example, is a personal computer with an 80286 processor, at least 2 megabytes of RAM, and a hard disk with a minimum of 5 megabytes of available memory storage space. And most people would be unhappy with the performance of that system, according to Linda Thompson, who buys computers for Humboldt State University, Arcata, Calif. For running Word under Windows, she recommends an 80386 processor (running at 16 to 20 Mhz), 4 megabytes of RAM, and a hard disk of at least 10 megabytes, preferably 20. Another hardware consideration for word processing is the output device. The advanced word processors can work wonders on the screen, but this is of limited usefulness if the printer cannot generate these wonders. For example, if the printer cannot produce the Greek characters used in equations, they will appear on the screen, but will not appear in the printed document. The latest raster devices (C. Potter, The Scientist, Dec. 7, 1992, page 18), which include laser and ink-jet printers, generally deliver what the screen shows. Older devices, such as daisy-wheel and dot-matrix printers, are not up to the task of working with the new generation of word processors. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: September 20, 1993 TI : VENDORS OF WORD-PROCESSING AND RELATED SOFTWARE TY : TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY PG : 18 The following companies supply word-processing, page-layout, or third-party supplemental software mentioned in the accompanying story. Aldus Corp. 411 First Ave., S. Seattle, Wash. 98104 (800) 274-7243 Product: Pagemaker (page-layout) Alki Software Corp. 300 Queen Anne Ave., N. Suite 410 Seattle, Wash. 98109 (800) NOW-WORD Products: Dictionary of medical terms for use with Word; other dictionaries Data-Cal Corp. 531 E. Elliot Rd. Chandler, Ariz. 85225-1152 (602) 545-1234 Product: Symbol library for Windows-based programs Design Science Inc. 4028 Broadway Long Beach, Calif. 90803 (800) 827-0685 Product: Equation editor/symbol library for Word and WordPerfect Microsoft Corp. One Microsoft Way Redmond, Wash. 98052-6399 (206) 882-8080 Products: Word (word processor); Publisher (page-layout) Quark Inc. 10251 E. First Ave. Aurora, Colo. 80010 (800) 788-7835 Product: Quark Express (page-layout) WordPerfect Corp. 1555 N. Technology Way Orem, Utah 84057-2399 (800) 451-5151 Product: WordPerfect (word processor) (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: September 20, 1993 PROFESSION TI : Textbook Authors Say Writing Is Well Worth The Effort AU : RICKI LEWIS TY : PROFESSION PG : 19 While writing journal articles is a critical component of doing science, the few brave souls who attempt textbook authorship encounter an entirely different form of writing and publishing, with unique rewards and frustrations. "Until they have written a text, people have no appreciation for what it takes. It is debilitating; it just about does you in," says Randy Moore, a very prolific writer of articles and books and dean of arts and sciences at the University of Akron. But, Moore adds, the excitement of seeing one's book in print makes it well worth the effort to embark on the long, tortuous path toward publication. "Nothing matches the thrill of getting that envelope in Federal Express and pulling your new book out for the first time," he says. Textbook authors who are used to writing journal articles must adjust to a different communication style, veteran authors say. "A text is very general, and presumably the reader knows little about the subject. A professional article is written for people who would understand it immediately," says Wayne Becker, coauthor of The World of the Cell (Redwood City, Calif., Benjamin-Cummings Publishing Co., 1992) and a professor of biology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Moore chuckles at the idea that any scientist can pen a textbook. "I can just imagine an introductory text written entirely in the passive voice, with all that jargon," he says. What Moore dubs "the official rhetoric of science"--the grammar and style typical of a scientific journal article--is precisely what editors struggle to keep out of textbooks, and of popular books and articles in general. Moore is the coauthor of a high school biology textbook published this year by Reading, Mass.-based Addison-Wesley Publishing Co. and edits The American Biology Teacher, the journal of the National Association of Biology Teachers. Making The Connection An academic scientist who has good ideas, loves teaching, is up to date in his or her field, and writes well need not expend much effort in finding a publisher--publishers do the finding. Scores of publishers' sales representatives fill the halls of academia every fall and spring, hawking their wares, but also carefully scouting for promising authors. Editors also come a-hunting. "I knock on doors, ask questions, and see if professors are interested in writing a text," says Ron Pullins, chemistry editor at West Publishing Co. of St. Paul, Minn. One need not be a practicing scientist to write a textbook. Some of the most talented textbook authors, publishers say, are professors at community colleges, where teaching skill is paramount, and research hardly done outside of student research projects. And some of the most successful science texts today are written by people who are not trained as scientists at all. Nonscientist Cecie Starr, for example, is the author of the highly regarded Biology Concepts and Applications (Belmont, Calif., Wadsworth Publishing Co., 1991) and other best-selling texts. A quick way to find a publisher is to indicate one's interest in textbook writing on a market survey. That's what happened to Gail Marsella, who was an instructor in chemistry at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa., when she began to write a chemistry text for nonmajors under the editorship of Pullins. "Ron Pullins sent out a market survey when he worked with [Boston-based] Little, Brown [& Co. Inc.], including a table of contents, and asked, `Do you teach this type of course? Could you use this?' " Marsella recalls. "I wrote back that no, I wouldn't use it, this is what I need, this is what I don't have, and adding that all the available texts look alike. He wrote back, asking if I'd submit a book proposal." Pullins liked her proposal so well that he took it with him to West when he joined the company in 1987. Marsella subsequently signed a contract with the St. Paul publisher. Reviewing a text or writing ancillary materials such as instructors' manuals is a good way to get a foot in the door, editors say. Steven Miller, a professor of biology at the School of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo., segued into textbook writing by first doing a lab manual. He found he needed to write experiment protocols for his zoology laboratory classes because his approach was "not classical," not quite matching the exercises in published manuals. "After completing more than a semester's worth of labs, I thought, `I've done all this work, why don't I send it to a publisher?' " Miller says. "Wm. C. Brown [Communications Inc. of Dubuque, Iowa] at the time thought they had a zoology author lined up. They liked my lab exercises. So I signed a contract on a lab manual, and then the text author they had found fell through." The publisher asked Miller if he would write the text. "I wasn't certain I wanted to commit to a project of that [size], but I'd already invested time, and the publisher liked the work, so I told them I was ready to go for it--if they found me a coauthor," Miller recalls. His 1992 book, Zoology, written with coauthor John P. Harley of Eastern Kentucky University, is doing well. The publishing process is something a scientist doesn't learn about in grad school. Professors courted by publishers offering contracts may be so flattered and inexperienced that they do not know what questions to ask. Many authors suggest joining the Textbook Authors Association, based in Orange Springs, Fla., which matches prospective authors with veterans, says Norma Hood, acting executive director. The $50 annual dues is well worth the opportunity to learn from others' mistakes, members say. One author team working on a nutrition textbook, for example, didn't realize what was involved in agreeing to pay for artwork. When their long-awaited first royalty check arrived, it was minus $30,000 to pay for art. Other points to discuss come contract time, authors advise, are whether the publisher will pay for indexing; obtain the necessary permission to reprint material from other sources; and hire someone to write ancillary materials. The Process In writing a journal article, level and approach aren't issues, because the readers are peers. Textbook writing is different. An author must have an idea of who the audience is: Will the readers be science majors or not? Undergrads or graduate students? At an Ivy League school or a community college? "It takes a different set of skills to be able to communicate technical information to a nontechnical person, compared to conveying it to a science type," says Pullins. "Presentation of the material, in terms of writing style and approach, is particularly important for freshman biology students. So many textbooks now are just databases of fact after fact, even more than a science major wants. The concept-oriented approach is needed, and some humor, to show that science is fun, not just a formula," adds Glyn Davies, editor-in-chief of the college division for sciences at New York-based HarperCollins. Writing a textbook is a huge and unending commitment. "You have to be able to give writing priority for some fraction of time. If you wait till everything else is done, you won't get the text written," says Robert Bauman, author of Thermodynamics (New York, Macmillan Publishing Co., 1992), who retired last year as a professor of physics at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. Becker agrees that the lengthy time can be daunting. "If I'd known up front what I know now, about how much work it was, and how long it would take, I'm not sure I would have signed on," he says of writing The World of the Cell. Many a would-be author, understandably, is turned off by the realization that a 20-chapter book does not mean writing merely 20 chapters--it means at least two drafts, and a new edition every three to five years. "And it doesn't get easier with subsequent editions, because the field, at least in cell biology, is advancing so rapidly, and the quality of the competing texts so great, that in order to stay competitive, you have to be more on your toes than you would even just five years ago," says Becker, currently updating chapter nine of edition three of his text. The new author soon also learns that producing a chapter entails far more than writing, for a textbook really is, to a large extent, judged by its appearance. In fact, Davies considers the "art program" the most critical facet of creating a successful textbook, particularly in introductory courses. The "art program" is a second manuscript, apart from the written one, specifying each piece of art and each photograph. This can amount to 1,000 pages for an introductory biology book. "In terms of pure sales, if a text doesn't pass this first test--of art that is effective, attractive, and pedagogically sound--it doesn't stand a chance. An author must develop some sense of design, how illustrations and photographs look on a page. Having an idea for a piece of art in hand is one thing, but you need to communicate that to an artist," Davies says. An author typically submits crude drawings or copies of illustrations, which the publisher sends to artists. The publisher also provides photographs. Another time-consuming part of text writing is the search for errors. DNA molecules must be meticulously checked to see that the complementary bases match up correctly, and that "complementary" is not erroneously written as "complimentary." Every chemical bond must be scrutinized. "The bottom line is to really get the author to look at the proofs. You have to. We [editors] are not scientists, and errors can get by us," says Ruth Adams, managing editor at New York-based Garland Publishing. One way to speed text writing is to find a coauthor. "We review chapters for each other," says Zoology author Miller. He and Harley divvied up the chapters quite easily because their areas of expertise complement. Adams has had the joy of overseeing one of the most prestigious textbook teams ever--Molecular Biology of the Cell (2d ed., New York, Garland Publishing, 1988), written by National Academy of Sciences president Bruce Alberts along with Dennis Bray (senior scientist at the Medical Research Council in London), Julian Lewis (senior scientist at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, Oxford University), Martin Raff (a professor of biology at University College, London), Keith Roberts (head of the department of cell biology at John Innes Institute in Norwich, U.K.), and former Human Genome Project director and DNA double helix codiscoverer James D. Watson. "James Watson was behind choosing the authors," Adams says. "In this case, Keith Roberts is an artist as well as a biologist. That's one reason why the book is so special. Another key to their success is that they meet throughout the course of the writing, and go over each other's work. They really like each other." The Role Of Reviews Peer review is important in both journal articles and textbooks, but the goals differ. "In reviewing a journal article, the reviewer asks very critical kinds of questions on methodology, presentation of data, and conclusions drawn from the data. In reviewing a textbook, the reviewer looks for accuracy and user-friendliness," says Becker. Although journal reviews are more meticulous, textbook reviews are more numerous. While an article submitted to Nature may be reviewed by four or five of the author's peers, a textbook author is inundated with feedback from dozens of reviewers. But a textbook author has greater say over which suggestions to follow, because the editor, unlike a journal editor, is not a scientist. Like journal reviewers, textbook reviewers are anonymous. However, if an author feels a reviewer is incorrect or not matched well to the goals of the text, he or she can request yet another reviewer to more or less review the reviews. Many authors admit to simply ignoring reviews that are obviously off-base. Editors try to round up reviewers who know the subject matter and also teach. They use a variety of techniques to select reviewers. "I build a reviewer base when I travel [of] people who have the same qualities as an author--they are good teachers, know something about texts, know trends, and have an active interest in the field," says Pullins. Marge Kemp, project editor for biology at Wm. C. Brown, shares her "secret"--followed by most everyone, she acknowledges. "I go to the preface of a competing book, and find the reviewers listed there, and ask them to review the manuscript," she says. "I make a lot of calls, to be sure they are teaching the appropriate course and will be around for a while. But I've made mistakes. In one recent case, the reviewers were from a school whose course was much more difficult than our book," she says. An author typically writes a first draft, which is sent to reviewers. Their comments are used to fashion the second draft--which author and publisher hope will be the final one. Authors should prepare themselves for having to diverge from their initial concept, Miller says. "I had a rather idealistic perspective that I was going to write a book that would best suit my students' needs. When I started to deal with all the feedback from reviewers, I realized I had to be flexible," he says. But many authors note that the changes reques-ted by reviewers lead them to write a book that is too much like what is already on the market. "A new kind of text would essentially require an organizational change in the way one teaches. . . . Lots of people will say they want change, but only a few will actually do so," says Marsella. Marsella speaks from experience--her chemistry text, signed with West, was just dropped, because reviews deemed her attempt to incorporate critical thinking problematic. But she says she bears no ill will toward West, grateful that the company's editor improved the book as much as he did. "From the beginning, they warned that what I was trying to do was unusual, and I might have to retrench, that I would be upset by reviews," she says. Her book is currently being considered by other publishers. Despite the relentless reviews and endless work, text authors who have seen their first editions come to life have few regrets. For Wayne Becker, satisfaction comes from having his students see his text on bookstore shelves in such far-flung places as the University of Jordan and the University of Western Australia. "I have a sense of making a contribution, to my students here and students elsewhere," he says. Ricki Lewis, a freelance science writer based in Scotia, N.Y., is the author of Life (Dubuque, Iowa, Wm. C. Brown, 1992) and Human Genetics: Concepts and Applications, scheduled to be published by Wm. C. Brown in 1994. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: September 20, 1993 PEOPLE TI : Animal Welfare Group Creates Award Honoring Veterinarian AU : RON KAUFMAN TY : PROFESSION (PEOPLE) PG : 21 The founder and first executive director of the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC), Harry C. Rowsell, will be honored as the first recipient of an award created in his name by the Bethesda, Md.-based Scientists Center for Animal Welfare (SCAW). The Harry C. Rowsell Award will be presented to him in November at SCAW's national meeting in Nashville, Tenn. Rowsell says he hopes the award will raise researchers' awareness of the importance of animal welfare. "I hope it will generate in other scientists a desire to ensure that their animals are well chosen and well cared for," says Rowsell of the award. "If [research] involves an animal, that animal's got to receive the best care," he says. "If you're using tissue culture, again, the method has to produce the best science. That's what research is all about." SCAW is a nonprofit organization that sponsors educational conferences, sets up workshops, and distributes publications to inform researchers about effective and humane ways in which to care for laboratory animals. According to SCAW literature, the Rowsell Award will be presented annually to an individual "who is known for his/her commitment in fostering the dual goals of good science and the humane treatment of animals." Rowsell, 72, served as executive director of CCAC for 24 years before retiring in July of last year. Formed in 1968, CCAC serves as a peer-review organization that monitors scientists' use of animals in research. Rowsell received his veterinary degree in 1949 from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph and was granted a Ph.D. in veterinary pathology in 1956 by the University of Minnesota. He has received the Order of Canada, a government-endowed honor similar to the British knighthood. After receiving his Ph.D., Rowsell performed research for 15 years at the University of Guelph (Ontario) on hemostasis and thrombosis, physical ailments in humans and animals. He left Guelph in 1965 and, before setting up CCAC, taught at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. --Ron Kaufman (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: September 20, 1993 TY : OBITUARIES PG : 21 J. Murray Luck, a biochemist and information scientist, died August 26 of cardiac failure. He was 93 years old. Luck was a professor of chemistry at Stanford University from 1926 until his retirement in 1965. During the early 1930s, he founded Annual Reviews Inc. in Palo Alto, Calif., a nonprofit organization that publishes critical reviews and analyses of the scientific literature. Annual Reviews of Biochemistry has been published since 1932. Luck received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Cambridge University in England in 1925. His most cited paper, with 170 citations, appeared in 1958 ("Further studies on the fractionation of calf thymus histone," Journal of Biological Chemistry, 233:1407). Theodore A. Parker 3rd and Alwyn Howard Gentry, two biologists performing field research in South America, died August 3 in a plane crash off the Ecuadorean coast. Parker, an ornithologist and senior scientist for Conservation International, a Washington, D.C.- based nonprofit organization that supports biological research, was 40 years old. Gentry, a botanist and senior curator at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, was 48 years old. When the crash occurred, the two scientists were doing an aerial survey of the coast as part of Conservation International's Rapid Assessment Program, designed to create biological inventories of previously unmapped tropical areas. Parker received his bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona in 1977, and Gentry received his Ph.D. from Washington University in 1972. Parker was the author of An Annotated Checklist of Peruvian Birds (Vermillion, S.D., Buteo Books, 1982). In 1980, Gentry published Bignoniaceae: Crescentieae & Tourretieae (Bronx, N.Y., New York Botanical Garden Publications). (The Scientist, Vol:7, #18, September 20, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================


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