THE SCIENTIST VOLUME 7, No:12 June 14, 1993 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) Articles publ

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THE SCIENTIST VOLUME 7, No:12 June 14, 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 *** *** JUNE 28, 1993 *** *** *** ******************************************************* THE SCIENTIST (Page numbers correspond to printed edition of THE SCIENTIST) FOR SEARCHING PURPOSES: AU = author NEXT = next article PG = page TI = title of article TY = type TI : CONTENTS PG : 3 ===================================================================== NEWS June 14, 1993 PEACE WORK: As the Cold War winds down, the United States Department of Energy's three national weapons laboratories are finding that they must shift the bulk of their research efforts away from nuclear weapons and into basic and applied life and physical sciences studies or go out of business PAGE : 1 JOB MARKET OUTLOOK: This year's science graduates face one of the tightest job markets in decades, but also one that may represent the beginning of stabilization in what has been a recent downward spiral in employment opportunities. Whatever the case, career placement experts point out several emerging trends in the science employment arena that young scientists should be aware of JOB FAIRS: Among the range of job-hunting options graduates will be exploring will be the impromptu interviewing opportunities that emerge in science job fairs. Over the past few years, the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries have been participating in job fairs designed specifically for their employee-recruitment needs PAGE : 7 GAIRDNER WINNERS: For only the second time in the prizes' 36-year history, all five of this year's recipients of the Gairdner Foundation International Awards are United States-based researchers, being recognized for their contributions to gene targeting, epidemiology, brain functioning, and cerebral scanning PAGE : 3 COMPETITION AND COOPERATION: In his recently published book The Unnatural Nature of Science, British biologist Lewis Wolpert explores a broad range of areas in which the modern researcher is misunderstood by a suspicious and frequently ill-informed public. In an excerpt from the book, he focuses on the ways in which scientists ought to engage in the free exchange of information stemming from their laboratory investigations<197>and the reasons why they often try to keep their results to themselves PAGE : 11 COMMENTARY: Whether science competitions serve to indicate accurately a high school student's potential for success as a career researcher largely depends on the extent to which the competition is based on actual lab performance, suggests E.G. Sherburne, a former official of Science Service, which publishes Science News and is a cosponsor of the annual Westinghouse Science Talent Search PAGE : 12 DOE'S IMPACT: The Department of Energy's national laboratories are reorienting and expanding the focus of their research. In an article reprinted from the newsletter Science Watch, the impact of the various labs' investigations are examined and compared through citation analysis<197>with each other's and with other published research PAGE : 14 HOT PAPERS: A cell biologist discusses his studies of the functioning of the endothelium PAGE : 15 graphically, graphics software has replaced the exhaustive and expensive process of collaborating with artists, providing sophisticated visual presentation as well as enhanced statistical power PAGE : 18 SCIENCE FREE-AGENCY: With athletes, entertainers, and other artists negotiating increasingly lucrative deals for their services, the prospect of big-name scientists' routinely cutting their own megadeals with publications and research facilities does not seem as outrageous as it might once have, says Science Watch editor David Pendlebury PAGE : 1 DEBORAH L. PENRY, an oceanographer at the University of California, Berkeley, has become the second woman to receive the National Science Foundation's Alan Waterman Award PAGE : 22 NOTEBOOK PAGE : 4 CARTOON PAGE : 4 LETTERS PAGE : 12 CROSSWORD PAGE : 13 PEOPLE BRIEFS PAGE : 22 SCIENTIFIC SOFTWARE DIRECTORY PAGE : 30 (The Scientist, Vol:7, #12, June 14, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: June 14, 1993 Science Grads Although the employment slump seems to be easing, good positions remain scarce for scientists just out of school AU : MARCIA CLEMMITT TY : NEWS PG : 1 The job market for this spring's science graduates at all levels may well be one of the tightest in decades, university career development experts say. Many also point out, however, that this year's recruitment patterns indicate that employment prospects are no longer experiencing the precipitous decline of the past several years. "Things seem to be finally leveling off and starting to go forward a bit," says Steven Kravinsky, director of career placement for the sciences, business, and liberal arts at Iowa State University of Science and Technology in Ames. "In the Midwest, we've never felt the fluctuations [in the job market] as severely as they were felt on the coasts. So a slight recovery for us probably means more in terms of the big picture." The current employment dynamics for young scientists appear to be stabilizing into new, probably long-term, patterns, career placement professionals say. These include an employer pool made up chiefly of small and medium-sized organizations, an increase in temporary and contract employment, requirements that candidates have some work and research experience specific to the demands of their potential jobs, and more interest in hiring master's and even bachelor's degree holders rather than those with doctorates in technical and research disciplines. While postdoctoral positions are still plentiful in most fields, tenured academic positions are relatively scarce. That paucity-- along with concerns that a scientist, once hired by a university, may still be unable to find research funding--seems to be causing more Ph.D.-level researchers to explore employment options outside academia. But some employers' growing interest in hiring and training science graduates without doctoral degrees may derail that effort, job counselors say. "The market is asking for fewer and fewer Ph.D.'s and more M.S.'s. And it's not just that the Ph.D. ranks are full. It's that [employers] are putting more M.S. and even B.S. people at the lab bench, asking more of them, and finding that they can do it," says Catherine Connor, director of placement in the biotechnology center at the University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign. "Companies are taking a hard look at paying the premium for all that education," says Richard Stewart, director of the university placement service at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. "For some jobs, the company's conclusion is likely to be that the kind of people they want are those who went on to get that [doctoral] degree," says Stewart, who is president of the College Placement Council, a Bethlehem, Pa.-based organization that tracks and analyzes job and salary trends. "But a number of firms are saying, `Do so many jobs really need the advanced degree?' " At most universities, a large percentage of bachelor's and master's degree recipients in the sciences have traditionally gone on to graduate or medical school in any economic climate. Many career placement officers report that, with positions harder to come by, that percentage is increasing. But if bachelor's and master's graduates were to explore permanent or temporary positions that allow them to use their science training, they would find that the job picture is brighter than they may think, professional placement experts say. Many kinds of laboratories hire bachelor's- and master's-level science graduates in biology and chemistry for technical and even some research positions, while new, nontraditional teacher certification programs in many states allow science majors without education degrees to teach. "We've found that there are a lot of lab jobs available just in our local area," says John Buckner, director of the Center for Career Services at Columbia University in New York. "Many medical labs that do work for doctors, and the research and development wings of manufacturing companies that make stuff like household products and makeup, say they'd love to pick up some of our kids for technical and professional positions." Career counselors at many universities report that undergraduate add that, for the most part, these students consider it only as a one- or two-year interim pursuit before they go on to graduate school or other employment. "More people seem to be going into teaching, but not as a profession," says John Youngblood, career and student development coordinator for the Emory University career center in Atlanta. "They see it as a viable option when they find it hard to get into a lab. In teaching, you're being sought after. Somebody's saying, `We need you, we want you.' But for most, it's just a stepping stone before graduate school or other work." Career development professionals say the current hirers' market means that virtually no scientists can now engage in the kind of field-hopping that was once common in the scientific job market. "When opportunities were more bountiful, employers would hire graduates across discipline lines," says Dennis Ryan, director of the career center at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. "They'd hire a physicist when they couldn't get an electrical engineer. They would use the person's general scientific background as a basis for training them for the job. Now, they absolutely will not. . . . That makes it difficult for lots of students, who may not clearly identify their precise interests till near the end of their educations, and so end up labeled as belonging to a slightly different field from the one they want to work in." According to James Harris, interim director of career development and placement at Tuskegee University in Alabama, "The most noticeable trend today is that employers are asking point-blank for experience in the exact kind of work [they want prospective employees] to do. And many times it's `no experience, no offer,' regardless of other credentials." This change shifts much of the burden of the job search from the companies to the graduates, career placement experts say. "People who have hired bundles [of students from large universities] now aren't hiring any. The boom today, if any, is in medium-sized and small businesses," says Eugene Martell, director of career planning and placement at the State University pipeline, so that changes the recruiting picture drastically." According to Martell and others, science job-seekers must now generate long lists of potential employers and research those employers' specific needs, in order to target correctly the ones who may be right for them. "You have to be able to say, `I contact you because I know exactly what you're looking for. I hope I fit.' Small companies can't afford to bring in 10 people who might fit. They need to focus on those who certainly will," Martell says. In addition, he says, potential employees need to pursue every opportunity. "You have to turn every rock and see what's there. These people may hire only one professional every other year, so no matter who you are, you're in a numbers game." Martell and others say the switch to small employers for the bulk of industrial science and technology hiring means young scientists will also need to reconcile themselves to the somewhat lower salaries small companies can afford to pay as well as develop a well-rounded package of skills. To a small organization, a pure science specialty is less marketable than one that includes other skills useful to the company, such as fluency in a foreign language, or communications or computer science skills. Industrial Hiring Human resource professionals say that current uncertainties about the future of defense-related research and how best to compete in a global marketplace mean the employment situation in most scientific fields is in a kind of limbo, as employers try to anticipate and plan for future economic developments. While no field is experiencing anything that could be called a boom, career development experts do point to several areas--notably the environmental sciences and computer science--that remain stronger than most. Among the life sciences, health care-related fields such as immunology, toxicology, and microbiology have the strongest markets, these experts say, largely because these disciplines have applications in such a wide variety of settings, including and biotechnology companies. And, according to some career specialists, while biotechnology and biomedical engineering have never created the number of hires it was once hoped they would, those fields may still not have peaked in job-producing potential, since their medical applications are just beginning to be explored. Furthermore, some career development officers say, the small start-up companies that make up a large portion of these industries are not accustomed to recruiting their scientists straight from the university. "I'm not sure we're seeing what we will see in biotech and biomedical engineering," says John Hannabach, director of career services at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. "Those fields are dominated by small entrepreneurs, and I'm not sure they see campuses as resources yet." Major employers in physics, chemistry, and engineering have traditionally been the defense industry and other large companies that are currently hesitant to hire new staff, employment experts say. Since most such companies are in a slow- or no-hiring mode as they try to determine how best to compete in the global marketplace, times are especially tough for physical science and engineering grads, scientists long accustomed to being among the most employable science professionals. There are some bright spots in this generally dim picture, however. In physics, health-related subfields such as nuclear medicine are still much in demand. And according to a study of 1992-1993 job recruitment published by Michigan State University, while demand for chemists and chemical engineers is down, those who do find posts are commanding the highest starting salaries of any profession. Meanwhile, academic career development officials say, one of the most surprising developments in the current scientific job market involves electrical engineers. Since so many have traditionally been employed by large defense and manufacturing firms, many expected electrical engineers to be suffering along with other engineers and physical scientists. But the hiring picture for electrical engineers has turned out to be brighter than expected. Employment opportunities for electrical engineers in large companies like IBM Corp. and General Motors Corp. have "been a casualty," says Carnegie Mellon's Ryan. "But their overall market has been much more expansive than anyone thought. An interesting number of start-up companies--chip-makers, makers of other computer peripherals--are offering employment to electrical engineers. Companies I've never heard of are turning up on our doorstep and asking." Two other fields currently enjoying unusual prosperity are the computer and information sciences and environmental science, especially as it relates to air and water quality, industry hiring observers say. Government agencies, especially those involved in the cleanup of Department of Defense and Department of Energy sites; newly formed environmental engineering and consulting firms; waste- management companies; and even manufacturing companies are all recruiting scientists with environmental training. "That interest has really grown over the past couple of years," says Georgia Tech's Hannabach. "Lots of companies, regardless of product line, are looking to hire specialists in water treatment, hydrology, air quality, and so on." Computer scientists are being hired by a wide variety of organizations, from scientific research institutions in all fields to manufacturing companies to banks and other financial institutions. Hardware- and software-development and information management skills are sought after, career professionals say, with employers mainly looking for computer scientists whose work shows they can apply their computer skills to working out specific questions. "Potential employers are asking, `How can you use your computer skill to help me solve my problem?' Those who've studied applications sufficiently to have insight into that kind of specific problem-solving do very well," says Tuskegee's Harris. Government Work The good news for scientists interested in working for a facilities means that some jobs are almost always available, despite defense cuts and hiring freezes, university placement officers say. In addition, they point out that, at present, many defense-oriented labs seem to be changing their research focuses rather than phasing them out. "Government has always been a bit of a recruiting anomaly. There's not much on-campus recruitment. Instead, you just submit the paperwork, and after that it's survival of the fittest," says Purdue's Stewart. "But they're so big that even when they're shrinking, there are still jobs for those who target them properly." "A lot of our hiring is federal and defense-related, and a lot of it has dried up," says Marjorie Austin, director of career services at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro. "But the labs are trying to plug into other jobs, and some are managing that quite well." In addition, Austin says, many government labs are "still looking at postdocs, co-ops, summer hires. They want to keep going so when they start hiring again, they'll still have the job pipeline going." Contracting Science Across all employment sectors, temporary and contract work is growing rapidly, career placement officers say. "Many large companies are in a state of flux, so they're being very careful," says Craig Kopstain, director of engineering and science placement at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. "That's why many are hiring term employees, with few benefits, for nine months, or for three years, or one project." Kopstain and others say they expect to see more term employment for scientists in the next few years, and some career specialists think it will be a long-term trend. "We've had [contract employment] forever, and we don't mind when we call it postdocs," says the University of Illinois' Connor. "My theory is, [with more term and contract employment] we're leaving a 60-year aberration, when we made companies responsible for our lives. Before that, our grandfathers were responsible for themselves. Now the market is returning us to the days of contract employment--of skilled workers, apprentices, journeymen, and masters." Career officers say they also see promise for another group of science majors--those who choose to leave the field altogether. Banks and other financial institutions, as well as management and financial consulting firms, are eager to interview graduates with science training, and not just in computer science. Says William Corwin, associate director of career services at Princeton University, "Their quantitative aptitude and acquaintance with hard and demanding work" make science grads highly prized in these lucrative professions. Marcia Clemmitt is a freelance science writer based in Washington, D.C. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #12, June 14, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : In Hot Pursuit Of Post-Cold War Survival, Weapons Labs Seek Industrial Partnerships AU : SCOTT VEGGEBERG TY : NEWS PG : 1 The end of the Cold War, coupled with President Clinton's desire to make federally funded research a better engine for national competitiveness, has left the Department of Energy's three weapons laboratories searching for new missions. While weapons development is down, nuclear nonproliferation research is growing, as are environmental and energy research. And Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), which allow the national labs to join with industrial partners to solve high-technology problems, are increasing at a rapid pace. There are now more than 100 of these CRADAs linking the automobile, aerospace, textile, and other industries with the three weapons development labs--Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and Los Alamos National Laboratory. These three labs in total receive about half of the $6.5 billion budgeted for the 30 R&D labs managed by DOE in 1993. Each of them operates on budgets in excess of $1 billion and each has about 8,000 employees. While many people have ideas on how these three labs should change their organization and focus, clear direction at this point is still lacking, policy observers say. "The weapons program is going to shrink," says Roger Werne, associate director of engineering and technology transfer at the Lawrence Livermore lab in Livermore, Calif. But, beyond that, much is still undefined because the Clinton administration doesn't have all the necessary DOE appointees in place, he says. Especially critical, he says, is the still-unfilled post of assistant secretary for defense programs. As a result, "we're sort of in a holding pattern," says Werne. In an attempt to guide this new national mission, Rep. George E. Brown, Jr. (D-Calif.) introduced a bill on March 23 entitled the Department of Energy Laboratory Technology Act of 1993. "Our goal with this bill is to create a process of disciplined evolution for the DOE laboratories--a process through which the enormous resources of these labs are carefully directed toward meeting some of the nation's most pressing needs, while ensuring that the labs are rigorously evaluated to determine whether they are meeting their new challenges in the years ahead," said Brown during an opening statement for the bill. "The Cold War is over and we must now marshal our national science and technology resources toward the environmental and economic challenges of the next century," said Brown. "But without a plan for phased consolidation and conversion at DOE's defense labs, the outcome could be a budget-driven, ad hoc contraction that leaves the nation with a mediocre nuclear weapons R&D capability and a lost opportunity to redirect part of the DOE weapons lab system to new national missions." The four key objectives of the bill are: (1) providing an updated and focused set of missions for the laboratories; (2) improving the organization of research, development, and technology transfer functions at DOE; (3) enhancing collaboration between DOE labs and industry by streamlining the technology transfer process; and (4) ensuring that activities at DOE labs are regularly subjected to performance evaluations. This bill and similar legislation in the Senate will be the subject of hearings throughout the year. Still, even with a new administration and pending legislation, change is afoot at the weapons labs. Nuclear Nonproliferation As a percentage of Livermore's budget, nuclear weapons R&D stands at about a third "and falling," says Werne. And as a result, over the last three years about 700 laboratory worker and contractor jobs, out of a total of about 10,000, have been cut. But as interest in building nuclear weapons flags, the United States is growing increasingly interested in preventing the spread of these weapons. "The nonproliferation business is a growing program for us," Werne says. As an example of the kind of work involved, he points to the two Livermore weapons designers, a physicist and an engineer, who were among the group of United Nations weapons inspectors who confronted the Iraqi government for 25 days in the parking lot of the Agriculture Ministry in July 1992 over the issue of gaining access to that facility. He says biotechnology research, currently funded at about $25 million, should grow at the lab, which at present is involved in sequencing and mapping human chromosome 19. The lab is also conducting environmental research worth about $100 million, which includes development of technologies like waste minimization, as well as cleaning up its own polluted site. About 80 percent of the pollution at Livermore was caused by improper disposal of cleaning solvents when the Army used the site as a base during World War II, Werne points out. national labs is research into fusion as an energy resource. But Werne acknowledges that developing fusion power is a tough challenge that may elude scientists for as much as another century. "It is the problem to solve, if you can do it," he says. The future of fusion funding, however, is not clear. And because it has turned out to be so costly and elusive to develop, "a lot of people in Congress are a little disenchanted with the fusion program," Werne says. However, Vice President Al Gore has expressed interest in pursuing fusion research, he says. At Los Alamos in New Mexico, lab spokesman Jim Danneskiold says there's been a steady decrease in nuclear weapons work as expressed in the number of employees classified as full-time equivalents (FTEs). In 1985, there were almost 1,900 FTEs devoted to nuclear weapons and inertial confinement fusion work; this figure has now dropped below 1,200. "And next year we know there's going to be a further decline," Danneskiold says. In terms of total number of lab employees, Los Alamos is bracing for a loss of 300 to 400 employees out of 7,500 next year. Some of these may opt for early retirement, though, he says. Others may be laid off. In terms of projects, "bomb design is going down and things like hydrology and chemical engineering are going up," he says. Los Alamos also has a $15 million-per-year role in human genome research, with a focus on development of rapid DNA sequencing techniques, says Danneskiold. And research into environmental clean-up technologies has gone "way up," he says. In FY 1991, this research area was funded at $88 million, but that figure has jumped to more than $200 million in 1993, and officials expect that it will rise to $244 million in next year's budget-- "There is some growth in the hiring of scientists in the areas of environmental cleanup, waste management, and environmental technology development, but it's modest," Danneskiold says. For the most part, scientists in a declining area of research simply transfer to a growth area, but Danneskiold notes that there are some limitations: "Obviously, somebody who's a nuclear weapons designer won't have any skills in cleanup." At Sandia in Albuquerque, N.Mex., scientists' skills are seen as something akin to the lab's "box of tools" that can be moved from one division to another, says Virgil Dugan, director of planning and staff at that laboratory. "We've had a very fluid system here at the lab. People move back and forth between weapons- related work and energy and environment work," he says. The million of Sandia's $1.3 billion 1993 budget, is expected to climb to $300 million in FY 1994. The defense funding sector is not expected to be flat for next year, Dugan says, because as weapons design declines it will be offset by an increasing emphasis on warhead dismantlement as well as on treaty verification and intelligence work relating to nonproliferation--- Looking Ahead The real future for the labs, though, is in technology transfer, and CRADAs are one vehicle to make that happen, observers say. Livermore, for instance, signed a $6 million CRADA in March in which the lab will help Chrysler Corp. in Highland Park, Mich., apply the nondestructive testing techniques developed for nuclear weaponry to automobile transmissions. As is typical of most CRADAs to date, the labs are working in areas in which they have an existing expertise, rather than wading into new technological waters. In this agreement, $3 million in funding for equipment and staff will come from Chrysler, with a matching amount coming to the lab from DOE's technology transfer budget. That budget, from which CRADA funding is competitively awarded on the basis of proposals, is also growing, says Werne. In 1993, the CRADA budget for the three weapons labs was $141 million, which is expected to rise to $191 million in the 1994 budget, he says. Also in March, DOE announced a "historic" multimillion-dollar CRADA linking a textile industry research coalition, the American Textile Partnership (AMTEX), with eight national labs, including the three weapons labs. About $30 million in joint funding will be provided this year to develop improved materials and processes as well as for waste minimization, energy efficiency, and automation. "I believe this can be a role-model example of a total manufacturing industry/government/university collaboration dramatically increasing the competitiveness of the industry [and] to preserve and create tens of thousands of new jobs in the USA," says AMTEX board chairman Thomas Malone. But there are negative aspects in the call for the labs to increase the nation's industrial competitiveness, Werne warns in a November 1992 report "U.S. Economic Competitiveness: A New Mission for the DOE's Defense Programs' Laboratories." "There is a potential downside to the National Laboratories if the competitiveness mission is not managed properly," the report says. "The Laboratories must not be expected to be a panacea to the competitiveness problems nor must they attempt to be `all things to all people.' "If the Laboratory efforts become too diffuse with many small projects, then the critical mass and focus necessary to sustain and build technical excellence cannot be achieved." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #12, June 14, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Are New Riches In Store For Superstars Of Research? If Some Current Trends Continue, The Answer Is Yes! AU : DAVID A. PENDLEBURY TY : NEWS PG : 1 A news story you might be reading in 2003: LOS ANGELES--A bidding war broke out yesterday for the rights to publish a scientific study identifying a master gene that con~trols aging. In the end, the journal Genes & Proteins topped offers from four other journals and agreed to pay the authors of the breakthrough paper $137,000--a new record for a scientific paper sold at auction. "With this money, we'll be able to hire a couple of postdocs, and that will help speed up the work in our lab," Robert Kildow, director of the Phoenix Institute for the Study of Cell Senescence in Arizona, told reporters immediately after the winning bid was accepted. By late in the day, word of the record price had swept through the scientific community, rais~ing hopes of many researchers whose papers are coming up for auction next month --- --- The practice of paying authors for the rights to publish their hottest papers began in 1997. Considered an outrageous maneuver at the time in the once staid and polite world of science publishing, the paper auction has since become a standard operating procedure, one that has helped support research at top labs around the world. As the editor of Science Watch, a newsletter that tracks trends in research, I typically keep my eyes fixed on new scientific findings, the substance of science itself. But I see plenty of changes in the nature of the scientific profession, too. It's plain that over the last decade or so, there's been a lot more money circulating around elite scientists--the researchers universally recognized by their peers as leaders--particularly those working at the frontiers of molecular biology. Recent reports about and concerns over conflict of interest among leading molecular biologists exemplify this trend (see, for example, Christopher Anderson, "Hughes' Tough Stand on Industry Ties," Science, 259:884-6, 1993). The introduction of big bucks is, of course, due to the emergence of the multibillion-dollar biotechnology industry and the overheated financial markets that feed it. But, in the United States at least, elite scientists in other fields have also seen their economic value escalate as universities and corporations have started to fight ever more fiercely to sign on superstar or big-name scientists. If current trends to "bid up" the value of hot research and hot scientists continue, the news item above may one day not seem so unlikely. In fact, I can see two developments in prospect that would seem a logical consequence of the increasing advantage of the elites of science and the clear trend to commercialize their work and their celebrity status: science agents and bidding wars for papers. Let it be clearly understood that I do not advocate the introduction of either; I simply sense their inevitability. Perhaps, if some of these possibilities are aired openly, the scientific community might think about and discuss them before--instead of after--they First, let's look at the increasing economic power and value of superstar scientists. The scientific community has always had its elite members. Even an outsider can spot them. They're the ones with endowed chairs, generous funding, spacious and modern labs, many papers in top journals, and sizable citation counts. They've got collaborators worldwide, a constant stream of invitations to organize conferences and deliver keynote addresses, editorship of one or more journals, membership in the national and in foreign academies, and multiple prestigious (and frequently lucrative) prizes. These folks are the research world's equivalent of the rich. The scientifically rich, too, just seem to get richer and richer. Twenty-five years ago, the doyen of the sociology of science, Robert K. Merton of Columbia University, described how advantage accumulates for the scientific elite (Science, 159:56-63, 1968). He called this phenomenon "the Matthew Effect," after the biblical passage that reads: "For unto everyone that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath." All pretty grim for the nonelite of science, but that's their lot, as, probably, it has always been. The difference today, because of the unprecedented amount of money that's been introduced into science, is that the gulf is rapidly widening between the nonelite and the elite. If your star is going supernova, there's a whole world of opportunities that open up to you, and the opportunities just keep coming. Two recent examples are Leroy Hood and Anthony Cerami. Lured by billionaire software developer William Gates III, Hood was convinced to close shop at the California Institute of Technology and move himself and his retinue of investigators to the University of Washington (Susan L-J Dickinson, The Scientist, March 30, 1992, page 1). Cerami and his troops broke camp a year ago after three decades at Rockefeller University and set up again at the new Picower Institute for Medical Research, in Manhasset, N.Y., which was established for Cerami and The Scientist, Feb. 22, 1993, page 1). The offers these days can frequently prove irresistible. Is it any wonder, then, that many superstar scientists are on the move and many more are on the make? Not just for great science are many institutions seeking to sign on a superstar. Many are also hungry to have a "hot property." The mere presence of a name scientist on the staff carries real economic benefits and newfound promotional power. For second-tier or third-tier universities that aspire to the first tier, it's the royal road to recognition. With a superstar comes new respect for the institution, a better ability to attract other top-flight investigators, a means to attract media attention, and a new way to wow well-heeled contributors and win donations. And the economic benefits go both ways. These scientists can be quite shrewd. Like any other professional, a scientist will seek to optimize opportunities and compen- sation. More than money is usually involved--lab space, staff, and other forms of support obviously enter into a scientist's decision about where to practice--but it's the best offer or package that generally gets taken. Hood negotiated his own move directly with Gates: "We met for dinner," Hood told The Scientist a year ago, "[and] we discussed what I thought would be necessary resources for the kind of department I wanted to create and negotiated what turned out to be [Gates's] gift." Should we not expect that scientists of Hood's stature will be in a position to play one offer off another? One day the stakes in these negotiations will go high enough to attract the attention of the legal profession. Enterprising lawyers, recognizing the amounts of money involved in some of these recruitment situations, will eventually offer their services to superstar scientists. Like agents who negotiate on behalf of professional athletes, best-selling authors, and entertainers, agents for scientists would attempt to secure the best deal for the client and then take a percentage or a fee. The science agent, being a professional negotiator, would go well other things that a scientist has probably not thought of or never would think of. That's all part of their profession; they love it and they're good at it. A scientist, on the other hand, spends his or her days in other pursuits, likely finds such negotiation difficult or distasteful, and is probably not very good at it. The agent can be counted on to cut the better deal. "It just never occurred to me [to have representation]," says chemist Barry Sharpless, who moved from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to the Scripps Research Institute a year ago. "I've never heard of that. Most scientists seem to do their own negotiating. At the highest levels I know of, that's what's going on. Most discuss these things with their spouse and their friends." Could Sharpless see science agents in the future? "Well, I don't know. If it did occur, I guess it would be a sign of the times, one that would make it even harder for the man in the street to appreciate science as something special." Although now it is just not done in academia, deal-making through legal representation may nonetheless become routine for the much- wooed superstar researcher juggling multiple mega-offers. Every day, more and more scientists are forming associations with biotechnology companies, and through these associations they can quickly pick up on the ways of the business world. Hard evidence of the number of elite scientists with close ties to the business world arose recently. Last fall, Irving Weissman of Stanford University was forced to resign his appointment as a Howard Hughes investigator because the Hughes Medical Institute objected to Weissman's financial ties with his startup Systemix Inc. Now, other Hughes investigators--who may, perhaps, be called the superelite of science--are worried that they, too, will be cut off from Hughes support, since so many have significant stakes in fledgling and maturing biotechnology firms. Conflict- of-interest concerns are now coming to a boil at universities, independent labs, and government labs, such as the National Institutes of Health. Payment by journals to scientists for the rights to publish their papers, while perhaps a more distant prospect, is almost thinkable. Perhaps, as in the hypothetical news story described previously, payment would be offered for a single hot manuscript containing the details of a breakthrough discovery. More likely, a journal might sign a contract with, and pay a fee to, a superstar scientist for the right of first refusal for his or her papers over a particular period. Journals today, especially the increasingly aggressive about securing and publishing the hottest reports. To get these papers, editors waive page charges, promise fast-track review, and commit to rapid publication (Leslie Roberts, "The Rush to Publish," Science, 251:260-3, 1991). Just how far will journal editors go in giving special treatment to superstars to get their papers? Consider for a moment what's at stake for the leading journals. My phone rings off the hook with calls from employees on the business side of these publications who want to know what their journal's newest impact factor ranking (a citation-based measure of performance) is or how many highly cited, or "hot," papers I've listed in Science Watch from their journal. All of this information, or rather carefully selected pieces, go right into advertisements that tout their journal as "the best." There can be significant money to made when your journal is the best. It works like this: Everyone wants to read and subscribe to the best journal. The journal that everyone wants to read and subscribe to is the journal advertisers want to place their ads in. But would editors actually pay for the rights to certain papers? "That's a really manipulative, but intriguing, idea," says Janet Garman, managing editor of Neuron. She quickly adds, however, "I hope I'm not around when that happens." Simon Mitton, who directs science publishing for Cambridge University Press, acknowledges the increasing competition between leading science journals, "but for the moment, what a journal editor can offer is confidentiality and rapid publication. That's all." How, then, could payment for papers actually come about? It's not as large a leap as you might think. First, note that an offer to pay for rights of first refusal neither guarantees publication nor eliminates the need for peer review. A manuscript could still be rejected by a journal; a journal would be paying only for "first crack" at publishing the paper. Second, a researcher wouldn't actually pocket any money for personal use. The money would go to furthering research; it would be a new source of "private funding" that would lessen the demand placed on government for funding, the argument might go. And consider this: It would only take one iconoclastic editor of a leading journal and one fearless superstar scientist of entrepreneurial bent to blaze this new path in science publishing. Once that path is cleared, others could follow more easily. You can just see the gulf widening between science's haves and have-nots. Wheeler-dealer science agents who push salaries of superstar scientists into the stratosphere. Payment for the rights to publish research papers from the hottest labs. Is this where science is headed? Simply outrageous? Patently impossible, you say? That's what they said about Scott Meredith, the maverick literary agent who died recently. His obituary in the New York Times (Feb. 13, 1993, page A10) reads as follows: "In 1952, Mr. Meredith initiated the book auction: the offer of a manuscript to many publishing houses at once, with publication rights going to the highest bidder. Considered an outrageous maneuver at the time in the once staid and polite publishing world, the book auction has since become a standard operating procedure, one that has helped increase the fees that publishers pay writers." David A. Pendlebury is editor of the newsletter Science Watch, published by the Institute for Scientific Information in Philadelphia. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #12, June 14, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: June 14, 1993 TI : Five Americans Receive 1993 Gairdner Awards AU : RON KAUFMAN TY : NEWS PG : 3 For the first time since 1983 and only the second time in the 36- year history of the prestigious Gairdner Foundation International Awards, all recipients of this year's prizes are United States- based researchers. Traditionally, the awards have had a decidedly international flavor; over the years, winners have included scientists from 12 different nations, spanning four continents. This year, the Willowdale, Ontario-based organization will honor five American researchers in the fields of gene targeting, clinical epidemiology, brain functioning, and cerebral scanning with $30,000 cash prizes. The awards will be presented in Toronto on October 22 by Rose Wolfe, chancellor of the University of Toronto. The ceremony, including brief lectures from the winners describing their research, is held at the University of Toronto each year. A Nobel `Predictor' Since its inception in 1957, the Gairdner Foundation has honored 230 scientists. Forty of these have subsequently won the Nobel Prize. The most recent Gairdner/Nobel winners are German biologist Bert Sakmann, who won the Gairdner in 1989 and the Nobel in 1991; University of Washington biochemist Edwin G. Krebs, who won the Gairdner in 1978 and the Nobel in 1992; and University of California, San Francisco virologist Michael Bishop, who won the Gairdner in 1984 and the Nobel in 1989. 1993 Honorees Among this year's Gairdner recipients is Stanley B. Prusiner, a professor of virology and neurology at UC-San Francisco. Prusiner is being honored for "his contributions to our understanding of brain degeneration caused by novel infectious agents called prions," according to a Gairdner Foundation statement. Prions are infectious proteins that cause transmissible neurodegenerative diseases, often resulting in mental retardation and death. Prusiner's most cited paper, with 385 citations, is entitled "Novel proteinaceous infectious particles cause scrapie" (Science, 216:136, 1982), according to the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) in Philadelphia. Prusiner, 51, received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1968. He joined the faculty of UC-San Francisco in 1974. medicine and epidemiology at Yale University, "led the intellectual movement that established modern clinical epidemiology as a scientific discipline," according to the Gairdner Foundation. The foundation notes that Feinstein's "methods have led to improved classification of disease and the quantitative use of clinical signs and symptoms in the study of disease and, for example, have contributed to the prevention of rheumatic fever and to improving assessment of prognosis in cancer." "Science," Feinstein says, "is usually regarded as attempts to explicate nature: How does nature work? What are the mechanisms of disease and biology? "One can also, however, ask basic questions of how to change what nature has done or how to prevent what nature might do. Those are questions of intervention rather than explication. "In the world of medicine, those interventions occur as acts of patient care, and there hasn't been very much science devoted to that. It's usually thought of as art. What I've been saying is that if you can look at those things in a hardheaded, scientific way, you can find out what is happening to a patient at a human level as well as their white blood count." Feinstein, whose work has been cited in thousands of publications over the years, is perhaps most widely known for two books: Clinical Judgment (Huntington, N.Y., Robert E. Krieger Publishing Co. Inc., 1967) and Clinical Epidemiology (Philadelphia, W.B. Saunders Co., 1985). Feinstein, 67, is a graduate of the University of Chicago, where he received his bachelor's degree in 1947 and his medical degree in 1952. He has been at Yale since 1969. Another winner, Washington University radiation scientist Michel M. Ter-Pogossian, is being recognized by the Gairdner Foundation for his contributions to the development of the positron emission tomographic (PET) scanner. The device utilizes radioactive isotopes and gamma rays to produce a pattern of brain function helpful in the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy, cerebrovascular disease, and other mental disorders, such as depression and schizophrenia. Ter-Pogossian says his work at Washington University in St. Louis has focused on increasing the number of practical clinical applications of cerebral scanning. "I think in the long run, the strength of PET will be helping us to understand pathophysiology," he says. "Any form of illness results from and is accompanied by local biochemical changes. And this is very true of mental diseases. Therefore, if you can study--in vivo and noninvasively--biochemical changes in various organs, you have a tool of great importance in understanding what disease is." According to ISI, Ter-Pogossian's most cited paper on PET, with about 130 citations, is entitled, "A positron emission tomograph utilizing cesium fluoride scintillation detectors" (Science, 6:125, 1982). Born in Berlin, Ter-Pogossian, 68, received his bachelor's degree from the University of Paris in 1942. He received his Ph.D. in nuclear physics from Washington in 1950 and then joined the faculty there. Mario B. Capecchi, of the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City, and Oliver Smithies, of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, will each receive the Gairdner award for their independent but similar research into the technique of gene targeting, also called gene knockout. "To me it's very appropriate that we both be recognized because we both made different contributions towards the total procedure," says Smithies, who, before joining the department of pathology at North Carolina in 1988, spent the previous 37 years as a professor at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Smithies's early research into altering specific genes was aimed at globin genes in mammalian cells, specifically mice. "Both Mario and I, more or less at the same time, tried to apply this technique to embryonic stem cells and showed it effective," says Smithies. "I was the first person to demonstrate that it was possible to modify a natural gene in a mammalian cell in tissue culture," he says. "What Mario did was develop a very simple vector for doing these experiments, making them more practically accessible to others." Smithies's most cited paper on the subject, according to ISI, has acquired more than 260 citations, and is called "Insertion of DNA--sequences into the human chromosomal beta-globin locus by homologous recombination" (Nature, 317:230, 1985). Smithies, 67, received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Oxford University, England in 1951. Capecchi notes that this technique allows the researcher to replicate large numbers of mice with specific genetic diseases built in, such as cystic fibrosis. "In the long run, this technique will have a much wider application and allow you to systematically modify any of those genes and change its expression pattern," he says. "We will be able to perform a detailed analysis of what the gene is doing in the intact animal." Capecchi is now working on unraveling the functioning of the complex hox genes, which are involved in specifying body structure, such as limb size and finger width. Capecchi's most cited paper, with more than 290 citations, is called "Site-directed mutagenesis by gene targeting in mouse embryo-derived stem-cells" (Cell, 51:503, 1987). Born in Verona, Italy, Capecchi, 55, received his bachelor's degree in chemistry and physics from Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio, in 1961 and his Ph.D. in biophysics from Harvard University in 1967. He has been at the University of Utah since 1973. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #12, June 14, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TY : NOTEBOOK PG : 4 TI : International Finance The Missouri Botanical Garden has signed an agreement with Madagascar's Central Bank allowing the St. Louis-based institution to purchase up to $750,000 worth of the country's international debt at 50 cents on the dollar. The agreement, reached this spring with Paris-based ING Bank--which holds Madagascar's national debt--will release funds, up to $250,000 in local currency per year for three years, that the botanical garden will use to finance its ongoing botanical research and conservation work, in concert with local institutions in Madagascar. The garden began working in Madagascar in 1972 and since 1983 has been researching the island nation's flora, among the world's most threatened. Botanists from the Missouri Botanical Garden train and assist Malagasy botanists in research techniques and participate in conservation programs. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #12, June 14, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Summer Colleagues TY : NOTEBOOK PG : 4 United States, summer school this year will mean more than teaching remedial biology to bored students. As part of the 1993 "Partners in Science" program, the teachers will be teamed with scientist-mentors and will conduct research. Many of the teachers will be working with eminent researchers on crucial projects. Patrick Ehrman of A.C. Davis High School in Yakima, Wash., for example, will assist molecular biologist Leroy Hood at the University of Washington in his research into the human T-cell receptor gene, possibly an important factor in AIDS, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other diseases. The program, funded by Research Corporation and 10 other corporate and foundation sponsors, provides two-year grants of $14,000. The deadline for teacher candidate statements for the 1994 program is November 1, and applications for next year's research awards (from college or university scientists) will accepted through December 1. For information, contact Partners in Science, Research Corporation, 101 Wilmot Rd., Suite 250, Tucson, Ariz. 85711-3332; (602) 571-1111, Fax: (602) 571-1119. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #12, June 14, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Developing Third World Science TY : NOTEBOOK PG : 4 The Third World Academy of Sciences supports high-level international and regional scientific meetings, workshops, and symposia in developing countries by providing travel grants of up to $4,000 to bring in principal speakers from abroad, as well as participants from other developing nations. The grants are offered for meetings in the agricultural, biological, chemical, engineering, geological, and medical sciences. Applications are accepted only from organizers of these scientific events. The deadline for the next round of grants is December 1 for meetings to be held from July to December 1994. For information and applications, contact M.T. Mahdavi, Third World Academy of Sciences, c/o International Centre for Theoretical Physics, P.O. Box 6586, 34100 Trieste, Italy; (39) (40) 2240-325, Fax: (39) (40) 224559, Telex: 460392 ICTP I. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #12, June 14, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Good News For Runts TY : NOTEBOOK PG : 4 Researchers at the University of Wisconsin's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences report that fat supplements help baby pigs make it through their first days of life and may provide similar benefits to premature human babies. Animals and humans that are small at birth can't store much glycogen, which they need to fuel their metabolisms, according to food scientist N.J. Benevenga and colleagues. When the infants quickly run out of glycogen at birth, they start to burn body protein, the scientists say. But runt piglets fed medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), such as those in processed coconut oil, have a greater chance of survival than those who aren't. The MCTs, similar to fats found in mothers' milk, give the runts a quick burst of energy and help them nurse and compete with the bigger piglets, the investigators say. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #12, June 14, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Running Strong TY : NOTEBOOK PG : 4 Other researchers on the Wisconsin campus are putting their porkers on a diet of exercise, specifically a regimen of Research Center, animal scientist Tom Crenshaw and colleague Everett Smith from the department of preventive medicine have found that when sows walked treadmills 20 minutes a day, seven days a week, the exercise stimulated mineralization in their thigh bones. The research could lead to insights into osteoporosis in humans and ways to reduce lameness problems in production animals, the researchers claim. Couch potatoes may be heartened to learn that Crenshaw's research indicates that, although there are physiological differences between pigs and humans, it is not intense exercise but an increase in exercise level that stimulates bone formation. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #12, June 14, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Mind Reading TY : NOTEBOOK PG : 4 Yale University School of Medicine researchers have developed a method of determining just how much "wood" is burning when people think. A multidisciplinary team led by Robert G. Shulman, a professor of molecular biophysics and biochemistry, believes itself to be the first to use magnetic resonance imaging to measure regions of the brain stimulated during cognitive functions. Nine adult men and women volunteers were asked by the team to repeat simple nouns or to conjugate verbs. Every three seconds, the researchers used a Tesla magnet MRI system to take images of their brains. The team then compared the images taken before, during, and after the language task to measure the increase in brain activity. The scientists say the technique may allow more sophisticated measurements on patients before operations or after trauma. It may also be used to track brain responses to medication for patients with dementing illnesses, like Alzheimer's disease. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #12, June 14, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Chance Encounters TY : NOTEBOOK PG : 4 This spring, the University of California, San Diego, is offering a mathematics course that, on the surface, might seem better suited to nearby Santa Anita racetrack than the classroom. The new course, called "Chance," will require students to apply the principles of statistics and probability to real-life examples of chance events. The problems the students will address in the new course may range from such scientific issues in the news as the accuracy of AIDS tests, possible links between cancer and the environment, or DNA fingerprinting to playing the odds at the casino and in the stock market. The goal of the course, UC-San Diego officials say, is to arm students with basic skills in probability and statistics needed to survive in the scientific age. The students approach the problems by first examining accounts of a particular issue in the press or in scientific journals, and then, in many cases, reviewing the raw data used to arrive at the results and determining whether the statistical procedures used were appropriate or flawed. The students will also set up probability models for their own analyses of real- world issues. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #12, June 14, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Super Forecast TY : NOTEBOOK PG : 4 Industry experts from around the world issued a global market forecast for superconductor products and systems of $150 billion- $200 billion by 2020. A joint communique by participants at the second International Superconductivity Industry Summit (ISIS), held in Hakone, Japan, last month, predicts that the world superconductivity market, currently at $1.5 billion annually, billion by 2010. The communique notes that, since its discovery in 1986, superconductor research and development has grown so rapidly "it is no longer a question of if [superconductivity] technology will be commercialized, but when." The next ISIS will be held in Oxford, England, next May. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #12, June 14, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Biotechnology Job Fairs--- AU : RON KAUFMAN TY : NEWS PG : 8 Soon after finishing school, most new science graduates will utilize the entire spectrum of traditional job-seeking methods-- such as help- wanted ads, networking, university placement services, and assistance provided by scientific societies--to begin the next stage of their career. Another method that has been gaining in popularity over the years is the science job fair--a large conference of company representatives accepting resumes and interviewing for new employees. Although these events have been around for decades, a relatively new phenomenon is the industry-specific job fair, and one in particular is becoming ubiquitous and effective, its organizers say--job fairs for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. "In fact, right now the marketplace is becoming glutted with offerings of biotech and pharmaceutical job fairs," says Christos Richards, founder of Career Connection, a company based in Thousand Oaks, Calif., that arranges biotech/pharmaceutical job fairs. Held in either a ballroom or a suite, usually in a large hotel, commercial job fairs of this type generally attract between 10 and 20 national and local biotech companies looking for new employees. Job seekers can show up unannounced to submit resumes, and, in some cases, even conduct interviews with prospective employers. Along with Career Connection, Life Science Associates in Oakland, Calif., and the Lendman Group in Virginia Beach, Va., are the United States' three largest producers of job fairs in the life and biological sciences; each company will sponsor between six and 10 fairs this year. A biotech or pharmaceutical company will pay one flat fee to the organizer, usually around $3,500; in return, company officials are allowed to interview as many candidates and make as many hires as they wish from the pool of applicants who attend the fair, organizers of the fairs say. "The job fair forum can be exceptionally effective for both employers and employees," says Richards, whose five-year-old company was one of the original producers of biotechnology job fairs, running its first in 1990 in La Jolla, Calif. "For the employer, it's an opportunity to make multiple hires for a fraction of the cost of one hire through a search firm. And for the job candidate, the fair is a chance to submit a resume or have an interview with many companies in one afternoon." Major biotech and pharmaceutical companies such as Amgen Inc. in Thousand Oaks, Calif.; Genentech Inc., San Francisco, Calif.; Serono Laboratories Inc. in Norwell, Mass.; Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. in Syracuse, N.Y.; XOMA Corp. of Berkeley, Calif.; and divisions of the Baxter Healthcare Corp., headquartered in Deerfield, Ill., often frequent the fairs. The average number of hires per biotech company per job fair is between two and five, the organizers of the fairs say. Most of the companies that send representatives to the fairs are looking for scientists with Ph.D.-level education and between five and 10 years of laboratory experience, according to Jo Curtin, president of Life Science Associates (LSA), a division of Career Expo Conference Planners, also in Oakland. Though Career Expo has been producing job fairs in the areas of engineering/technical, sales, and business operations on the West bioscience fair in November 1992. "Biotech job fairs are still a fairly new idea to people, but I think it's going to become a more and more prevalent force in recruiting," Curtin says. The Lendman Group, though it has produced job fairs for about 30 years, only recently began running biotech-specific fairs in January. Steve Campbell, president of the company, says that its first biotech fair in Cambridge, Mass., called "Biotech '93," attracted 1,500 job- seekers, 57 percent of whom had a Ph.D.- level education. "The beauty of a job fair from the perspective of the job candidate," says Campbell, "is he or she can come and conduct a pretty sizable job search under one roof in a few hours and really know where they stand. That might take several weeks to do via the post office." Also, he says, the Lendman Group will accept resumes or CVs through mail or fax from job-seekers unable to attend the event and will distribute them to the participating companies. However, some career counselors doubt that many new graduates find employment at the biotech job fairs. Mary Heiberger, associate director of the career planning and placement center at the University of Pennsylvania, says most Ph.D.-level scientists obtain their jobs through networking, applying directly to companies, responding to ads, availing themselves of job services provided by scientific societies, and obtaining referrals from advisers. "We survey our graduating Ph.D. candidates every year and one of the questions we ask is: `How do you get your jobs?' And `I attended a commercial job fair and connected with it that way' is an answer I've never seen or heard about from students," says Heiberger. She says Ph.D.-level scientists are often searching for positions too specialized to have much success shopping at a random event. "I think a scientist who wants to find employment is much better off getting involved in their own professional association than running around looking for some company that claims it will produce magic for them," she says. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says most of the graduating scientists he sees meet employers right on campus, rather than attending a job fair. "What can't be reproduced anywhere is the wealth of connections we're lucky to be able to have with individual companies," says Weatherall, who notes that in one year, between 350 and 400 companies visit MIT looking for hires. Generally, when companies go to job fairs, they are looking to fill a number of highly specialized positions with experienced individuals, says Mark Iorio, human resource manager for the biotech manufacturing facility at Serono Laboratories. He says Serono attends around four job fairs a year and makes at least one hire per event. "We usually hire new graduates right off campus," he says. "But what a job fair can do for a fresh-out graduate is give them invaluable interview experience and give them exposure to what the top companies are doing so they understand what opportunities might exist." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #12, June 14, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : JOB FAIR ORGANIZERS TY : NEWS AU : Ron Kaufman PG : 9 For more information about job fairs, contact: Career Connection 299 W. Hillcrest Dr., Suite 106 Thousand Oaks, Calif. 91360 Life Science Associates 2100 Embarcadero, Suite 101 Oakland, Calif. 94606 (510) 436-3976 The Lendman Group 5500 Greenwich Rd. Virginia Beach, Va. 23462 (804) 473-2480 (The Scientist, Vol:7, #12, June 14, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: OPINION TI : Science's Negative Public Image: A Puzzling And Dissatisfying Matter AU : LEWIS WOLPERT TY : OPINION PG : 11 ============ Editor's Note: Lewis Wolpert, a professor of biology as applied to medicine, University College, London, writes in his latest book, The Unnatural Nature of Science (Harvard University Press, 1993), of a misconception widely held by the public that "scientists either pursue truth in a dispassionate manner...or that they are entirely competitive and selfish." The truth lies somewhere in between, says Wolpert. A blend of competition, cooperation, and commitment characterizes and informs the researcher's outlook and behavior; indeed, the coexistence of these factors is fundamental to scientific productivity. But the presence of these sometimes conflicting motives can be frustrating. On one hand, he points out, "scientists want other scientists to accept their ideas"; on the other hand, "scientists without good reason." In the following excerpt from his book, Wolpert explores some manifestations of this apparent paradox, inspired as he is by a desire to help resolve what he considers "a dissatisfaction and a puzzle." "The dissatisfaction is with the public image of science and with much of the writing about science in the media," he says, "as well as that by academics, including philosophers and sociologists. The puzzle is why the nature of science should be so misunderstood and why non-scientists have so much difficulty understanding scientific ideas." ============ Scientists cannot be treated as idealized animals and it is not legitimate to apply a sociobiological analysis to them. However, it does not seem unreasonable to assume that scientists wish to maximize the success of their ideas. Success can be thought of in terms of selection of their ideas by the community in the field in which they work. This is associated with personal success, which involves advancement in relation to jobs, promotion, praise by one's peers, money for supporting research, some personal financial rewards, and, on occasion, prizes. The value to the individual scientist of each of these rewards will vary, but they are closely interlinked and can be lumped together under the rubric of esteem by other scientists. In order to promote the success of their ideas, and hence themselves, scientists must thus adopt a strategy of both competition and collaboration, of altruism and selfishness. Each must balance his or her behavior, in relation, for example, to sharing information, in these terms. Artists are confronted with such choices to a much lesser extent. Another special feature that characterizes modern science is the enormous number of collaborative research projects. Single-author papers are now a rarity in the scientific literature. Many papers have four or five authors, and in some cases in subatomic physics, the number of names attached to the paper may be fifty or even more. It may not be unreasonable to think that the strategy scientists adopt is one that is entirely competitive and self-seeking, since there are, in a sense, only a limited number of golden "gold" has been claimed, the other "prospectors" are left penniless. But this view ignores the intensely cooperative nature of the scientific enterprise. Scientific success is not only about making discoveries about nature but about persuading other scientists of the validity of your ideas. In the process, one has to be part of a community which, with time, has developed quite a rigorous set of unstated norms for acceptable behavior. Included in these norms are the ideas that science is public knowledge, freely available to all; that there are no privileged sources of scientific knowledge--ideas in science must be judged on their intrinsic merits; and that scientists should take nothing on trust, in the sense that scientific knowledge should be constantly scrutinized. In addition, there have arisen a set of rules for the sharing of materials. In molecular biology, for example, once a paper is published which contains information on specific genes or proteins, then the authors are duty-bound to provide materials from their laboratory which enable other workers to pursue work on those genes or proteins. They may, of course, require that future research be collaborative, but it is not acceptable for them to keep all the materials for themselves. There is an almost prurient fascination in the media with both competition and fraud in science. It is as if these contaminate the purity of science, and they are viewed almost in the same way as someone of note in the religious world being discovered to be wholly immoral. Competition between scientists is regarded as, at the very least, indecent--quite alien to the image of the ivory- tower scientists pursuing knowledge for its own sake. But this is to fail to understand the special nature of the scientific enterprise and how scientists interact with one another. Scientists have to adopt a special strategy in order to be successful. They have both to compete and cooperate. Carl Djerassi, the chemist who first synthesized the birth-control pill, is one of the very few distinguished scientists who have written a novel about science; it is not surprising that he made fraud and the Nobel Prize its central themes. J.B.S. Haldane is reported to have said that his great pleasure was to see his ideas widely used even though he was not credited with their discovery. That may have been fine for someone as famous and perhaps noble as Haldane, but for most scientists recognition is the reward in science. There are cases where scientists have plagiarized the work of others and where results have been manufactured to support a particular hypothesis. It is inevitable that among the many thousands involved in scientific research there should be a small number who behave dishonestly and quite against the accepted norms. In several cases even distinguished scientists have been involved, by putting their name on a paper containing fraudulent results obtained by a junior colleague. They may, in some detail and so also have been deceived, since it is one of the dangers of ever-increasing collaborative work that scientists must have complete trust in the colleagues with whom they collaborate. For the functioning and the image of science, fraud is inexcusable; but for the advancement of science in the long run it really does not matter much, because it is so rare. Moreover, many respectable papers will themselves turn out to be wrong or irrelevant. A fraudulent result in an important area will soon be discovered when others fail to replicate the work, and this is exactly what has happened in several cases. More subtle is the scientist's desire to "massage" the results so as to support a viewpoint. Distinguished scientists have been accused of doing just this. Mendel's results that established his ideas on inheritance were, it is claimed, just too good to be believable. The desire to present one's results in the best light can be difficult to resist. Excerpt from The Unnatural Nature of Science, copyright 1993, Harvard University Press, is used with permission of the publisher. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #12, June 14, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: COMMENTARY TI : What Is The Best Way To Determine A Student's Aptitude For The Science Profession? AU : E.G. Sherburne, Jr. TY : OPINION (COMMENTARY) PG : 12 The article "Do High School Science Competitions Predict Success?" (Linda Marsa, The Scientist, April 19, 1993, page 21) is excellent but misses a very important point: Precollege science competitions are not all the same. Some are based on written examinations, some on students' essays, and some on independent scientific research. With such differences, one can well ask whether the different categories of competitions predict entry into a field--or adult occupational success in that field-- equally well. There has not been, to my knowledge, any research aimed at answering this question. However, Harold A. Edgerton's 1973 study of Westinghouse Science Talent Search participants (Identifying High School Seniors Talented in Science, Washington, D.C., Science Service) is relevant. The study looked at that year's 300 recipients of honorable mentions, who had been selected on the basis of the quality of their research papers. The names of these 300 young people were checked against a list of 300 names selected from the total pool of Westinghouse entries on the basis of their high academic achievement (grades, SAT scores, and class rank). The study compared the two groups to see how many students were in both. There was only one-third overlap. Two-thirds of the students chosen on the basis of scientific research performance did not have high enough scores to be in the top 300 if academic achievement had been the criterion for selection. And two-thirds of those chosen on the basis of academic achievement failed to be among the 300 honorable mentions chosen on the basis of scientific performance. Not surprisingly, we see that different selection criteria tend to select different students. And so the question asked in the title of The Scientist's recent article might be rephrased as "Which High School Science Competitions Best Predict Success?" While there is no positive answer, a clue is offered in a 1985 paper by Leonard L. Baird ("Do grades and tests predict adult accomplishment?" Research in Higher Education, 23[1]:3). After reviewing a large number of studies on the relation of academic achievement to success, Baird concluded that, in general, the studies demonstrated low positive relationships between academic aptitude or grades and adult accomplishment, although he does note that "The closer the content of the measure of academic aptitude to the demands of the field, the stronger the relationship." If academic achievement does not accurately reflect the demands of scientific research, does it have any relevance? In 1981, educational psychologists Richard S. Mansfield and Thomas S. Busse commented on a threshold effect that has been suggested by some psychologists (The Psychology of Creativity and Discovery: Scientists and Their Work, Chicago, Nelson-Hall). Their findings imply that a threshold of academic achievement in a discipline is required for entry and effective functioning in that discipline. But beyond this threshold, additional academic achievement is not as important to success as other abilities, such as creativity or motivation. On the other hand, successful scientific performance presupposes a certain level of academic achievement, because successful research cannot be done without the necessary knowledge. This suggests that precollege science competitions based on written tests would predict ability to enter a particular field more effectively than practical achievement in that field. However, precollege science competitions based on performance in independent research would predict success in a field but not necessarily ability to enter that field. This is because it is possible to do good research but still not have high enough grades for admission to some colleges or universities, since most institutions consider academic achievement to be of far greater importance than scientific performance in determining acceptance. My opinion is that competitions based on research projects are better predictors of adult success in science than are competitions based on written tests, since the demands of a project more closely resemble the demands that professional scientists must meet. Written examinations, which establish exclusionary thresholds of academic potential that may preclude a student's entry into science, are most valuable in predicting who among them will not go on to become successful scientists. E.G. Sherburne, Jr. is former president of Science Service, which publishes Science News and administers two major precollege science competitions: the Westinghouse Science Talent Search and the International Science and Engineering Fair. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #12, June 14, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: LETTERS TI : Duplicate Research TY : OPINION (LETTERS) PG : 12 I read with interest the story by Paul McCarthy on the problem of redundant publication in the March 8, 1993, issue of The Scientist (page 1) and the commentary on the subject by Eugene Garfield in the April 19 issue (page 12). Garfield is right, of course, that there is a long-standing problem that could be solved by editors' and researchers' making better use of citation searches. However, I believe the emphasis on "publication" is misplaced. Duplication of the research itself is more important than redundant publication. "Better yet," as Garfield says, investigators should run a literature search "before fully embarking on a research project." Much duplication could also be avoided by use of citation searches by the panels that authorize the research, at the proposal stage, just in case the author of the proposal missed something important with too narrow a search. I estimate that the cost of redundant research exceeds the cost of redundant publication by a minimum factor of 100. In other words, I would focus on the real waste of money in research design, equipment, labor, supplies, and use of facilities rather than the trifling waste associated with redundant publication. By the time a report of such a waste of time and money is submitted to an editor, the damage is done. ALBERT HENDERSON Bridgeport, Conn. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #12, June 14, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Chemistry Opportunities TY : OPINION (LETTERS) PG : 12 This letter is in response to Ronald Breslow's Commentary titled "Let's Put an End to `Chemophobia' " (The Scientist, March 22, 1993, page 12). As a 1984 Ph.D. who has held entry-level industrial chemistry positions, I agree with Breslow's claims that chemistry is important. He concludes by encouraging students to consider chemistry. The real reason that students are not going into chemistry does not have much to do with "image." Instead, students are recognizing that while chemistry is very important, the economic consequences of such a choice are very negative. Usually, unless a young scientist achieves "superstar" status, he or she will be looking forward to substantial periods of unemployment or underemployment. Depending on one's perspective, the reason for this is either (a) overproduction of scientists and engineers or (b) underabsorption of scientists and engineers by prospective employers of scientists and engineers. With either perspective, the imbalance is a supply of about three scientists and engineers per projected opening through 2005. The primary goal of the Young Scientists Network (YSN), a group with no membership fee and whose members are linked primarily by computer electronic mail, is to debunk the myth of a soon-to- materialize shortage of scientists and engineers. YSN shares with several other organizations the long-term goal of improving the utilization of scientists via the allocation of more resources. In addition, a bibliography with about 50 (large) dimensions of the problem. I urge readers of The Scientist to examine the real reasons for "chemophobia," and to work to correct the root causes. To use the network via Internet, send general questions and add/delete requests to: GENE A. NELSON Member, Editorial Board Young Scientists Network Cleveland (The Scientist, Vol:7, #12, June 14, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ WHERE TO WRITE: Letters to the Editor The Scientist 3501 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19104 Fax:(215)387-7542 E-mail: Bitnet: ================== NEXT : RESEARCH TI : United States National Labs: How Does Their Research Measure Up? TY : RESEARCH PG : 14 Editor's Note: An article on page 1 of this issue addresses the government officials, and the United States public concerning ongoing funding and focus of the major national weapons labs-- Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, and Sandia. The article points out that this shift, in fact, marks a time of vast change for all Department of Energy-managed labs, as the quest for global economic gain supplants the fear of global war as the prime reason for continued support of these facilities. Among the most dramatic signs of change, as these labs take new aim through creative partnerships with private-industry firms, is their increasing involvement in the life sciences. Heretofore, their achievements--individually and collectively--centered for the most part on the physical sciences, and it is worth pondering how well they will adapt to the inevitable challenges accompanying the demand to redirect their efforts. Earlier this year, the newsletter Science Watch, published by the Institute for Scientific Information in Philadelphia, undertook to evaluate through citation analysis the influence that the largest national labs have had on research during the past decade. The newsletter compared the labs' citation records in several categories--physical as well as life sciences--weighing the impact of their published work against one another, and also against the impact of all U.S.-published papers in these fields. A report on this study appeared in the March 1993 issue of Science Watch. It is reprinted here with the permission of the newsletter and of ISI. For some time now, the national laboratories of the United States Department of Energy (DOE) have been the subject of increasing scrutiny. Policymakers are openly questioning the necessity of funding the weapons labs--Sandia, Lawrence Livermore, and Los Alamos--at the same levels as during the 1980s, when the threat from the Soviet Union was considerable. Those wrestling with the ever-expanding federal budget deficit are wondering how much of the billions currently spent each year on the national labs might be saved. And some politicians, worried about America's economic competitiveness, are asking whether the DOE labs can shift their missions toward civilian research and work more closely with industry--in fact, in some cases to become contract research shops for industry. There is little question that changes are coming for the national labs, but when, how much, and what type of changes are yet to be determined. In light of all this, it seems appropriate for Science Watch to examine how scientists themselves regard the citation analysis, which reflects the influence that research at a given facility has had on others in the scientific community. Science Watch surveyed the scientific papers from eight large DOE labs that were published in journals indexed by ISI from 1981 to 1992. The papers of each were divided into subfields based on the journals in which they appeared and a journal-subfield classification scheme employed by Current Contents, an ISI publication. The labs were then ranked according to their mean citations-per-paper record in 1981-92 (papers published during 1981-92 and cited over the same period) and in the most recent five-year period, 1988-92 (papers published during 1988-92 and cited during the same period). To be ranked in a subfield, a lab had to have produced at least 100 papers in a given period; an exception was made for Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in analytical, inorganic, and nuclear chemistry in 1988-92, when it produced 90 papers. For each subfield, and for each period surveyed, the average citation impact scores for all U.S. papers are indicated at the top of each ranking. The results show that the research impact of these large DOE labs, as measured by citations per paper, generally exceeds the U.S. average. In fact, there are signs of improvement: More of the labs surpassed the U.S. average in 1988-92 than they did in 1981-92. Different labs clearly have different areas of strength and weakness. As for strengths, Brookhaven ranked first in general physics; Argonne topped the list in applied physics; Ames placed first in analytical, inorganic, and nuclear chemistry; Berkeley bested all others in materials science; and Sandia took top honors in nuclear engineering, for both periods. As for weaknesses, Oak Ridge was last in physical chemistry and in biochemistry/biophysics for both periods, and it fell from sixth to last in applied physics, comparing 1981-92 with 1988-92; Brookhaven ranked at the bottom or near to it in physical chemistry and materials science during both periods; Livermore placed last or next to last in applied physics; and Los Alamos was last in analytical, inorganic, and nuclear chemistry during both periods. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #12, June 14, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: RESEARCH HOT PAPERS TI : PLANT SCIENCE TY : RESEARCH (HOT PAPERS) H. Ohta, K. Shida, Y.-L. Peng, I. Furusawa, et al., "A lipoxygenase pathway is activated in rice after infection with the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea," Plant Physiology, 97:94-8, 1991. Hiroyuki Ohta (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan): "When plants are infected with a pathogen, they show a series of quick protective responses. A well-known response to fungal attack is production of phytoalexins, which have inhibitory effects on the growth of the fungus. When fungi infect plants, the phytoalexins are coincidentally accumulated in the infected cells, and then suppress the invaders. One of the important points to understand in this resistance mechanism is when and how the phytoalexins are produced in the plant cells. Recently, several metabolites of unsaturated fatty acids have been isolated as antifungal substances from plants, and thus, the potentially important role of lipoxygenase and subsequent metabolic pathway (lipoxygenase pathway) in producing such compounds has increased the interest in plant pathology. "Our paper clearly showed that a lipoxygenase pathway producing antifungal hydroxy fatty acids was highly activated in rice after infection with the rice blast fungus. Furthermore, this event of early induction of lipoxygenase pathway was much higher in response to the infection with an `incompatible' strain than that with a `compatible' one, which caused severe disease in host cells. The phenomenon strongly suggests that the lipoxygenase plants against fungal attack. Our group also confirmed that the activation of the lipoxygenase was also observed at the mRNA level (unpublished data). "There remains another question that we should consider: How do plant cells recognize the fungal infection, and communicate it to other cells around infection sites? It is noteworthy that an alternative lipoxygenase pathway in plant cells is known for producing jasmonates, growth inhibitors of plants, which have received renewed interest as important signaling molecules. Now we presume that the induction of lipoxygenase by fungal infection has an additional important meaning in activation of the signaling pathway following early responses of plants to fungal attack." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #12, June 14, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : MATERIALS SCIENCE TY : RESEARCH (HOT PAPERS) PG : 15 P. Bruno, C. Chappert, "Oscillatory coupling between ferromagnetic layers separated by a nonmagnetic metal spacer," Physical Review Letters, 67:1602-5, 1991. Patrick Bruno (Institut d'Electronique Fondamentale, Orsay, France): "Magnetic multilayers are currently attracting considerable interest as new artificial materials. Among them, those consisting of an alternated stacking of a ferromagnetic metal (such as iron, cobalt, or nickel) and a nonmagnetic metal (such as copper, silver, chromium, or ruthenium), with individual layer thicknesses in the range of a few atomic layers (AL), exhibit unique magnetic and electrical properties that make them very promising for the development of novel magnetic sensors and "In 1990 the observation was published that, in iron/chromium, cobalt/chromium, and cobalt/ruthenium multilayers, the magnetic coupling between two ferromagnetic layers across the nonmagnetic spacer oscillates periodically as a function of the spacer thickness (S.S.P. Parkin, et al., Phys. Rev. Letts., 64:2304, 1990). This announcement stimulated intense experimental and theoretical activity. One of the challenges was to understand the period of the oscillations, which in early experiments ranged between 5 and 10 AL. "We proposed a theory of this phenomenon based on the Ruderman- Kittel-Kasuya-Yosida (RKKY) model, originally developed to explain the magnetic coupling between magnetic atoms embedded in a nonmagnetic host metal. In the RKKY theory, the Fermi surface of the host metal (a geometric construction characteristic of the electronic structure of a given metal) plays a central role. Our theory shows that the period of oscillation is an intrinsic property of the spacer metal and is determined by its Fermi surface. It is quite general and takes into account the peculiar atomic and electronic structure of the multilayer. "We think that the impact of our paper is due to the fact that, for the first time, we derived precise rules for determining the period of oscillation from the shape of the Fermi surface; since the latter is usually anisotropic, the oscillation periods are expected to depend on the crystallographic orientation of the multilayer. Moreover, we predicted the coexistence, in the general case, of several periods, which had been unobserved. "By using experimental data (from de Haas-van Alphen experiments) on the Fermi surfaces of noble metal, we made explicit predictions for the period of oscillation of the interlayer coupling across copper, silver, and gold spacer layers. For the (001) orientation, we found the striking result that a superposition of a short period (about 2 AL) of oscillation and a long period (6 to 8 AL) of oscillation should be observed. Experimental investigations have undertaken to check the validity of these predictions; this yielded very satisfying quantitative agreement with our theoretical predictions, for gold, copper, and silver (A. Fuss, et al., Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, 103:L221, 1992; M.T. Johnson, et al., Phys. Rev. Letts., 68: 2688, 1992; J. Unguris, et al., to be published)." (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : CELL BIOLOGY TY : RESEARCH (HOT PAPERS) PG : 15 A. Lerman, B.S. Edwards, J.W. Hallett, D.M. Heublein, et al., "Circulating and tissue endothelin immunoreactivity in advanced atherosclerosis," New England Journal of Medicine, 325:997- 1001, 1991. Amir Lerman (Mayo Clinic, Ro-chester, Minn.): "It is clear that the endothelium is much more than a semipermeable barrier between the blood and the vascular smooth muscle. Indeed, the endothelial system must now be regarded as a highly active endocrine organ. The endothelium contributes to local vascular regulation by releasing vasodilating substances such as endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF) with associated antiproliferative properties and releases as well vasoconstricting substances such as endothelin with associated mitogenic properties. "A role for endothelial dysfunction in the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis continues to emerge. We have recently investigated the role of plasma and tissue endothelin in humans with symptomatic atherosclerotic vascular disease requiring arterial revascularization. In this study, plasma endothelin concentrations were elevated in humans with advanced atherosclerosis, and correlate with the number of disease sites involved. Specific immunohistochemistry staining of endothelin-1, like immunoreactivity of human atherosclerotic aorta, demonstrated that endothelin was present in the cytoplasm of both vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells. This observation suggests a role for endothelin as a marker for arterial vascular injury and as a participant in the atherogenic process. "It has become apparent that a critical balance between EDRF and and regional hemodynamic functions and cellular proliferation. Future investigations should be focused upon such endothelial function in physiologic and pathophysiologic states through the development of endothelin receptor antagonists and endothelin- converting enzyme inhibitors as well as activators of EDRF synthesis and release to further define the role of the endothelium in the pathophysiology and therapeutics of human vascular disease." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #12, June 14, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: RESEARCH TI : Scientific Graphing Software Tools Fill Important Niche AU : FRANKLIN HOKE TY : TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY PG : 17 Scientists have tough demands when it comes to presenting their data graphically, whether for presentation or publication. To meet these demands, they used to call upon the skills of technical graphic artists, but the resulting cycles of corrections and alterations were often inefficient and taxing to both parties. "You handed a rough idea of what you wanted to a graphic artist," says former biologist Robert Simons, explaining how he came to write the graphing package CoPlot, from CoHort Software, Berkeley, Calif. The artist then would produce an approximation of the conception, says Simons, and lengthy revisions would follow. "It cost a lot of money, it was a pain, and it took a long time. And then the journal would come back and say, `These two lines are too thin, these are too thick, and everything In the 1980s, however, software developers like Simons began to release scientific graphing and plotting packages for the personal computer (PC) that, as a group, gave the individual scientist increasingly powerful, precise control over his or her data presentation. These packages grew in quantity and sophistication; today, there are a number of very capable software tools designed to meet technical needs. The majority are MS-DOS based, but several are available for the Windows operating environment, as well, with more planned for release soon. Among these packages are: Fig. P from Biosoft, Ferguson, Mo.; CoPlot from CoHort Software, Berkeley, Calif.; SigmaPlot from Jandel Scientific, San Rafael, Calif.; Origin from MicroCal Software Inc., Northampton, Mass.; PlotIT from Scientific Programming Enterprises, Haslett, Mich.; Graftool and Stanford Graphics from 3-D Visions, Torrance, Calif.; and Axum from TriMetrix Inc. in Seattle. Filling The Gap In terms of functionality, the scientific graphing packages can be said to fill a gap between two other families of software. One is presentation graphics software, designed primarily for the business community and offering good control over aspects of appearance such as fonts and color. The other is statistical or computational software, providing the brute number-crunching capability scientists need. "Our niche is definitely publication and presentation for scientists," says Robin Rafferty, product manager for Jandel Scientific's Sigma-Plot graphing software. She says that some business programs have edged into the scientific market by adding technical features, but that the new features tend to be "somewhat hidden underneath the business features." Also, she says, their mathematical analysis capabilities are likely to be inadequate. "At the other end of the spectrum," Rafferty says, "are the math and statistics packages, which have much greater functionality [in those areas of operation], but may be weaker on the graphics side." Historically, many scientists have managed to get by with presentation software specifically designed for the business community. The business market has been well served by commercial software developers, so that there is a good selection of programs to choose from. Also, the business packages are able to deliver some computational support while providing attractive output. But scientists have particular needs in presenting their data graphically that are not met by most business-oriented software packages. Among these are the ability to automatically plot error bars, to do curve-fitting of data, to create three- dimensional graphs, and to handle very large data sets. According to Cheryl Mauer, communications director for Tri- Metrix, error bars are a graphical way for researchers to represent the degree of statistical confidence in a given data point. "Your X and Y data coordinates plot a point on the chart," Mauer explains, "and in experimental data you often have an error value around each point." James B. Smith is a professor of behavioral pharmacology at Mercer University, Atlanta, and a Fig. P user. His studies look at the effect of different drugs on behavior in animals. "When we plot data and record it for a journal," Smith says, "we're expected to show basic descriptive statistics indicating the variance in that sample of animals, or test tubes, or whatever we're measuring." Before packages like Fig. P became available, Smith says, programs required the user to calculate standard error separately and then enter the results into a spreadsheet-type format. The graphed points would then show error bars. But, with Fig. P, he says, this is no longer necessary. "The program itself will compute standard error on the basis of a number of different conventions," Smith says, "and then it will Curve-fitting is another feature important to scientists that the business packages don't offer and that the technical packages do. "Typically, with business graphics," says Mauer, "you tend to know what sales were down to the last penny, whereas, with experimental data, the package needs to be able to handle missing values. "With curve-fitting," she explains, "the scientist has an idea, an equation that might fit their data, but they're not sure. What they can do is plug in the equation, plug in some initial estimates for parts of the equation that are unknown, and then an internal algorithm goes through and kerchunks away until it gets closer to a fit through the data points. Then it draws it out on the screen." The latest version of Axum, released May 10, includes these features, Mauer says. "We've added nonlinear curve-fitting and automatic error bars, in response to the biological community, in large part," she says. Three-dimensional graphs are another area of importance to scientific users. Plotting on three axes is a computationally demanding feature not usually offered by the business packages. Similarly, the ability to handle very large data sets is important to scientists. Some of the business programs have spreadsheets limited in, say, the number of rows allowable, while many technical graphing packages are virtually unlimited. "In CoPlot," says Simons, for example, "you can work with files that are limited only by the disk space that you have." There are other features of significance to scientists that the "They often don't have the full Greek character set," says Simons, "and they often don't support subscripts or superscripts. Those things are common and important to scientists." While most of these features--automatic plotting of error bars, curve-fitting of data, three-dimensional graphing, and large- data-set handling--are available on each package discussed here, there are differences in approach and degree. Before deciding on a particular software tool, a scientific user would be wise to study the fine print on the package's features list. Windows On The Horizon While several of the packages are currently available in a Windows version--Fig. P, Origin, PlotIT, and Stanford Graphics-- several others are scheduled for release soon, including SigmaPlot. Axum developers also are working on their Windows product, although a release date is not being predicted. The majority of scientific users are trying to get as many of their software tools as possible running under Windows. Besides the increased ease of use that the graphical user interface offers, there is increased compatibility between programs in Windows. The DOS-based programs do not have this compatibility, explains David Ulmer, vice president of marketing for 3-D Visions. Ulmer's company sells Graftool, which runs under DOS, and Stanford Graphics, which runs under Windows. "If you want to take an image out of SigmaPlot or Graftool or Axum to put it into a word processor," Ulmer says, "you're going to lose something. What it is that you lose is up for grabs. In some programs, it's the style of fonts. In other programs, it's the style of lines you have. Something gets lost in the translation from the proprietary format into another kind of format. And then when you import it back into the word processor, again, you lose something. "Now, with Windows," Ulmer continues, "you point [with the mouse] at what you want to keep and say, `copy.' Then you go over to your word processor and point where you want it to go and say, `paste,' and it's there." "Windows really gives you the ability to have a Macintosh-like environment in the IBM box," says William Emerides, a University of Pittsburgh researcher doing muscle fatigue studies. "Instead of having to type in a bunch of cryptic commands, you can just use the point-and-click technology." Like Ulmer, Emerides cites the increased compatibility among Windows programs as a strong plus. "You really want to have all the programs you can running in that environment," Emerides says, "because you take output from one program and put it into another, which you sometimes can't do with [DOS-based] programs without sitting down and entering the data all over again." Emerides says most of his graphing needs revolve around X/Y plots of such variables as blood flow vs. time or force output over time. Currently, he is using Stanford Graphics, although he also is investigating the other Windows-based scientific graphing packages. While it is true that Windows is becoming more and more commonplace on the scientific desktop, not every scientist doing technical graphing is ready to commit to the Windows environment. "I like the increased power and speed of the newer, faster [microprocessor] chips," says Mercer's Smith, "but I don't like Windows. I think it's cumbersome, and I get tennis elbow working that mouse all over the place." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #12, June 14, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TY : TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY PG : 19 The following companies are among those providing graphing and plotting software for scientists. Biosoft P.O. Box 10938 Ferguson, Mo. 63135 (314) 524-8029 Fax: (314) 524-8129 Product: Fig. P (MS-DOS, Windows: $499) CoHort Software P.O. Box 1149 Berkeley, Calif. 94701 (510) 524-9878 Fax: (510) 524-9199 Product: CoPlot (MS-DOS: $159) Jandel Scientific 2591 Kerner Blvd. San Rafael, Calif. 94901 (415) 453-6700 Fax: (415) 453-7769 Product: SigmaPlot (MS-DOS: $495) MicroCal Software Inc. 22 Industrial Dr. East Northampton, Mass. 01060 (800) 969-7720 Fax: (413) 586-0149 Product: Origin (Windows: $495) Scientific Programming Enterprises P.O. Box 669 Haslett, Mich. 48840 (517) 339-9859 Fax: (517) 339-4376 Product: PlotIT (MS-DOS: $495; Windows: $595) 3-D Visions 2780 Skypark Dr. Torrance, Calif. 90505 (310) 325-1339 Fax: (310) 325-1505 Products: Graftool (MS-DOS: $495), Stanford Graphics (Windows: $495) TriMetrix Inc. Suite 210 Seattle, Wash. 98115 (206) 527-1801 Fax: (206) 522-9159 Product: Axum (MS-DOS: $495) (See also the Scientific Software Directory on page 30.) (The Scientist, Vol:7, #12, June 14, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: PEOPLE TI : Berkeley Oceanographer Is Second Woman To Receive NSF's Alan T. Waterman Award AU : Ron Kaufman TY : PROFESSION (PEOPLE) PG : 22 Biological oceanographer Deborah L. Penry, an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley, has become the 18th recipient of the National Science Foundation's Alan T. Waterman Award for outstanding research by a scientist under the age of 35. The award, which includes a $500,000, three-year research grant, was presented to Penry on May 12 at the National Science Board's annual dinner. Penry, now 36, was honored for her investigations of how marine animals feed and process food. She has applied the principles of chemical reactor theory and design to explain how the digestive processes of marine life fit into the ocean ecosystem (D.L. Penry, P.A. Jumars, "Modeling animal guts as chemical reactors," American Naturalist, 129: 69-96, 1987). According to Penry's theory, phytoplankton produce organic matter. Animals eat those phytoplankton and then excrete fecal waste. The waste is either consumed by other planktonic animals or settles on the ocean floor to be degraded or buried in sediment. "The common step in all of this," she says, "is that the material goes through some animal's gut. "Because every animal has a different digestive strategy, I wanted a framework where I could generalize the process," she says. "So I used chemical reactor theory. That is, that animal guts are like chemical reactors because, essentially, you put material in, chemical reactions oc-cur, and material comes out again." The Waterman award has been presented annually since 1976. Penry is only the second woman to win it; the first was Columbia University biochemist Jacqueline K. Barton in 1985. Penry says the scarcity of women among the award winners is "sort of typical" of the general way women are represented in science. "But I do think that women of my generation have it a whole lot better than women of 15 or 20 years ago, when it was much more difficult to be taken seriously in science. Back then, women had to make a lot more sacrifices to pursue a career in science, and they would often have to accept lesser positions than a man with the same qualifications. "I can't say I've had any problems in science being a woman Penry received her B.S. in biology from the University of Delaware in 1979 and her Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of Washington in Seattle in 1988. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #12, June 14, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Foundation Honors Radiation Pathologist For Lifetime Of Environmental Research AU : Ron Kaufman TY : PROFESSION (PEOPLE) PG : 22 Arthur Canfield Upton a lifelong researcher in radiation pathology, has been named the first recipient of the Lovelace Medical Foundation's Award for Excellence in Environmental Health Research. Based in Albuquerque, N.Mex., the 46-year-old foundation established the award this year to recognize excellence in basic or applied research dealing with the relationship between the environment and human health. The award, an engraved crystal statue accompanied by a $2,500 cash prize, was presented to Upton in April. Currently retired and living in Santa Fe, N.Mex., Upton, 70, has devoted his career to teaching and researching many aspects of environmental health sciences. He received his bachelor's and medical degrees in 1944 and 1946, respectively, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He spent 18 years, 1951-69, as a pathologist in the biology division of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, where he began research on the carcinogenic affects of ionizing radiation. He then moved to head the department of pathology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook until 1977. >From 1977 to 1979, Upton served as director of the National Cancer Institute under President Jimmy Carter. From 1980 until his retirement last year, he was director of the Institute of Environmental Medicine and chairman of the department of environmental medicine at the New York University School of Medicine. For the most part, Upton says, his scientific and medical concerns have focused on the effects of toxicants created by toxic wastes. "We are just now beginning to recognize the limits to which we can pollute the planet and the planetary ecosystem without suffering adverse consequences," he says. "We need to try and set priorities, lest we scatter our efforts and waste our limited resources. "Scientists must figure out how to address the many environmental health problems in ways that make the most sense and give us the best bang for the buck." Upton notes that atmospheric problems such as the increase of carbon dioxide and decrease of ozone levels make the future of environmental health research a global endeavor. "There is a new dimension that will require attention and that is the global ecosystem. The scientific community is going to have to address these issues because of the global nature of the problems," he says. "There is going to have to be widespread scientific understanding and public cooperation on a scale unprecedented in the past." The Lovelace Medical Foundation is a private, nonprofit biomedical research institution housing nearly 300 scientists and support staff. It has a research budget of about $25 million each year. -- Ron Kaufman (The Scientist, Vol:7, #12, June 14, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : PEOPLE BRIEFS TY : PROFESSION (PEOPLE BRIEFS) PG : 22 Leonard Mandel, a professor of physics at the University of Rochester in New York, will be awarded the 1993 Frederic Ives Medal from the Washington, D.C.-based Optical Society of America (OSA) for "his contributions to coherence theory and to the fundamental understanding of quantum mechanics and the nature of the photon." The award, which is OSA's most prestigious honor, consists of a silver medal and $2,000. It will be presented to Mandel at OSA's annual meeting in Toronto in October. According to OSA, Mandel was one of the first physicists to investigate the phenomena of optical bistability, first-order phase transitions, photon nonlocality, photon amplification, phase conjunctions, and chaos. His early work paved the way for further understanding of photons. Mandel received his Ph.D. from the University of London in physics in 1951 and joined the faculty of the University of Rochester in 1964. Founded in 1916, OSA is a nonprofit professional society of optical engineers and scientists with more than 12,000 members worldwide. Physician, biologist, and essayist Lewis Thomas is the first recipient of Rockefeller University's Lewis Thomas Prize. The award, which consists of $10,000 cash, was presented to Thomas at a May 18 ceremony. According to the citation, the prize recognizes "the scientist whose voice and vision can tell us of science's aesthetic and philosophical dimensions, who gives us not merely new information, but cause for refelection, even revelation, as in a poem or painting." Thomas, 80, is well-known for his books The Lives of a Cell (1974), The Medusa and the Snail (1979), The Youngest Science (1983), and Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony (1983), all published by Viking Books in New York. He received an M.D. from Harvard University Medical School in 1937. A researcher in virology, immunology, experimental pathology, and of medicine. He has served as dean of the Yale University School of Medicine and New York University School of Medicine. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #12, June 14, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ END


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