THE SCIENTIST VOLUME 7, No:2 January 25, 1993 (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) Articles pu

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THE SCIENTIST VOLUME 7, No:2 January 25, 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 *** *** FEBRUARY 8, 1993 *** THE SCIENTIST CONTENTS PAGE (Page numbers correspond to printed edition of THE SCIENTIST) CONTENTS (Page 3 of newspaper) NEWS SO FAR, SO GOOD: The hopes of leading researchers, science policy specialists, and scientific association officials for an energetic, activist approach to science issues by President Bill Clinton's new administration have been buoyed by early advisory personnel decisions and the perceived positive influence of Vice President Al Gore (Page 1 of newspaper) PRELIMINARY THUMBS-UP: Many science policy observers laud the selection of Office of Technology Assessment director John Gibbons as the new presidential science adviser and head of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, although others are reserving judgment (Page 1 of newspaper) STARTING EARLY: As the new year commences, the battle lines of the forces of animal rights activists and pro-animal research groups are increasingly being drawn in the nation's classrooms, with both camps preparing educational and public relations materials (Page 1 of newspaper) A SHRINKING PROBLEM: A recent study finding a significant drop- off in the number of undergraduate science, math, and engineering students between freshman and senior years has implications for science and society in general (Page 1 of newspaper) CLEANUP COMPLICATIONS: As the Department of Energy begins an estimated 30-year effort to clean up the nuclear wastes contaminating the land beneath its major weapons research, production, and test sites, a new report indicates that the agency may have trouble finding scientists in some specialties for the first phase of the cleanup (Page 3 of newspaper) OPINION FIGURES DON'T LIE, BUT...: While statistical analysis can be a useful insight into the forces that affect science and scientific careers, it can be misleading and, in any case, is not the true measure of scientific productivity, creativity, or achievement, says Emory University physics professor Sidney Perkowitz (Page 11 of newspaper) COMMENTARY: Contrary to some pessimistic assessments, new federal legislation to combat attacks on research labs by animal rights activists does have teeth. But perhaps its greatest strength is that the bill's consideration and passage are a strong indication that Congress recognizes the value of animal research and is ready to get tough with animal rights terrorists, says Barbara Rich, executive vice president of the National Association for Biomedical Research (Page 12 of newspaper) RESEARCH SOUTHWARD MIGRATION: Whether Canadian science is falling victim to global recessionary woes or a lack of commitment to science by the government, as some researchers believe, the resultant deficiency in support is perpetuating a decades-old brain drain of researchers from Canada to the United States, scientists say (Page 14 of newspaper) HOT PAPERS: A biochemist discusses his computer program to produce detailed and schematic plots of protein structures (Page 16 of newspaper) TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY MICROSCOPIC IMPROVEMENTS: New lasers, an expanded array of fluorescent dyes, and better image collection and analysis are combining to broaden the powers of confocal microscopy (Page 17 of newspaper) PROFESSION ONE-ON-ONE APPROACH: Posters provide scientists with an efficient and effective way to inform colleagues of their research. In addition, say veteran poster presenters, they can open doors to professional, postdoc, and graduate school opportunities (Page 20 of newspaper) MODEST PROGRESS: Spurred by continued hiring by pharmaceutical companies, as well as efforts by industry and academia to keep pace with inflation, median starting salaries for most new chemistry graduates rose slightly last year, according to a recent survey by the American Chemical Society (Page 21 of newspaper) CHARLES E. BRANCH, an Auburn University physiology professor, has received the second annual Russell and Burch Award from the Humane Society of the United States (Page 22 of newspaper) SHORT TAKES NOTEBOOK (Page 4 of newspaper) CARTOON (Page 4 of newspaper) LETTERS (Page 12 of newspaper) CROSSWORD (Page 13 of newspaper) OBITUARIES (Page 22 of newspaper) MICROSCOPY DIRECTORY (Page 30 of newspaper) (The Scientist, Vol:7, #2, January 25, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ====================== Opponents Set 1993 Tactics For Animal Rights Showdown Organizations supporting and opposing use of lab animals will (Page 1 of newspaper) BY RON KAUFMAN As a new year dawns, the fierce duel over whether animals should be used for laboratory experiments and medical education enters a new phase. Both camps--on one side, groups that defend animal rights; on the other, those who want to uphold the use of animals in biomedical researchsay they will intensify the fight for the allegiance of future generations by targeting the nation's elementary and high school classrooms. Organizations dedicated to both causes plan to advance their particular viewpoints in the new year by creating and distributing to American schoolchildren materials ranging from simple coloring books to complex curriculum supplements. Both factions in this ideological battle over the use of animals are well funded and show long-term commitment to their respective causes. Raw statistics indicate that the army of animal protection groups has larger battalions of contributing members and deeper funding coffers. However, these numbers can be deceptive. Animal protection organizations are generally supported by private individuals, giving the groups an impressive number of backers; whereas many of the sizable biomedical research groups have close ties to industry, giving them a lower number of benefactors, but more stable and wealthy funding sources. The Strategies Organized animal protection agencies have been around for more than 100 years. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS), for example, were founded in 1866 and 1883, respectively. Today, around 10 million Americans are connected with more than 400 animal protection groups. However, the highly visible activism that has evolved during the past decade has resulted from the emergence of such high-profile associations as the 400,000-member People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the vocal In Defense of Animals (IDA), and the militant Animal Liberation Front (ALF) in the early 1980s. And there is no sign that the proliferation of these activist groups is going to abate: The Pittsburgh-based Mobilization for Animals, for example, has been around for eight years; this year it plans to start five new chapters scattered throughout Pennsylvania. "A group like mine is a mini, local PETA," says Mobilization for Animals director Joe Taksel, whose organization currently boasts 1,600 supporters. "We are an all-volunteer organization and have a prime directive that we are activists first." 1993, but also to bring their message into the classrooms. "This year we're going to work with the educational system," says PETA spokesman Steven Simmons. "Getting into the schools and making young people a real target for our message is becoming an increasing goal of ours." PETA, whose annual budget is around $8.5 million, plans to double its expenditures on classroom educational efforts to more than $1 million in 1993. Meanwhile, groups defending the use of 17 million to 22 million animals annually in biomedical research have their own history and goals. "Our first formal committee against the animal rights movement was in 1884," says Roy Schwarz, vice president for science and education of the American Medical Association in Chicago, the largest private organization in the United States that promotes animal research. "We fought them again at the turn of the century, again in the '20s, again in the '40s, again in the '60s, and now in the '80s we started to fight them again. It's a movement that never dies. In 30 years, they will probably come back and we'll fight them again." New, aggressive groups, such as Americans for Medical Progress (AMP) and a 40,000-member, Washington, D.C.-based lobbying organization called Putting People First, have arrived in the last few years to aid the pro-animal research campaign. Last year, the U.S. Public Health Service's National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) joined the fray. Some biomedical research groups have strong corporate ties. For example, the former chairman of the board for the National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR), founded in 1979 under the name Research Animal Alliance, is the vice president for external affairs at the Sandoz Corp., a pharmaceutical manufacturer based in East Hanover, N.J. The newly established AMP was incorporated by four employees of the $850 million U.S. Surgical Corp. in Norwalk, Conn. "Now, the scientific community is frightened by the animal rightists," says Mary Brennan, vice president of the 2,000-member Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR), the largest national group whose primary mission is to defend animal research. "Biomedical scientists are starting to realize they have to get involved in this debate. The sleeping giant is finally waking up." Some of these groups also plan to expand. The Lansing, Mich.- based Incurably Ill for Animal Research (iiFAR), for example, hopes to add between five and 10 new chapters this year. Among animal rights groups, at least two claim a principally scientific membership: the Physicians Committee for Responsible and the Medical Research Modernization Committee (MRMC) in New York, including 1,200 scientists of various disciplines. PCRM runs newspaper ads and television commercials, while MRMC publishes an annual monograph about animal research issues exclusively for physicians and researchers. Battlefields According to a Gallup Youth Survey, the animal rights activists may already have an advantage in the classroom. The poll, published in November 1991, found that two out of three teenagers say they support the movement. "Kids seem to have a natural sensitivity to animals and the environment," says Susan Roy, spokes- woman for the San Rafael, Calif.-based IDA. Her 50,000-member animal rights organization has 10 full-time staff members, including one who concentrates only on educational issues. Similarly, AAVS, based in Jenkintown, Pa., has an annual budget of nearly $900,000 and a full-time staffer who goes from school to school giving lectures and distributing buttons and brochures promoting the replacement of laboratory animals with computer simulations and in vitro experiments. The Washington, D.C.-based Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has taken its focus on education a step further. The group says it is concerned not with "animal rights" but instead with "animal welfare," and has established a satellite in East Haddam, Conn., called the National Association for Humane and Environmental Education (NAHEE). Acting as HSUS's youth education division, NAHEE does not send any of its 14 full-time employees into classrooms, but develops materials for students and teachers addressing the welfare and protection of animals. NAHEE, along with the Center for Respect of Life and Environment, HSUS's higher education division, receives about $650,000 of HSUS's total $19 million annual budget. In the new year, one of NAHEE's plans is to publish a "Student Action Guide," which will give interested students step- by-step instructions on how to start their own after-school environmental or animal rights club. In addition, HSUS, with a full-time staff of 160, plans to continue its fight to strengthen the U.S. Department of Agriculture's administration of the Animal Welfare Act as well as continue its Russell and Burch award program to support the development of animal research alternatives (see People, page 22). Last July, the 400,000-member ASPCA created the Lasker Center for Humane Alternatives to the Use of Animals in Research, Education, and Testing. Center director Amelia Tarzi says that in 1993, the new division will primarily fill student information requests in a purely informative manner. "We don't want to indoctrinate a them a general sense of respect for all living beings." Like animal welfare groups, a large part of the scientific com- munity's involvement will also be directed at students. "More scientists are becoming aware of how the animal rights groups have infiltrated the school system," says Patrick Cleveland, president of the Coalition for Animals and Animal Research (CFAAR) in San Diego. "It's difficult to get a scientist away from his lab and go to a school to talk to fourth- and fifth- graders. But I think more will become involved in the coming year." Since its inception in 1986, CFAAR has expanded to 40 chapters nationwide. Most of the chapters are based on college campuses, made up entirely of part-time volunteers, and have annual budgets of between $10,000 and $20,000. Grass-roots efforts such as CFAAR and iiFAR are often reactive rather than activist, tending to express themselves primarily by monitoring the activities of animal rights groups and issuing newsletters. "Unfortunately, we don't have the money or resources that animal rights groups do to advertise our cause or Jane Fonda to speak out on our behalf," says Buel D. Rodgers, a biology graduate student and member of the University of California, Berkeley, chapter of CFAAR. Some other pro-animal research bodies for example, the Massachusetts Society for Medical Research (MSMR) in Walthamare moving forward in the development of educational supplements. The group, with a $200,000 annual budget and three full-time staff members, has written a 250-page curriculum for secondary school science teachers called "People and Animals: United for Health." It features 159 slides, a teacher discussion guide, and a time line poster. In 1993, MSMR plans to develop a newsletter called "Science Beat" to raise awareness among teens about biomedical research; an "Animal Health Calendar" for grades K-6; and a booklet about the history of biomedical research for grades 2-6. "Teachers say animal use is a hot topic in the classroom," says Karen Hoffman, executive director of the North Carolina Association for Biomedical Research (NCABR), based in Raleigh. Along with distributing brochures, NCABR puts out a coloring book called The Lucky Puppy, the story of a sick dog that regains its health by taking medicines first tested in lab rats. NCABRwhich was started three years ago by a conglomeration of 13 organizations, including major biomedical research companies and state universitieshas an annual budget of $225,000. Young children can also follow The Adventures of Larry the Lab Mouse, a coloring book designed by the 2,500-member iiFAR. New Year's Resolutions its sister organization, NABR, along with Putting People Firsthave aggressive plans for the new year: Putting People First, with a $225,000 annual budget, plans to develop its own K-12 curriculum in 1993 that will cover the history of the relationship of humans, animals, and biomedical research. FBR and NABR, with a combined annual budget of about $1.6 million, are concerned with education, as well: FBR intends to educate students, teachers, and the general public about the value of animal research, while NABR will concentrate on educating legislators. "With the 103rd Congress, we will have a real all-out education effort to introduce ourselves and our point of view to the new members of Congress," says Barbara Rich, executive vice president of NABR. In stressing the urgency of the NABR mission, Rich says: "In 1993, we are going to campaign hard against groups that oppose animal research We need to find ways to educate at the grass- roots level ... because right now, the animal rights groups are outspending us by at least a factor of 10." The one-year-old AMP in Arlington, Va., plans to recruit college students to form campus groups called "Students for Medical Progress" and to publish a weekly newspaper cartoon strip called "Heroes of Medicine," featuring animal-using researchers like Ivan Pavlov. The U.S. government is by no means removed from the animal rights debate: In July 1991, NIMH hired University of Pennsylvania veterinary school professor Adrian Morrison as the first director of the Office of Animal Research Issues. Since then, pamphlets and posters have been flowing out of the agency. "The Public Health Service is concerned about protecting and advancing the health of the nation. Anything that in our view works against that is something we have to educate people about," says Morrison, who in January 1990 had his office at Penn trashed by activists claiming to be from ALF. The six brochures and one poster published by his office at NIMH, at a combined cost of around $181,000, address the possible questions of elementary and high school students and teachers. Morrison says the pamphlets are a direct retaliation for what he calls the "misinformation" provided to classrooms by animal rights groups. "Animal rightists misrepresent the status of research in the United States and get a lot of compassionate people to send in money," he says. "They've now collected millionsmy hat is off to their cleverness. But now they are attacking at all levels, on fur and education, so we must respond." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #2, January 25, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================= Study Sees Alarming Science Undergrad Dropout Rate Four-year investigation identifies precollege preparation, teaching styles, and peer influence as significant factors (Page 1 of newspaper) BY FRANKLIN HOKE An extensive new study finds that the number of undergraduates in science, math, and engineering (SME) majors drops 40 percent between freshman and senior years. The losses vary substantially by field: In the physical sciences the decline is 20 percent, while in the biological sciences--the field with the most dramatic losses--the figure is 50 percent. The study also seeks to identify some of the larger factors that lead students to choose SME majors and to eventually succeed in these fields. Prepared by the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) of the University of California, Los Angeles, the study has implications for science teaching at all levels, according to scientists and educators. But, they say, the study also suggests a potential problem for science generally. The proportion of science-literate citizens in society may shrink in the future, they say, perhaps translating into reduced understanding of and support for science among the voting public. "The overall decline in interest in science is much higher than it is in other fields," says Eric Dey, associate director of HERI. Investigators Alexander Astin and Helen Astin, director and associate director of HERI, respectively, followed approximately 25,000 students at 177 institutions through their four-year undergraduate careers. Faculty surveys and case studies augment their research, which was funded by the National Science Foundation. One important factor affecting college science careers is the quality of precollege SME preparation: The better-prepared students entering their undergraduate years tend to choose and persist in SME majors in greater proportions, according to the study. But emerging as significant, too, are a complex of interacting environmental factors at undergraduate institutions, including peer- group influences and the hierarchical teaching practices favored in science. better at the college level does not surprise long-time observers in science education. "It's very tough for a kid who comes to us [at the college level] without the math and science background, both," says Paul Saltman, a professor of biology at the University of California, San Diego. Saltman organized the Science Institute for Elementary Teachers with National Science Foundation funding to bring area teachers to UC-San Diego for training. Recently, he expanded the program to include junior high and high school teachers. He was also a co-organizer of the First Gordon Conference on Teaching Science, held in 1992 in Ventura, Calif. "So, it's quite correct that the real issue is what's happening in the elementary and secondary schools." Sheila Tobias, a political scientist at UC-San Diego and veteran science education analyst (Revitalizing Undergraduate Science, Tucson, Ariz., Research Corporation, 1992; "Science Education Reform: What's Wrong With the Process?", Change, 24[3]:13-19, 1992), thinks that focusing blame for the failure of undergraduate scientists on their pre- college academic preparation could have a detrimental effect on college teaching. "The danger of that finding, politically, is that it gets the universities and colleges off the hook," says Tobias. "It tells us something that I'd just as soon the faculties didn't know, because it feeds into their prejudice that there's no way [for teachers] to compensate, in college, a student who was badly prepared. I can't challenge the finding--they've done their research--but I find it not very helpful politically." The study also found that students' choices of SME majors, their success with those majors, and their eventual career selections all depended heavily on peer influences. "Basically, the greater proportion of a student's peers who are majoring in a particular SME field, the greater the likelihood that the student will end up choosing a career in the same field," the study report concludes. Again, science educators say they are familiar with this dynamic in student populations. "If it's not fashionable to do science, kids won't do science," says Saltman. "And if it's not fashionable for girls to do science, girls won't do science. That's peer pressure." Saltman says that the answer to this problem lies in being able to create a "critical mass" of good science teachers and good science students on a given campus, so that the students feel an integral part of the program and the institution. One peer-related finding from the study that may confound educators concerns the students' overall academic environment. who perform better on such measures as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), but these same programs seem to discourage students from choosing and persisting in SME majors. "If you're interested in promoting [student] competency," Dey says, "one of the things that really works is having a very competitive environment. But these are the same environmental characteristics which tend to drive people out of the sciences, because the things that maintain students' interests are a lot of positive student-student interaction and a lot of close work between students and faculty. These are at odds with each other." On the other hand, competition need not work against peer closeness in science, says Leon Lederman, director emeritus of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), Batavia, Ill., and winner of the 1988 Nobel Prize in physics. Lederman started the Teachers Academy for Math and Science in Chicago to help train local teachers. "A competitive environment is not contradictory to positive student-student, student-faculty interactions," Lederman says. "What better way is there to show the affection you have for your friend but by beating them in an exam? I think you'd like to try for both." He adds: "In any case, you're always competing in some way--with yourself, with the world, with your parents--so competition is always an important drive." A third factor identified by the study as affecting students' choices of and success in SME majors is the hierarchical, or authoritarian, style of most science teaching--basically, use of the lecture format. This is contrasted with the more discussion- oriented, participatory classroom styles of nonscience fields. Here, science educators say, science is at an inherent disadvantage due to the nature of scientific knowledge itself. "Science may seem more hierarchical [than other subjects]," says Saltman, "because it is so much more structured in the way it is done and the way the material is organized, with one concept related to another." This structure tends to affect the form of science teaching, says Lederman. "In science, the professor thinks he or she is the fount of all knowledge--and, in some sense, they are," he says. "Most people I know would certainly invite questions--those having to do with whether the previous sentence was clear or not--but discussion just isn't part of transmitting science information." Tobias notes that the science teaching community is, in fact, trying to integrate more discussion into its methods. "But it isn't that easy to take the model of an English literature course intrinsically different about the subject matter." Overall, science educators are worried that the decline in undergraduate scientists may have implications for society and for science's position in society. "If we were teaching the nature of science better at the precollege level," says Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, Berkeley, Calif., "we would be increasing the number of students who would, perhaps, go into science careers. But we would also be performing a great service for the average American who is not going to go into science but who still needs to understand more science than he does now, in order to make decisions as a voting American about issues that are directly relevant to science and technology." Saltman agrees. "I'm a Jeffersonian," he says. "You can't have a democratic society without educated people who vote, who have that science and technology background upon which to predicate decisions. It's essential." The study report, "Undergraduate Science Education: The Impact of Different College Environments on the Educational Pipeline in the Sciences," will be available from HERI in early 1993. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #2, January 25, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ Science Policy Watchers Hail New President's Early Moves Clinton's choice of Gibbons as science adviser and Gore's anticipated activist role bode well for consideration of research issues, they contend (Page 1 of newspaper) BY BARTON REPPERT Leading researchers as well as science policy specialists and association officials are hopeful, of course, that President Bill Clinton's administration will pursue an energetic, activist approach in tackling major science and technology issues. And, these observers generally agree, the Clinton years in this regard are off to a good start. In interviews with The Scientist, several science and technology policy-watchers have, for example, praised Clinton's early appointment of John H. Gibbons to be White House science and technology adviser, as well as director of the Office of Science director of the congressional Office of Technology Assessment, is known around Washington as a soft-spoken but effective and politically savvy "facilitator," well accustomed to navigating Washington's turbulent policy cross-currents (see accompanying story). "We're very enthusiastic about [Gibbons], because he knows Congress, he knows Washington, he knows the issues," says John Holmfeld, executive director of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents (CSSP), an umbrella group of the top officials from 58 scientific societies with a combined membership of 1.5 million. "Also, he can work well with [Vice President Al] Gore. All of those things add up to a big plus." At the same time, the council does have some reservations. At a CSSP meeting about two weeks before Gibbons's appointment was announced, several scientific society officials voiced concern about whether applied research and technology may take precedence over science in the new administration. According to one participant in the December 8 session in Washington, D.C., Richard E. Bradshaw--who had served as a science and technology issues coordinator for the Clinton campaign, and gave a presentation to the CSSP group--"made a statement to the effect that technology might well supersede science policy in certain cases." In response, CSSP sent to Bradshaw--to be conveyed to the Clinton transition team--a letter stressing that "basic scientific research is fundamental to technology development and long-term economic success.... Long-range research, by its nature, is unpredictable. We do not know which or how many of the basic research projects conducted will lead to the major innovation that can create entire new industries. But, we know that some will." The CSSP letter sets forth a number of recommendations, including: emphasizing investigator-initiated research, fostering multidisciplinary and international science, providing incentives for industry to conduct more long-range research and to strengthen links to universities, evaluating and redefining the missions and operations of the federal laboratories, and convening a "White House Conference on Science and Technology Policy" early in the new administration. More optimistic observers point to Clinton's announced intention to delegate to Gore--who gained substantial experience with research-related issues as a senator and, before that, as a representative--broad responsibility for shaping and overseeing federal science and technology policies and programs. "I think certainly Gore himself is very, very comfortable with the world of science," says Jerold L. Roschwalb, director of federal relations for the Washington-based National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges. "He's very people in the world of politics, he's rare." Another Washington-based science and technology policy watcher, Daniel F. Burton Jr., executive vice president of the Council on Competitiveness, says of the new administration that currently "there are a couple of things that we know--and a lot of things that we don't know. "What we know is that Al Gore is going to play a major role. We know that Clinton has stated that he wants to move hard on technology infrastructure for the 21st century, set up a manufacturing extension service, rebalance defense and nondefense R&D, and create an investment climate which is much more conducive to investment in technology and R&D." But, Burton adds: "The issue is how he's going to move forward with those--how he's going to implement them." The competitiveness council--a privately funded organization separate from the White House Council on Competitiveness, which in the Bush administration was chaired by former Vice President Dan Quayle--during last year's presidential campaign provided recommendations that were worked into Clinton/Gore position papers. The new administration is also expected to benefit from the advice of dozens of the nation's most prominent researchers-- constituting a 67-member National Council of Scientists and Engineers for Clinton/Gore that was formed in October, during the election campaign. The panel includes 12 Nobel Prize winners; two former presidential science advisers; and 49 members of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, or Institute of Medicine. The council's chairman, Marvin L. Goldberger--former president of the California Institute of Technology and director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J.--says that after the election the panel became an advisory group to the transition. "We have been talking--variously ... on behalf of the council and some of us as individuals--in connection with appointments" to science and technology positions within the administration, says Goldberger, now a physics professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. But he declines to provide any details on such discussions regarding prospective can- didates and particular appointments. A member of the council, Cornell University physicist Kurt Gottfried, says of the Clinton science team: "They are clearly a vigorous and impressive bunch of people. I have seen Gore in action, and he is extremely knowledgeable and impressive.... I think they're going to bring in a lot of very able young people." council, Arno A. Penzias, vice president of research at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, N.J., says that "everybody wants to give the new administration advice, I'm sure. Who knows what they're going to listen to? Basically, I think by and large they are very much open to new inputs and new approaches." Noting that he has known Gore for a number of years, Penzias says the new administration is "clearly identified with the technology issues and willing--in fact, eager--to grapple with the new realities, scientific as well as technological." Science policy specialists disagree about the effect Gore's responsibilities as the White House's science and technology czar will have on the role of Gibbons as White House science adviser, as well as on the operations of OSTP. William G. Wells Jr., an associate professor of management science at George Washington University's School of Business and Public Management, notes that "it's a very delicate relationship that needs to be worked out." A congressional aide tracking science policy developments, who asks not to be identified, says he believes that "Gore will be the de facto science adviser. ... It's going to be the same joke as during the [former White House chief of staff and former New Hampshire Gov. John] Sununu years. `Does the president have a science adviser?' `Well, yes--he has an office in the West Wing, not in the Old Executive Office Building, and they call him governor.' " Irwin Pikus, director of the science and technology program at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, says: "I don't think OSTP will go away. I think it will no longer pretend to be in a leadership role. The vice president is going to be in the leadership role on technology ... and OSTP will be an institution that functions at the behest of the vice president." Pointing to high-performance computing and other science and technology initiatives involving several departments and agencies, Pikus says he believes that "interagency coordination is going to be the watchword for the future." Pikus explains: "Is the vice president able to run that kind of coordination better than a science adviser to the president? In the case of Gore and Clinton, I think the answer is probably yes. Gore has the capacity, the intellectual capability, the interest, and the position to make that kind of thing happen more effectively than a presidential science adviser, who in the past has always been sort of an outsider to the circle--an adjunct to the White House staff." However, Burton of the Countil of Competitiveness contends that Gore's clout on science and technology issues may lead to "For the first time, the science adviser is going to have a pretty powerful ally in the White House," Burton says. "I think that that, in fact, could set the stage for a much stronger performance in policy issues on science and technology." Wells agrees: "Some people have suggested that means a very subordinate, junior position [for the science adviser]. I don't necessarily see it that way.... I think it's kind of elevating science and technology to have a vice president with that charter.... We'll have to see how it happens in practice--but that would be my hope, anyway, and expectation," he says. Bradshaw, the Clinton campaign science and technology issues coordinator, is senior vice president of North Atlantic Research, a Washington consulting firm, and an adjunct professor of international science and technology at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. He joined with Wells in preparing a report offering science and technology recommendations to the transition team. The Wells-Bradshaw report, issued in November, notes that "a strong focus on science and technology-related issues will be central to the success of the Clinton/Gore economic recovery plan. This policy focus should be reflected in presidential statements, in the activities of the transition process, and, subsequently, in the administration." It says that a "critical component" of the new administration's approach will be "an activist, catalytic federal role in encouraging industrially relevant research, cooperative industry- government technology development, and new technology integration in the manufacturing and service sectors." In position papers released last September, Clinton indicated that he is interested in pursuing policy initiatives including: developing an advanced computer and telecommunications network; establishing a civilian version of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA); shifting allocation of the $76 billion federal R&D budget to an approximately 50-50 balance between defense and civilian activities; achieving greater output of commercially useful technologies from the U.S.'s 726 federal laboratories; doubling the budget of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); and making the industrial R&D tax credit permanent (Barton Reppert, The Scientist, Oct. 26, 1992, page 1). When Clinton decides to move ahead with such initiatives, he is likely to develop a substantially cooperative relationship with the Democratic-controlled Congress--in contrast to the "gridlock" affecting relations between Capitol Hill and the Bush administration. Wells observes that Rep. George E. Brown Jr. (D- Technology, "has publicly and privately said that he wants to work in every cooperative way that he can. And I think we're going to see a lot more willingness to accommodate and to adjust and to reach compromises." According to Wells, the new administration also is expected to be able to work quite closely on science and technology issues with other key lawmakers, including Sen. Ernest F. Hollings (D-S.C.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.Mex.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Defense Industry and Technology. While Gore generally gets high marks in the scientific community for his grasp of major science and technology issues, he also has come under some criticism, particularly on global warming and other worldwide ecology problems, the focus of his bestselling book, Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit (New York, Houghton Mifflin, 1992). Fred Smith, president of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market policy group in Washington, argues that "Gore seems to believe that climate change is an organizing principle for the new world order--and anyone who dissents is an enemy of the people. And that is extremely dangerous politically. It is horrendous scientifically." Smith, a former Environmental Protection Agency official, says this could result in a disturbing trend toward "Lysenkoism" in U.S. science: "If Gore becomes an environmental and science czar, then America enters an era of politically correct science, where science becomes increasingly the tool of the political powers and science is called in to provide rationales for politically predetermined activities." In addition to developing new programs, Clinton's administration is likely to set a new tone regarding ethical issues in research, according to Marcel C. La-Follette, a science policy analyst with the Center for International Science and Technology Policy at George Washington University. She forecasts that this ethical tone will be substantially different from the Bush administration's, in which on fetal tissue research and other questions "the discussion of ethical issues was more often governed by ideological knee-jerkedness" under pressure from conservatives and the religious right. "I think we're going to certainly see the [Clinton] administration saying that for science, as for other things in American life, a sense of integrity is important; a sense of generosity and altruism, which may mean sacrifice on the part of proponents of some pet projects; and a sense of prudent spending," LaFollette says. Barton Reppert is a freelance writer based in Gaithersburg, Md. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #2, January 25, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ Clinton's Science Adviser Faces Array Of Challenges (Page 1 of newspaper) BY BARTON REPPERT During 13 years as director of the Office of Technology Assessment, the job of John H. Gibbons--President Bill Clinton's choice as White House science adviser--was largely a balancing act. He had to provide Congress with independent, authoritative analysis of technical and scientific questions while treading gingerly amid divergent political views, bureaucratic turf battles, and special-interest "stakeholders." Washington observers familiar with OTA's track record give Gibbons high marks for leading the agency through potential minefields--including nuclear power and other environmentally sensitive energy issues, Star Wars missile defense research, genetic engineering, electronic surveillance, and health care policy. In the face of controversy, OTA's role has been not to take sides, but instead to prepare comprehensive, dispassionate assessments of the available data, and then offer a balanced selection of possible policy options. Characteristically, Gibbons's initial public remarks after being appointed by Clinton have also been carefully balanced. "Our security and prosperity depend, as never before, on the sustained support of science and the thoughtful use of technology," Gibbons said at a December 24 news conference in Little Rock, Ark. "I stress both science and technology because they are so interdependent. They sustain each other; neither can advance without the help of the other." In an apparent effort to assuage concerns of United States scientists that the new administration may focus heavily on technology-related issues, instead of fostering basic research, Gibbons declared: "We place very great weight on the intrinsic value of basic science, out of which has flowed extraordinary and often unanticipated benefits to society, including enormous enrichment of the human spirit." Gibbons, 63, himself was trained as a physicist and did research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee in nuclear geophysics--including experimental studies on the origins of the solar system's heavy elements--before serving in 1969-73 as director of Oak Ridge's environmental program. In 1973-74 he Conservation at the Federal Energy Administration, predecessor of the Department of Energy. From 1974 until his appointment to head OTA in 1979, Gibbons was a professor of physics and director of the Energy, Environment, and Resources Center at the University of Tennessee. In his new position, Gibbons succeeds Allan Bromley, a Yale physics professor who was recruited by the Bush administration in 1989. As with Bromley, Gibbons will be wearing two hats--as assistant to the president for science and technology as well as director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). The director's post requires Senate confirmation. Regarding his new boss, Gibbons says that Clinton has "been involved, I believe, more substantively and personally in his choices than any prior president I know about." As for Al Gore, Gibbons says he met with the vice president only briefly, after accepting Clinton's offer. But he notes that from years of dealing with various science and technology issues in Congress, he and Gore have developed "a very good relationship. I have a great respect for his many abilities and his commitments to a variety of issues." Rep. George E. Brown (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, says, in a statement released by his committee office, that Clinton's choice of Gibbons "is an especially welcome move to Congress, which has had the benefit of Jack's good advice on science and technology for over a decade." Brown says in the statement that as a specialist on environmental issues, Gibbons "knows the importance of environmental protection, and the increasingly important role that `green technology' will play in U.S. competitiveness." Also, he says, Gibbons's work at Oak Ridge "gives him a good insight into the future role of the national laboratories in the post-Cold War era." Fred W. Weingarten, who worked under Gibbons at OTA for 10 years as a program manager for communications and information technology, says that "Jack is, in the very good sense of the word, a Washington science bureaucrat.... He knows how to serve the political process. And he's been exposed to--even though he's not an expert in--a wide range of policy areas." Weingarten, who is currently executive director of the Washington-based Computer Research Association, a group representing primarily academic computer scientists, does anticipate some disappointment over the choice of Gibbons: "I would expect that there will be some carping ... that he does not have a reputation as a working, Nobel Prize-winning-type scientist, and is not very well known in the scientific community outside the [Washington] Beltway." committee, says of Gibbons, "I think he's very capable." He adds, however, that Gibbons is "pretty heavily oriented in the direction that I'm not particularly in favor of--industrial policy. So I think the Clinton administration will get someone who is familiar with the various policy options and policy debates on industrial policy." Walker and other Republican legislators, as well as several Bush administration officials, have criticized the idea of trying to implement a national "industrial policy"--largely on the grounds that it would involve the government in "picking winners and losers" among U.S. companies and otherwise getting too closely involved in decisions that should be left to executives and managers in the private sector. A number of Washington-based science policy specialists, officials of scientific societies, and representatives of public interest groups dealing with energy and environmental issues have been largely upbeat in reacting to the appointment. Erich Bloch, a former director of the National Science Foundation who is currently a distinguished fellow at the privately funded Council on Competitiveness, notes that he and Gibbons "have worked very closely together. I think it's a very good choice. I think Jack knows the town, knows the government, knows Congress Jeremy J. Stone, president of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), says he believes Clinton made a "superb" appointment in picking Gibbons. Stone observes that in 1990, FAS gave its annual public service award to Gibbons, citing him for serving as "the anchor of OTA in Washington's deep waters." Robert Park, public affairs director for the American Physical Society and a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, College Park, comments that "I think it's a brilliant choice. Gibbons is a very bright guy." Park says the Gibbons appointment marks a "transition" from the situation during previous administrations when frequently "the science adviser was sort of the nation's chief scientist--a distinguished scientist who is widely known for his scientific accomplishments .... "This is clearly a change from that. And I think it was absolutely essential if they're going to make it work with Al Gore being some sort of science and technology czar. My concern from the beginning was: How could that possibly work? And they've got exactly the guy who can make it work. He's a politically savvy facilitator, who won't upstage the vice president." Charles Chambers, executive director of the American Institute of Biological Sciences--a federation of 50 scientific societies, laboratories, and museums involved with biological research--says he views the choice of Gibbons as "in line with the pragmatic appointments.... It also showed a desire to really be effective on the Hill with science policy" in that Gibbons "is really well respected in terms of policy analysis." Bill Magavern, director of Critical Mass Energy Project, a Washington-based group--part of Public Citizen, a public interest organization founded by Ralph Nader--that has been outspoken on safety, environmental, and other issues associated with nuclear power, calls the Gibbons appointment a "good choice." "Gibbons has done a good job at OTA, and has helped to establish their credibility as an independent source on scientific and technical issues," Magavern says. "We haven't always agreed with them, but for the most part we respect their work." Carol Werner, energy program director for the Environmental & Energy Institute, another public interest group based in Washington, says about Gibbons: "My organization has dealt with him for a number of years, and with his staff at OTA. I think that he's somebody who is very thoughtful, nonideological. And he approaches things with a lot of common sense." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #2, January 25, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ DOE's Massive Cleanup May Suffer Scientist Shortage (Page 3 of newspaper) BY RENEE TWOMBLY Once the United States' builders of sky-riding nuclear bombs, the Department of Energy is now looking back at Earth to clean up the mess such decades-long efforts have left. Specifically, the agency is beginning to address environmental problems in the land beneath its 12 major weapons research, production, and test sites and related facilities. It is a huge effort; environmental management now commands the largest budget in the agency at $5.5 billion this year. But DOE may have problems finding the upper-level scientific expertise to begin what is predicted to be a 30-year cleanup effort. A preliminary study of the staff DOE will need for the first five-year phase of cleanup concluded that the agency will be well-supplied with most of the estimated 25,000 technicians, scientists, and other workers it needs; about half will be existing DOE personnel who will be retrained. But the report warns that the agency may find it hard to fill certain niche scientific disciplines. "The scope of what we are trying to do is immense. It is bigger than the Manhattan Project by orders of magnitude," says Leo P. waste management at DOE. Among the staff it needs in 53 scientific, engineering, and technical occupations, DOE has requirements for some high-level scientists who are, even now, in great demand elsewhere, the report states. These include environmental scientists and engineers, chemical engineers, hydrologists, health physics technicians, and industrial hygienists--specialists who help determine the scientific parameters of toxic waste contamination and removal. Although the number of scientists required in these categories is small, the need is real, say the report's authors. For example, although DOE may need only one or two hydrogeologists per cleanup site, there are very few of them available. But the report, "Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Manpower Needs Assessment: U.S. Department of Energy," prepared by Pacific Northwest Laboratory in Richland, Wash., and Oak Ridge Associated Universities in Tennessee, is not making estimates about the future beyond 1997. The agency is only just starting to assess exactly what cleanup is required; how to do it will come later. The real question to be addressed is "How elegant and cost- effective can we make the cleanup?" says one of the report's authors, Robert Lewis of Pacific Northwest Laboratory. Specialized scientists and new technology will make a difference, he says, but those needs will not be known for some years to come. The total cleanup is projected to last decades and cost more than $200 billion. The effort took shape in early 1989 when then- Secretary of Energy James B. Watkins promised Congress he would soon deliver a comprehensive plan outlining specific actions DOE intended to take over the next five years to fix problems started in the 1940s by the Atomic Energy Commission. Later that year, DOE issued a preliminary five-year strategic plan, with a budget, which was approved by Congress. The extent of the cleanup project is staggering. There are 3,700 hazardous waste sites under DOE's jurisdiction; some of those sites have been assessed for damage and cleanup, but many have not. "I estimate the agency will need from 11,000 to 20,000 additional employees," Duffy says. That means a 45 percent increase in the number of DOE employees compared with the 1991 level, and an agency budget that is projected to rise as much as 87 percent, according to DOE officials. The majority of DOE's cleanup staff will remove nuclear and mixed waste from the soil, and most of those workers will need only a high school degree or community college training, says Duffy. Other scientists now in the agency can be retrained, he says. For example, at the DOE Hanford site in Richland, Ron Izatt, deputy assistant manager for Hanford's environmental program, does not anticipate shortages in staffing at any level to assess contaminations from the nine reactors that were used to produce plutonium. Many of the site's 12,000 employees are being retrained, and in the last three years, almost 3,000 new employees have been addeed, Izatt says. But Lewis warns that there is uncertainty as to what the future of the cleanup may hold: "There is a certain amount of bravado on the part of DOE in saying they can proceed now with everything they need to do." Lewis predicts, however, that the need for new scientists who can develop and implement new technologies will likely come into sharper focus as the cleanup progresses. In the meantime, says Lewis, DOE will probably be able to make do with the current agreements it has between the DOE labs and cleanup sites and universities to provide the niche scientists most in demand. Among those efforts is a program the Atomic Energy Commission began 30 years ago to find the scientists they needed then. The Environmental Management Career Opportunities Research Experience (EMCORE) Program is run by Tom Skuiers for the Associated Western Universities Inc., a consortium of 44 universities. This year, EMCORE will provide $8.3 million in scholarships and fellowships for 1,152 participants, ranging from high school to doctoral- level students. "Environmental management is the crusade of the younger generation. The increasing enrollment is phenomenal, Skuiers says. "There is a shortage now, but there won't be in the future. Peter Wierenga, head of the department of soil and water sciences at the University of Arizona, agrees that student interest is high, but he also warns that graduates from Arizona's newly expanded environmental management curricula will have many job possibilities. "Most major companies now have an environmental department that either is doing some cleanup or is advising company directors how to run their operation so that they don't have such problems, he says. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is trying to gauge interest in environmental management and to respond accordingly. Mujid Kazimi, head of nuclear engineering at MIT and an adviser to DOE, says that his department is "focusing much more now ... on environmental technology. But Kazimi also says that it is almost impossible to say if DOE will experience a shortage: "It's simply a guessing game. It is a new area that will be important to the national welfare, but it is hard to predict the need and difficult to know how fast the Renee Twombly is a freelance writer based in Durham, N.C. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #2, January 25, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NOTEBOOK (Page 4 of newspaper) Focus On Excellence The 33 winners in the 11th annual Polaroid International Instant Photomicrography Competition were announced in early December. Prizes totaling $13,750 were awarded for images that best combined artistic beauty and useful scientific information. A panel of top microscopy experts selected the winners from nearly 600 entries from Australia, Austria, Canada, England, Germany, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United States. The winning image was a 400X magnification of the feathery structure of a male mosquito's antenna, taken by Gregory Paulson, a biology instructor at Washington State University. Shown here is a 40X electron micrograph of a freshwater crustacean, Daphnia, which won an honorable mention. The image was taken by Jurgen Berger, a technical assistant at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tubingen, Germany. Smaller Is Better A survey conducted under the auspices of the Laboratory Safety Workshop at Curry College in Milton, Mass., recommends that academic institutions move aggressively to limit class size in laboratory courses. The workshop endorsed guidelines developed by the National Science Teachers Association recommending no more than 24 students per class and no more than the design capacity of the lab. The survey found that only Florida had enforceable legislation regarding lab class size. For more information, contact the Laboratory Safety Workshop, Curry College, Milton, Mass. 02186; (617) 333-0500. Maybe They Should Count Sheep Apparently, like humans, pigs are not always happy, even in slop. And it is the discovery of this similarity in the porcine physiological response to stress that has Iowa State University researchers in, uh, hog heaven. "Stress triggers a number of different biological, and behavioral, responses in both animals and humans...," says Iowa State animal scientist Eberhard von Borell. "Stress also inhibits the production of growth hormone, reduces food intake,... and initiates anxiety." A peptide, corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), initiates and coordinates biological and behavioral responses to stress. The scientists believe that by correlating the bioactivity of CRF with the stress, they may be able to indirectly measure degrees of stress by manufacturing CRF. By doing so, they hope to find that point at which stress becomes detrimental to a pig's health, reproductive efficiency, or productive performance. It Comes With The Territory An article in the January/February issue of the New York Academy of Sciences publication The Sciences says that newly inaugurated President Bill Clinton may suffer such illnesses as chronic indigestion, paralyzing depression, anxiety, or heart disease caused by the stress that comes with the office. According to Robert E. Gilbert, a political science professor at Northeastern University in Boston, over the past 150 years, 19 of 23 presidents who died of natural causes did so prematurely, many suffering from these "debilitating medical problems." Gilbert's solutions: close monitoring of the president by mental health specialists, downsizing staff and delegating his authority over the 400-plus White House personnel, and assigning the vice president more responsibility. Aid For Women Geoscience Students The Association for Women Geoscientists Foundation will award three Chrysalis Scholarships of $750 each on March 31. The awards will be given to master's or Ph.D. candidates in geoscience who have returned to school after an interruption in their education of one year or longer. The funds are intended to cover expenses associated with finishing one's thesis. To apply, write a letter stating your background, career goals, and objectives; describing how you will use the money; and explaining the length and nature of the interruption in your education. Two letters of reference are also required. Applications and letters of reference are due February 28. For more information, contact Chrysalis Scholarship, Association for Women Geoscientists Foundation, Macalester College Geology Department, 1600 Grand Ave., St. Paul, Minn. 55105-1899; (612) 696-6448. Cat Scanning As many dog owners might already have suspected, the brains of domestic cats have regressed in size with evolution, according to a report by University of Tennessee neuroscientist Robert Williams and colleagues published in the January issue of the Society for Neuro-science's Journal of Neuroscience. The discovery strongly challenges accepted evolutionary theory, according to the authors. Comparing the house cat with the Spanish wildcat, a species that has remained largely unchanged over the past 20,000 years, Williams found that the wildcat's brain contains 40 percent to 50 percent more neurons, or nerve cells, in the part of the brain that transmits messages between the retina and cortex. The researchers say that up to seven out of 10 brain cells are killed in domestic cats before birth. The team also found that the skulls of house cats are nearly twice as The Mother Of U.S. Inventions The Washington D.C.-based Intellectual Property Owners Inc., a nonprofit organization, is soliciting nominations for its 1993 Inventor of the Year Award for the best invention of 1992. The competition is open to any inventor or team of inventors whose invention: is covered by a U.S. patent, was patented or became commercially available in 1992, and was made in the U.S. The nomination deadline is February 19. Nominations should be sent to Inventor of the Year Award, Intellectual Property Owners, 1255 23rd St., N.W., Suite 850, Washington, D.C. 20037; (202) 466- 2396. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #2, January 25, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ Generating Science: Productivity And Policy (Page 11 of newspaper) BY SIDNEY PERKOWITZ No one wants to become just another statistic, scientists least of all. We cherish our individuality, our march to a drummer whose beat most people never hear. And isn't our profession built on the unquantifiable flash of creative insight? Because statistical analysis concentrates only on average behavior, it is destined to miss outstanding individual achievement. Yet it is valuable to find the common threads that define our own special herd. What kind of analysis would help scientists understand themselves? One approach is to consider how we do science as we age. From children of the Great Depression to baby boomers, age and the common experiences that define a generation are deeply important. The shared events that form a scientific generation, such as the one that developed the atomic bomb, could equally well set the trajectory of a research career. The fact that some career elements are beyond any individual's control may be hard for self-motivated research types to accept, but is important for our profession to know. These thoughts came as I read Striking the Mother Lode in Science: The Importance of Age, Place, and Time (New York, Oxford University Press, 1992) a new book by Paula Stephan, a labor economist at Georgia State University, and Sharon Levin, an applied microeconomist at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. The book pulls together data about scientists, the science they make, and when in their careers they make it. It analyzes the demographic term for those who simultaneously experience a crucial life stage). As most scientists would, the book defines the crucial event that begins a scientific career as the earning of a doctorate. The era in which a doctorate is earned, the authors propose, may play a crucial role in shaping a scientific career. Insights from the book and from a conversation I had with Stephan throw light on my own scientific track. Because the authors trace the past effect of funding policy in the United States on how we do science today, examining these statistics may help the U.S. government fund research more effectively in the future. Unlike other studies that examine selected high-achieving groups, such as Nobel laureates, Mother Lode looks at across-the-board data. It uses the "largest and most comprehensive longitudinal study of [Ph.D.] scientists in the United States," the Survey of Doctorate Recipients gathered by the National Research Council. Armed with this, and with the Science Citation Index (SCI) from the Philadelphia-based Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), the authors correlate productivity with age and cohort. As in many such studies, it is at the intersection of the quantitative and the qualitative that questions arise. The data set is large, the statistical analysis sophisticated--but how to define productivity? Stephan and Levin take an imperfect but defendable path, likely the only possible one: They count journal articles reported in SCI, the listing of research papers and their citations issued by ISI. To correct for coauthorship, they award each author a proportional piece of the article; to assess quality, they use the SCI impact factor, which ranks each journal by how often its publications are cited. Even corrected for authorship and journal (and the corrections carry their own share of troubling questions), a count of articles does not capture the complex nuances of how scientists produce science. As Stephan and Levin themselves recognize, mere counting lets slip through that stroke of understanding, the single idea that can change a science. Nevertheless, the study addresses what research in the aggregate is meant to do: produce new knowledge stored in verifiable form for later use by science and by society. In this sense, the book is a valid analysis of the most important endeavor of science as a profession. It weighs the research product. The measures may be imperfect, but the data are seductive. I couldn't resist comparing my publication record to the quoted results. (Few scientists could resist.) In my category, academic physicists, the average researcher turns out about two publications per two-year period, over careers spanning more than 30 years. The rates are different for earth scientists, biochemists, and physiologists, but not vastly so. More important yet is the finding in Mother Lode that the productivity of the average scientist decreases with age, in In some specialties, the decline occurs over a whole career; in others, it follows a rising period, so there is a productivity peak. The book spells out the details, but the important thing is that it happens so widely. Given that scientists as a group are aging (in 1973, 25 percent of us were under 35 years old; today, only 10 percent are), the serious implication is that the profession is less productive than it once was, and will produce even less as its average age increases. (I emphasize again that "productivity" here means only the count of journal articles; the authors use no other measures of scientific achievement.) Is the decay in productivity an inevitable result of aging? Is it influenced by cohort effects, the special features that come from earning one's degree at some particular time? Some answers may come from the overlay of personal experience onto the statistics. This is why I want to talk about my own career, which has been heavily influenced by issues raised in the book. I belong to the very special generation in American science that was affected by the startling launch of the Soviet Sputnik satellite in 1957, when I was a college sophomore. The launch was not what turned me toward science, which I had chosen much earlier. But as the U.S. worked to match the Soviet triumph, the resulting public approval of science, the federal support for academic research and its personnel (growing at nearly 20 percent a year in inflation-adjusted dollars, notes Mother Lode), the prospect of a choice of jobs--all these kept me steadily on course to my doctorate in condensed-matter physics. After taking my degree in 1967, I turned to industrial research. But I had picked a company in which I could not do challenging research. It was when I looked for an academic job in 1968-69 that serious shock set in. Along with other Ph.D.'s driving cabs and waiting tables, I discovered that growth had ceased. The system wasn't following through on the promise it had held out. Fortunately, after much worry and effort, I found an academic position that has turned out well, at least as defined by Mother Lode. My productivity is more than four times the mean for my category, and is still rising. One moral of my story is that statistics do not describe the individual. Despite my start from a cohort that was set up by the promise of massive funding and was brought down when that funding contracted, my tale ends happily. But not entirely; there has been a price, consistent with conclusions in Mother Lode. The price is not a loss of the researchers' motivations. Based on studies cited in the book, these motivations are "ribbon," the search for recognition; "gold," the desire for money; and "puzzle," the ineffable pleasure of the scientific chase. Each still spurs me. What has changed is my tolerance for what must be done to seek ribbon, gold, puzzle--the incessant rattling of the tin cup needed to maintain a research effort. It is not that funding should be noncompetitive; it is that the search for dollars was already hard when I began, and has now become so This has a lot to do with the period in which I got my Ph.D. I have long realized that colleagues five to 15 years older are the last group with some assurance of years of steady support from a single agency; my generation found money only with unending effort that rarely guaranteed continuity of research and researchers for more than a year or two at a time. This unstable way of life has, finally, created an air of anxiety that erodes the dignity and self-respect of scientists. For senior people like me, the anxiety is about keeping our self- determination, a large part of what brought us into science-- extremely important, but probably no longer career-threatening. For graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, it is a far deeper angst about even being allowed into the profession, to begin one's own quest for ribbon, gold, puzzle. A few young scientists will do very well, but any older mentor must weigh what it means to send yet more bodies into the competitive scrimmage. When I hear that scientists in their mid-30s are beginning their third postdoctoral appointments, still not independent researchers; when I see that academic openings elicit applications by the hundreds, I can only feel that something is deeply wrong, which diminishes the pleasures of research and the value of science for all of us. Are there any answers for American science? I asked Stephan what she would recommend if President Clinton were to call. The response came in a heartbeat: Find a way to give science funding a moderate but known rate of increase, year in and year out, rather than a Sputnik era-like 20 percent increase one year, followed by a 5 percent drop the next. Only this, she feels, would give scientists the "research horizon" necessary for good work. What "moderate" means is open to debate, and any policy that could be distorted to seem like a science "entitlement" would be vulnerable political game; but as a survivor of one boom and bust cycle, the basic idea makes good sense to me. Are there answers for individual scientists in these hard times? An insight from Mother Lode may help. It is the observation that scientists, especially physicists like me, are highly fearful that their research skills will become obsolete. (So strong is the reaction that the book pointedly iterates the obvious, that its analysis points out no particular person's obsolescence.) Reading this, I examined my own fears. As for my own obsolescence, save your condolences: Without eternally rattling the tin cup (but with the occasional discreet shake), I'm finding ways to do more of what I want, a reclaiming of my independence leading to new productivity. Other scientists can do this, too, by overcoming false fears of obsolescence engendered by our competitive ways. In fact, what are truly obsolete and need overhauling are those attitudes in the system that have ignored reality, most especially those of our hide-bound, turf-defending professional societies, and those found in the federal apparatus for science Those should change, to determine what mix of kinds and amounts of science is truly needed, and to provide steady support for it. It is up to the individual scientists to turn the support into scientific achievement. This can come from funded research, yes, but also from dedicated teaching, enlightened administration, commitment to a true national science policy. The more we scientists find creative routes to career fulfillment through work of high quality, the more the professional societies, universities, corporations, and funding agencies must respond. With our own efforts, support from our profession, and a new administration in Washington, we can hope--along with the authors of Mother Lode--that future cohorts will see wiser support of science. Sidney Perkowitz is Charles Howard Candler Professor of Physics at Emory University, Atlanta. He recently spent a year at the Southeastern Universities Research Association in Washington, D.C., observing how science policy is made. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #2, January 25, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ COMMENTARY (Page 12 of newspaper) by Barbara Rich New Federal Legislation Can Be Effective In Fighting Terrorism Of Animal Rights Extremists The frustration and fears of researchers whose labs and work have been destroyed by the Animal Liberation Front--along with those who, though yet unharmed, must work in continual dread of violence at the hands of animal rights extremists--are completely understandable. At the least, these researchers can take some comfort in new federal legislation. A recent article in The Scientist headlined "Scientists Doubtful About New Law Aiming To Protect Animal Research Facilities" (Ron Kaufman, Oct. 26, 1992, page 1) may have conveyed the inaccurate notion that the Animal Enterprise Protection Act of 1992 is toothless. However, the legislation--sponsored by Sen. Howell T. Heflin (D-Ala.) and Rep. Charles Stenholm (D-Texas) and signed into law in August--is very strong indeed. Unfortunately, the new research facility protection law cannot rectify the injustice suffered by past victims. It is also true that the worst animal rights zealots will not be deterred by this or any law. Such disregard has already been flaunted by those damage at Utah State University last fall. As The Scientist's article correctly points out, this kind of action was illegal before passage of the Heflin/Stenholm bill. Yet, despite existing federal and state laws, the criminal activity aimed at animal research facilities during the last decade had escalated in severity and frequency. Vandalism turned into arson, then more damaging arson. So far, thank God, the car bombings that have occurred repeatedly in England have happened just once in the United States. No one was hurt, and the individual who planted the bomb was caught and convicted. This case was the rare exception, though. Illegal acts by animal rights activists, however, were being committed in the U.S. with virtual impunity. In view of the interstate nature of the crimes, local investigations were halfhearted and largely unproductive, and few arrests were made. Clearly, existing federal and state laws were not working. State and local law enforcement did not understand the pattern of these crimes, there was little cooperation across state lines, and a centralized source of information about prior incidents was unavailable. Federal authorities were slow to get involved, if they did so at all. It is no coincidence that these crimes started to receive more serious attention after the Senate passed Heflin's original bill in 1989 and the House barely missed taking action a year later. Anyone who thinks the subsequent formation of a federal law enforcement agency task force and the convening of three federal grand juries to pursue animal extremist crimes in Michigan, Oregon, and Washington are unrelated to this show of congressional interest does not know how the political system works. The Scientist reported the tougher stance, but failed to make the connection. Whether federal law enforcement officials took action in anticipation of Congress's giving them a specific mandate or in hope of avoiding one does not matter; the result was the same. The visibility of the problem and the priority for its solution were raised. All the better that the new law finally was approved by the subsequent Congress in 1992. The significance of the scientific community's success in accomplishing its objective cannot be overstated. Champions in Congress, willing to take the unpopular stand of saying "no" to the animal rights movement, were identified. For more than four years, individual scientists and the national organizations that represent them focused an enormous amount of effort--writing thousands of letters, making hundreds of visits, and giving first-hand testimony to members of Congress. An effective coalition of hundreds of organizations was built, including agriculture interest groups, voluntary health agencies like the American Heart and Diabetes associations, and other consumer advocates. In the process of working for the Heflin/Stenholm bills, scientists were able to better educate Congress about the impact research. When you stop to think that no less than 6,000 bills are introduced each session, but scarcely more than 500 are passed, enacting this law was an impressive--next to impossible-- victory. Never mind that we made it through that well-known legislative burial ground, the House Judiciary Committee. That was just part of the fun. Clearly, Congress believed it was meaningful to underscore the fact that animal rights terrorism will not be tolerated. Since 1988, 30 state legislatures have also agreed that stronger, specific laws were warranted to protect research facilities. My organization, the National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR), is very proud to have led the legislative effort and grateful to everyone who got involved. Without question, the ideological tyranny, as well as the terrorism, of animal extremists is antithetical to science. More scientists absolutely must get involved in counteracting the animal rights philosophy. But that will not happen if those who do make the effort are not given the credit they deserve. As for the idea that the proponents of animal research--and the law they helped pass--are impotent: 'Tain't so. Barbara Rich is executive vice president of NABR, an animal research advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #2, January 25, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ LETTERS (Page 12 of newspaper) Genetic Counseling We wish to clarify several points raised in Ricki Lewis's article on the profession of genetic counseling (The Scientist, Aug. 31, 1992, page 1). Clinical genetics has always represented a prototype of the team approach to health care delivery. Providers come from a variety of training backgrounds, including physicians with fellowship training in genetics, Ph.D.'s in human genetics, and master's- prepared genetic counselors. The field of genetic counseling as a recognized subspecialty is, and has been since its inception in 1969, practiced primarily (88 percent of the practitioners) by master's-prepared individuals (see the "Professional Status Survey" conducted by the National "Report of the 1989 Asilomar Meeting on Education in Genetic Counseling," American Journal of Human Genetics, 46:1223-30, 1990). The American Board of Medical Genetics (ABMG), currently the certifying and accrediting body for all providers of genetic care, is considering restructuring, and an amendment to the bylaws is now before all ABMG diplomates. ABMG established and worked closely with an advisory body of ABMG genetic counselor diplomates throughout this process. Should ABMG restructure, the certification of professionals and the accreditation of training programs for all practitioners will continue. In addition to the challenging role of providing patient counseling, education, and referral, genetic counselors are involved in a multiplicity of activities that draw upon their knowledge base in human genetics and their communication skills. These include presentations to public and professional audiences (including medical students, residents, and physicians), participation on ethics committees, administration of public health genetic and newborn screening programs, management and service roles within biotechnology companies, presentations at national research and clinical meetings, participation on federal advisory committees, grant acquisition, research, publication, and private practice. The profession continues to experience an active and growing employment market. The National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC), the professional organization for this field, will gladly provide information about this challenging, exciting, and rapidly growing specialty. Please contact Bea Leopold, Executive Director, NSGC, 233 Canterbury Dr., Wallingford, Pa. 19086. DIANE L. BAKER Past President, National Society of Genetic Counselors Board Member, American Board of Medical Genetics University of Michigan Ann Arbor BETH FINE Past President, National Society of Genetic Counselors Board Member-Elect, American Board of Medical Genetics Northwestern University Evanston, Ill. WHERE TO WRITE: Letters to the Editor THE SCIENTIST Philadelphia, PA 19104 Fax:(215)387-7542 THE SCIENTIST welcomes letters from its readers. Only signed letters will be considered for publication. Please include a daytime telephone number for verification purposes. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #2, January 25, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ Underfunded Canadian Scientists Migrating Southward (Page 14 of newspaper) BY VALERIE DROGUS For years, Canadian researchers have struggled with the problems of insufficient funding and inadequate career opportunities-- situations that have been responsible for a pronounced brain drain of promising young graduates to the United States. Partial relief was supposed to come in the form of a 4 percent-per-year hike in federal science funds, slated to take effect this year and carry on for two more years. But owing to Canada's serious budget shortfall, that relief will not be forthcoming. Canada's major funding agencies, the Medical Research Council (MRC) and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), will instead have to make do with grant funds frozen at last year's level and a 5 percent decrease in administrative budgets over the next two years. And Canadian scientists say that the southward migration of talent will continue unabated. MRC and NSERC provide funding for universities and research laboratories, roughly equivalent to the roles played by the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation in the U.S. A third agency, the National Research Council, funds and operates 16 research facilities across Canada and faces similar cutbacks. "They're now separating the cream from the cream," says MRC spokesman Neal Morris, adding that, as it is, only one of every five applications for research grants deemed worthy by an MRC peer-review system can be funded. U.S. researchers fare a bit better at NIH, where about 25 percent of grant applications that pass peer review muster are funded, according to an NIH spokesman. Whether Canada's scientific sector woes are due more to the global economic slowdown or to a lack of commitment to basic is a matter of perspective. Since the 1960s, Canada has allowed basic funding for scientific research to "fall away," says John Polanyi, a professor of chemistry at the University of Toronto and one of Canada's two Nobelists, having taken the prize for chemistry in 1986. (The other, Gerhard Herzberg, received the chemistry prize in 1971.) Despite a 1987 report by the Prime Minister's own advisory group, the National Advisory Board on Science and Technology, urging Canada to double its university science funding, Polanyi says, the level of support for individual Canadian university scientists is half or less than that received by U.S. scientists. "That makes Canada seem not too serious about science," he says. Symptomatic of the govern-ment's lack of commitment, say some scientists, was the abolishment this spring of the Science Council of Canada, an independent body charged with evaluating the nation's scientific policy. Only the National Advisory Board, whose staff works closely with government officials, remains to mark the nation's scientific path. Other Canadian scientists quantify their criticism differently. "Overall funding in terms of the gross national product is relatively low," says Scott Tremaine, director of the prestigious Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA), located at the University of Toronto. In fact, Canada devotes only 1.4 percent of its gross national product to science, putting it among the lowest scientific spenders in the developed world. By comparison, 2.7 percent of the U.S. GNP goes for scientific research, and roughly the same amount in Germany. But those figures are misleading, says Paul LaFleche, executive assistant and senior policy adviser to the science minister. Canadian government funding of basic research compares well to spending in Europe and the United States, but falls behind in defense and industry research spending, LaFleche says. Federal science and technology expenditures have consistently outpaced the consumer price index since the Mulroney government took control in 1984, implying that funding for science has not only outstripped inflation but also increased in real dollars, LaFleche notes. It has also increased as a percentage of the federal budget, from 10 percent in 1984 to 11.5 percent today. "We have tried to ensure that the base of the university research community is well supported. Since 1984 we've had a very difficult budget period. The one thing that wasn't cut was university research grant money," he says. As for the impending federal budget freeze, science has actually percent immediate cut, says LaFleche. The Brain Drain How the government crunches its numbers is of less concern to the individual Canadian scientist than how readily jobs and research funds are available, however. Researchers say it's no secret that the underfunding of Canadian science has contributed to the southward flow of major talent that's existed since the time of Alexander Graham Bell, who himself came to the U.S. to do research. And they say the current situation doesn't appear likely to stem the flood. A major reason for that phenomenon today is simple demographics. Many scientific positions in Canada were created in the 1960s at a boom time of easy money and are still occupied by now-senior staff who will not retire for another 10 to 15 years, and that leaves little maneuvering room for younger Canadian scientists within their own country, many researchers say. Government programs have attempted to alleviate that problem by stepping up money for postdoctoral research grants, but results have been flawed, scientists say. First, NSERC has put a cap on postdoctoral fellowships of $27,500 (Canadian dollars), hardly enough to pay the rent in Toronto or Montreal and 30 percent to 40 percent below comparable U.S. salaries. "It certainly does cause us difficulty in attracting people we would prefer to have, and we have made this point to NSERC," says Tre-maine, who left the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to join CITA as director shortly after it was founded nearly a decade ago. CITA has since gained worldwide prominence in the field of theoretical astrophysics. Those scientists who do choose to take advantage of expanded postdoctoral opportunities in Canada may have little choice but to leave when it comes time to seek a tenure-track position. Entry-level faculty jobs in medical research pay poorly in Canada and heap "totally unrealistic" demands on the researcher, but nonetheless attract up to 200 applications anyway, says Norbert Kartner, a postdoctoral fellow at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Kartner, who received his Ph.D. in 1988 from the Ontario Cancer Institute at the University of Toronto, has been working in the hot-topic area of cystic fibrosis. He is the coauthor of a recent highly cited paper with CF gene codiscoverer John Riordan, in whose lab he works (Hot Papers, The Scientist, Oct. 12, 1992, page 18). However, finding a permanent position is another matter, Kartner says. "I've been looking for a job in both Canada and the U.S. for about six months. I don't want to go to the U.S., but the But a more fundamental reason young Canadian scientists may choose to seek career paths outside their own country is a perception that scientific opportunities and acclaim are limited north of the border. "There is a tendency for the best graduate students to be creamed off by institutions in the United States. They know their chances are better there," Polanyi says. Gerald Quinlan, a theoretical astronomer, says that when it came time to choose a graduate institution, both he and his friends who were serious about science considered that American schools have a better reputation than Canadian schools. Quinlan, a Montreal native, went south to Cornell University for his Ph.D. and returned to Canada as a postdoc at CITA. But he now holds a second postdoc at the University of California, Santa Cruz. "I would like to go back to Canada, but I would be going back mainly because that's where my family is, despite the better research opportunities south of the border," says Quinlan. Many researchers say the opportunities to do "big science" are limited in Canada. It's difficult for a small country to put up the capital expenditures for a big project, as exemplified in the recent waffling on Canada's share of the funds for the Gemini project, a telescope being developed with joint funding from the U.S. and Britain. But many Canadian scientists don't decry the lack of "big science" funds, pointing out that splitting up the pot is more in keeping with Canadian egalitarian, socialist ideals and may provide more individuals the liberty to do their own research. "NSERC's No. 1 priority is individual research and, for somebody like a theorist, you may be better off in Canada," says Tremaine. "If for your own individual research you have relatively modest needs, a larger fraction of the pie is left over for smaller projects." NSERC officials recently criticized the Mulroney government when it chose to fund a $236 million particle physics project, known as KAON, at the University of British Columbia. They noted that KAON will provide jobs for about 200 physicists, while NSERC funds 100 times that number of scientists with roughly double the budget of KAON. Many Canadian scientists apparently are willing to sacrifice larger research budgets for the comforts of living at home, where crime rates are lower, the air is cleaner, and a national health- care network provides a safety net for all. "Overall, Canadians would rather be in Canada because they prefer the social climate," says Kartner. And, as Polanyi puts it, "they trim their sails to suit the winds. They will not undertake problems that are too costly." With the current budgetary crisis, the Canadian government may not seem like the most promising avenue to alleviate the country's need for scientific funds. Yet the very problems inherent in the Canadian economy and demographics--small supplies of money and a far-flung population--helped create what may be its most innovative solution to the funding crunch, the Network of Centres of Excellence. Through the granting agencies, the federal government has committed $240 million to a national research and development effort that draws many of the country's top scientists into 15 networks to pursue leading-edge research in areas that, it is hoped, will bring economic benefits to Canada. "With the facilities I've been able to get access to via the network, I've been able to get good stuff done," says Chris Kenyon, a postdoc at the Respiratory Health Centre of Excellence, in Montreal. Kenyon, a British citizen and recent graduate from the University of Cambridge, pursues both basic and applied research in three- dimensional imaging of moving cells. While he's pleased with his postdoctoral situation, Kenyon says, he hasn't yet had to hit the job market for a permanent spot and doesn't know how he'll fare at that level. Provincial governments also play their part in the funding equation. In Alberta, a $300 million Heritage Fund has been endowed for biomedical research, says D. Lorne Tyrrell, chairman of the department of medical microbiology and infectious diseases at the University of Alberta. Even more significant, however, is funding from private industry. Tyrrell and two colleagues, John Elliott and Lung Chang, received a $15 million grant to be used over 10 years for antiviral drug research from Glaxo Canada Inc., based in Mississauga, Ontario. Industry funding does lean toward applied research, but Tyrrell doesn't believe that compromises Canadian science. "I think cooperation between industry and the university is necessary to remain competitive," he says, noting that the practice is already a trend in Japan and Western Europe. What Canada really lacks is a major private source of funding to take the pressure off of government agencies, says medical geneticist Louis Siminovitch, director of the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto. Without such funds, it may be difficult for Canada to retain its top-notch "What drives a science is your very best people," says Siminovitch. "What's happened in Canada is that some of the very best people have left." Valerie Drogus is a freelance writer based in Santa Cruz, Calif. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #2, January 25, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ HOT PAPERS (Page 16 of newspaper) CELL BIOLOGY S. Bagchi, R. Weinmann, P. Raychaudhuri, "The retinoblastoma protein copurifies with E2F-I, an E1A-regulated inhibitor of the transcription factor E2F," Cell, 65:1063-72, 1991. Srilata Bagchi (University of Illinois at Chicago): "The loss of retinoblastoma tumor suppressor gene function has been associated with the etiology of various types of tumors. The product of this tumor suppressor gene, a 105-kilodalton polypeptide called pRB, is a cell cycle regulator. The pRB polypeptide inhibits cell proliferation by arresting cells at the G1 phase of the cell cycle. Cells committed for division inactivate pRB by phosphorylation at the G1/S boundary of the cell cycle. The pRB polypeptide is also a major target of several DNA virus oncoproteins (adenovirus E1A, SV40 T antigen, and papillomavirus E7). These viral proteins bind and inactivate pRB. This inactivation of pRB function strongly correlates with the oncogenic properties of these viral proteins. "Our paper and those of others (L.R. Bandara, et al., Nature, 351:494-7, 1991; S. Chellappan, et al., Cell, 65:1053-61, 1991; and T. Chittenden, et al., Cell, 65:1073-82, 1991) provided insight into the normal cellular function of pRB. We were studying regulation of a transcription factor, E2F (a study that was initiated in Joe Nevins's lab at Duke University). This factor is involved in the expression of the adenovirus E2 gene as well as several cellular genes and is activated by the DNA virus oncoproteins. We, as well as others, found that pRB interacted with E2F and inhibited the activity of this transcription factor. "The pRB/E2F interaction has significant impact on our understanding of the biochemical function of pRB. E2F is believed to be involved in the expression of several cellular genes that are involved in cell proliferation, including c-myc, n-myc, and dhfr. A consequence of pRB-inhibition of the E2F activity would depend on E2F. This reduced expression of the cell-proliferation genes can potentially account for the growth suppression function of pRB. "We also learned about the biochemical function of the DNA virus oncoproteins. The viral oncopro-teins can disrupt pRB/E2F interaction by taking away pRB from a pRB/E2F complex. The net effect of the dissociation of pRB/E2F complex is activation of E2F. Activation of E2F would have a stimulatory effect on many of the proliferation-associated genes that might eventually result in uncontrolled proliferation or immortalization of cells." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #2, January 25, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ MOLECULAR BIOLOGY P.J. Kraulis, "MOLSCRIPT: a program to produce both detailed and schematic plots of protein structures," Journal of Applied Crystallography, 24:946-950, 1991. Per Kraulis (University of Cambridge, UK): "When publishing a three-dimensional protein structure determined by X-ray crystallography or nuclear magnetic resonance, there is a need to show overviews of the structure, as well as detailed close-ups of regions of interest, such as binding sites. There was a lack of good, easy-to-use software to prepare such plots, so I decided to write such a program, called MolScript. It was my intention from the start to make the program readily available to the academic community. "I decided to use PostScript (from Adobe Systems Inc., Mountain View, Calif.) as output format, since most labs have access to laser printers that can handle PostScript. Luckily, this choice also simplified a number of technical problems in the programming. The program reads an input file that describes what to plot and how. The user can mix different kinds of representations (such as ball-and-stick together with alpha- helices and beta-strands), and it is possible to fine-tune a plot in a large number of ways. Through the use of different gray scale or colors for different parts, it is possible to make a complex picture intelligible. "Judging from the number of labs that now have MolScript, and the number of publications that contain plots made by the program, it is clear that there was a widespread need for it. Hopefully, its use will make the information in protein structures more accessible to biochemists and molecular biologists as well as a wider audience." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #2, January 25, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY Editor's Note: On Nov. 18, 1992, AT&T Bell Laboratories physicist Michael Schluter passed away. He provided the following information to The Scientist just prior to his death at age 47. M. Schluter, M. Lannoo, M. Needels, G.A. Baraff, D. Tom nek, "Electron-phonon coupling and superconductivity in alkali- intercalated C60 solid," Physical Review Letters, 68:526-9, 1992. Michael Schluter (AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, N.J.): "The electronic structure of fcc (face-centered cubic) alkali intercalated A3C60 (where A = K, Rb or Cs) is studied using the density functional (LDA) approach and a semi-empirical tight binding scheme fit to the results. The picture that emerges is one of tightly bound C60 molecules, weakly held together by narrow, almost dispersionless bands. These bands are part of a manifold, derived from a 1 = 5 set of states. The vibrational states of A3C60 are studied in a variety of models, reaching from simple Keating-type and bond charge-type to frozen phonon LDA- type descriptions. From this, a consistent picture of vibronic states emerges, in accordance with a variety of experiments such as Raman and infrared and neutron scattering. "The interactions between electrons and phonons are calculated and found to be dominated by particular on-ball Jahn-Teller-type vibrations. We propose that the superconductivity found in A3C60 materials arises from these interactions, optimally enhanced by the unique molecular nature of these materials. In particular, a real-space `factorization' of two different energy scales determines the coupling constant l = NV. The electron scattering V is dominated by the large intra-ball p-electron energy scale via the coupling to the Jahn-Teller-type modes. The density of states N, on the other hand, is controlled by the weak inter-ball hopping energy scale. This factorization leads to a number of remarkable consequences, such as the scaling of Tc with pressure or lattice spacing, a vanishing alkali isotope effect, a strong carbon isotope effect, strong changes with intercalation in Raman and Neutron spectra, and a simple phase diagram. The qualitative difference between fullerite and intercalated graphite, with much lower Tc values, can be explained on simple geometric grounds. Finally, the general picture can be used as a basis for speculations about new, potentially high Tc molecular superconductors." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #2, January 25, 1993) ================================ Confocal Microscopy: Viewing Cells As `Wild Animals' (Page 17 of newspaper) BY FRANKLIN HOKE Recent improvements to the laser-scanning confocal microscope are enhancing the instrument's already impressive capabilities to create sharply defined biological images, researchers say. Advanced techniques, new lasers with added spectral lines, a wider array of sensitive fluorescent dyes, and better image collection and analysis are combining to broaden the powers of these sophisticated instruments. Especially for scientists who image living cells--neurobiologists investigating the actions of neurons, for example--these advances dramatically extend the confocal microscope's usefulness, which has grown steadily since the introduction of the device into labs in the mid-1980s. "Confocal microscopy is certainly the best way we've got of imaging living cells at the limits of optical resolution today," says Stephen J. Smith, a neurobiologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine. According to Smith, the confocal microscope is at its best in imaging living cells when used to look into a "thick, rather turbid" specimen, like brain tissue. "Brain tissue is translucent," Smith says. "So, once it gets more than a few cell layers thick, you can't see through it. Light goes through it, but it's diffused. That's the kind of situation where the confocal microscope comes into its own." The unique advantage of the confocal microscope is its ability to reject this out-of-focus light, or flare, from areas within the specimen other than in the plane of focus. To do this, the microscope first focuses an illuminating cone of laser light through a stack of lenses to a point at a predetermined depth within the specimen. This point is then system- atically scanned back and forth under computer control. In this way, the entire plane of focus is illuminated, but sequentially, point by point, rather than simultaneously, as with an ordinary microscope. The imaging light returning from the specimen, through the same lenses and scanners as before, is separated from the illumination light by a beam splitter. It then passes through a pinhole aperture, called a spatial filter. It is this spatial filter that defines the confocal microscope. The filter has the effect of screening out light from all but the focal point. The remaining, in-focus light is registered with a photomultiplier tube and, and precise two-dimensional image, called an optical slice or section. Multiple sections can be used to build three-dimensional images, even three-dimensional moving images. "The trick is to get rid of all the illumination in the sample except right at the little point of focus, get rid of the double cone of light above and below," explains Watt W. Webb, a biological physicist and a professor of applied physics at Cornell University. "That's what the aperture does." Most commonly, confocal microscopes are used with fluorescent dyes. When attached to monoclonal antibodies, these dyes have the great advantage of being able to label specific molecules for imaging. When thick specimens are stained and viewed with ordinary microscopes, fluorescent light from the out-of-focus planes can obscure the image. The confocal microscope, viewing the same specimen, is able to eliminate this out-of-focus light to produce sharp images. The confocal microscope's ability to clearly image living cells, in tissue or in culture, will become increasingly important in the near future, according to James B. Pawley, a professor of zoology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and editor of a standard reference work in the field (Handbook of Biological Confocal Microscopy, New York, Plenum Publishing Corp., 1990). "The most rapidly developing area is going to be living-cell confocal microscopy," Pawley says. "That's the wave of the future. Of course, it's difficult, because you have to worry about keeping the light dose to an absolute minimum so the cell is not upset." Stephen W. Paddock, a cell biologist also at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, makes the same point: "The problem with imaging living cells is that they are very light-sensitive." Avoiding Light Damage Important to the confocal microscope's capabilities is its use of a laser light source to brilliantly illuminate the specimen. While there are many advantages to using such a bright light source, researchers find they must take steps to avoid the injury to cells that can result. "Lasers are just so convenient," says Pawley, "because they are so intense. But one of the problems in the early days of confocal microscopy was that people would turn up the knobs to get a picture quickly, and then they'd look and say, `It bleached so fast!' " Cornell's Webb and graduate student David Sandison have worked out a number of tactics that obviate the problem of delivering too much light to living cells under study. Webb explains that the final image obtained from a confocal microscope is sharper potentially damaging light must then be used to produce an image. "If you make the pinhole spatial filter small enough with confocal microscopy, you improve the resolution of the microscope, even in the plane of focus," Webb says. "But that's not a good idea if you're looking at a biological specimen, because it uses so much light that you overilluminate the specimen. And that's where the damage comes from." People have been tempted to take advantage of the theoretical improvement in resolution of confocal microscopy compared to full-field microscopy, Webb says, by using more intense light and a smaller aperture. In doing fluorescence microscopy, which is what most of the living cell work is, Webb says, this is the wrong direction to go. "Instead, you just open your pinhole a little bit, and take advantage of the removal of flare," he says. "You still come out ahead." A degree of judgment is called for, in other words. The relationship between these two--the size of the aperture opening and the amount of light used--must be optimized to view living cells. Webb says his group has worked out these relationships in "sickening mathematical detail," and that there needn't be excessive damage to the specimen. New Lasers, New Dyes The overall amount of light used to illuminate a cell is only one way to consider the light energy reaching the cell. Another is to realize that the lasers used in confocal microscopy emit light in different, specific wavelengths, each with its own energy level. A laser commonly used in commercial confocal microscopes, for example, is the argon laser, which emits two major spectral lines, at wavelengths of 488 nanometers (blue) and 514 nm (green). Developers of fluorescent dyes--or reporter molecules-- look for those that are easily excited by these wavelengths and will therefore provide the most information. Recently, confocal microscopes based on a krypton-argon laser that emits three lines, at 488 nm (blue), 568 nm (yellow), and 647 nm (red), have been introduced. The three spectral lines offer a different set of wavelengths for developers of fluorescent dyes to work with, as well as the opportunity to image three separately tagged molecules at once. In addition, the longer-wavelength red line is less damaging to cells under study, according to Paddock. "If you use a shorter wavelength, which has more energy," he says, "it tends to kind of fry the cells more quickly than using a longer wavelength." Paddock, with colleague Steve Stricker at the University of New to image the fertilization process within sea urchin and starfish eggs. "It's long been known that during fertilization, there's a wave of free calcium that passes across the egg," Paddock says. "Using confocal microscopy, you can actually image the wave passing across the egg. We found that the maternal nucleus lights up, as well, which you can only see using confocal microscopy." Roger Tsien, a20professor of pharmacology and chemistry at the University of California, San Diego, is well known for having constructed a number of fluorescent reporter molecules sensitive to, among other substances, calcium and cyclic AMP. In addition, he more recently has developed techniques to produce images much faster than is possible using commercially available systems. "The commercial systems typically produce images at about one or two per second, which is too slow to work on many phenomena in living cells," Tsien says. Tsien says his group has been able to build a confocal microscope capable of video-rate imaging--30 frames a second--with full laser scanning. "In the calcium area, we've been looking mainly at excitable cells," he says, "things like heart muscle or neurons, which have fast calcium spikes or calcium waves passing through them. In the cyclic AMP area, we've been looking at the famous model of invertebrate plasticity, the sea slug. This is a long-established model, involving neurotransmitters raising cyclic AMP, which affects synapses for other neurons. We've been looking at how the cyclic AMP changes, which is visible now, for the first time, directly." `Wild Animals' Tsien believes that the ability of confocal microscopy to create images of living cells showing cellular activities, using dyes and video techniques such as those he and his group have developed, will lead to important changes in cellular research. Traditional biochemistry, he says, involves "grinding up a couple million cells and running them out on a gel, or doing PCR [polymerase chain reaction] on a whole population," which is useful for ascertaining certain general attributes of that population, but obscures the activities of individual cells. "When you can see their individual biochemical signals," he says, "you find that different cells are often very individualistic, almost like wild animals, or people. "Even different parts of the cell have different biochemistry. The cell is not just a featureless bag. It knows which direction it's headed, so its front and its back have to be different, Tsien adds: "Overall, that's where all this live cell work is needed." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #2, January 25, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ MAJOR SUPPLIERS (Page 18 of newspaper) According to the scientists interviewed for this article, the following companies are among those manufacturing laser-scanning confocal microscopes, fluorescent dyes, and/or image-collection and analysis equipment and software: Bio-Rad Microscience Division 19 Blackstone St. Cambridge, Mass. 02139 (800) 444-1422 Fax: (617) 864-9328 Leica Inc. 111 Deer Lake Rd. Deerfield, Ill. 60015 (800) 248-0123 Fax: (708) 405-0147 Meridian Instruments Inc. 2310 Science Pkwy. Okemos, Mich. 48864 (800) 247-8084 Fax: (517) 349-5967 Molecular Probes Inc. 4849 Pitchford Ave. Eugene, Ore. 97402 (503) 465-8300 Fax: (503) 344-6504 Molecular Dynamics Inc. 880 E. Arques Ave. Sunnyvale, Calif. 94086 (800) 333-5703 Fax: (408) 773-8343 Nikon Inc. 1300 Walt Whitman Rd. Melville, N.Y. 11747 (516) 547-8570 Fax: (516) 547-0307 2551 W. Beltline Hwy. Middleton, Wis. 53562 (608) 831-3883 Fax: (608) 836-7224 Olympus Corp. 4 Nevada Dr. Lake Success, N.Y. 11042 (800) 446-5767 Carl Zeiss Inc. One Zeiss Dr. Thornwood, N.Y. 10594 (800) 233-2343 Fax: (914) 681-7446 (The Scientist, Vol:7, #2, January 25, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ Poster Sessions Can Lead To Networking Opportunities (Page 20 of newspaper) BY ROBERT FINN Poster sessions are becoming an increasingly popular way of enlarging the number of presentations without expanding the duration of scientific meetings. Posters require more preparatory work than is involved in a brief talk. But, say those familiar with the format, posters provide an efficient and effective way for scientists to inform others of their research and a chance to have personal contact with the leaders in their field. In addition, they say, posters can open doors to job, postdoc, and graduate school opportunities. Dara Norman, for example, was able to parlay a poster session into an informal interview for admission to grad school. After finishing her undergraduate degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Norman had been working at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Goddard Space Flight Center for three years, but she desperately wanted to go to grad school in the department of astronomy at the University of Washington in Seattle. She knew it wouldn't be easy to get in. According to Bruce Margon, the chairman of that department, "Typically we receive 200 applications for four or five slots, so no matter how strong one's academic credentials, there's a certain element of a lottery." Norman was scheduled to give a poster presentation at the 1992 meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), and she figured that, because astronomy professors from Washington were likely to be at the meeting, this was her best shot at graduate application in the fall of 1991, the meeting was in early January, and the admissions committee wouldn't be making up its mind until sometime in February. Because of her situation, she approached the poster presentation as if it were a job interview. "In the poster sessions, only people who are really interested come up to your poster," Norman says. "And if they're the people who are interested in what you're doing, they're the people who are likely to give you a job or get you into graduate school." Margon was one of the interested parties. Margon and Norman, as it happened, had observed the same active galaxy with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, but with different instruments--Margon's group used the Faint Object Spectrograph, and Norman's team at Goddard used the High-Resolution Spectrograph. So the noted astronomer and the prospective student had a lot to talk about. As Margon puts it, "I was certainly very impressed with her when I met her there, because she turns out to be an exceptionally articulate and thoughtful and interesting person, which is something that really can't come across in the paper application. I was able to tell my admissions committee that this is someone who looks good on paper and was clearly even better in person." It is this opportunity for personal interaction that is one of the major benefits of poster sessions, scientists say. "Had it been an oral paper, there are a huge number of parallel sessions, so the probability of my ever having been there would be really small," says Margon, "whereas the poster papers are up for an entire day, so the probability of collision is much larger." This story, whose happy ending finds Dara Norman pleasantly ensconced in UW's graduate program, illustrates several of the many advantages of poster sessions. Because oral presentations at scientific meetings have the weight of hundreds of years of tradition behind them, many scientists once regarded poster sessions to be a second-class stepchild, a far less prestigious way of presenting research results. But poster sessions are becoming an increasingly accepted and even preferred forum at scientific meetings. According to AAS officials, for example, the alternative to a poster presentation at meetings of the society is a mere five- minute talk. Moreover, at an oral presentation, a speaker must rush to present even the bare bones of his or her results, in rooms so darkened for the slides that the speakers often cannot even be seen clearly by the audience and have little chance to engage interested people in discussion or to make a favorable impression. The possibility that a paper will be presented as a poster increases year by year at most scientific meetings, as the number of abstracts submitted grows without concomitant increases in the to Kevin Furlong, a professor of geosciences at Pennsylvania State University and program chairman for the American Geophysical Union (AGU) national meeting, about 35 percent of the 4,700 papers at the December 1992 AGU meeting were presented as posters, and that number goes up by about 5 percent each year. Of 1,945 papers presented by the American Physiological Society, a constituent of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, at the April 1992 FASEB meeting, 1,204 were given as posters, 107 as poster discussions (a hybrid form of poster session), and only 634 as oral presentations. But those who like posters must love the Society for Neuroscience's annual meeting. Out of a total of 9,361 papers at the society's October 1992 meeting, 8,066 were posters--fully 86 percent. Experienced poster presenters warn that creating an effective poster requires much more than just slapping a copy of an abstract and a few illustrations onto a piece of corkboard. Compared with short slide presentations, posters tend to require a greater degree of preparation, not only in terms of the physical display, but also in terms of one's understanding of the material. As Furlong notes, "At a poster presentation the questions become in-depth fairly quickly. People have more time to think about the questions, and they can follow up on them. A person should be very careful in a poster presentation not to have anything on there they don't fully understand." Ernie Nordeen, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Rochester and a veteran of many poster sessions, echoes this sentiment, but notes that a certain degree of ignorance can be more forgivable at a poster session than in an oral presentation. "Probably more so than in a talk, you may have people looking at your data from a completely different perspective than you're used to. I think you have to be prepared for almost anything and also prepared to be entirely up front about not knowing and wanting to learn about the questioner's perspective. In a poster session it's perfectly reasonable to say, `I don't know the answer to that question. What do you think?' There's less pressure on a poster presenter to have a pat answer." Steve Maran, an astronomer at Goddard, recommends practicing a poster session much as one would practice an oral presentation. "No matter how smart you think you are, no matter how good a job you think you've done, you need to present your poster to colleagues and let them give you their suggestions. Make it up well in advance of the meeting, post it up on the wall outside your office, and take a look at it pretending to stroll by at a distance of several feet. See if it looks like something you'd like to have a look at. Unlike oral presentations, where you're trapped in a room, with poster presentations you walk right by, looking for a better poster." Daniel Gardner, a professor of physiology and biophysics at a professor of physiology and biophysics at the New York University School of Medicine, have given a great deal of thought about the most effective way to present information on a poster. The Gardners wrote the Society for Neuroscience's "Suggestions for Preparing Effective Posters," a feature in the preliminary program for the society's annual meeting each year since 1989. Says Daniel Gardner, "Good poster design tries to maximize the ability of the presenter to get the information to the largest number of people, and also maximizes the ability of the meeting attender to get as much as possible from a poster and to see as many posters as possible. If it takes 30 minutes to work your way through a poster, then an advantage of the poster is lost. So the goal is to design a poster that has perhaps 30 minutes' worth of information if every word is read carefully and every figure is analyzed thoughtfully, but it should also be designed so that someone whose interests are more peripheral can get a take-home message in 10 minutes." Virtually all scientific societies require that the top of a poster contain a banner printed with type at least an inch high (or 72 points, the unit of measure used in determining height of type) stating the title of the study and the names and affiliations of the authors. This can be generated by most full- featured word-processing programs using laser printers. The individual sheets of laser paper can be taped together and used as is, or they can be taken to a continuous photocopy machine, available in many print shops, which can produce strips of paper six inches wide and four feet long. The Gardners strongly recommend that the poster be bracketed by an introduction at the beginning and some clear conclusions at the end. Daniel Gardner notes that this introduction must be quite distinct from the abstract, which is designed to serve as a distillation of the entire paper. "The introduction has to explain what you're doing, why you did it, and what the state of the art was before you began your work." As for the conclusions, "Many people look at the conclusions first to see if they want to devote time to the paper. They should be in large enough type to be read by people six or seven feet away." The Gardners recommend that the sequence of illustrations in a poster be made explicit and obvious, with the use of numerals at least an inch (72 points) in height. And the information should be arranged in columns running down a poster, rather than in rows running across it. Notes Daniel Gardner, "If there's a cluster of people around, it's much easier to get an unobstructed view of a vertical column than of the top or the middle or the bottom of a poster." He also advocates the use of different-colored backgrounds to distinguish separate experiments or regions of the poster. Each figure and table, say the Gardners, should have a headline in large type describing its essential point. And the text below mere figure legend. Rather, it should be the same sort of commentary that would appear in the "Results and Discussion" sections of a published paper. Some poster makers are beginning to use desktop publishing packages to design their entire poster as a single unit. The resulting computer file can be put on a disk and taken to a specialty print shop with a large-format color printer. In this way the entire poster can be prepared as a single large sheet of paper, which is easy to roll up and transport, and very easy to post. Many scientists prefer to peruse posters while the authors are not there, and some meetings accommodate this desire by having the posters up for a full day, with the authors present for half a day or less. For this reason, posters should be designed to be self-explanatory. Despite this, says Nordeen, one should not load down the poster with a great deal of methodological detail. Anyone interested in that much information can question the presenter directly. But, says Nordeen, "I have the impression that most people looking at a poster want an invitation to be led through it. They want to have some dialogue. I think it's the presenter's responsibility to ask someone who's reading the poster, `Would you like me to walk you through this?' More often than not they'll say yes. That accomplishes two things. First of all, it takes the burden off the reader, and, second, it forces an introduction that might not otherwise be made." Furlong, however, notes that while "you're a salesman at a poster session,... I think it's inappropriate to strong-arm people into it." Although Dara Norman dressed for her poster presentation as if it were a job interview, at many scientific meetings dress is informal. As Furlong says, "You'd probably look out of place in a three-piece suit at an AGU meeting, but by the same token you want to stand out." If a group of people are standing around a poster, Furlong notes, a passerby would probably figure that the one dressed slightly more formally than the others is the poster's presenter. Finally, those who have narrowly averted disaster advise poster presenters to take Murphy's Law into account. For example, many presenters have learned that it's a good idea to bring one's own supply of push pins, even when the meeting organizers say that these will be provided; push pins tend to become scarce toward the end of a meeting. And the true student of Murphy's Law will want to make up two copies of everything in the poster, sending one set ahead in the mail or with a friend, and carrying the other on the airplane. That way, if one copy gets lost or damaged, the presenter isn't faced with the embarrassment of standing in front of a blank corkboard. Calif. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #2, January 25, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ Study: Industry Demand For Chemists Rising (Page 21 of newspaper) BY EDWARD R. SILVERMAN The median starting salaries for most new chemistry graduates rose slightly last year, according to a survey recently conducted by the American Chemical Society. Although the pay increases were modest, they were prompted by continued hiring by pharmaceutical companies, as well as efforts by industry and academia to keep pace with inflation, according to several recruiting experts. Bachelor's graduates received a median salary of $24,000, a 4.3 percent increase over the 1991 level. Joan Burrelli, senior research analyst with ACS in Washington, D.C., says that 1992 was the first time in three years that starting pay rose above $23,000. Median starting salaries for master's graduates eroded slightly, to $31,500, a 1.6 percent drop from the 1991 figure. However, Burrelli notes that the number of master's graduates hired was rather small, suggesting that salaries actually were flat. Ph.D. graduates received $47,500, a 3.3 percent increase in median starting pay, a boost driven by pharmaceutical companies that are hiring chemists to fill a steady stream of research- related positions. "Overall, demand is picking up," says Burrelli, adding that the percentage of people with five or more job offers rose and that unemployment for newly graduated chemists dropped, encouraging signs after a few years of stagnation. For bachelor's grads, unemployment was 10 percent, down from last year's 14 percent. Sixty-five percent of all bachelor's grads found employment, up from 62 percent. Among master's grads, unemployment fell 1 percent, to 6 percent. compiled its results by mailing surveys last summer to new chemistry graduates. Approximately 3,000 graduates responded, including 2,100 bachelor's grads, 350 master's grads, and 550 Ph.D.'s, Burrelli says. for new chemistry grads remained soft in many areas and that the slight increase in median pay probably reflected raises given to match inflation of about 3 percent. "The percentage here means nothing--2 to 4 percent gains really isn't a lot of noise," says chemistry professor Edward Kostiner of the University of Connecticut in Storrs. "There's nothing dramatic happening right now." Experts say the recession squelched much hiring in the chemical and oil industries and squeezed budgets at most universities, particularly those financed by government. "A lot of corporations are sitting on the sidelines and not recruiting this year," says Ted Logan, manager of technical recruiting for the Procter & Gamble Co. in Cincinnati. "I think everybody's waiting for the economy to turn around." One of the marked exceptions, though, has been the pharmaceutical industry, which recruiters say was responsible for a great many of the job offers made to new graduates recently. Ph.D.'s with expertise in bioanalytical chemistry or synthetic organic chemistry, in particular, fared well. "Ph.D. hiring is mainly in the pharmaceutical area," says ACS's Burrelli. "The recession has hit oil and chemical companies, but the pharmaceutical industry has been somewhat recession-proof. Sales are up, so they're starting to hire." These companies have also provided fertile opportunity for new bachelor's grads. Overall, the median starting salary for bachelor's graduates in industry was $25,000, up 2 percent from the 1991 level. Master's graduates received $35,000, a 4.5 percent gain. Ph.D.'s received $50,600, a 5.4 percent increase. There is underemployment among chemists, however. Burrelli says it appears that many bachelor's grads may have accepted lower- paying jobs as technicians, rather than as higher-paid staff scientists, a recruiting strategy that some companies use to save money. It also suggests that a larger number of better-paying jobs wasn't available. "My feeling is that much of the hiring went on at smaller companies offering technician jobs," says James Burke, manager of research recruiting and university relations at Rohm and Haas Co. in Spring House, Pa. "Jobs are no longer chasing people; people are chasing jobs." "The fact that we're in a global recession with a lot of political instability makes companies want to proceed cautiously," he says, con- tending that "economic regulation also has a price tag that defers growth.... In general, I know of several companies that made cutbacks in the number of hires. We did, too." appears to have limited opportunities for chemists. With the large number of Ph.D. graduates in recent years, many schools have their pick from among those grads with at least some postdoctorate experience. "The market was tighter last year than the year before," says Kostiner. "We're drowning in applications." And many positions are left vacant as schools look to freeze or cut costs. "Many are downsizing," Kostiner says. "Others are reassessing faculty size and enrollment levels, often meaning there are fewer positions." Nonetheless, these experts say that there is room for optimism, particularly for new chemists seeking work in industry, if the economy picks up. "It's definitely not that people aren't getting jobs," says Burrelli. "It's just taking longer to find them, and they may have less choice." Rohm and Haas' Burke says that 1993 "should be better than 1992, but not by much." Still, he adds, "there are no grounds for despair... but kids will have to work hard." Edward R. Silverman is a freelance writer based in Hoboken, N.J. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #2, January 25, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE POSTER PRESENTATIONS (Page 21 of newspaper) Through the process of trial and error, scientific societies and veteran poster presenters have come up with the following rules of thumb for effective poster presentations. 1. Prepare a banner in very large type containing a descriptive title, the authors, and their affiliations. This banner should be situated high up on the poster so it can be seen above people's heads from a distance of 15 to 20 feet. 2. Bracket the poster with an introduction at the beginning and a list of conclusions at the end. Remember that many people will read only these two parts of your poster. 3. Make the flow of information in a poster explicit with the use of inch-high numerals. The flow of information should be organized in columns running down the poster, not in rows running across it. will be communicated even if you are not there. But don't load it down with large amounts of methodological detail or lists of references. Curious observers can ask you about these things directly. 5. Each illustration should have a prominent headline containing its take-home message in just a few words. The text below the illustrations should be in smaller type and should contain far more information than the typical figure legend. Only the most interested readers will spend time with this text. 6. Prepare a presentation of no more than five minutes (preferably two to four minutes) to walk interested parties quickly through your poster. 7. Make the poster well in advance and practice it with your colleagues, much as you would practice an oral presentation. 8. Taking into account Mur-phy's Law, bring extra push pins (not thumbtacks) with you to the meeting. And consider making up two complete copies of the poster. Mail one copy ahead or send it with a friend. 9. At the poster session, let people peruse your poster for 30 seconds or a minute before approaching them to ask if you may lead them through it. But don't be shy about introducing yourself, since the opportunity to meet people is one of the major advantages of poster sessions. 10. If you have a preprint of a article already prepared, consider having a supply ready at the poster session to hand out to people who are especially interested. If not, take down names and addresses and offer to send the preprint when it is ready. --R.F. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #2, January 25, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ PEOPLE (Page 22 of newspaper) Physicist To Move From Syracuse To Penn State To Head New Center Abhay Ashtekar, a theoretical physicist and currently a professor at Syracuse University, has been appointed as the first holder of the Eberly Family Chair in Physics at Pennsylvania State University. Ashtekar intends to use the chair's $1 million endowment as start-up funding to organize a Center for position in August. The center will be located in the Davey Lab on the University Park, Pa., campus with Ashtekar as its first director. He says an important component of the center will be a strong interdisciplinary approach to research in theoretical physics. "Theoretical research has now become advanced enough so that a physicist needs advanced techniques from mathematicians and astronomers and vice versa," he says. "We will be breaking all barriers between disciplines." In its initial stages, Ashtekar says, the center will be staffed primarily by members of the physics department. However, he says, as the center becomes more established, numerous members from both the mathematics and astronomy departments will be invited to become involved. At present, the center is slated to accommodate two full professors, two assistant professors, and 10 postdoctoral researchers. "My ideology for the center has three prongs," Ashtekar explains. "First, it should be very strong in basic research. Second, this research should then contribute to teaching postgraduate students. Graduate students should be trained so that they are on the cutting edge of the field by the time they leave. "And, third, I would like the center to become a way of popularizing science. While most of us are experts in theoretical physics, math, or astronomy, I would like us to go around and give lectures to young kids in schools and get them interested in science." Ashtekar says he believes science education in the United States is in dire straits and hopes that the center's personnel, even in a small way, can bring some enthusiasm to children interested in science. "I'm not saying these things will be new to Penn State, but I think this will be a substantial addition to the things that they are already doing," he says. Ashtekar received a bachelor's degree in physics and mathematics from the University of Bombay, India, in 1969 and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Chicago in 1974. He specializes in general relativity and quantum gravity and is the author or coauthor of more than 94 research papers. The most recent appeared in Classical and Quantum Gravity (A. Ashtekar, et al., "A loop representation for the quantum Maxwell field," 9[5]:1121- 50, 1992). --Ron Kaufman (The Scientist, Vol:7, #2, January 25, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) Auburn Physiologist Wins HSUS Award For Development Of An Animal Alternative (Page 22 of newspaper) Charles E. Branch, a professor of physiology at Auburn University, has received the second annual Russell and Burch Award from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The award, which includes a trophy and a $5,000 cash prize, is granted by HSUS in recognition of a scientist who has made significant contributions to the advancement of alternatives to the use of animals in research, testing, or education. The award is named for William Russell and Rex Burch, two British scientists who, in 1959, first published Principles of Humane Experimental Technique (special edition, Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, Herts, England, 1992), a book that introduced the now-popular "three Rs" of establishing alternatives to animal testing: reduction, refinement, and replacement. Branch created an interactive videodisc program to teach medical and veterinary students about cardiovascular physiology. "Traditionally," he says, "the students do these laboratories with live animals. So what we're trying to see is: Can they get similar benefits by doing the laboratory sitting at a computer instead of using another animal?" The video shows a dissection of a dog that students watch instead of cutting into their own hounds. The program simulates laboratory exercises in catheterization of the left and right heart, autonomic control of the circulation, fibrillation and defibrillation, positive pressure ventilation, and euthanasia. The emphasis is on physiology and not surgery. Branch's program requires an IBM-compatible computer with a split-screen monitor that is connected to a videodisc player. The set-up allows students to not simply watch the animated video of a physiological procedure, but make decisions and react to data displayed by the computer (C.E. Branch, et al., "Interactive videodisc simulated physiology laboratories," Computers in Life Science Education, 6[11]:81-8, 1989). "For example, the students do not just see what the heart looks like during fibrillation," he says. "They also view chart recordings showing blood pressure and electrocardiograms." To date, Branch says, 50 copies of the program have been sold and at least 30 are in schools. Many schools are investigating to see if the program could be applicable in the future to simulate actual surgery. "We will have to see if using it for surgery is practical," he says. "There is still no way with a video that you can do everything that a real experiment can do. You can't touch it and feel it and all that. So we'll see what the future holds." According to Branch, students using the videodisc program required approximately 30 percent less time to achieve the same level of knowledge retention and performance level as students in traditional laboratories. Branch received his bachelor's degree in 1964 in mechanical engineering and his Ph.D. in physiology in 1974 from Auburn. He is the founder of CONVINCE, a consortium of all 30 veterinary medical schools in North America that supports training workshops in interactive media alternatives to using live animals and funds grants for work related to animal alternatives. --Ron Kaufman (The Scientist, Vol:7, #2, January 25, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ OBITUARIES (Page 22 of newspaper) Johannes Holtfreter, an embryologist at the University of Rochester and a pioneer in the study of embryonic cell growth, died November 13 in Rochester, N.Y. He was 91 years old. Holtfreter developed techniques to grow embryonic cells and tissues outside of an animal ("Differentiation of striated muscle cells in vitro," American Zoology, 5:719, 1965). Holtfreter joined the faculty in the department of zoology at Rochester in 1946. He retired in 1969. Helene W. Toolan, a cancer researcher who helped identify the relationship between viruses and human cancer cells, died November 29 in Bennington, Vt. She was 80 years old. Toolan was on the staff of the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research in New York from 1950 to 1964. In 1955, she received the Sloan Award for her work in transplanting human tumors and tissues into laboratory animals. In 1964, Toolan became director of the Putnam Memorial Institute for Medical Research in Bennington. She became director, emerita, in 1978. In 1987, the institute was renamed the Helene W. Toolan Institute for Medical Research. A. Gardner Fox, a researcher focusing on radar, microwaves, and laser beam devices, died November 24 in Harmony, Pa. He was 80 years old. Fox worked at Bell Telephone Laboratories for 41 years and developed electronic mechanisms that were used in both telephone and airplane communications. (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.)


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