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THE SCIENTIST VOLUME 7, No:9 May 3, 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 *** *** MAY 17, 1993 *** *** *** ******************************************************* THE SCIENTIST (Page numbers correspond to printed edition of THE SCIENTIST) FOR SEARCHING PURPOSES: AU = author NEXT = next article PG = page TI = title of article, TY = type, TI : CONTENTS PG : 3 ===================================================================== NEWS WATSON'S SUCCESSOR: Researchers involved with the Human Genome Project say they are breathing easier now that a worthy successor to James Watson as director of the National Institutes of Health's component of the international effort has finally been selected--University of Michigan geneticist Francis Collins Page 1 MEDICAL INFORMATICS: The information needs of clinical and bio- logical researchers have given rise to powerful computer-based tools to gather and manage scientific data and communications of all kinds. One result has been the emergence of the field of medical informatics, which underscores ties between computer science and the life sciences Page 1 COMPETING SOCIETIES: Their organizers claim that two recently formed molecular evolutionary biology societies will prove to be of great benefit to their respective memberships in general; however, the groups' appearance seems to have been spurred in large part by a publishing battle between the societies' journals. Nevertheless, researchers from both sides say the competition is healthy for the discipline Page 1 STANDARDS PROCEDURE: Substantial progress has been made in a National Research Council-led effort to develop standards for science education and educators at the primary and secondary levels. But the massive response and interest in the enterprise does have a downside--pushing the arrival date for the standards back about a year Page 3 ACADEMY AWARDS: The National Academy of Sciences honored 20 researchers for their achievements in a wide variety of scientific, humanitarian, and educational areas. Some of the prize winners are practically household names at scientific awards ceremonies, while others were quite unexpected Page 8 OPINION JOBLESS SCIENTISTS: Unemployment is a tough pill for anyone to swallow, but there are ways in which jobless scientists can ease their pain and forge on with their research if they are resourceful and dedicated enough, says Catherine Reed, an entomologist at the University of Minnesota, who speaks from experience Page 11 COMMENTARY: While outgoing director Bernadine Healy's tenure at NIH raised the agency's importance in the eyes of the public and Congress, Brown University associate professor Ken Zaret hopes her successor will make a stronger effort to persuade lawmakers and taxpayers of the importance of basic research in alleviating public health problems--and reverse a trend toward funding mostly targeted research Page 12 RESEARCH HOT RESEARCH CITIES: An analysis by the newsletter Science Watch of the geographical origins of papers published in 1991 reveals, among other things, that, despite its political and economic troubles, Moscow led the list of top-25 cities in terms of research paper output Page 15 HOT PAPERS: A molecular biologist discusses his study of the p53 gene in cancerous tumors Page 16 TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY HELP IN ACQUIRING DATA: Scientists requiring substantial amounts of data acquisition are finding programs using Microsoft Windows generally a help, but sometimes a hindrance, to their studies Page 17 Builders of Windows-based data-acquisition software (see also the Scientific Software: Data Acquisition directory on page 23) Page 18 PROFESSION MATH GRADS' SALARIES: Salaries and job prospects in general for newly graduated mathematics Ph.D.'s fell in 1992, a reflection of generally poor economic conditions and their effect on academia, the major employer of these scientists Page 19 LAWRENCE M. KILLINGSWORTH, new president-elect of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, is calling for a nationwide mentoring program in his discipline Page 21 SHORT TAKES NOTEBOOK Page 4 CARTOON Page 4 LETTERS Page 12 CROSSWORD Page 13 OBITUARY Page 21 SCIENTIFIC SOFTWARE: DATA ACQUISITION DIRECTORY Page 23 (The Scientist, Vol:7, #9, May 3, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Medical Informatics: Where Life Sciences, Computer Science Converge Researchers who are trained in both areas of expertise are contributing to new, more effective biomedicine AU : FRANKLIN HOKE TY : News PG : 1 A decade or more ago, it may have been accurate to view computer science and the life sciences as distinctly separate research pursuits, with their practitioners most often possessing totally different skills, interests, intellectual inclinations, and research objectives. Today, however, the two pursuits have become tightly--even inextricably--interwoven. Biological researchers now must have a strong grasp on the sophisticated hardware and software tools of information science, and computer scientists who focus on the problems of manipulating biomedical information are among the leaders in their discipline. Progress in the flourishing field of medical informatics underscores the close ties that have developed between these formerly disjunct pursuits. In this field, computer scientists have worked together with clinicians since the 1970s toward the development of expert systems for patient diagnosis and care. And, during that same time, data from biological sciences research--in genetics, molecular biology, and other areas--has virtually exploded. Here, too, the work of allied information scientists has been pivotal in effectively gathering, organizing, and making available to researchers massive data sets and bibliographic databases. Today, these broad categories of information research are progressively overlapping. One result is that a kind of interdisciplinary, mutually supportive information space, as some express it, is emerging. "A central theme of the biomedical enterprise is collaborative work," says Mark E. Frisse, library director and associate dean at the School of Medicine of Washington University at St. Louis, Mo. "Much of what we do in medical informatics really surrounds retaining what I call artifacts of our conversations, records of what we think and say to each other, be they in printed form, in databases, or in electronic mail. To me, medical informatics shares with other fields the goal of making those conversations as effortless and effective as possible." To a degree, the convergence of information resources reflects corresponding scientific developments in biomedicine, according to some scientists. "The science and the clinical sides are coming closer together in the real world," says Perry L. Miller, director of the Center for Medical Informatics at Yale University. "It makes sense for them to come closer together at the level of the informatics support." Miller cites the field of neuroscience as an example, in which people are gathering data at many different levels--at the level of genes, biochemistry, physiology, cellular activity, behavior, and anatomical structure. To understand what is going in their field, neuroscientists must integrate information from all these levels, he says. And their information resources must be able to mirror this need. "In all areas of biology, we're starting to gather massive amounts of data at a number of different levels," Miller says. "The only way we're going to be able to understand what it all means and how it relates to the processes of life is with a computer." He adds: "There seems to be a very rapidly accelerating set of activities, on both the clinical and the biological sides. Part of it is that everybody is starting to be networked. Part of it is the graphical interfaces that let you interact with the [information] easily. And part of it is that computers now are so ubiquitous, so cheap, and so powerful that some kind of critical mass has been reached." Different Names The best research in medical informatics necessarily draws on many types of training, and, perhaps for this reason, it sometimes goes by slightly different names. "Some of the labs around the country that do similar things to what we do would call their labs biomedical engineering," says Nunzia Giuse, a research assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. "Or they would call it artificial intelligence in medicine. You also find informaticians, people who have degrees in information science and library science. These are closely related, as well as computer scientists. But they're all doing the same thing." And it is clear that medical informatics has become a field of advanced research in itself. Graduates of medical informatics training programs are now involved in several commercial software research and development efforts, according to Frisse, some of which have no biomedical component. Alumni of the Stanford University medical informatics program, for example, now are contributing to computer science research efforts for Microsoft Corp., Redmond, Wash. And Donald A. B. Lindberg, director of the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Md., where a great deal of biomedi-cally related computer science research is conducted, has been appointed to head the group coordinating the High- Performance Computing and Communications ini- tiative. "We consider medical informatics to be a significant area of independent interdisciplinary research," says Edward H. Shortliffe, a professor of medicine and computer science at Stanford, "with ties to a variety of biomedical areas including clinical medicine and molecular biology." Certainly, the skills of computer scientists are central to the evolution of this informational enterprise. But their contributions must be melded with solid understanding of the biological sciences, say several medical informatics researchers, to ensure that the tools developed will best serve the research community. In this regard, writing the needed software is very much like other forms of writing, says James M. Ostell, chief of the Information Engineering Branch of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, Md. "One of the things that makes for a good writer is to understand the subject," Ostell says. "I could study books about war, but unless I've been a soldier, I'm not going to really get the feel of it. The same is true for molecular biologists." Perhaps for this reason, medical information scientists are often twice-trained--once in a biologically oriented discipline, and then again in computer science, or, sometimes, vice versa. John Wilbur, a senior scientist at NCBI, for example, is a board- certified internist with experience in molecular biology. He also has a Ph.D. in mathematics. "We do research on medical and molecular biology kinds of databases," Wilbur says. "And, certainly, my expertise in the area of biology has been a big help in constructing test databases, allowing me to make an analysis of the failures and be able to judge what's going on. At this point, my background has been mostly used in that way, though it's quite crucial in that way." A test database, Wilbur explains, is a set of documents and queries along with a set of answers as to which documents answer the queries. The information resources that scientists are developing draw from two broad approaches to information problems. Many people working in the medical informatics field are developing artificial intelligence (AI) systems, also known as knowledge- based or expert systems. Underlying these systems, often, are probabilistic programming tactics. Statistically based programs access the majority of the searchable bibliographic databases found in libraries and elsewhere, whether in an online, CD-ROM, or diskette format. While AI approaches are strongly connected with medical informatics, generally, and statistically based approaches with literature and gene-sequence databases, strategies are mixed and matched for optimal results. "I'm looking at knowledge-based methods, which can work with statistical methods in a kind of synergistic way," says Wilbur. "Probabilistic methods form the basis for what we call document neighboring, where we go through the whole database and find all close neighbors of all documents. We then store this. This turns out to be a very useful way of finding new documents, and is, in fact, more successful than a lot of the other methods that people have used." Document neighboring has been incorporated into a product from NCBI called Entrez, available in several formats. According to Ostell, Entrez offers a merge of all available DNA and protein databases as well as a subset of the biomedical literature database Medline. His group also is now in the process of including a database developed at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, N.Y., that will give users access to three- dimensional crystal structures of DNA and protein molecules. In addition, a client server version is now in final beta testing and will be available online via the Internet soon, according to Ostell. This version lets NCBI provide a "generic back end," he says, consisting of the several basic data files, while search software on the client's end can vary. That software may be the tools package provided by Entrez, or it may be customized software created by the client. "That means that we can take advantage of the creativity of the entire programming community," Ostell explains. "So, we can let many flowers bloom at the client end. Entrez is but one flower-- it happens to be our flower--but we would expect and encourage many other styles of using that information to develop without us changing what we're doing at this end." Information scientists working in the biomedical arena point out that their emerging research discipline is not so much a separate entity somehow servicing the biomedical community--it is, in fact, an integral part of that community. "I would hate to give the impression that the role of the medical informatics professional is to build tools for use by the more traditional biomedical research community," says Stanford's Shortliffe. "Medical informatics researchers are biomedical researchers, albeit in a specialized interdisciplinary area that requires them to have broad familiarity with biomedical application domains as well as the underlying computer science and decision science topics." David Gelernter, an associate professor of computer science at Yale University, puts it this way: "The basic premise of medical informatics is that there is such a thing as the body of medical information and that this huge, amorphous, and constantly expanding body is a topic worthy of study in its own right." The Information Space The concept of a collaborative workplace created by and consisting of scientific communications raises subtle questions about the nature of information and of the user's relationship to it. Ostell speaks of "being able to traverse a very heterogeneous, linked information space." As he describes it: "The way we envision working in that area is that you don't actually attempt to put all these different things into, say, a single monolithic database that you then query. Instead, what you do is you build a set of linked databases and data analysis tools that each have their own unique properties but share a way of hooking themselves together. That way they can each have the properties that are appropriate for them to have, but you can move among them as your needs change. We are building that kind of a system." "And there are all the issues of navigational views," adds Frisse at Washington University. "How does one get about in that space? When one has a book or a library, one has a large number of visual cues that can tell you where you are in the space, whereas when one is scrolling through a screen or popping up windows, one can easily get lost and not know where one is within an information space." Diana E. Forsythe is an anthropologist at the University of Pittsburgh who has worked within the medical informatics community for several years, helping to change the view of what constitutes relevant medical information. "One thing anthropologists do is simply pick out assumptions," Forsythe says, "and it struck me that [medical informatics researchers] were defining information in a narrow way, as stuff that's written down in books and journal articles. "It's a classic library approach, which is not wrong, but there's a lot of informal knowledge, local knowledge, specific knowledge, that isn't in textbooks. I started documenting that and feeding back to people in medical informatics that there were information needs that they weren't thinking about that might also be supported through the use of automation." "In order to understand how to support collaborative work in information management," Frisse says, "one must surf across a lot of different kinds of waves. It's not for the faint hearted. It really isn't." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #9, May 3, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Scientists Express Relief As Francis Collins Is Named New Director Of NIH Genome Project Investigators foresee the agency's program taking on a strong disease-gene focus under his leadership AU : SCOTT VEGGEBERG TY : News PG : 1 Scientists associated with the Human Genome Project seem relieved by last month's official appointment of Francis S. Collins to head the National Institutes of Health's component of this enormous international undertaking. Collins's selection as director of the National Center for Human Genome Research brought to a close an unexpectedly protracted search for a successor to former genome head, the charismatic James Watson. Among those who effusively praised the appointment was Michael Gottesman, the project's former acting director. "No one is happier than I am," he told The Scientist just before the April 7 news conference formally announcing the selection of Collins as head of the NIH project. Gottesman has good reason to be pleased: Former director Watson had vacated the post last spring after tangling with NIH director Bernadine Healy over gene patenting policy (Scott Veggeberg, The Scientist, May 25, 1992, page 1). And what Healy subsequently predicted would be a six-month search for a new director dragged on to a year, with Gottesman balancing his acting genome director role with responsibilities as chief of the Laboratory of Cell Biology at the National Cancer Institute. Moreover, according to Gottesman, although Collins's appointment by Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala had been considered a virtual fait accompli by many genome scientists for at least the past six months, there had been rumors circulating almost to the day of the announcement that Collins would not be coming to NIH. But in the end Collins finally did agree to come, to the relief not only of Gottesman, but of others who want to see the NIH genome sequencing program back under the purview of a permanent leader. "It will be really refreshing and wonderful to have somebody over there who can make decisions that have long-term effect," says David Galas, who directs the Department of Energy's human genome program, with $66 million in funding for fiscal year 1993, most of which goes to centers at national laboratories. The counterpart NIH program received $106 million in funding and is primarily an extramural program. Also heartened by the appointment is Helen Donis-Keller, the Washington University geneticist who edited the recently released human genetic linkage map. "I've been concerned about the direction and the drift and a lack of a clear policy in this interim," she says. But Collins says he doesn't see any major problems that the interim period has wrought. Thanks to the continued efforts of genome scientists during this time, the project is in a state of "vigorous health," Collins says, with a physical map of the human Y chromosome having been produced, in addition to the Donis- Keller led development of a genetic linkage map of the entire human genome. Collins has left his position as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of Michigan and will bring about half of his current staff to occupy laboratories on the NIH campus. In addition, he says, he has tentatively recruited seven other independent investigators, including two from Michigan. Taken together, these researchers will form the core of a newly established intramural component of the NIH genome program. The intramural program is currently being funded via $10 million from an NIH director's discretionary fund, but in the next funding cycle NIH officials hope that Congress will allocate $25 million specifically for this component of the program. Collins says he plans to have a total of about 20 independent investigators at NIH by 1995. The new intramural program, combined with the existing extramural grants program, will also get a new monicker: the National Institute of Genomics and Medical Genetics. As director of the genome institute, Collins says, his style will be one of "building consensus and seeking advice, and then making firm decisions." Collins is certainly a noteworthy scientist, having, at age 42, already received the Gairdner Foundation International Award and the Young Investigator Award of the American Federation of Clinical Research, as well as honorary degrees from Yale and Emory universities. He also has some degree of household-name recognition, having been profiled in popular publications such as Time (Sept. 17, 1990, page 11) and USA Today (July 24, 1990, page 1D). He is most noted for his codiscovery--along with Lap-Chee Tsui, a geneticist with the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto--of the defective gene responsible for cystic fibrosis (B.S. Kerem, et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 87:8447, 1990). In fact, CF is one of the first diseases that gene therapists are trying to ameliorate by using a viral vector to carry in functional copies of the defective gene. In addition, Collins has been a major contributor to successful efforts to find the gene for Huntington's disease and neurofibromatosis. Collins brings a diverse background to the NIH genome project, having started his scientific career with a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Yale University, moving on to an M.D. degree at the University of North Carolina, and then returning to Yale to pursue human genetics and pediatrics. He joined the University of Michigan in 1984, became a Howard Hughes assistant investigator in 1987, and was made a full investigator in 1991. "You could argue that my whole career has been spent training for this job," he says. Despite uprooting his lab and taking on the directorship of the new genome institute at NIH, he says, "I'm absolutely determined not to lose my edge as a scientist." But, he acknowledges, "it will be a difficult thing to balance," especially with the genome project offices essentially right next door to his lab. He says his penchant for 90-hour work weeks will help make his dual role a working reality. Once his laboratory group gets set up in its new quarters at NIH, he says, "We'll continue to chase disease genes, and then figure out how they work once we find them." Their current pursuit is of a defective gene carried by 1 in 200 women, which imparts an 85 percent chance of getting breast cancer. In fact, he says, chasing disease genes will be the primary thrust of all the intramural researchers, with the development of "better diagnostics and human gene therapy" the goal. Efforts to sequence and map the overall genome will be concentrated in the extramural centers, such as the one at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he says. Donis-Keller, is concerned about Collins's possible overemphasis on disease genes and about his ability to be as open to input as former director Watson, who had long ago given up direct laboratory work. "Watson seemed to take input well and had no agenda from his own research," she says. At the time of Watson's departure, Salk Institute molecular geneticist Glen Evans told The Scientist: "I think his leaving is tragic, to say the least. Without his support and vision, the project wouldn't be going today." But today, Evans says the genome project has found a worthy successor to Watson, and he is confident that Collins can keep the program cohesive. "Francis is one of the few people I know of who has the ability to draw this program along as Jim Watson did," he says. And he says there can be no better spokesperson for the project than Collins, who is "perhaps the most well-known geneticist in the U.S. right now." DOE's Galas says that now that Collins is on the job, his top priority is to work with him toward "getting a really serious planning process in place for the joint project." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #9, May 3, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Is Emergence Of Two Molecular Evolution Societies A Sign Of Progress Or A Journal Publishing Face-Off? AU : RON KAUFMAN TY : News PG : 1 Early this year, the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution (SMBE) was officially established to provide molecular evolutionary biologists with information about their field. Just two months later, a different group of scientists formed the International Society of Molecular Evolution (ISME) with a similar mission. While both societies claim that the advancement of their discipline was an important motivation for their formation, the two sides also acknowledge that a significant reason for their existence is the promotion of their respective scholarly journals--a publishing, rather than scientific, matter. But some molecular evolutionists view the situation as a sign of healthy competition that ultimately will assist in the maturation of this still-evolving field. "I would never have started the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution if Springer-Verlag [New York Inc., sponsor of ISME and publisher of the Journal of Molecular Evolution (JME)] would have done what we wanted in the first place and lowered their journal's subscription price. The only reason [Springer-Verlag is backing ISME] now is because we exist," says Walter Fitch, president of SMBE and the editor of the society's journal, Molecular Biology and Evolution (MBE). In January, Fitch, head of the department of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Irvine, officially activated SMBE. The society had existed since the start of the journal in 1983, but in name only, since its sole members were the 44 participants on the MBE editorial board. Fitch says that adding the journal's 600 subscribers to its membership base will eventually make the society a "leading international organization for people who are interested in comparative DNA sequence analysis, which is molecular evolution." The society's first meeting will be held at the University of California, Irvine, July 8-10. Molecular evolutionary biologists from Japan and Australia as well as the United States are expected to attend. The bimonthly MBE was started to provide those studying molecular evolution with an affordable alternative to the higher-priced JME, says Fitch. Becoming a member of Fitch's nonprofit organization, and thereby subscribing to MBE, costs $54 for professionals and $43 for students. Fitch's society is being funded through a five-year, $60,000 grant from the New York-based Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The publisher of the society's journal is the University of Chicago Press, which also provides funding support for the publication. Meanwhile, Springer-Verlag, the sponsor of ISME, publishes the 22-year-old JME, a monthly journal with subscriptions costing $740, generally affordable to only large institutions or libraries. The company, founded in Berlin in 1842, claims it is the world's second-largest publisher of scientific periodicals. In February, according to Shawn Morton--a Springer-Verlag assistant journal editor--the publishing company made inexpensive personal subscriptions to JME available for $99 through membership in ISME. The group gained 100 members in its first eight weeks of existence, society officials say. The acting president of ISME is Giorgio Bernardi, a molecular biologist at the Laboratoire de Gentique Moleculaire in Paris. Its organizers expect ISME to be incorporated by the year's end; at that time an official governing body will be voted on by the members. Fitch says the journal rivalry that spawned the two societies represents a pragmatic concern for researchers in the discipline as well as a difference in approach to servicing molecular evolutionary biologists. "A scholarly journal is something that should be designed not for libraries, but for scholars," says Fitch, who will resign his post as editor of MBE in July and concentrate on his role as president of the new society. Fitch was an associate editor of JME from 1976 to 1982. He quit, he says, because he became disillusioned with the subscription pricing policies of Springer- Verlag. "We started this whole journal as a basis for making the field approachable at a reasonable price to the members and practitioners in the field," Fitch says. He also asserts that Springer-Verlag's creation of ISME two months after he officially established his society shows "they are clearly worried about us." Data in the Journal Citation Reports published by the Institute for Scientific Information in Philadelphia show that papers published in Fitch's MBE are, in fact, cited at a higher rate. In 1991, the last year of available statistics, MBE's impact factor--a ratio calculated by dividing the number of citations in a given year by the number of papers published during the previous two years--was 4.13. The impact factor per article for the competing JME was 2.97. But Emile Zuckerkandl, editor-in-chief of JME, contends that a harmony between the two groups can be found. "The creation of this second society [ISME] was not done in the spirit of competition with the existing society," he says. "On the contrary, it is hoped there will be collaboration of the two and the subscribers can very well be part of both." Yet, he also maintains that the ideal situation for molecular evolution would be to have one journal. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #9, May 3, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : NRC Digests Critiques Of Its Science Education Standards AU : RON KAUFMAN TY : News PG : 3 Participants in an elaborate National Research Council (NRC) program aimed at establishing national K-12 science education standards are currently reviewing hundreds of critiques of the program's progress to date. The evaluations have been solicited during the past six months from scientists, scientific societies, and a broad range of other interested individuals throughout the United States. As initially conceived more than two years ago, the final version of the curriculum standards--basic descriptions of what both students and teachers in grades K through 12 should know about science--was slated for publication at the end of 1994. It now appears, however, that the thoroughness with which the project participants are conducting the evaluation phase may delay publication by as much as a year. Says Bruce Alberts, incoming director of the National Academy of Sciences, which oversees NRC activities: "The critique and consensus part is important if we're going to get people to buy into using the standards, but it makes the process very difficult. I think we're on the fast track.... So I'm not sure if the time schedule is realistic." Alberts, a professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, who will take over the NAS helm on July 1, adds: "The quality of the effort is the main thing. I would much rather see it done well and released at the end of 1995 than to have it done in a mediocre way and out at the end of 1994. "If I have anything to say about it, we won't issue [the standards] till we're happy with them." Explaining the need for receiving extensive comments on the proposed standards, Elizabeth Stage, director of the Critique and Consensus Program, says: "When the final version of these standards is published, implementation [will be] entirely voluntary. So we feel very strongly that a consensus must be achieved; it has to be evident that everybody was heard and everybody's views got consideration." The council hopes the standards will be used by school administrators to provide guidance in science classrooms on a national scale. The project was conceived nearly two years ago by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and NRC--the principal operating agency of NAS (Ron Kaufman, The Scientist, July 6, 1992, page 3). Stage's Critique and Consensus Program began six months ago, when a document presenting a first draft of the proposed education standards was distributed to science education societies and concerned individuals across the U.S. The document, entitled "National Science Education Standards: An Enhanced Sampler," contained a rough version of the standards' general framework-- the result of 12 months' work in Washington, D.C., by nearly 100 scientists and educators. In the seven weeks following the release of the first sampler in November, the Critique and Consensus Program office was showered with more than 500 responses. Three months ago, a second sampler was published, this time incorporating in its text the solicited opinions. The project's coordinators say they are receiving responses from this second update at an even faster rate. In addition to the suggestions provided by individuals, more than 135 different science societies have assigned liaisons to critique the NRC project. They include groups with a broad membership base, such as NSTA and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as those representing women and minority populations. "We're proactively going out and soliciting the opinions of groups who have been historically left out of mainstream science education," says Stage, a science and math education professor on leave from the University of California, Berkeley. Such groups include the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science, the National Alliance of Black School Educators, and the Association for Women in Science. What Are Standards? "One of the best metaphors to explain these standards is that they're criteria that allow a local school district, teacher, or state to judge their curriculum--but not to replicate it as their curriculum," explains Harold Pratt, a retired high school science administrator from Colorado and a consultant to the NRC project. In the 12 months since the first meeting of the NRC National Committee on Science Education Standards and Assessment (NCSESA), what Pratt calls "a rough and starting outline for standards in the physical and biological sciences" has been written. Each scientific category--the standards will eventually be composed of at least seven--has been divided into three developmental stages for primary and secondary education: grades K-4, 5-8, and 9-12. The standards then define "Fundamental Understandings" recommended to be achieved at each stage. These "understandings" include basic scientific facts, theories, and modes of inquiry. For example, in a section called Life Sciences, at the K-4 stage, students need to learn the basic information that all species vary and that green plants make their own food, according to the sampler. The 5-8 stage advances to discussions of simple cell biosis and photosynthesis. And in grades 9-12, the standards say, required knowledge includes a more complex understanding of how DNA can mutate and how cells create energy. Pratt says the project's working groups have drafted two-thirds of the standards' final science content. They still need to compile standards for the physical and space sciences, as well as standards for the basic knowledge teachers should possess and the resources that need to be provided by the school districts. Though the next full meetings for the members of the NRC working groups are not scheduled until June and July, the Critique and Consensus Program will continue to request comments and incorporate them into the standards. Some of those involved in the process of creating the standards hope federal lawmakers will see their efforts as justification for pumping more money into precollege science education. "Every school needs a science materials center like it needs a football team," says Alberts, a leader of the City Science Program, a project designed to reeducate elementary science teachers in San Francisco over a four-year period. He says along with the standards, a major public relations campaign must be waged to influence the federal government to support more science education in the U.S.'s 16,000 school districts. Sandra Mclain, a first-grade teacher at the Joseph Keels Elementary School in Columbia, S.C., and a member of the standards project, agrees. "Yes, it's going to take money," she says. "The teacher can no longer have just one Bunsen burner and the whole class watches. The children must experience these things, not only for science. Conducting classroom experiments teaches higher-level thinking skills and problem-solving." She says that for decades, science has taken a back seat in elementary education. She hopes the construction of national standards will make science more important to individual teachers as well as provide ammunition for greater funding requests of the federal government. However, Paul Saltman, a professor of biology at the University of California, San Diego, believes neither standards nor money will make an impact. "Without good teaching, there isn't an educational enema around that can shove the knowledge into the kids," he says. For example, Saltman claims that 92 percent of elementary teachers in San Diego have not had one full year of college science. "It's easy to set standards. What's hard is putting it together and seeing that the teaching is good. . . . The key is improving the richness of the knowledge of teachers." He says the education of teachers is a deeper and more complicated problem. Productive efforts include Alberts's in San Francisco and Saltman's similar summer teacher reeducation program in San Diego, called the Science Institute for Elementary and Secondary Teachers (Judy Berlfein, The Scientist, Oct. 16, 1989, page 19). Mclain, however, expresses optimism that the standards' release will start a chain reaction in U.S. schools: "Educators are hungry for these standards. We are hungry for change and want to know how to change things. We're hungry to know about the good methods. We're hungry for the ability to allow children to experience science this way. "And we're looking to this as a vision for the future." To receive a copy of "National Science Education Standards: An Enhanced Sampler," write to the National Science Standards Project, Critique and Consensus, NRC, 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W., HA 486, Washington, D.C. 20418; or call (202) 334-1399 or fax to (202) 334-3159. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #9, May 3, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : NOTEBOOK TY : News PG : 4 It's Official At its members' meeting on April 13 in Research Triangle Park, N.C., the Association of Biotechnology Companies (ABC) voted unanimously to merge with the Industrial Biotechnology Association (IBA), forming a new group called the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). The merger becomes official July 1. IBA members had also unanimously endorsed the merger at their meeting in February (Notebook, The Scientist, March 8, 1993, page 4). "I expected a strong vote, but I never expected unanimity," says BIO president Carl Feldbaum. "This gives us enormous momentum in getting the merger done and moving forward as one unified organization." Though the two groups had held opposing positions on several matters (Barbara Spector, The Scientist, Feb. 22, 1993, page 1), Feldbaum says, "We've resolved 99 percent of the issues that had divided the two organizations." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #9, May 3, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: Going To Market Another topic near and dear to the hearts of ABC constituents-- financing--was addressed at the meeting as participants heard a pitch from the chairman of the American Stock Exchange to look to his organization as a source of backing for biotechs in the future. James R. Jones pointed out to his audience that an expected change in the tax code supporting savings and investment will make low-cost capital available to biotech firms. Jones said the AMEX market is an improvement over venture capital, commercial bank lending, attempts at mergers with pharmaceutical and health care companies, and even other stock exchanges, citing such attributes as: a relatively stable trading environment; allowances AMEX provides to companies that make heavy early-stage investments in R&D; the creation of an Emerging Company Marketplace for companies too small to qualify for a regular AMEX listing; and Corporate Focus and Security Analyst Forums that bring young companies to the attention of the worldwide investment community. "Clearly the equity markets are the way to go. For many of you, it will ultimately come down to which market can best serve your needs," Jones said. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #9, May 3, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: Popularity Pole Last December, Penn State astrophysicist Aleksander Wolszczan won the highest scientific honor from his native Poland, the Prize of the Foundation for Polish Science. One month later, the citizens of Torun, Poland, participating in a poll conducted by a local radio station, voted him its third most popular person for 1992. Wolszczan lived in Torun, the birthplace of astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, for 15 years prior to emigrating to the United States in 1982. Wolszczan made headlines in January 1991 when he published in the journal Nature (355[6356]:145) the first discovery of planets revolving around a pulsar outside our solar system. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #9, May 3, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: Burying The Hatchet The bitter, two-year battle between the prestigious Philadelphia- based Wistar Institute and longtime director Hilary Kaprowski, who brought the biomedical institution to prominence over three decades, is over. According to published reports, a lawsuit filed by Kaprowski against the institute was settled April 7, minutes before the trial was to begin in United States District Court in Philadelphia. Kaprowski brought the suit in February of last year, alleging that age discrimination led to his ouster as director of the institute after 34 years, and his replacement by former Wistar associate director and cancer researcher Giovanni Rovera in March of 1991. Kaprowski also charged that Wistar officials harassed and retaliated against him after his removal as director. Wistar officials maintained that Kaprowski refused to cooperate with the board of directors in their attempt to implement changes to deal with a mounting financial crisis at the institute. The argument reportedly engulfed the staff of the institute in an internal battle that threatened its future (Jean Wallace, The Scientist, March 2, 1992, page 1). Both parties refused to discuss terms of the settlement, according to the reports, and Rovera will continue as director and Kaprowski as a researcher at the institute. Under the famed virologist and immunologist's direction, the 101-year-old institution created the first vaccine for German measles, developed improved vaccines for rabies, and helped develop monoclonal antibodies as diagnostics and therapeutics. During his tenure, the institute grew from about six laboratories and five senior scientists to about 50 labs and 70 senior scientists with an operating budget of approximately $30 million. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #9, May 3, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: Change At USGS Dallas Peck, the 11th director of the 114-year-old United States Geological Survey, resigned April 13 and will pursue full-time field research for the agency. Peck, 64, had been USGS director since 1981 but now says, "It is time for me to return to active research." His specialty is volcanology and the geology of California and the Pacific Northwest. During his tenure at USGS, Peck emphasized what he calls "the science of global change," which is the long- and short-term changes and processes of the Earth's ecosystems. He received his Ph.D. in geology from Harvard University in 1960. The director's post is appointed by the president for an indefinite term, traditionally on the recommendation of the National Academy of Sciences. At press time, a successor to Peck was yet to be selected. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #9, May 3, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : The Envelope, Please ... 1993 National Academy Awards AU : BARBARA SPECTOR TY : News PG : 8 The National Academy of Sciences presented 17 awards on April 26, honoring 20 individuals for their outstanding contributions to science. Several of the honorees, whose accomplishments have been celebrated time and again in the scientific community--such as Gairdner Award winners Bert Vogelstein and Stanley Prusiner--are old hands at accepting such prizes. But one awardee, who is more comfortable discussing barnacles than buckyballs, says he was "very, very definitely surprised" to learn that NAS had selected him to receive an award. "I don't consider myself a scientist. I never had good academic training," says Olin J. Stephens II, who received the Gibbs Brothers Medal and a $5,000 prize from the academy for outstanding contributions to naval architecture and marine engineering. Nonetheless, he notes, "scientific knowledge has contributed a great deal to sailing boat design." Stephens's yacht design and brokerage company, New York-based Sparkman & Stephens Inc., which he cofounded in 1929, designed six winners of the America's Cup, including two vessels that won the title twice. He retired from the company in 1978. "A lot has come to the yacht-designing fraternity from the aeronautical field," the octogenarian Stephens notes. While in the past, yacht designers tested their creations by using small models, the advent of the computer and the use of computational fluid dynamics have resulted in a transformation of the art, he says. Stephens attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1926-27 and then dropped out. His nautical successes began with Dorade, a vessel he designed for his father that was sailed by Stephens and his brother Rod, who later joined the company. Dorade won a 1931 transatlantic race and the Fastnet Race in 1931 and 1933. Highest Honor The academy's highest honor, the National Academy of Sciences Public Welfare Medal, was presented to Jerome B. Wiesner, president emeritus and Institute Professor, emeritus, at MIT. The award, a bronze medal with no cash prize, honors his "devoted and successful efforts in science policy, education, and nuclear disarmament and world peace." Wiesner, 77, joined MIT in 1942. During World War II, he was a leader in the development of radar. In 1945, he worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory, returning to MIT in 1946. From 1961 to 1964, Wiesner was special assistant for science and technology and chairman of the President's Science Advisory Committee under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. He was named MIT's provost in 1966 and president in 1971. In 1973, he was instrumental in founding the Office of Technology Assessment. He retired in 1980. "The most important thing that I've done in public service," Wiesner says, "is to fight against nuclear weapons." His activism for this cause almost cost him his job as Kennedy's science adviser, he recalls: "A lot of people told him he shouldn't hire me because I was active in disarmament--and he said that's why he hired me." Wiesner laments the fact that since the 1960s the power to make recommendations concerning the military has not been included in the presidential science adviser's charter. "That has been the most important thing that has needed to be done," he says. "Now that we're cutting back on the military, we have to do the right things so we get more bang for the buck. We can no longer afford to do crazy things like the B-2 bomber." Because expenditures for military R&D have been so high, Wiesner says, without the ability to give counsel to the president on military matters, the office of the science adviser is "almost irrelevant." Ill-advised military spending has contributed significantly to the problem of the deficit in the United States budget, he says. "The best example of wasted work was when [President Ronald] Reagan started Star Wars without any consulting with scientists. Even his science adviser [George A. Keyworth II] didn't know he was going to start it. It was a terrible waste of billions and billions of dollars; no science adviser would have ever okayed it." Although Wiesner suffered a stroke in 1989, he is still active; earlier this year, a booklet, Beyond the Looking Glass: The United States Military in 2000 and Later, which he wrote along with MIT physicists Philip Morrsion and Kosta Tsipis, was published by MIT's Program in Science & Technology for International Security. Where Credit Is Due Also recognized by the academy were two contributors to the Big Bang theory who, some observers now believe, were unfairly overlooked for the Nobel Prize. Ralph A. Alpher, Distinguished Research Professor of Physics at Union College, Schenectady, N.Y., and Robert Herman, L.P. Gilvin Centen- nial Professor, emeritus, at the University of Texas, Austin, received the academy's Henry Draper Medal and split the accompanying $10,000 award. In the 1940s, Alpher and Herman--now 72 and 78, respectively-- developed a theoretical relativistic model of the evolution of the universe. They predicted the existence of a microwave background radiation left over from the Big Bang in a 1948 paper (R. Alpher, R. Herman, Nature, 162:774, 1948), followed up by a series of articles that received little attention. "We personally tried to get people in our areas to measure [the radiation], but they said it was beyond their capabilities," says Alpher. "By 1955, we sort of gave up. We were disappointed to be told over and over that it was not possible to detect this radiation with state-of-the-art technology. In retrospect, some people suggest it probably might have been." Then, in 1964, Arno Penzias and Robert W. Wilson of AT&T Bell Laboratories accidentally detected the radiation--for which they could not find an explanation--while working on a radio dish. Meanwhile, a group of Princeton University researchers led by Robert H. Dicke and James Peebles learned of Penzias and Wilson's discovery. In back-to-back papers in the Astrophysical Journal (R.H. Dicke, P.J.E. Peebles, et al., Astrophys. J., 142:414, 1965; A.A. Penzias, R.W. Wilson, et al., Astrophys. J., 142:419, 1965), the Bell Labs group reported on the discovery and the Princeton group reported on its significance--without reference to the papers by Alpher and Herman. In 1978, Penzias and Wilson received the Nobel Prize for discovering the cosmic background radiation, but, as Dennis Overbye points out in Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos (New York, HarperCollins, 1991), "nobody got a prize for predicting it." Alpher and Herman wrote in Physics Today (41[8]:24-34, 1988) that ".<|>.<|>. we have derived enormous pleasure from the creative process, considerable pain from lack of appreciation of our work, and some measure of satisfaction and pleasure from realizing that at long last some scientific colleagues view our early contributions as meritorious." Editorial Excellence Among this year's NAS honorees, the only woman was Janet Taylor Spence, Alma Cowden Madden Professor of Liberal Arts and Ashbel Smith Professor of Psychology and Educational Psychology at UT- Austin. She received the National Academy of Sciences Award for Scientific Reviewing, a prize of $5,000. Because more effort now is being expended to encourage women to go into science, Spence, 69, speculates, "we'll see more women getting awards in the future, simply because there'll be more to choose from." If this doesn't happen, she says, "we'll have to look strongly at what we're doing." Spence, a former president of the American Psychological Association, is being honored for "her pervasive and generative influence upon virtually all of the contemporary scientific literature of psychology as editor, author, and policy-maker." She says the increasing abundance of journals is partially "an inevitable consequence of the growth of science--there's a lot of very useful science going on by more and more scientists, and we need more and more outlets." But skyrocketing journal prices result from the appearance of more specialized journals that are targeted toward a small audience, she says, and eventually, cash- strapped libraries will be forced "to pick and choose among the ones that they absolutely need." Noting that her award is cosponsored by the Philadelphia-based Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), along with the Palo Alto, Calif.-based Annual Reviews Inc., Spence says that libraries may have "to drop obscure publications that have very little influence as determined by citation counts," ISI's area of specialization. Acknowledging that such specialized publications contain "the very occasional article that's just what somebody needs," she says that the wave of the future may be to "make the information available by other means, like an online set of abstracts" with the option of obtaining a full document. "That may have to be the way to go," she says. Spence apparently does not need to worry about the possibility that her own work will fall into obscurity. Her book Masculinity and Femininity: Their Psychological Dimensions, Correlates, and Antecedents, written with R.L. Helmreich (University of Texas Press, 1978), has been identified by ISI as a "citation classic," having been cited in more than 700 publications. Oft-Honored Scientists Adding NAS awards to a long list of prizes they have already earned for their scientific achievements were Stanley B. Prusiner, a professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine; and Bert Vogelstein, director of the molecular genetics laboratory at the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center at Johns Hopkins University Medical School. The two share the Richard Lounsbery Award, consisting of a vermeil medal, a $50,000 prize, and a $20,000 travel stipend, honoring their extraordinary achievements in biology and medicine. The award is presented in alternate years to researchers from the U.S. and France to stimulate scientific exchange between the two countries. Vogelstein, 43, is the discoverer of a series of genetic changes that are responsible for the formulation and progression of colorectal cancer. His collection of prizes includes the Gairdner Award in 1992 and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cancer Research in 1990. Prusiner, 50, is being honored for his work on genetically transmitted neurode-generative diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Huntingdon's. The Gairdner Foundation recently announced that Prusiner will receive a Gairdner Award in October. Last year, he garnered a Charles A. Dana Award. Another familiar face among the honorees was that of F. Sherwood Rowland, Donald Bren Professor of Chemistry at UC-Irvine. Rowland delivered the Robertson Memorial Lecture of the National Academy of Sciences, focusing on his work, the day of the award ceremony; the lectureship was accompanied by a $7,500 prize. Rowland, 65, chairman of the board and past president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is renowned for his 1974 discovery that chlorofluorocarbon gases deplete the ozone layer of the stratosphere. Among his many honors are a Dana Award (1987) and the Japan Prize (1989). Other Awardees In addition to the frequently touted Vogelstein, Prusiner, and Rowland, the academy singled out for recognition the work of the following ground-breaking researchers: * John A. Simpson, Arthur H. Compton Distinguished Service Professor of Physics at the University of Chicago's Enrico Fermi Institute, received the academy's Arctowski Medal, as well as a $20,000 prize and an additional $60,000 to go to an institution of his choice. Simpson, 76, has built scientific instruments for 31 spacecraft, including the current Ulysses mission to the poles of the sun. * Hiroo Kanamori, John E. and Hazel S. Smits Professor of Geophysics and the director of the seismological laboratory at the California Institute of Technology, was selected for the Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship. The 56-year-old recipient of the $20,000 prize is expected to give four to six lectures at the institution of his choice. At press time, Kanamori had not yet decided where he will give the lectures, although he had indicated that he plans to discuss the development of seismology over the past 20 years. * R. Eric Betzig, 33, a member of the technical staff in the semiconductor physics research department at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, N.J., received the $15,000 National Academy of Sciences Award for Initiatives in Research, given to recognize innovative young scientists. Betzig developed a near- field scanning optical microscope, "which extends the resolution of optical microscopy far beyond the diffraction limit to dimensions as small as one-fortieth of an optical wave length," according to the award citation. * Erwin L. Hahn, an emeritus professor of physics at UC-Berkeley, and Charles Pence Slichter, a professor of physics and chemistry at the Center for Advanced Study, University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign, shared the $20,000 Comstock Prize, awarded for an important investigation in electricity, magnetism, or radiation energy. Hahn, 71, was cited for his discoveries in magnetic resonance and coherent optics. Slichter, 69, was singled out for his contributions to the application of magnetic resonance in condensed matter. * Nick Holonyak, Jr., 64, John Bardeen Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, took the $25,000 National Academy of Sciences Award for the Industrial Application of Science for his work on semiconductor materials and light-emitting diodes. * Boris Magasanik, 73, Jacques Monod Professor of Microbiology at MIT, received the $5,000 Selman A. Waksman Award for his research on catabolite repression, amino acid metabolism, and regulation of nitrogen metabolism in bacteria. The award honors excellence in microbiology. * Richard H. Holm, 59, Higgins Professor of Chemistry at Harvard University, got the National Academy of Sciences Award in Chemical Sciences, a bronze medal and $10,000 prize, for his research on metal clusters and metalloproteins, "unifying the fields of inorganic and biological chemistry," according to the award citation. * Harold S. Johnston, 72, a professor of chemistry at UC- Berkeley, garnered the National Academy of Sciences Award for Chemistry in Service to Society, accompanied by $20,000, "for his pioneering efforts to point out that man-made emissions could affect the chemistry of the stratosphere." The $35,000 Troland Research Award, honoring work in experimental psychology, went to 38-year-old Steven Pinker, a professor of cognitive science at MIT, for his research on visual perception and the acquisition of language. Another MIT researcher, Peter S. Kim, 35, an associate professor of biology at the school as well as a member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and an assistant investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, took the National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology, a gold medal and $20,000 prize, for his work "that has elucidated both the pathway of protein folding and mechanisms of macromolecular recognition." The National Academy of Sciences Award for Behavioral Research Relevant to the Prevention of Nuclear War, a $5,000 prize, went to septuagenarian Thomas C. Schelling, Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Political Economy, emeritus, at Harvard and Distinguished Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at the University of Maryland, College Park. Schelling was honored "for his pioneering work in the logic of military strategy, nuclear war, and arms races." The awards were given at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., during the academy's 130th annual meeting. At press time, the ceremony had not yet taken place. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #9, May 3, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : To Jobless Scientists: Don't Give Up... You Can Pursue Your Research AU : Catherine Reed TY : Opinion PG : 11 Editor's Note: Like many in the science community, ecologist Catherine Reed is deeply concerned about current problems hampering the careers of researchers throughout the United States: the job shortage, the difficulty of securing adequate funding, limited opportunities for professional advancement, and so forth. However, while lamenting the existence of these problems, Reed--a research associate in the department of entomology at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul--believes that even the most painful situation of all, joblessness, need not prevent a dedicated, resourceful researcher from pursuing her or his scientific mission. In the following essay, which appeared originally in the Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America (73:4, December 1992), Reed advises jobless scientists on ways in which they can continue their investigations. She says that her advice-- directed especially at those who are not totally dependent on elaborately equipped labs--is drawn from her personal experience. The number of people trained for and committed to doing scientific research continues to increase, while the number of research positions in academia, industry, and government continues to decline. Thus, many qualified scientists are unable to find jobs that include any research at all. Many people have left science for more promising fields, but others still hope to make lives in science for themselves, and continue to work on the margins. Here is some advice for those who want to continue research, but have no job. * Find at least one institution and one individual to facilitate your work. You will need some kind of title and letterhead, a library, the use of computers, and the advice and encouragement of other scientists in order to apply for grants and continue research. Apply for a nonposition, such as research associate, and plan to find your own funding. Emphasize what you can do for the institution. You may be rejected for reasons unrelated to your qualifications, but as professors continue to retire and are not replaced, there will be more space available at colleges and universities. Support your institution by helping your coworkers and saying good things about them. The institution, of course, receives credit for your excellent work. * Develop a long-term research project and keep working on it as much as possible; don't just go from grant to grant. Follow the attraction; choose a project you love, even though it may not be the trendiest. The marginal worker is in an ideal position to do work that is outside the mainstream or crosses disciplinary boundaries. * Develop a cheap project. Do your research locally and make it applicable to local conservation, agricultural, or educational concerns. In the field of ecology, for example, there is a major need for projects that bring together theory, long-term observations, and practical approaches to human-environmental relationships. Look around for data that have been collected but not analyzed, and integrate these with your original work. As you begin work, ask around for supplies and equipment before considering buying anything. * Look for alternative funding sources, including local agencies and foundations whose actions may be influenced by the results of your work. Your state department of natural resources, as well as native plant societies, conservation groups, and clubs, may benefit from scientific input, and their members are valuable sources of information about local plant and animal communities, environmental issues, and study sites. Applied projects may receive funding from commodity producers' groups. If your project has an educational application, this, too, may tie into some funding source. * Develop alternative labor sources. Especially for summer field projects, you may be able to get help from summer programs for science teachers or high school students. Volunteers may be recruited from environmental groups. Another possibility is labor exchanges with other workers, including graduate students, if your busy seasons don't overlap. * Maintain your graduate school contacts. Develop new contacts by writing and calling people and organizing meetings locally. Seek out people who respect you. Speak to local groups. Attend expensive national meetings only if you have a specific goal that can be met solely in this way. * Model your life on the artist's life. Many people throughout history have supported their main interest or obsession with part-time jobs. Computer-related tasks, scientific writing and editing, consulting, or other science-related work may bring in enough income to keep you going. There is always a need at colleges and universities for people to teach courses the regular faculty don't want to teach (usually the big, non-major survey courses). Or follow Darwin's example: Let your spouse support you (which is still easier for women than men). * Keep your expectations low. Getting grants will not be easy. An adjunctship will not lead to a faculty position; a courtesy position will not lead to a regular job; a faithful volunteer will be kept as a volunteer, not offered pay. If an opening does come up at your institution, it will go to someone "better qualified" (has a good job already) or with "higher potential" (just finished a Ph.D. and hasn't been unemployed yet). Don't expect anything special because you're a woman or a minority; although there are many programs to increase the number of women and minorities in science, very little money goes to aid them in their research. Instead, the money goes to institutions and administrators working to increase the enrollment of female and minority students. * Keep your self-confidence high. It's easy to become bitter seeing others no smarter or harder-working than you ensconced in seemingly secure positions in academia or industry--but don't let this destroy your pleasure in your work. There are many more serious environmental questions than there are scientists to solve them, and anyone who is willing to work can make valuable contributions to both theoretical and applied ecology. Work at whatever level is possible for you. Respect yourself for your devotion to science. "Never complain, never explain" is a good motto. Don't commiserate with your professional colleagues--save this for family and friends. Maintain your spirits with anti- establishment rituals such as resume burnings and by partying with people who enjoy life. It is a rare privilege to study a part of the natural world thoroughly and intimately; appreciate this. Catherine Reed is a research associate in entomology at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul. Copyright 1992 Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America. Reprinted with permission. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #9, May 3, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: COMMENTARY AU : Ken Zaret TY : Opinion PG : 12 TI : How Healy's Successor Can Maximize The Harvest Of Advances From NIH. Many scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health would agree that Bernadine Healy has done a superb job of increasing the awareness of the agency's importance among Congress and the public. Now that she is departing, however, many scientists hope that the high-profile position of director will be filled by someone with views different from hers about how to achieve spectacular advances in health research. Scientists have been accused in the recent past of failing to answer the "billion-dollar" question of how best to apportion the NIH budget. However, many of us feel that the major problem is that spending policy is becoming dictated ever more by what makes good politics rather than by what makes good science. The public continually expects fundamental advances in the prevention and treatment of disease, which leads NIH administrators to ask: What is the most effective way to distribute funds for basic biomedical research? Top-level administrators who work hard to solicit funds for NIH from Congress--and who also determine how the money will be spent-- have not liked the answer that the basic research community gives. That is, experience proves that investigator-initiated, untargeted research provides the greatest strides forward, establishing paths that are obvious for targeted research to follow. Moreover, key NIH officials and certain members of Congress and the executive branch have been rejecting this advice--despite the fact that basic research scientists are the ones expected to provide biomedical advances. Instead, they prefer to target far more spending on specific health problems that exist today, and on technologies that would enhance the current economic climate. No one would dispute the importance of these concerns, but those of us who perform basic research are sounding the alarm that the overemphasis on these priorities will create a dangerous deficit in the wellspring of fundamental discoveries needed to solve biomedical problems of the future. NIH-funded basic scientists have told the administrators that $1 billion is currently necessary to maintain untargeted research, and we have balked at shortsighted attempts to target research funding. The government's response this past year was to cut tens of millions of dollars from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, which sponsors the most fundamental research performed by NIH. The political appeal of seeking funding support tied to specific biomedical objectives is obvious; Congress and the public will believe that the most pressing issues are being addressed, although future progress will suffer. I suggest that this approach cynically underestimates the sensibility of many voters and taxpayers in the United States. When I am asked about the research in my laboratory, which is funded by NIH, I respond that we study basic mechanisms of cell differentiation and gene regulation. Those who inquire further discover that we use liver cells as a model system, and are surprised that I don't describe our research as liver-disease- oriented. However, virtually every lay person I have talked to has been able to understand how important it is to learn more about fundamental aspects of how cells work before we can develop dramatic new breakthroughs in the treatment of disease. Medical doctors understand this point; their professional associations pay keen interest to basic research laboratories, inviting principal investigators to give major talks on their findings at annual meetings. Surely, members of Congress and the executive branch can understand the necessity of investigator-initiated research, but only if they hear about it from the top administrators at NIH, as well as from scientists at the bench. Explaining untargeted funding takes extra effort and patience, but it is essential if we want to solve health problems. Ken Zaret is an associate professor in the section of biochemistry of Brown University's Division of Biology and Medicine, Providence, R.I. His views on NIH biomedical funding have also appeared in the New York Times (Nov. 24, 1992, page A14). (The Scientist, Vol:7, #9, May 3, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: LETTERS TY : Science Dropouts TI : Opinion (Letters) PG : 12 I was amazed to read the news story on the science dropout rate (Franklin Hoke, The Scientist, Jan. 25, 1993, page 1) and find no discussion of the relation to minority and female participation. Yet, as far as the future is concerned, this is the center of gravity of the problem. While the educational pipeline leading to technological careers has never had more than a fraction of the minority and female candidates needed, in recent years this fraction has declined drastically as the candidate population has become increasingly minority-female. The phenomenon of dropouts has always been greatest among minorities and continues to increase. As the gender-race composition of the student population changes, we face the alarming prospect of a continual increase in all levels of science dropout and a continual decline of college- and graduate- level science students. As these trends become entrenched, basic science will be hardest hit and American science will face a major decline. No doubt, this process, already under way, will be well advanced early in the 21st century. What can be done about this? To my mind, Draconian measures are necessary on at least two fronts. First, science education has to begin earlier and become more intense earlier; we must have many more elementary science teachers and new, more effective teaching approaches. Second, beginning immediately, we must improve the presentation and teaching of science in minority colleges and high schools and for women students. Consider, for example, Afro-American students studying science at historically black institutions and community colleges--at least two-thirds of the science candidate pool. These students receive their science primarily from non-Ph.D. sources and from very few instructors active in research. Thus, all the other factors currently depressing interest in science are further confounded by the circular, negative effect of the lack of role models. This only strengthens the TV-articulated, socioculturally elaborated mythology excluding minorities and females from white-male- dominated science. What will we do in 2010 or 2020, when white males are the least numerous group in the student population? Now that the Cold War has ended, can we transfer science/technology personnel and technology dollars to science education? Can we do an essential and massive reconversion of military science-related human and financial resources to peacetime, education-related science? AU : ROBERT J. RUTMAN Professor Emeritus Biochemistry and Molecular Biology University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine Philadelphia PA. 19104 (The Scientist, Vol:7, #9, May 3, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : Electronic Publishing TY : Opinion (Letters) As clearly stated in articles in the Feb. 8, 1993, issue of The Scientist by Joshua Lederberg [page 10] and Eugene Garfield [page 12], "the future is now." Increasingly, publishers are discovering that the use of paper and ink for the publication of scientific information is no longer the only vehicle for communication. Both nonprofit and for-profit publishers are exploring electronic media. For the American Physiological Society (APS), that search has resulted in the publication of the society's journals on the National Research and Education Network (NREN)/Internet. Using the Gopher protocol, APS has established an information server that posts the tables of contents of the society's journals up to four weeks in advance of the publication date. Similarly, plans are moving forward to post the abstracts of these articles at the same time as the table of contents. The use of NREN/Internet will improve the scientific community's access to the literature, allowing scientists without direct access to the printed journal to have the scientific literature at their fingertips. The future might even allow them to request reprints of the posted articles at the time of publication-- "reprints on demand." AU : Martin Frank Executive Director American Physiological Society Bethesda, Md. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #9, May 3, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ WHERE TO WRITE: Letters to the Editor THE SCIENTIST 3501 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19104 U.S.A. Fax: (215)387-7542 Email: 71764, THE SCIENTIST welcomes letters from its readers. Anonymous letters will not be considered for publication. Please include a daytime telephone number for verification purposes. ================================ NEXT: RESEARCH TI : Citation Study Reveals Moscow As Leader In Research Paper Publishing TY : Research PG : 15 Editor's Note: In 1991, the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) indexed nearly 600,000 scientific papers that had been published during the course of that year. Subsequently, editors of the ISI newsletter Science Watch, in an effort to determine where in the world all this productivity was coming from, analyzed the author addresses on all the papers indexed and came up with a number of interesting conclusions, geographically speaking. Science Watch found, for example, that more than 150,000 of the papers published that year were generated in only 25 cities around the world. Furthermore, it discovered that the No. 1 city worldwide in terms of sheer numbers of research papers produced was not, as one might expect, in the scientifically preeminent United States. Nor was it in Japan, or even in Western Europe. It was Moscow that led the pack, despite the chaos in Russian politics and economics that, in 1991, was rapidly mounting and posing well-publicized threats to the former Soviet Union's scientific establishment. That Moscow has remained so strong in its research paper output-- at least through the end of 1991--is perhaps attributable to the strict centralization of scientific facilities in the Soviet Union. Although St. Petersburg may run a distant second, Moscow is where the vast preponderance of Russian science is done. Note in the accompanying table that no other Russian or former Soviet Union cities made the top 25, while the United States had 14 cities, the United Kingdom and Japan each had three, and Canada had two cities on the list. In its analysis, Science Watch also compared each of the 25 cities' scientific publication output with its 1981 record. It found that the Japanese city of Osaka, while ranking 10th on the 1991 list, had made the largest gain among the leading cities in productivity during the 1980s--its total of 5,408 papers was up by 57.3 percent over its 1981 total. Following is the Science Watch report, published originally in the newsletter's December 1992 edition, and presented here with the permission of Science Watch and ISI. Science Watch surveyed all papers indexed in the Philadelphia- based Institute for Scientific Information's (ISI's) Science Citation Index during 1991 and determined the 25 cities that produced the most papers. For these 25, Science Watch calculated the percentage increase in their output of research reports from 1981 to 1991. Production of most things in Moscow has been falling lately, but scientific papers seem the exception. Moscow turned out the greatest number of papers worldwide in 1991--nearly 15,000 of them. Close behind was London, with just over 14,000. Boston/Cambridge, Mass., came in third, Tokyo was fourth, and New York took fifth place. In this analysis, Boston/Cambridge, as well as San Diego/La Jolla, Calif., and Stanford/Palo Alto, Calif., were treated as single municipalities, although, speaking legally, they are, of course, separate entities. Science Watch decided that if two cities had contiguous borders, the two should be counted together. City boundaries are, after all, artificial units of division when it comes to scientific research. Regions are no less artificial but are perhaps even harder to define. Of the 25 areas identified as the top producers, 14 are U.S. cities, three are British, three are Japanese, two are Canadian, and one each is located in Russia, France, and Germany. In terms of growth, the rising star among the nations represented is Japan. Papers from Osaka increased 57.3 percent from 1981 to 1991, while those from Kyoto rose 43.0 percent and those from Tokyo shot up 41.1 percent during the decade. Other big movers among the group were Oxford, England (+47.1 percent), Baltimore (+44.7 percent), Ann Arbor, Mich. (+43.9 percent), and Montreal (+41.3 percent). Finally, the skewed distribution of this data set should be noted. These 25 cities account for approximately one out of every four research papers indexed by ISI in 1991. This illustrates the impressive concentration of scientific activity on the planet in a very small number of locations. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #9, May 3, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : THE WORLD'S RESEARCH-RICH CITIES TY : Research PG : 15 RANK CITY 1991 PAPERS PERCENT CHANGE 1981 TO 1991 1 Moscow 14,541 + 7.3 2 London 14,051 +11.4 3 Boston/Cambridge, Mass. 12,480 +18.4 4 Tokyo 11,582 +41.1 5 New York 8,551 + 6.8 6 Paris 7,964 +11.4 7 Los Angeles 6,601 +13.6 8 Bethesda, Md. 6,233 +13.3 9 Philadelphia 6,183 +19.0 10 Osaka, Japan 5,408 +57.3 11 Washington, D.C. 5,388 + 1.4 12 Chicago 5,174 - 0.9 13 Baltimore 4,933 +44.7 14 Houston 4,911 +27.9 15 San Diego/La Jolla, Calif 4,740 +32.3 16 Stanford/Palo Alto, Calif 4,201 +16.3 17 Seattle 4,055 +22.8 18 Berlin 4,040 +15.0 19 Ann Arbor, Mich. 3,907 +43.9 20 Montreal 3,895 +41.3 21 Toronto 3,887 +32.2 22 Cambridge, U.K. 3,850 +30.4 23 San Francisco 3,773 +20.2 24 Kyoto, Japan 3,679 +43.0 25 Oxford, England 3,597 +47.1 SOURCE: Science Watch/ISI's Science Citation Index, 1991 (The Scientist, Vol:7, #9, May 3, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : HOT PAPERS MOLECULAR BIOLOGY TY : Research PG : 16 J. Bartek, J. Bartkova, B. Vojtesek, Z. Staskova, et al., "Aberrant expression of the p53 oncoprotein is a common feature of a wide spectrum of human malignancies," Oncogene 6:1699-1703, 1991. David Lane (Cancer Research Campaign Laboratories, Dundee, Scotland): "One in three people will develop cancer, and one in four will die of the disease. While much progress has been made in treatment of certain relatively rare types of cancer, there has been little improvement in the survival of adults who have the common types of solid tumors. One of the difficulties in trying to imagine how to develop novel agents that might have general application in the treatment of cancer has been the diversity of cell types and sites in which the disease develops. This diversity has also been reflected in the molecular changes found in cancer cells. The recent discovery that mutations in the p53 gene occur at high frequency in all the common human solid tumors has, therefore, generated great interest. One of the surprising features of the p53 system has been the unusually wide spectrum of mutations found. Most tumors show loss of one p53 allele and a point missense mutation of the other allele. This is consistent with loss of wild type function of p53 in tumors, but the high levels of expression of mutant p53 in tumors has also suggested that the expression of the mutant protein may provide an active growth advantage to the tumor. "Our study has provoked a lot of interest because we were able to show that altered expression of p53 protein is a common feature of many tumor types and that this could be detected in routine histological material with suitable anti-p53 antibodies. Several recent studies have suggested that those tumors that show high- level expression of p53 have a worse prognosis than those that do not, making p53 expression a potentially important marker and a target for therapy. Recent interest in p53 (D.P. Lane, et al., Nature, 358:15-6, 1992) has centered on a growing understanding of its biochemical properties as a DNA-binding protein, combined with biological studies that suggest it may act as a tumor suppressor gene by arresting cell division in cells exposed to DNA damage. These discoveries inspire hope that the p53 protein and the biochemical pathways it controls may provide excellent targets for the development of a whole new range of anti-cancer agents of great specificity and broad application." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #9, May 3, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : HOT PAPERS PLANT SCIENCE TY : Research PG : 16 H. Barbier-Brygoo, G. Ephritikhine, D. Klambt, C. Maurel, et al., "Perception of the auxin signal at the plasma membrane of tobacco mesophyll protoplasts," The Plant Journal, 1:83-93, 1991. Hne Barbier-Brygoo (Institut des Sciences Vegtales, CNRS, Gif sur Yvette, France): "The plant hormone auxin regulates developmental processes by controlling cell division, cell elongation, and cell differentiation. Although several auxin-binding proteins (abp) have been described, their functional analysis has been limited by the lack of suitable assay systems. We showed that auxin induces variations of the transmembrane electrical potential difference of isolated protoplasts (naked plant cells after removal of their pectocellulosic wall). This cellular assay of auxin activity is used in this paper to investigate the perception of the hormonal signal. We demonstrate that the membrane response involves tobacco auxin-responsive proteins located at the outer face of the plasma membrane. These proteins were antigenically and functionally related to ZmER-abpl, the major auxin-binding protein from maize coleoptile. This brought evidence for a possible receptor function of ZmER-abpl. But, at the same time as this abp bearing a C-terminal KDEL sequence was supposed to reside in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum, this raised puzzling questions as to the organization of the auxin perception unit at the plasma membrane. "This paper proposes a working model whereby a functional auxin perception unit at the cell surface would be formed by the association of a secreted abp with a transmembrane protein essential for the transmission of the auxin signal. This model is currently being further explored by several groups, including ours, along two complementary lines. The first one is to `fish' for the putative transmembrane protein interacting with abp. The second one is to investigate a possible escape of a fraction of ZmER-abpl from ER retention and, thus, its passage to the plasma membrane through the secretory pathway. Since the paper appeared, new developments consisted of exploring the function of different domains of ZmER-abpl. In cooperation with M. Venis (Horticultural Research International, East Malling, U.K.), we could show that an antibody to a short region of ZmER-abpl exhibited auxin agonist activity in our membrane response (M.A. Venis, et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 89:7208- 12, 1992). These results, recently confirmed by patch-clamp studies on protoplasts from maize coleoptiles (A. Ruck, et al., Plant J., in press), point to this region as an essential portion of the auxin-binding site. These ongoing studies should provide further insight into the mechanisms of auxin perception by plant cells." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #9, May 3, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : HOT PAPERS PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY TY : Research PG : 16 G. Gensterblum, J.J. Pireaux, P.A. Thiry, R. Caudano, et al., "High-resolution electron-loss spectroscopy of thin films of C60 on Si(100)," Physical Review Letters, 67:2171, 1992. Amand Lucas (Institute for Studies in Interface Sciences, Namur, Belgium): "To study thin films of C60 deposited on various substrates, we applied the technique of HREELS, in which electrons--backscattered from the film surface--are analyzed to detect the energy losses they suffer during their interaction with the C60 molecules. "Because one can sweep the vast spectrum of energy losses extending from the far infrared (a few meV) to the far ultraviolet (a few tens of eV) in one experiment, the method gives access to the characteristic excitations of the molecular film from phonons to plasmons. "We started with disordered layers of C60 on Si and, more recently, we have succeeded in preparing and measuring highly ordered films deposited on the layered materials GaSe and GeS as well as on passivated SiH surfaces. Film order turns out to greatly influence the spectra (G. Gensterblum, et al., Applied Physics A, in press). In the IR, we identified the peaks, among many others, due to the optically active modes and determined their accurate oscillator strengths for excitation by low-energy electrons. Such results may prove useful for analyzing the electron-phonon coupling and the superconductivity of the fullerides. "In the visible spectrum, we measured the electronic excitation gap and several p electronic transitions with a resolution of 0.05 eV. The exciton-like structure that we found in the gap inspired theoretical work on correlation effects by R.W. Lof and colleagues (Physical Review Letters, 68:3924, 1992). In the UV, we assigned the high-energy component of the characteristic 6 eV doublet to a collective resonance in the p-electron system. The doublet originally showed up in the optical absorption of the raw carbon soot produced by the Huffman-Kratschmer method and helped in identifying the presence of the fullerenes in the soot. Although this feature has not been detected in the ultraviolet extinction hump of any star, the search goes on for fullerene- like carbon in the interstellar dust. In the vacuum UV, we found a broad s-plasmon peak confirming results of XPS and high-energy EELS. Other works have since been devoted to studying the plasmons in C60 (A. Bulgac, et al., Physical Review B, 46:4297, 1992)." (The Scientist, Vol:7, #9, May 3, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TOOLS & TECHNOLOGY TI : Boosting A Lab's Data-Acquisition Power With Windows AU : CAREN D. POTTER TY : Tools & Technology PG : 17 If you buy a new personal computer (PC) today--assuming it's not a Macintosh model from Apple Computer Inc., Cupertino, Calif.--it will come with a graphical user interface (GUI) called Windows from Microsoft Corp., Redmond, Wash. Although Windows has been described as "clunky" and "a poor excuse for a GUI," it does bring certain benefits to scientists who use PCs for data acquisition. Only three Windows-based data-acquisition programs currently are on the market, but all three take advantage of Windows to get around some of the problems that have plagued PC-based data acquisition in the past. However, scientists should not assume that Windows is the answer to all their data-acquisition concerns. In certain high-speed situations, Windows might actually hinder data acquisition, according to one source. The current version of Windows, 3.1, is not an operating system in and of itself. It is additional software that runs in conjunction with the traditional PC operating system, Microsoft's DOS (disk operating system). Windows brings that "Macintosh-like" look to DOS computers, incorporating pull-down menus (lists of operations from which the user may select), icons (screen display images that represent files and applications), and, of course, windows (framed areas of the display) in which applications run. There is no question that a PC equipped with Windows is easier to learn and use than one with just DOS. But it's what Windows does behind the scenes that's more important to scientists using PCs to automate data acquisition. For example, Windows overcomes the limited amount of memory (640 kilobytes) accessible by DOS. Another Windows feature called dynamic data exchange (DDE) lets users transfer data between applications in real time. This is not possible under DOS. And unlike DOS, which can run only one program at a time, Windows permits multitasking--multiple programs running simultaneously. "Windows was the answer to our needs," says Jack Barber, LabVIEW marketing manager at National Instruments Corp., Austin, Texas. "It let us provide on the PC the technology we had on the Macintosh computer for many years." National Instruments' Windows-based data-acquisition software is called LabVIEW for Windows. The other two Windows-based packages currently available are LabTech Notebook for Windows from Laboratory Technologies Corp.--also called LabTech--of Wilmington, Mass., and Snap-Master for Windows from HEM Data Corp. of Southfield, Mich. To illustrate some of the practical benefits of running data- acquisition software un-der Windows vs. running that software under DOS alone, consider the underwater treadmill system developed for physical therapy clinics by Cal-Bay Controls Co., San Leandro, Calif. "An underwater treadmill is used for physical therapy after hip and knee surgery," explains company vice president David Weisberg. Using LabTech Notebook for Windows, Weisberg wrote an application that controls the treadmill and collects data about its use by each patient. The data acquired include distance covered by the patient, speed and direction of travel, water temperature, and water depth. The system includes a database that keeps track of patients. When a physical therapist types in a patient's name, the computer displays the settings and results from his or her last treadmill run. For this application, two features of Windows were important, according to Weisberg. First, the graphical nature of Windows simplifies system operation and lets therapists learn it quickly. Second, Windows' multitasking capability makes it possible to keep certain operations running continuously in the back- ground. For example, the system constantly monitors water temperature and operates a pump to keep water circulating through a filter. "This can all be happening while the therapist is using the computer for something else, like entering patient information," says Weisberg. "This was not possible with DOS." Another program called Carbon Copy, from Microcom Inc. in Norwood, Mass., also runs continuously in the background. Carbon Copy lets an off-site user access the computer through a modem connection. In this application, the treadmill vendor, who rents the treadmill to the therapy clinic, calls up and accesses patient information to see how much time the treadmill was used, for billing. Windows' way of handling computer memory is another feature that sets it apart from DOS, and one that is especially important for data-acquisition applications. "Data acquisition and instrument control applications can be very memory-intensive," explains Barber of National Instruments. "The more memory in the computer the better, but with DOS, an application can access only 640 kilobytes." Windows breaks the 640-kilobyte barrier in two ways. First, it can access the full amount of memory contained in the computer. If a computer is equipped with 8 megabytes of random-access memory (RAM), for instance, Windows can access all 8 megabytes. Second, Windows supports "virtual memory," which uses part of the hard disk as memory when more is needed. Dana Redington, a psychophysiologist in the MacArthur Foundation program on conscious and unconscious mental processes and a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, says, "Windows lets you collect large data sets that DOS would not handle without some type of third-party extended memory system. With Windows you can collect horrendous amounts of data." DDE is another Windows feature that holds benefits for data- acquisition applications. "DDE lets two applications communicate," explains Barber. "With DOS, you collect data, store it to a file on the hard disk, and then another application picks it up off the disk. That's not as efficient as DDE." DDE permits a direct transfer of data between different software applications in real time, or reasonably close to real time. For example, information collected by a data-acquisition program can be transferred to an Excel spreadsheet as it is being acquired. The spreadsheet file will be continuously updated as new data comes in. It is even possible to pass data between applications running on different computers. This is a function called Net DDE provided in a "superset" of Windows called Windows for Workgroups. As Barber explains, "The DDE protocol, as defined in Windows 3.1, lets two applications on the same computer share information. Windows for Workgroups has a feature called Net DDE that lets you do that over a network. This is useful for data acquisition and instrument control because it gives you the benefit of multiple processors. One processor can get bogged down trying to acquire data with one application and do something else to it with another. Net DDE lets you share the load between two computers' processors." LabVIEW for Windows supports both DDE and Net DDE. In the underwater treadmill application developed by Cal-Bay Controls, DDE was not used to pass information between applications. "We could have used DDE but LabTech didn't support it at the time," explains Weisberg. "So we just pass files back and forth." Because a program runs under Windows does not mean it supports all the functionality of Windows, and this is something potential Windows users should realize. "Windows is still new to a lot of people," explains Fred Brown, applications engineer at HEM Data Corp. "There's no way to know if you're getting all the features. For example, the first version of our program Snap-Master for Windows did not support DDE because we didn't understand it fully." Similarly, the first Windows version of LabTech Notebook did not include DDE support, but current releases of both packages do support DDE. Brown suggests that scientists "browse sales literature and get a demo," to determine if a Windows-based package lives up to all of Windows' capabilities. The most significant concern regarding Windows and data acquisition, however, involves the speed at which the data are acquired. Data- acquisition applications must keep pace with data generation, and, as Brown says, "The perception that Windows is clunky is not unjustified." Since Windows is a layer on top of DOS, it adds one more computational step to the already complex process of displaying information on the screen. "Because Windows is graphically intensive, it takes a lot more of the computer's horsepower than DOS," Brown adds. In the underwater treadmill application, speed was not a concern for Weisberg because he was sampling data at the relatively slow rate of once per second. "Windows doesn't have a problem with that," Weisberg says. "But for some scientific applications where you're sampling in the megahertz range [1 million samples per second], Windows can be a limitation, certainly." The problem is primarily in the display of data, according to Brown. "At HEM Data, we've done benchmarks for displaying data on screen. Our Windows package has about 85 percent capability of the original DOS package." There is no loss of speed for writing data to disk under Windows, he adds, because "the software has been optimized to get every data point at the correct time." Snap-Master for Windows supports the maximum speed of every compatible data-acquisition board up to one megahertz, Brown says. The high-performance specifications of newer PCs (386 and 486 processors, with one or more megabytes of RAM) can offset slow Windows performance to some extent. "When you compare Windows to the Macintosh environment or to windows interfaces on UNIX, many people will tell you it's a poor excuse for a GUI," says UC-San Francisco's Redington. "Microsoft Windows is not as high- performance as other windows interfaces, but today's hardware partially compensates for that." For this reason, older PCs do not make good Windows platforms. In fact, the minimum suggested configuration for running Windows is a PC equipped with a 386 processor. Scientists using older models should stick to DOS and DOS-based data-acquisition software, suggests Brown. The lion's share of compensating for the speed limitations of Windows has fallen on the vendors of data-acquisition software. "National Instruments had to do a lot of extra work to achieve the performance we wanted for our application," says Barber. "We could write entire dissertations about how we got around the clunkiness of Windows to assure that we can keep up with our high-speed data-acquisition boards." The difficulty of programming in Windows, especially a time- critical application such as data acquisition, partially explains why there are so few Windows-based data-acquisition programs being sold. "You can- not just bring a program from DOS and add a few icons," says Brown. "It takes a higher level of programming expertise and a greater investment to come up with a robust software solution for Windows." Version 3.1 isn't the end of the story for Windows or Windows- based data acquisition. This month, if all goes as anticipated, Microsoft will unveil the eagerly awaited Windows NT (New Technology), a completely new operating system that does not require DOS. And not too long afterward, scientists should begin seeing Windows NT-based data-acquisition software. What new functionality will these packages bring to the lab? Stay tuned. Caren D. Potter is a freelance science writer based in McKinleyville, Calif. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #9, May 3, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : WINDOWS-BASED DATA-ACQUISITION SOFTWARE TY : Profession PG : 19 The following companies make data-acquisition software products discussed in the accompanying article. HEM Data Corp. 17336 Twelve Mile Rd. Southfield, Mich. 48076-2123 (313) 559-5607 Fax: (313) 559-8008 Laboratory Technologies Corp. (LabTech) 400 Research Dr. Wilmington, Mass. 01887 (508) 657-5400 Fax: (508) 658-9972 National Instruments Corp. 6504 Bridge Point Parkway Austin, Texas 78730-5039 (512) 794-0100 (800) 433-3488 Fax: (512) 794-5974 (See also the Scientific Software: Data Acquisition directory on page 23.) (The Scientist, Vol:7, #9, May 3, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: PROFESSION TI : Recession Subtracting Much, Adding Little To Fortunes Of New Math Ph.D's Who Teach AU : EDWARD R. SILVERMAN TY : Profession PG : 19 Median salaries for newly graduated mathematics Ph.D.'s obtaining teaching positions rose only slightly in 1992, according to a recent survey conducted by the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). The relatively small increase was due to the recession and reduced hiring at colleges and universities, mathematicians say. Moreover, the survey revealed that the unemployment rate for new Ph.D. recipients hit 12.7 percent last year, up from 11.4 percent in 1991 and the highest reported level since 1975. The total number of new Ph.D.'s who found employment in the United States declined by 8 percent from the level reported in the fall of 1991. The survey, which was conducted during the 1991-92 school year, gathered responses from academic math departments as well as 422 degree recipients. AMS, based in Providence, R.I., has 31,657 members. MAA, headquartered in Washington, D.C., has about 32,000 members. It is unclear how much duplication there is in the membership of the two groups. Among the findings, the survey reported that the median salary for new Ph.D.'s paid on a nine-month basis in academia was $34,000 for men--representing a 3 percent increase over the 1991 figure--and $34,900 for women--a 5 percent gain. Women accounted for 21.2 percent of all new Ph.D.'s. The modest increases reflect a relatively low rate of inflation last year--about 3 percent--and the stagnant rate of hiring by colleges and universities, which usually absorb the majority of new Ph.D.'s. In some cases, salaries were raised to compensate for years in which starting pay didn't increase over the previous year's figures. The survey also found that U.S. institutions awarded 1,050 math Ph.D. degrees during the 1991-92 year, a slight drop from 1,074 the year before, although the number of U.S. citizens receiving doctoral degrees was just 430, a record low of 42 percent, reflecting the continued influx of students from Eastern Europe and Asia. But experts say the most striking finding was the rise in unemployment, which they attribute to generally poor economic conditions that crimped academic budgets. That makes for a particularly difficult situation for new math Ph.D.'s, since nearly 80 percent traditionally enter academia, says D.J. Lewis, who chairs the mathematics department at the University of Michigan. "Schools aren't making replacements and, in some cases, are cutting faculty," he says. "U.S. universities think it's cheaper to use grad students as teaching assistants to teach, rather than tenured faculty.<|>.<|>.<|>. Many will use adjuncts. It's a slave market." In general, hiring by colleges and universities was down 17 percent last year, according to Donald Mc-Clure, a professor of applied mathematics at Brown University. And academic hiring was off 33 percent at departments granting Ph.D.'s in statistics. "I don't think it has anything to do with mathematics, specifically," says Donald Rung, a mathematics professor at Penn State University. "At the senior level, you're suffering from a general economic malaise. And at the junior level, there's a soft market because of the large number of Ph.D.'s out there." Indeed, Brown's McClure notes that this continues a trend that, two years ago, prompted one former Ph.D. student he knows to accept a job writing for late-night television host David Letterman and, last year, induced another Ph.D. graduate to find employment writing questions for a television quiz show in New England. Some say there's room for optimism if classroom sizes are reduced, which would bring about openings by creating a need for more instructors to teach the additional classes that would be required. "Every study shows that large lectures in calculus aren't good for average-to-below-average students if they're to be retained in the system," says Penn State's Rung. Even business and industry didn't offer much of an alternative for math Ph.D.'s. Of last year's 1,050 doctoral graduates, 110 found employment working for corporations or consulting firms, a drop from 139 in the 1990-91 school year, the survey found. This was due to belt-tightening at many major corporations, including IBM Corp. of Armonk, N.Y., and the Boeing Co. in Seattle. "Traditionally, a lot of people ended up working in industry, but things have changed," says Charlotte Lin, manager of research and development for AWACs at Boeing. "Not everyone will go off to Bell Labs. "Now, with big companies in trouble, there'll be more work at consulting firms or small companies. There's industrial work out there, but it's at the high-tech companies." Other findings reported in the survey: * Of the 648 new doctorates employed in the U.S., 538 hold jobs in academia. * The rate of unemployment is higher for non-U.S. citizens (14.2 percent) than for U.S. citizens (11.4 percent). * Among the 430 U.S. citizens receiving Ph.D.'s, six were African American and five were Hispanic. Both totals were lower than the previous year's figures. * The total number of female Ph.D. recipients who were U.S. citizens was 103, equal to 24 percent of all U.S. citizens who received Ph.D.'s. This was the second highest count ever reported. Edward R. Silverman is a freelance writer based in Millburn, N.J. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #9, May 3, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : STARTING PAY FOR NEW MATHEMATICS PH.D.'S IN TEACHING OR TEACHING/RESEARCH POSITIONS TY : Profession PG : 19 (NINE-MONTH MEDIAN SALARIES) All New Graduates Year Salary 1960 $ 6,500 1965 8,000 1970 11,000 1975 12,800 1980 17,100 1985 25,000 1989 31,000 1990 32,000 1991 33,000 1992 34,000 Men Year Salary 1989 $30,500 1990 32,000 1991 33,000 1992 34,000 Women Year Salary 1989 $31,000 1990 32,500 1991 33,200 1992 34,900 Source: American Mathematical Society/Mathematical Association of America (The Scientist, Vol:7, #9, May 3, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: PEOPLE TI : Clinical Chemistry Association's President-Elect Aims To Increase Viability Of The Organization AU : Ron Kaufman TY : Profession (People) PG : 21 The new president-elect of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC), Lawrence M. Killingsworth, says he plans to institute a program aimed at ensuring the 10,000-member organization's ongoing strength and viability. Killingsworth, 47, who directs the Clinical Chemistry and Immunology Laboratories at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Wash., says that a nationwide mentoring program should be implemented "to develop the leaders of tomorrow ... in the discipline of clinical chemistry." When he assumes the AACC presidency in January 1994, Killingsworth says, he will design a mentoring program to help AACC members not heavily involved in the association to become more familiar with its activities. "What this program will do," he says, "is take the core of really active local section members and officials, and reach out to some others who are members to get them more involved." AACC, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization with 22 local sections scattered across the United States, is composed of scientists in the fields of clinical chemistry, pathology, and medical technology. One of the group's major annual activities is the coordination of a national meeting, which serves as both a forum for scientific presentations and an equipment exhibition. The 1993 meeting will be held July 11-15 in New York City. The organization also produces a journal, Clinical Chemistry, which has a circulation of more than 15,000. Killingsworth says he will try to substantially boost the funding of the publication so that it "can continue being the premier journal in the field by attracting the leading articles, papers, and research accounts in clinical chemistry. The journal should grow as the field grows." Killingsworth's research specialty is in the development and application of immunochemical and electrophoretic techniques for protein analysis. He received his B.S. in chemistry from Emory University in 1968 and his Ph.D. in clinical chemistry from the University of Florida in 1973. He spent four years as an assistant professor of medicine and pathology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine before joining the staff of Sacred Heart in 1977. AU : Ron Kaufman (The Scientist, Vol:7, #9, May 3, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: PEOPLE TI : Washington U. Biologist Takes T Cell Post AU : Ron Kaufman TY : Profession (People) PG : 22 Una S. Ryan, formerly the director of health sciences at the Monsanto Co. as well as a professor of surgery, medicine, and cell biology at Washington University, both in St. Louis, has been hired as chief scientific officer at T Cell Sciences Inc., of Cambridge, Mass. Ryan, 51, who started her new job May 1, says she will try to balance her new position at T Cell Sciences with her post at Washington University, where she runs a lab with her husband, Allan D. Callow, a professor of surgery. T Cell Sciences uses the properties of T-cell antigen receptors to develop pharmaceutical products to treat inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, as well as cancer. However, Ryan says she has a particular interest in expanding product development based on advances in understanding the body's complement system--a group of proteins present in blood plasma and tissue fluid that aids the body's defenses following an immune response--and its role in inflammation. "Of the two systems of immune defense in the body, the complement system is probably biogenetically older than T cells," she explains. "Where T cells are white blood cells, the complement system consists of a cascade of molecules. It's a kind of molecular system of vigilance against invading pathogens and foreign substances." Ryan says she will push the advances that T Cell Sciences has already made in this area to include the evaluation of other molecules which may inhibit complement activation. Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Ryan went to college in Great Britain. She received her B.S. in zoology from the University of Bristol in 1963 and her Ph.D. in cell biology from the University of Cambridge in 1968. She was a professor of medicine at the University of Miami School of Medicine from 1972 to 1989. She joined Washington University and Monsanto in 1990. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #9, May 3, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================ NEXT: TI : OBITUARY TY : Profession PG : 21 Polykarp Kusch, a longtime professor of physics at Columbia University and winner of the Nobel Prize in physics in 1955, died March 20 at his home in Dallas. He was 82. Kusch was a co-recipient of the Nobel with fellow Columbia researcher William E. Lamb. They won the prize for determining the magnetic movement of electrons. Their work allowed scientists to explain electromagnetic phenomena using quantum theory. A native of Germany, Kusch received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Illinois in 1936. He joined the faculty of Columbia in 1946 and stayed until 1971. He then taught physics at the University of Texas in Dallas until his retirement in 1982. From 1962 to 1965, he served on the board of the Institute for Scientific Information, Philadelphia. (The Scientist, Vol:7, #9, May 3, 1993) (Copyright, The Scientist, Inc.) ================================


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