Friday, 28 Feb 97 Washington, DC
1. JOINT STATEMENT CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO "REVERSE THE TREND."
President's FY 98 budget request marks the fifth straight year of decline in
the nation's science investment. Congress is left to pick and choose which
disciplines must bear the cuts. But scientific disciplines are
interdependent; advances in one opens doors in another. Their common language
is mathematics. As engineers turn scientific advances into new technologies,
the new technologies become tools for still further advances. At a press
conference on Tuesday, a statement signed by the presidents of more than 20
organizations spanning the spectrum from basic science and mathematics to
engineering will be released. Four presidents, Paul Anderson of the American
Chemical Society, Allan Bromley of the American Physical Society, Andrea
Dupree of the American Astronomical Society and Arthur Jaffe of the American
Mathematical Society will represent the signatories. They will stress the
need to increase research across the spectrum.
2. APS EXECUTIVE BOARD REAFFIRMS 1981 STATEMENT ON
Concerned with recent attempts to have the biblical
story of creation taught in public schools as science (WN 21 Feb 97), the Executive Board of the APS voted
unanimously to reaffirm the position adopted by the society 16 years ago. The
statement strongly opposes the teaching of "creationism" in science class:
"Scientific inquiry and religious beliefs are two distinct elements of the
human experience. Attempts to present them in the same context can only lead
to misunderstandings of both."
3. SCIENCE UPDATE: WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED LATELY?
see, first we found that the Mars fossils probably aren't (WN 27 Dec 96). Now a Canadian astronomer, David
Gray, claims that some of those planets orbiting other suns aren't either. A
group at DESY in Hamburg thinks they may have found a new particle they're
calling a "leptoquark." This happens from time to time, but they usually go
away. Back in December, Reuters carried a wire story about a room-temperature
superconductor discovered at the National Institute for Applied Science in
Lyon, France. The material is a LiBe hydride, which has a long chapter in
superconductivity lore. Alas, promised details have not been released. While
praising the cuisine in Lyon, one superconductivity expert told WN this is too
much to cook up. Oh yes! Clean Energy Technologies Inc. is offering the
Patterson Power Cell research kit for $3,750. It also transmutes elements at
no extra cost. Patterson demonstrated his device on ABC News a year ago(WN 9 Feb 96), claiming it put out 200 watts for every
one watt in. How did it work? He said he had no idea. He carefully avoided
the term "cold fusion."
4. THE CLONING OF DOLLY MAY BE THE ONLY UNDISPUTED
William Blake asked the question "Little lamb who made thee?" Peter Price says
in Dolly's case it was "a significant udder."