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NEWS
January 27, 1992 | BY CHARLES PILLER, From the New York Times
In the latest urgent call for improvements in primary and secondary schools a panel of experts and politicians has recommended national curriculum standards and tests. The message of the National Council on Education Standards and Testing, like that of an Education Department report in September, is that inadequate education, particularly in mathematics and science, threatens our economic well-being, national identity and democratic institutions. Conspicuously absent from the debate has been any mention of a political issue integral to the problem: Students' poor performance mirrors their parents' alienation from those who decide about the risks and benefits of science and technology.
NEWS
March 15, 2004 | By Robert S. Boyd INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
In a research program getting under way this summer, shipboard scientists will punch thousands of holes in the ocean bottom and take samples from greater depths than ever before. They will be investigating the biology, chemistry and physics of "inner space," the vast world hidden beneath the seas. The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, led by American and Japanese scientists, begins in June with a 10-month expedition to plumb the crust beneath the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The layers of rock below the seafloor are an archive of global change, tens of millions of years old, that scientists say can help them understand what's happening to our world today.
NEWS
May 24, 1990 | By Peter J. Shelly, Special to The Inquirer
Standing before a group of professional scientists, most of whom had their chins in their hands and were murmuring the obligatory "umm . . . interesting," Michael LaLena worked his way through a computer program that creates mazes and their solutions. He must have explained it pretty well, because within the hour the senior at La Salle College High School was given first prize at the Naval Air Development Center's first science fair. The fair was part of an open house Saturday at the facility in Warminster.
NEWS
August 17, 1988 | By Patrisia Gonzales, Inquirer Staff Writer
There she stood, this would-be open-heart surgeon, untangling cat intestines as she spoke of how she once had wanted to be a hairdresser. Chanel Reed, 14, had wanted to be a hair stylist because she liked being creative with her hands. But since she became part of Camden's pipeline to the sciences last year, her hands aim for higher pursuits. Now, she said, "I want to explore the body, explore what it can do, what goes on inside yourself, makes you tick. " Reed, who is entering her sophomore year at Camden High School, has participated for the last two summers in the Camden Science Pipeline, a three- year program designed to stir enthusiasm for math and science, to increase the students' chances at succeeding in those subjects in high school and college, and to help them make science a career.
NEWS
November 27, 1988 | By Jim Detjen, Inquirer Staff Writer
An international team of scientists, alarmed by the threat to the Earth's ozone layer, is gathering in California today to prepare for the largest study ever done of the Arctic atmosphere. During the next two weeks, they will fine-tune scientific instruments in preparation for a $30 million expedition involving 200 scientists from seven nations that will be centered in Stavanger, Norway, from late December through mid-February. The scientific team - which includes William Brune of the Pennsylvania State University - will use high-altitude aircraft, balloons, satellites and sophisticated computers to seek to understand how the ozone layer is being eroded by manmade chemical pollutants in the Northern Hemisphere.
NEWS
July 19, 1991 | By Jim Detjen, Inquirer Staff Writer
While scientists have known for some time how the AIDS virus destroys the immune system, they have not understood how it enters the brain and central nervous system. Today, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania report the discovery of a possible way that the AIDS virus infects nerve cells - through a certain "docking point" on a cell. "Until now this has been a big puzzle," said Francisco Gonzalez-Scarano, associate professor of neurology and microbiology at Penn. "We now believe we have discovered the mechanism by which this infection occurs.
NEWS
May 22, 1990 | By Jim Detjen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Hilary Koprowski, an internationally known scientist who helped develop vaccines against rabies and polio, was awarded the prestigious Philadelphia Award last night. The $25,000 award, which is given annually to a Philadelphian who has set an example by serving the "best and largest interests of the community," was presented to Koprowski during ceremonies at the College of Physicians at 19 S. 22d St. Koprowski, 73, is giving the award to the Wistar Institute, which he has directed since 1957.
NEWS
December 7, 1986 | By Lisa Ellis, Inquirer Staff Writer
For the initiated, the license plate says it all. GENOME is the moniker on Beatrice Mintz's light-blue Chevrolet in the staff parking lot at the Fox Chase Cancer Center. Lay folk who can't rattle off a definition of that word might prefer others to describe Mintz - words such as biologist, researcher, pioneer, member of the National Academy of Sciences and, as of last month, member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. But her vanity plate expresses in only six PennDOT-approved letters the subject of the life's work that has brought the Fox Chase scientist so many honors.
NEWS
July 23, 2005
Most members of Congress who want to unravel a scientific controversy call a hearing. There, witnesses with opposing views make their best case. Or they call the National Academies of Science or another independent panel for expert advice. Not Texas Republican Joe Barton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He has opted for a witch hunt. Last month, Barton launched an investigation into the research and backgrounds of three prominent climate scientists.
NEWS
March 16, 1986 | By Jim Detjen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Last spring, when physicist David Wright began asking Cornell University faculty members to sign a pledge refusing to participate in "Star Wars" research, a colleague told him he would be lucky if 10 percent agreed to sign. But Wright, who is now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, felt that it was important to take a stand against the Reagan administration's plan to develop a shield against nuclear attack. He felt that the Strategic Defense Initiative, commonly known as Star Wars, was both technically unworkable and morally wrong.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
January 20, 2015 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Evelyn Walker Armstrong, 87, of Jenkintown, an information scientist and philanthropist, died Saturday, Jan. 10, of multiple myeloma at her home in Rydal Park. Ms. Armstrong spent 43 years - from 1949 to 1992 - in scientific information services at the Merck Research Laboratories of Merck & Co. in West Point, Montgomery County, and in Rahway, N.J. As director of the Merck Literature Resources Center, she headed the design, development, and operation of eight information centers in research and operating divisions in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
NEWS
January 3, 2015 | By Mari A. Schaefer, Inquirer Staff Writer
George "Peter" Wachtell, 91, of Voorhees, a scientist who worked for decades at the Franklin Institute, died Wednesday, Dec. 31, at Cooper University Hospital after a short illness. Dr. Wachtell, born in 1923 in the Bronx in New York City, was something of a child prodigy, said his daughter Janet Wachtell Hadler. At age 11, she said, he wrote to Albert Einstein challenging the scientist's theory of relativity. Dr. Wachtell graduated from high school at 15 and was accepted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but because of his age, he attended New York University for two years first, Hadler said.
NEWS
January 1, 2015 | By Sandy Bauers, Inquirer Staff Writer
When Jason Weckstein looks at a bird, he doesn't just see a creature with feathers that flies. He sees the bird as a habitat of related creatures, a teeming community of wee beasties, some of which live - and feast - on its feathers, others that roam more widely and engage in more general mayhem, including gorging on the bird's blood. When he talks about these nasty things, his eyes light up and he smiles with pleasure. "When I'm in the field," he said, "when I'm out bird-watching, I think, 'Boy, I'd love to get the parasites off that host.' " Weckstein, 43, is an expert on chewing lice - about 4,000 of them are known to live on birds - and this year left the Field Museum in Chicago to become associate curator of ornithology at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.
NEWS
December 27, 2014 | By Jonathan Lai, Inquirer Staff Writer
With New Jersey's osprey population continuing to grow, state officials are turning to citizen observers and private groups for help monitoring a species considered an important indicator of environmental health. Researchers estimate there were 567 nesting pairs of ospreys in the state this year, according to a report released this week by the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife and a private nonprofit organization, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey. The report was based on ground surveys conducted by staff and volunteers in June and July.
NEWS
November 25, 2014 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Peter H. Sellers, 84, of Philadelphia, one of the early pioneers of DNA research, died Saturday, Nov. 15, of cancer at home. Dr. Sellers was the ninth generation of Philadelphia's first family of scientists and engineers, according to D. Vitiello, writing in Engineering Philadelphia, published by Cornell University Press in 2014. Beginning in 1966, Dr. Sellers spent 48 years as a senior research scientist at Rockefeller University. The university called him "a brilliant and pioneering mathematician whose [work]
NEWS
October 3, 2014 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
JUDY Spitzer suffered through two great upheavals in her life, one caused by human venality and the other by nature. As a teenager, she was caught up in the Holocaust, but managed through guts and ingenuity to escape the Nazis, who murdered her father and other family members. Then, 70 years later, Hurricane Katrina drove her and her husband out of New Orleans, where they were teaching at a medical school. Finally settling in the relative peace of the Philadelphia area, Judy could look back on a life of accomplishment realized in the toils of catastrophes that might have wrecked less fearless souls.
NEWS
September 14, 2014 | By Stacey Burling, Inquirer Staff Writer
It's getting harder to find the line between science and science fiction. One of the hot research techniques these days, "optogenetics," uses gene therapy to deliver light-sensitive proteins to specific cells. Then researchers use light to control the cells. The field got its start in the brain, where scientists have demonstrated the technique by making contented mice fly into a rage - a remarkable, if slightly creepy, achievement. Brian Chow, a University of Pennsylvania bioengineer, has bigger ambitions than that.
TRAVEL
August 24, 2014 | By Walt Tremer, For The Inquirer
The echoes of deep history were lying in the ground in front of me. As an archaeologist digging at a 10,000-year-old settlement on the outskirts of Bylany, Czechoslovakia, I held evidence of a long-gone culture gently and lovingly in my hands. A clay pot held by some young girl, a bronze pin worn by an ancient babushka, a rusted sickle blade swung by a calloused hand eons ago, they all spoke clearly to me. I had the wonderfully fortunate and fascinating opportunity to be a time traveler and to walk with the ancients.
NEWS
August 19, 2014 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
"Days since last rainfall?" "Well, yesterday we got a little bit. " "Water clarity?" "Looks pretty clear to me. " "All righty. Stream bed color?" "Brown," Doug McClure pauses, staring at the mud, "with green highlights. " "Odor?" Wendy McClure doesn't wait for her husband's answer. She spreads her arms wide and raises her nose to the sky: "Doesn't smell like much of anything. Just a creek. " The North Wales couple were on their first official field survey Wednesday as "Creek Watchers" - a group of 60 amateur scientists collecting water-quality data for the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association.
NEWS
August 5, 2014 | By Stacey Burling, Inquirer Staff Writer
While health authorities downplay the chances that the dreaded Ebola virus will reach the United States unintentionally, local infectious-disease experts say they are confident that medical personnel can keep the disease from spreading here the way it has in three West African countries. "The disease spreads easily in underdeveloped areas of Africa because they have few health-care facilities and the ones they do have are under-resourced," said Neil Fishman, an infectious-disease doctor at the University of Pennsylvania Health System.
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