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Science and Resources: Prospects and Implications ofTechnological Advance. Edited by Henry Jarrett. Published for Resources for the Future, Inc. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1959. Pp. 250. $5.00. As man in our society achieves greater and greater control over his environment, forecasts ofscientific developments in the near future cease to be idle science fiction and become matters ofpublic planning and governmental policy. This book presents eighteen lectures given at the 1959 Resources for the Future Forum in Washington dealing with six areas "in which advances in the natural sciences are oflarge significance to resources and dieir management." Although the talks sometimes sound like amazing stories, the speakers are in fact distinguished and sober research scientists and industrial and government planners and administrators. Space prohibits naming diem all, but the lead essays on the different fields are by Nobel prizewinner George W. Beadle (Genetics); Professor Horace R. Byers (Weadier Modification); Professor John A. S. Adams (Exploring for Minerals); Earl P. Stevenson, Chairman ofthe Board ofthe Arthur D. Little Company (Chemical Technology); former AEC Commissioner Willard F. Libby (Nuclear Energy ); and CaI Tech President Lee A. DuBridge (New Knowledge from Outer Space). The lectures are clear, straightforward, and exciting. Beadle's paper (reprinted in BuIletin ofthe Atomic Scientists, November, 1959) is outstanding. One of die other authors says about it: "No audience of general readers has ever been given such a rapid and authoritative view of both the panoramic and the detailed biochemical-genetic aspects oflife." The agricultural genetics papers make the point that "today the average farmer in the United States is about forty times as efficient as his great, great, great-grandparents ofdie late eighteenth century. At the moment, agricultural efficiency is outrunning city efficiency." They emphasize the "trigger" role in social dynamics played by "agriculture's new multipliers"—that is, by genetics and nutrition studies and die related biochemical sciences. The papers on weather control emphasize the great possibilities and dangers of such control, both on a national and international scale; and the need for much more basic research and controlled experimentation, a need which is still being obstructed by private interests. On the minerals and chemical front—"molecular engineering"—the speakers assure us that new products will continue to come along and diat there will be no serious shortages of raw materials that cannot be overcome by increased exploration and ingenuity (although James Boyd of Kennecott Copper feels the squeeze, and says that mineral exploration cannot be hampered by die "nostalgia and sentiment" ofconservationists who are trying to preserve primitive wilderness areas against such destruction). Libby's talk on nuclear energy (reprinted in part in Bulletin oftheAtomic Scientists,June, IQ59) deals most interestingly with the peaceful uses of underground explosions—for earth-moving, oil recovery, and the production ofheat and isotopes. The talks on satellites and space research give a good factual summary ofdie scientific problems and the new knowledge we may get from the space program and the national and international problems connected with it. It is unfortunate that in this book, as in most scientific symposia today, the essays all sound as though they had been written by the same man; but it must be admitted that in 570 Book Reviews Perspectives in Biology and Medicine · Summer i960 this case die editing has produced a clear and easy style which can be read widi enjoyment by anyone. It should be noted that two important areas ofgreat significance for the future —solar energy and marine resources—were left out completely, as being less in need of discussion today; and the population problem receives only tangential treatment, although it is obviously ofdie first importance in a discussion ofresources and their management . It is to be hoped that Resources for the Future will sometime give these subjects a similarly authoritative and lucid public presentation. John Rader Platt Department ofPhysics University ofChicago' A Stereotaxic Atlas ofthe Dog's Brain. By Robert K. S. Lim, Chan-Nao Liu, and Robert L. MoFFrrr. Springfield, 111.: Charles C Thomas, i960. Pp. 93. Aldiough the dog is used extensively in Russia as an experimental subject, most neurophysiological studies on the central nervous system in diis country are done on rats, cats, and monkeys. One...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. 570-571
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-07
Open Access
No
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