Science: Scouting the Russians

When the first Soviet Sputnik took to space two years ago, the U.S. estimate of Soviet science soared out of sight. But the initial shock has passed, and since then, platoons of U.S. scientists have visited Russia. Interviewed last week, a cross section of these travelers reported a calmer judgment: Russian science is very good in spots, but not uniformly good, and never overwhelming.

U.S. visitors agree that the best Russian science is physics. Branches having to do with weapons are kept secret, as in the U.S., but the Russians have plenty else to show. Their great laboratory at Dubna, 70 miles...

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