Science: Good, But Not as Good

Many U.S. and British scientists have visited Russia and come back with glowing accounts of Russian science. Nuclear Physicist Donald Hughes of Brookhaven National Laboratory, Long Island, makes a somewhat different minority report. Invited by the Russians, he spent two weeks in Russia last July, where he lectured on his specialty, neutron physics. He visited six laboratories in Moscow and one in Leningrad, talked through interpreters with many Russian scientists and had a good chance to examine their scientific apparatus.

His conclusion: the Russians tend to concentrate money and manpower on a few programs in applied science (e.g., Sputniks) that promise spectacular...

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