Science  19 Jan 2007:
Vol. 315, Issue 5810, pp. 311


    PATENTED FINISH. Raghunath Anant Mashelkar (above, left), director general of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in New Delhi, India, retired last month after an 11-year tenure. Mashelkar's emphasis on new technology paid off, as the number of U.S. patents owned by CSIR rose from 41 to more than 800. In a rare gesture, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (above, right) gave a farewell speech praising Mashelkar and noting that “perhaps the best is yet to come.” Mashelkar, a polymer engineer, plans to do research at the National Chemical Laboratory in Pune, India.


    TRIPLE PLAYER. Last fall, the University of Chicago, long the steward of Argonne National Laboratory, took managerial responsibility for another U.S. Department of Energy lab: the famed Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) in Batavia, Illinois. This month, Donald Levy, a physical chemist, was given the job of managing science at all three institutions.


    Levy, 67, wants to strengthen ties between Fermilab and the university's particle astrophysicists as well as between the two labs. Levy says he's reluctant to give up his research on jet cooling and molecular structure to take on the new challenge, which includes having the proposed International Linear Collider built at Fermilab. “Had this job come along 20 years ago, I wouldn't have even considered it for that reason.”


    DEMOCRACY PIONEER. Seymour Martin Lipset, a sociologist and political scientist renowned for his studies of American democracy, died 31 December at age 84. The only person to be president of both the American Sociological Association and the American Political Science Association, Lipset taught at Harvard University, the University of California, Berkeley, and George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and was most recently a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.


    Lipset traced the peculiarities of American institutions back to the nation's revolutionary roots and the strict Protestant religious codes of its founders. This contradictory heritage has made Americans “disobedient” and “more lawless” than citizens of many other countries while at the same time “much more moralistic,” he told an interviewer in 1996.

    Earl Raab, director emeritus of the Nathan Perlmutter Institute for Jewish Advocacy at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, and co-author of three books with Lipset, called him “a great intellect and an excellent communicator.”


    ENGINEERING HONORS. Advances in information technology, biomechanics, and engineering education earned five scientists top honors from the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.

    Tim Berners-Lee of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Southampton will receive the Charles Stark Draper Prize, a $500,000 annual award. Berners-Lee designed many of the most fundamental features of the World Wide Web. The Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ Prize, a $500,000 biennial award, will go to Yuan-Cheng “Bert” Fung, a professor emeritus at the University of California, San Diego. Fung is known as the “father of modern biomechanics” for theories explaining such things as blood microcirculation and soft tissue response to trauma. And Harold S. Goldberg, Jerome E. Levy, and Arthur W. Winston of Tufts University will share the $500,000 annual Bernard M. Gordon prize for educational innovation for developing a multidisciplinary graduate program for “engineering leaders.”

    The prizes will be presented on 20 February.


    JAPAN PRIZES. This year's Japan Prizes go to a forest conservationist and creators of technology essential for personal computers, video recorders, and portable music players. The Science and Technology Foundation of Japan, which sponsors the prizes, each year creates two new categories in basic research for the $435,000 awards.


    Albert Fert (above, left) of the University of Paris-South and Peter Grünberg (above, center) of Germany's Research Center of Solid State Physics in Jülich share the prize for Innovative Devices Inspired by Basic Research. In 1988, the pair independently described giant magnetoresistance (GMR), in which the electrical resistance of certain materials drops when a magnetic field is applied. GMR is used in devices requiring large-capacity hard disk drives, such as personal computers.

    Peter Shaw Ashton (above, right), professor emeritus of forestry at Harvard University, will receive the prize for Science and Technology of Harmonious Co-Existence for his work on tropical forest conservation and the development of modern forest classification systems. The awards will be presented in April.

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