Issue: 55

C O N T E N T S

COLLEGE NEWS

- Ag faculty to meet on General Catalog changes

- Ag ambassador application deadline Oct. 25

- Ag invention royalties distributed for FY96

- Rice breeders receive World Food Prize

- ISU experts answer "Why Is It" questions

- Risk management topic for ISU Ag Week panel

- Nomination deadline nears for college, ISU awards

- Deadlines & Reminders

COMMUNICATIONS KIOSK

- Lose the jargon, Canadian scientists advised

INFOGRAZING

- Why apples turn brown and corn ears have even rows

- Farm Progress Show: By the numbers

EXTERNAL VOICES

- Science and politics: Beyond the committee rooms

- Science and politics: Avoid know-it-all-ism

MARGINALIA

- Turn off the heat in Minnesota tenure battle

COLLEGE NEWS

AG FACULTY TO MEET ON GENERAL CATALOG CHANGES

College of Agriculture faculty will meet on Oct. 31 to discuss

and approve changes to the 1997-99 General Catalog. The meeting

will be held in 125 Kildee, beginning at 4:10 p.m. For more information,

contact Bonnie Glatz, chair, college curriculum committee, 4-3970

or bglatz@iastate.edu.

AG AMBASSADOR APPLICATION DEADLINE OCT. 25

Students can still submit applications to be agriculture ambassadors.

The ambassadors visit high schools to talk about the College of

Agriculture and ISU. Training will be held in early November.

Application blanks are available from Mark Hanna, 40468, or Ag

Information, 4-5616.

AG INVENTION ROYALTIES DISTRIBUTED FOR FY96

In fiscal year 1996, the ISU Research Foundation distributed $191,427

in invention royalties to the Experiment Station and College of

Agriculture departments and programs. About 39 percent of the

royalties came from ISU soybean varieties. Other royalties included

those from geraniums and roses, swine genetic markers, a soybean

database, a corn-gluten weed control product and a system to separate

bone chips from meat. ISURF distributed $33,592 directly to ISU

ag inventors, and $140,713 from licensing activities to inventors'

research programs. ISURF also provided $13,162 to help ag researchers

complete or strengthen their inventions, or help them prepare

test samples or prototypes for potential licensees.

RICE BREEDERS RECEIVE WORLD FOOD PRIZE

Two International Rice Research Institute rice breeders were awarded

the 1996 World Food Prize. Henry M. Beachell and Gurdev Singh

Khush developed new varieties that more than doubled the world's

rice production over the last three decades. On Thursday, the

two were interviewed in an Agronomy Hall greenhouse for the "Person

of the Week" segment that aired Friday on ABC World News

Tonight with Peter Jennings. A World Food Prize symposium on food

security was held on Saturday, Oct. 19, featuring the laureates

from this year and previous years, and other food and agricultural

experts.

ISU EXPERTS ANSWER "WHY IS IT" QUESTIONS

Why is it that bitten apples turn brown when exposed to air? Why

is it that corn always has an even number of rows of kernels?

Two agriculture faculty members recently answered these questions

for "Why Is It," a 90-second radio show produced by

the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The show

airs on 65 radio stations, and sometimes on the "America

in the Morning" news magazine. Questions are called in by

the public WHY-ISIT) and AAAS finds experts to answer them.

The apple question, answered by Lester Wilson, food science and

human nutrition, will air Oct. 31. The corn question, answered

by Dale Farnham, agronomy, will air on Thanksgiving Day. A Web

site (http://www.scienceupdate.com) features RealAudio versions

of current and past shows. For Wilson and Farnham's answers, see

"Infograzing".

RISK MANAGEMENT TOPIC FOR ISU AG WEEK PANEL

A panel discussion on risk management for farmers will be held

on Oct. 30 during ISU's Ag Week. The meeting, sponsored by the

Collegiate Farm Bureau Club, will feature Neil Harl and Dermot

Hayes from ag economics and Craig Hill, a Milo farmer. It begins

at 7:30 p.m. in the Great Hall, Memorial Union. For more information:

Pauley Bradley, 292-3880 ext. 5307, or 4-0705.

NOMINATION DEADLINE NEARS FOR COLLEGE, ISU AWARDS

November 1 is the nomination deadline for several College of Agriculture

and university awards, including those for outstanding adviser,

teacher, scholarly achievement in teaching, and P&S and merit

awards. Nomination forms are available in departmental and area

extension offices, or for more information, call 4-6614.

DEADLINES & REMINDERS

Oct. 18: World Food Prize ceremony, Des Moines Civic Center, 4

p.m.

Oct. 18-Nov. 8: Flu shots for faculty and staff, 205 TASF, 9 a.m.-4

p.m.

Oct. 25: Deadline, Student Ag Ambassador applications; 4-5616.

Oct. 27-Nov. 2: Ag Week at ISU

Oct. 31 - Ag faculty meeting on General Catalog changes, 125 Kildee,

4:10 p.m.

Nov. 1: Nomination deadline for several college, ISU awards; 4-6614.

Nov. 12: Ag Career Day, Memorial Union

COMMUNICATIONS KIOSK

LOSE THE JARGON, CANADIAN SCIENTISTS ADVISED

A directive from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research

Council, Canada's largest funding agency, tells scientists to

explain their projects in everyday language rather than technical

jargon. The directive responds to a member of Parliament's attacks

on "frivolous research," including the paternity of

squirrels, the energetics of hummingbirds, "information processing

among pigeons," and "cubitus interruptus locus in Drosophilia."

(Toronto Globe & Mail, Aug. 27)

INFOGRAZING

WHY APPLES TURN BROWN AND CORN EARS HAVE EVEN ROWS

(See related item in "College News.") Lester Wilson,

food science and human nutrition, says cells are damaged when

an apple is bitten into, cut or bruised. These cells release enzymes

that interact with other compounds in the apple; oxidation and

polymerization take place; and a brown pigment results. Why ears

of corn always have an even number of kernel rows is basic biology,

says Dale Farnham, agronomy. Cell division always occurs in multiples

of two. So most ears of hybrid corn will have 16 to 20 rows of

kernels. If stress occurs early in development, there may be only

12.

FARM PROGRESS SHOW: BY THE NUMBERS

A few numbers from the Farm Progress Show, Sept. 27-29, in Amana:

Number of displays in ISU Extension tent: 21

Number of visitors to ISU tent: 85,000

Approximate number of media interviews before and during show:

80

Number of TV crews each from Brazil and Argentina: 1

Number of ISU employees who staffed displays: 300

Number of visitors who completed a survey by trying on sun-safe

hats: 2,800

Number of visitors screened for skin cancer: 700

Approximate number referred to their doctors for care: 70

Number for whom an immediate appointment at an Iowa City hospital

was made: 1

EXTERNAL VOICES

SCIENCE AND POLITICS: BEYOND THE COMMITTEE ROOMS

On Sept. 10, U.S. Representative Robert Walker, chair, House Committee

on Science, addressed a group interested in science and technology

policy. A few of his remarks: The House and Senate science-oriented

committees now receive all the attention they need from science

advocates -- where science advocacy is weak is outside the committee

rooms, on the floor of the House and Senate. Many Congressmen

who are not on those committees would love to have some of the

exposure to the science community that the key committee members

have. Because science is fun; learning about science is fun; and

being treated respectfully by scientists is fun. (From notes posted

on the Public Communication of Science and Technology listserv,

based at Cornell University.)

SCIENCE AND POLITICS: AVOID KNOW-IT-ALL-ISM

Rep. Walker (see item above) also remarked that the public is

overwhelmingly in favor of funding affordable science. Congress

as a whole continues to view it as an engine of continuing economic

growth. But he warned the science community to guard against assuming

that it knows all the answers and that the public at large is

stupid. Most scientists admit, and much of the public realizes,

that mainstream scientific knowledge is incomplete and partially

erroneous. Excess elitism and hubris does not advance the cause

of science politically, he said.

MARGINALIA

TURN OFF THE HEAT IN MINNESOTA TENURE BATTLE

From a Sept. 26 letter in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, written

by Lawrence Rudnick, professor of astronomy, University of Minnesota,

regarding the new tenure policy proposed by the Minnesota Board

of Regents: "Thinking creatively, perhaps turning off the

office heat is an even better alternative for the regents to achieve

their goals. It will certainly weed out faculty members with bad

attitudes, give incentives for faculty to spend more time with

their students in warm classrooms, provide the cool heads the

Star Tribune has called for and save money. It will avoid all

the hassles of faculty unionization, and, best of all, it's a

uniquely Minnesotan solution to whatever problem it is that we're

trying to solve."