Hamilton1967Science - the Board promulgates a policy which...

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the Board promulgates a policy which it thinks is in the best interests of the country, should approval be obtained from the Executive Branch before such a policy is announced? Some Board members object to the constraints of this sort of administra- tive discipline, and at least in the past have felt that prior approval of this type should not be required. It might be reasoned that the director-who is a presidential appointee, who is on the federal payroll, and who is making a career of federal service-is obviously subject to administrative discipline. But does the same reasoning apply to Board members? In fact, the question of giv- ing testimony before a congressional committee itself has been raised. Must Board members offer only "approved" testimony? If so, this would seem to seriously weaken the Board's voice in terms of the purposes for which it was established. In my opinion, the nation would best be served by making that voice stronger. Unless some provisions are made to really strengthen the Na- tional Science Board, we are likely to witness a gradual shift of the control of national science policies and pro- grams from the scientific community to the bureaucracy-with a consequent weakening and distortion of the whole scientific effort. Reference and Note 1. V. Bush, Science-The Endless Frontier, 1945, reprinted by the National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C. (1960). 2. I have commented more fully on this matter in my letter to Science 155, 1489 (1967). Extraordinary Sex Ratios A sex-ratio theory for sex linkage and inbreeding has new implications in cytogenetics and entomology. W. D. Hamilton The two sexes are usually produced in approximately equal numbers. Fish- er (1) was the first to explain why, under natural selection, this should be so, irrespective of the particular mech- anism of sex determination. His rather tersely expressed argument has been clarified by .subsequent writers (2) and seems to be widely accepted. In bare outline, the factor of parental care be- ing ignored, it may be given as fol- lows: 1) Suppose male births are less com- mon than female. 2) A newborn male then has better mating prospects than a newborn fe- male, and therefore can expect to have more offspring. 3) Therefore parents genetically dis- posed to produce males tend to have more than average numbers of grand- children born to them. 4) Therefore the genes for male-pro- ducing tendencies spread, and male births become commoner. 5) As the 1:1 sex ratio is approached, the advantage associated with produc- ing males dies away. 6) The same reasoning holds if fe- males are substituted for males through- The author is lecturer in genetics in the depart- ment of zoology and applied entomology, Imperial College, University of London, working at Im- perial College Field Station, Silwood Park, Sun- ninghill, Berkshire, England.
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