Science for Vietnam

This essay is reproduced here as it appeared in the print edition of the original Science for the People magazine. These web-formatted archives are preserved complete with typographical errors and available for reference and educational and activist use. Scanned PDFs of the back issues can be browsed by headline at the website for the 2014 SftP conference held at UMass-Amherst. For more information or to support the project, email

Science for Vietnam

by Howard Barth

‘Science for the People’ Vol. 3, No. 5, November 1971, p. 10 – 11

In May of this year, Science for Vietnam conferences were held in Berkeley, Madison, Chicago and Boston. These meetings laid the foundation of projects to technically assist Third-World countries.

During the summer, the Chicago group published a Science for Vietnam Newsletter and accepted the responsibility for coordinating information. In Boston, people put together a list of books in specific areas that would be useful to the Vietnamese [see insert]. Various other groups agreed to coordinate work on the following topics: cell and molecular biology, mathematical biology, population biology, entomology, herbicides, warfare damage, forestry, computer and information science, and collecting physics equipment.

The following books are being collected by the Boston group. Books and funds should be
sent to Science for the People, 9 Walden St., Jamaica Plain, Mass. 02130.

Watson, Molecular Biology of the Gene, 2nd edition.

A.C. Lehninger, Biochemistry, Worth Publishers.

Bonner and Varner, Plant Biochemistry, Academic Press.

D. Skoog and D. West, Fundamentals of Analytical Chemistry, Holt, Rinehart, and
Winston, 1969.

A.S. Romer, The Vertebrate Body, Saunders, 1970.

Wm. Shillman, ed., Papers in Plant Physiology, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.

Strickberger, Genetics, Macmillan Co.,Macmillan Canada Ltd., Toronto.

Medicines needed:

Methotrexate — an antineoplastic agent.
Manufacturer: Lederle Co., Pearl River, New York.

Vinblastin — an antitumor alkaloid, isolated from Vinca rosea, Linn., Apocynacaea,
Manufacturer: Eli Lily Co., Indianapolis, Indiana.

Isoniazid — most frequently used as an antituberculosis agent.
Manufacturer: Lilly or Squibb, New York.

Streptomycin — Manufacturer: Pfizer, New York (among others).

A general request is also needed for antibiotics. If individuals or groups start collection projects please notify the Chicago group.

A number of people who attended the Chicago meeting from other universities have begun work on the following additional subjects: Berkeley and Washington University on small-scale farming and biological control, Stonybrook and Northwestern on fish culture, and University of Montana and Chicago on bomb-crater ecology.

The Chicago group is also putting together eight series of informational packets. Each series will form a coherent unit that can be used in university courses, seminars, and study groups. Each unit contains bibliographies and a collection of reprints representative of work being done in that field;

Series 1 — Collections of works of scientists interested in an exchange of ideas with Vietnamese. The first contributions to this series have already been sent to Vietnam.

Series 2 — Introduction to population biology.

(a) Competition and species packing, (b) Calculation of diversity and niche breadth, (c) Predator/prey systems, (d) Island biogeography, (e) General diversity problems, (f) Population growth, (g) Artificial selection, (h) Polymorphism.

Series 3 — Mathematical biology.

(a) random networks in ecology, development and neurobiology, (b) Complex dynamical, chemical and biochemical systems, (c) Spatial heterogeneity in living systems.

Series 4 — Ecological chemistry.

(a) Ecology of medicinal plants and insect/plant relations, (b) Insect communication.

Series 5 — Integrated control of pests of agriculture and man.

(a) The use of ants in pest control, (b) The introduction of insect predators, (c) Mosquito biology, (d) Genetics in pest control.

Series 6 — Rice

Series 7 — Computer Science

Series 8 — Tropical vegetation formation.

(a) The rain forest, (b) Problems of reforestation.

People having reprints, bibliographies or additional ideas related to any of these fields should contact the Chicago group.

There is a great deal of work to be done in organizing Science for Vietnam projects and collecting material. Since the Chicago group is acting as the clearinghouse, those interested in starting projects and collections should notify the Chicago group (Science for Vietnam, Biology Dept., University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637).


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