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May 24, 1959 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1959-05-24

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Sixty-Ninth Year
Truth Will Prevail" STUDENT PUBLICATIONS BLDG. * ANN ARBOR, MICH. * Phone NO 2-3241
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.
STILL INQUIRING . .. by Michael Kraft
The U's Tragic Flaw?
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of Nuclear

es ting

REGENTS MEETINGS are rather strange
It's not that they seldom start on time -
something normal when there are reporters
around who have a deadline to meet. Nor is
it the resulting speculation on whether their
tardiness stems from someone having warned
the "chefs" at the Union that the University's
governing bodies were coming for lunch, or
that maybe the something special cooking
might be a big story and the Regents are tak-
ing extra time to discuss it.
And after two and a half years of cover-
ing Regents meietings, one even gets used to
being handed a mimeographed news service
release saying, "ANN ARBOR - The Univer-
sity of Michigan Regents today decided to ..."
before the group actually finishes the motions
of voting.
FOR ACTUALLY, Regents meetings are quite
plural. The members meet at least twice,
first in closed sessions and, later in the day,
with the press.
As a result, the meetings "with" sometimes
have a rather staged quality. After a few
meetings, one can almost predict the lines and
is sometimes tempted to write a review instead
of a n ews story.
But Regents meetings, sometimes become
rather strangely frightening affairs and man-
age to crack the pallid mask of pre-discussed
"discussion." And the obvious urgency of the
University's problems sometimes even gives
the meetings a disturbing emotional quality.
THE LAST meeting was utterly depressing
because it began to answer some questions
that have been bothersome long before this
attempt to write the Editorial Director's tra-
ditional last column - jammed with the cul-
mination of four years of opinions and ob-
servations that somehow seemed impossible
to squeeze into the countless other previous
columns and editorials.
The questions probably can be distilled into
one: What the hell's happening here?
The last Regents meeting underlined the di-
mensions of these problems and called to mind
a related question prompted two years ago
by one of the University officers sitting around
the Regents' table. He was newly returned to
Ann Arbor and had just taken over one of the
top administrative positions. Like freshmen of
the younger generation he was firm in his
"The thing the University has to sell is an
Idea - the concept of quality education."
Two years later, more familiar with the
small minds in Lansing, he might well be won-
dering about the questions he prompted -
about the difficulties of finding buyers, and
the even more important one of whether he'll
have anything left to sell.
'fUALITY EDUCATION. It's a wonderful
intangible. But unfortunately, it hasn't
gained, at least in Michigan, the status of flag,
country, mother, and the necessity to "hold
the line" on appropriations.
FRIDAY'S MEETING was so depressing be-
cause it should make clear to even the
blindest State Senator that time is joining him
in running out on the University of Michigan.
The ever-so-smart proponents of "common
sense" and the "school of hard knocks" love
to condemn professors for being too impracti-
cal, for not keeping their feet on the ground.
They should thus not be too surprised when
more and more faculty members take the offers
of salaries a third higher, and working condi-
tions far better,
The one gratifying thing, said a University
vice-president; is the faculty's loyalty to the
University, and by implication, to the state
of Michigan. But how long can one be loyal
to begrudging Dutch uncles who value "hold-
ing the line" above expanding the mind? The
loyalty, of course, is to something else.
As the Subcommittee on the Economic Sta-
tus of the University said in its excellent re-
port, "In the larger sense, the economic status
involves the whole 'conditions of work' and
even the conditions of life - the character of
the University community, the opportunities
for stimulation and social and intellectual
intercourse, and the sense of having the right
tools for the Job."

MUCH OF THIS is a circle, once pleasant,
but in great danger of becoming vicious.
If enough good faculty members decide thier
tools are inadequate, the opportunities for
stimulation fade, top students go elsewhere,
and the character of the University commu-
nity changes. Already, size seems to limit really
effective social and intellectual intercourse.
But the circle is not self contained. It might
be nice if the University actually were an ivory
tower where people could concentrate on the
pursuit and organization of knowledge, shield-
ed from the noises of the rest of the world.
However, it isn't and the University's prob-
lems, really frightening in the frustrations
they involve, are part of a state-wide picture..

sell the idea of quality education. But also,
the quality of the education it offers to its
students seems to suffer from a major flaw,
permitting students to spend four years here
without really becoming aware of the climate
around them.
THE FACULTY report speculates, quite
soundly, that the present problems are a
symptom of a more deeply seated disorder, both
moral and economic. It questions whether "the
moral climate of the state is one in which the
things of the mind are held in low esteem, and
which the flashier furnishings of life are given
the highest priority."
In a mastery of understatement, it says that
possibly the difficulties are only temporary,
occasioned partly perhaps by the circumstance
of having a governor of one party and a Legis-
lature of another over a period of years."
THIS WRITER contends that the crisis the
state faces is not only economic and moral,
but political, which partly lies behind the first
two. It's not just a matter of one party con-
trolling the Legislature and the other the ex-
ecutive, but the whole state governmental sys-
As long as the state is gerrymandered so cal-
lously, permitting a handful of men to repre-
sent not even the majority view of their own
party, but solely their own personal turn-of-
the-century outlook, the state will continue
to fail to honestly come to grips with its prob-
lems and adequately support its institutions of
higher education.
In part, it's the local version of the urban-
rural conflict, with representatives of the de-
creasing group managing to maintain their
dominant political position.
YET, THOSE who contribute to the chaos
and not to the solution remain in power.
And this is in part a sign of the University's
The state's institutions of higher education
should be the source of leadership, awareness
and concern for the state as a whole.
But the University seems to have trouble
selling the concept of quality education to all
too many of its own students, let alone the
rest of the people in the state. In short, too
many leave Ann Arbor with polished manners
but minds only roughly aware of what's going
The University is muffing its opportunity to
develop an active, interested citizenry who
really could be the "leaders of tomorrow" in-
stead of merely fairly well-trained somewhat
"broadened" suburb-settling alumni. Mean-
while their University is helpless at the hands
of a state political situation which remains
hopeless because not enough people are willing
to work hard enough to change it.
BE SURE, the University must work with
its raw materials, the products of the so-
ciety around it. But in too many ways, the
University merely accommodates it. It even
has its own materialistic standards. Grade
point averages are as cold and hard as cash.
"Publish or perish" is a more efficient criteria
for judging a faculty member than trying to
find out how many students leave his class
tingling with intellectual excitement. And the
University encourages a flourishing Greek sub-
culture (although its members, of course, in-
sist it's dominant) where academic interest is
expressed through exam files, gut courses and
the necessity for keeping the house average up.
"Read that book?" No. "Sing that serenade."
And for the masses, the University provides
fall afternoon spectacles. A look at the press
box, where a couple of hundred men gather
from all over the country to report the antics
of twenty-two 20th century gladiators is
enough to make the term institution of "higher
education" weep with irony.
THE INDICATIONS are all too strong, in
surveys by sociologists and in comments in
the current issue of the Daily Magazine, that
the biggest change the University offers is not
in the mind, or in increased awareness in
the world, but in "social adjustment." A nice
goal, but too often, social adjustment means
not fighting for what you believe is right, or
even bothering to think about it.

Too few of the graduates are "socially ac-
tive," really concerned about the problems that
lie beyond their own, immediate concern, or
willing to realize that they are affected by
their economic, moral and political environ-
The last Regents meeting crystallized a feel-
ing that what is happening to the University is
that it has been hushed to the point of immin-
ent deterioration.
AND AFTER four years at the University, one
can't help but wonder if his graduating
class might not be the last one from a Univer-
sity of Michigan that stands in the top ranks
of the world's universities.
It's also impossible not to wonder how many
of the worthwhile people will still find it worth

Both Sides
Want, Fear
Atom Ban
Daily Staff Writer
"THE SOVIETS apparently want
a ban on the testing of nuclear
weapons. The wisest people on our
side want it also, but neither side
is eager to accept the risks in-
volved or to pay the full price in
terms of the obligations and con-
trols required," Prof. J. David
Singer of the political science de-
partment said.
The risks of a ban are formid-
able and not to be easily dismissed,
he continued.
A test ban would slow down de-
velopment of nuclear energy for
peaceful purposes.
Cessation of testing would also
inhibit the development of tactical
nuclear weapons which might per-
mit "limited war," Prof. Singer
said. This would expose both sides
to the less attractive alternatives
of capitulation or massive retal-
liation, he explained.
And it is possible that negotia-
tions for the ban might be inter-
preted by the Soviets (and our
allies) as a sign of weakness, he
said. We must make it clear that
the West considers such a ban to
be in the best interests of both
AMONG THE MOST obvious ad-
vantages of a test ban are the
humanitarian and health consider-
ations, Prof. Singer said. Radio-
active elements that endanger our
own and future generations would
no longer be spread through the
It might also lead the Soviets to
re-evaluate American strategy and
recognize that the West's rearma-
ment program is essentially a
defensive action, Prof. Singer con-
tinued. As a result of this modifi-
cation of their concept of Ameri-
can intentions, the Soviets might
be willing to make other conces-
sions on related problems.
* * *
IN ADDITION, the experience
gained by both sets of inspection
teams would be valuable in work-
ing out an inspection system in any
subsequent ban on the manufac-
ture of new nuclear weapons or
the retention of old ones, he ex-
"After weighing these risks and
advantages on both sides of the
question," Prof. Singer said, "I
believe that the Soviets and the
West should negotiate to abandon
weapons tests."
Our current technical ability to
detect Soviet testing of nuclear
weapons could be termed ade-
quately satisfactory, Prof. Singer
Atmospheric tests are easily de-
tectable. The consensus of opinion
is that underground tests of weap-
ons of more than 10 kilotons could
be detected by seismographic
equipment 85-90 per cent of the
time. If both sides permitted some
ground control stations within
their borders, detectability would
be greater. And although there
has been no formal declaration,
both sides agree in principle that
earth satellite equipment will be
adequate for the detection of test-
ing in outer space.
WHAT ABOUT THE future of
East-West negotiations for a nu-
clear weapons test ban?
"My own off-the-cuff prediction
is that the Soviets will eventually
agree to having a majority of for-
eigners on inspection teams in ex-
change for the assurance that
inspection visits will be held below
a certain specified level," Prof.

Singer said.
"It all adds up to the fact that
we have to weigh the military dis-
advantages of cessation of testing
against the humanitarian and psy-
chological advantages," he con-
"But I don't see a ban on the
testing of nuclear weapons as a
major point of disarmament con-
ferences," Prof. Singer concluded.
"It is only a mincing first step."

Discusses Radiation Effects on Humans

Daily Staff Writer
PROF. William J. Schull of the
Medical School's human gen-
etics department, is a research
worker in population genetics, an
area of study which must be ful-
' ly understood before any mean-
ingful study can be made of the
effect of irradiation from man-
made sources, especially in regard
to potentially harmful human mu-
tation for which it may be a causal
"In order to measure the extent
to which irradiation influences
mutations, one must first accumu-
late information concerning the
normal rate of spontaneous muta-
tion, and the so-called "fate" of
the mutant genes, that is, their ul-
timate nature," Prof. Schull said
"This involves a study of the
frequency of spontaneous muta-
tion," he continued, as well as
study of the selective handicaps
of the mutants and the range of
selective values-advantages and
disadvantages-associated with a
variety of genetic backgrounds."
The methods of obtaining such
information include the clinical
study of inherited abnormalities,
study of biochemical changes in
the human system that occur
without gross physical changes,
and study of blood group types in
association with certain inherited
diseases, he added.
"Every geneticist would agree,"
he said, "that the relationship be-
tween rate of mutations and ex-
posure to radiation is a linear one.
However, with the techniques
presently available we cannot mea-
sure the genetic changes produced
at the radiation levels which re-
sult from the fallout of atomic
weapons testing.
"Let me emphasize that this
does not mean that the effect is
not there. No one would dispute
the fact that it is there; but we
cannot measure it."
effect of much larger doses of
radiation than are received from
radioactive fallout, such as that
experienced by the people of Hiro-
shima during World War II, Prof.
Schull said, "There is some evi-
dence available that the genetic
effects of acute irradiation are
more pronounced than those of
chronic irradiation. This is defi-
nitely true in test mammals, as the
mouse, but we have only very in-
complete information as to this ef-
fect in humans.
"That is to say the same
amount of irradiation can have

quite different effect if adminis-
tered all at once, or in small doses
over a period of some time.
"This may indicate that there
are "repairable" types of muta-
tions, mutations that will reverse
themselves if given time. How-
ever, if the amount of irradiation
is administered in one large dose,
the genes are "swamped" and
cannot "repair" themselves.
* 1* *
"THEREFORE, the comparison
of effects from acute irradiation
can not validly be compared to
the effects of chronic irradiation,
such as that experienced by radi-
ologists, for example.
"Of course, it is rather soon to
be able to study the inherited ef-
fects of the A-bombs on Japan,
but there is now some evidence
of effect on the sex-determining
chromosome, by a change in sex
ratio of children born. Lethal mu-
tation of this sex-determining
chromosome, a mutation incom-
patible with its life, would have
an effect on the offspring accord-
ing to the sex of the child. Had
the mother been exposed, a de-
crease in male births would be

evident. The opposite situation
would hold true if the father had
been exposed.
* * *
"THERE ARE human popula-
tions who receive high chronic ir-:
radiation. For example, it is esti-
mated that between 80 and 100
thousand people live in an area
of southwestern India on a sandy
soil that contains appreciable,
amounts of radioactivive mater-
ials. The people there might re-
ceive as much as 15 times as much
irradiation in a definite period of
time as we do here. ,
"A similar situation exists in
Brazil. Many plans have been laid
for a study of these areas, but
there are great problems of fi-
nance, personnel, and the avail-
ability of an adequate control
population for study.
"Since artificially induced mu-
tations, as far as is known, are
the same as spontaneous muta-
tions, all' measurement of differ-
ences in the two must be quanti-
tative, not qualitative. At this
point, our technical knowledge to
make such measurement is rather
incomplete, and we experience

Ioulding Criticizes
A nnihilation' Policy

Daly Staff Writer
WHILE THE nation rests un-
easily as the Russians dead-
lock the Geneva negotiations,
there are those in this country
who hail the Soviets' stubbornness
as providential.
Citing our country's increasing
dependence on nuclear weapons,
these Pentagon and Atomic Ener-
gy Commission officials argue for
further atomic tests. Their "top-
sneakrecy" policy tries to prevent
filtering of the fact that, if un-
abated, these tests will shower
the country with Strontium 90,
Carbon 14 and Cesium 137.
"Annihiliation with representa-
tion" is the charge Prof. Ken-
neth Boulding of the economics
INTRODUCING A new dimen-
sion to the concern expressed over
recent radioactive fallout figures,
Prof. Boulding pointed out that
harmful effects are not limited to
our own country. With the scope

of fallout fal - reaching, he con-
tended that foreign governments
have as much right to formulate
our nuclear testing policies as do
the five men who sit in Washing-
Prof. Boulding further deprecat-
ed the Atomic Energy Commis-
sion's mis-information policy. This
has not only disturbed the trust-
ing Mr. American Citizen, whose
children are now drinking Stron-
tium 90-enriched milk, but has
caused a rift between the govern-
ment and many top-level scien-
tists, he said.
Citing a total collapse 'of the
concept of national defense, Prof.
Boulding said, "Mutual annihila-
tion is not national defense." Al-
though hopeful about future Rus-
so-American relations, he feels
than an amalgamation of Soviet
and American armed forces is our
only possible future.
THE GREATEST danger within
the next 10 to 20 years, he said, is
an atomic accident or explosion of
undetermined origin, which could
spark uneasy nations to relieve
themselves of cumbersome stock-
Admitting the probable difficul-
ty of establishing a workable in-
ternational control system to de-
tect and report any violations,
Prof. Boulding nevertheless con-'
tended that such risks are mini-
mal in comparison to those now
involved in pursuing our present
arms race.
In a speech here last month, No-
bel Prize winning chemist Prof.
Linus Pauling also looked to the
Geneva test ban talks as a pos-
sible "first in a series of signifi-
cant international developments
in limiting nuclear weapons."
ALTHOUGH MANY atomic sci-
entists list outer space and the
depths of the earth as ample and
"safe" laboratories for further

great difficulty in detecting -such
* * *
GOING FROM the question of
atomic war devices to the con-
sideration of peacetime uses, of
atomic power, Prof. Schull noted
"Some feel that there is a potential
danger in industrial plants far
greater than that of fallout from
weapons testing. In case of a dis-
aster in such a plant, far fewer
people would be involved, but
there would be much more acute
"Not only the delayed effects,
those mutations passed on to the
offspring would be evident, but al-
so immediate body effects-for in-
stance, leukemia, bone cancer, and
"Of course, we have no experi-
ence as to the safety of power
plants. A compromise must be
reached between the absolutely
foolproof and the practically feas-
ible in any industry.
"But outside the possibilty of
disastrous accidents, the addition-
al amount of irradiation we would
receive from atomic power plants
would not be appreciable, even if
we switched completely to atomic
* * s
"THE THING that concerns ev-
eryone most about atomic fallout
is that certain fallout products of
a very long half-life, as Strontium
90 and Cesium 137, are handled by
the body very much like Calcium.
They are stored in the bone. How
much an individual may store is
a function not only of his ex-
posure and diet but also of his age,
since a growing child stores much
more of these bone-building ma-
terials than an adult.
"It is conceivable that this
might have a more important ef-
feet on somatic than germinal (i.e.
gene) tissue. While the rate of leu-
kemia and bone cancer might rise,
it is not 'as probable that such
effects would be inheritable.
As regards statistical informa-
tion, "Numbers can be manipu-
lated in various ways and, because
of the inadequate information
available, a variety of answers are
* * *
"IT IS MOST unfortunate that
the lay public gets not the facts,
but judgments on the facts. The
statistics that can be derived from
the inadequate information avail-
able probably have no relation to
"There is a serious problem of
impressing the public with the
gravity of the question while re-
taining a proper perspective. If the
dangers of irradiation are con-
stantly published in terms of these
rather meaningless numbers, the
public concern may be blunted.
"The insidious nature of Irra-
diation makes it difficult to cre-
ate an appropriate awareness of
its dangers. We have to live with
this problem, as well the genera-
tions to come, and the public
should be aroused to the dangers
so that they may face it with a
sense of reality," Prof. Schull con-
WASHINGTON ()- A govern-
ment scientist today told Con-
gress it may take up to 300 years
to determine reliable and accurate
danger limits for radiation.
Because there are wide gaps in


Colonels Support -Continued Testing

Daily Staff Writer
BOTH Col. Earnest A. H. Wood-
man, professor of military sci-
ence and tactics at the University,
and Lt. Col. Alfred D. Belsma, pro-
fessor of air science agree that nu-
clear testing should be continued.
Col. Woodman pointed out that
"we don't know all there is to
know" about atomic . power and
should continue to test in order to
find out. He stressed both military
and civilian objectives in testing
as being equally important, add-
ing that whenever the military

greater firepower, which is pro-
vided by nuclear weapons.
* * *
THE IMPORTANT field of mili-
tary testing today, is in limited-
yield weapons to destroy a specific
tactical objective. Testing these
weapons, intended to have a lim-
ited fallout, would add little to
radioactive wastes in the air he
said. Large weapons are already
big enough to destroy the world
and need no further testing, Lt.
Col. Belsma concluded.
Col. Woodman noted that the
Army has weapons as small as
eight-inch artillery shells and
probably was testing even small-

sion. A key to the military atti-
tude is shown in the following
quotation from an Army manual
issued to students:
always nourished the idea of se-
curing the effect of mass by fire-
power rather than by sheer man-
power. Therefore an attempt has
been made to furnish the troops
with the very best weapons -. -
in World War II and the Korean
conflict the Army was equipped
with a complete system of excel-
lent weapons. Accordingly, Ameri-
can military actions in those wars
were characterized by the use of

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