MIT departments turn out a flood of papers, pamphlets and books on scholarly subjects each year. But now, from the MIT Sea Grant College Program, comes what may well be the first book geared to a children's audience.
"Do Dolphins Sleep? Questions and Answers About the Sea," owes its existence to the letters sent to the Sea Grant Program by children seeking answers to any number of perplexing questions about the sea and its denizens. "Do Dolphins Sleep?" was one of them. The answer, provided by the pamphlet, is yes, dolphins do sleep, but not quite in the same way that people do. "They sleep with one half of the brain at a time and with one eye closed. Dolphins rest this way on and off throughout the day, switching which side of the brain they shut down. During these periods, everything inside the dolphin slows down, and the animal moves very little."
Some other typical questions: How do jellyfish sting? Are all sharks dangerous? How do boy and girl crabs tell each other apart?
As the Sea Grant program explains, it's really a book "for children young and old."
Kathy de Zengotita, information specialist for MIT Sea Grant, conceived of the book and collected questions. Carolyn Levi, communications manager, edited the book, and Hope Abramson, former Sea Grant publication specialist, provided an educator's perspective.
The book was written by Andrea Cohen, Sea Grant editor/writer, designed by Margaret Weigel, publications assistant/designer, and illustrated by E. Paul Oberlander, a graphic artist with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Copies can be ordered from the Sea Grant Program Publications Department, 292 Main Street/Building E38-300, Cambridge, MA 02139, x3-7041
Three MIT economists will be among those meeting in the spring as members of the Presidential Economic Policy Advisory Board to discuss the nation's economic performance and prospects.
They are Rudiger W. Dornbusch, Ford International Professor of Economics; Paul L. Joskow, Mitsui Professor of Economics and head of the department; and Institute Professor Robert M. Solow, the Nobel laureate in economics in 1987.
The head of President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers, Dr. Laura D'Andrea Tyson (MIT PhD in economics, 1974) invited the MIT professors and other distinguished academic economists to serve on the board. The group held its first full session in December.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 22, 1995.