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This is the 50th anniversary year of the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. The popular hands-on museum is celebrating the event with a number of special programs, such as the recent opening of two major exhibits - ''50 years of the Museum of Science and Industry'' and ''Technology: Chance or Choice.'' There will be a national conference having the theme ''Where Are We Going: Critical Issues of Science and Technology,'' in April; ''Science Jubilee,'' an indoor-outdoor weekend celebration, in July; and a series of lectures by such experts as Nobel Prize-winners Linus Pauling and Charles H. Townes, spread throughout the year. An exhibit of Chinese technology, entitled ''China: 7,000 Years of Discovery,'' will open June 1.

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