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September 29, 2004

Chemistry and Science News Feeds

:: UK science writer David Bradley has created an RSS/XML chemistry and science news feed, linking together various news sites, including Reactive Reports Chemistry Webzine, Spectral Lines, Spotlight, and Sciencebase. Writing on CHMINF-L, Bradley noted:

You can preview the content at
http://www.sciencebase.com/RSS_science_newsfeed_preview.html where there is also a FAQ link on RSS

The actual XML file can be found at http://www.sciencebase.com/sciencebase.xml and will display the headlines in the latest version of the Opera web browser but will show as XML tagging in MSIE and others unless you're running a news aggregator. You can add it to your "My Yahoo!" using this link http://tinyurl.com/3ke25.

I've added a link to Sciencebase in the right hand column, under "Other Sites of Interest".

June 16, 2004

Bill Bryson Wins Aventis Science Book Prize

:: Travel writer Bill Bryson received the General Prize for the Aventis Prizes for Science Books 2004 on Monday on London, England, for his work, A Short History of Nearly Everything. He accepted his prize money of 10,000 and then announced he would donate it to a charitable organization.

May 6, 2004

Science and Engineering Indicators 2004

:: Science and Engineering Indicators 2004 has been released:

The Science and Engineering Indicators, a biennial report series published by the National Science Board, is designed to provide a broad base of quantitative information about U.S. science, engineering, and technology for use by public and private policymakers. Because of the spread of scientific and technological capabilities around the world, this report presents a significant amount of material about these international capabilities and analyzes the U.S. position in this broader context. [via ResourceShelf]

February 20, 2004

Wired News: Scientists: Bush Distorts Science

I came across a very interesting read regarding the Bush administration and their influence on the scientific community. The article unmasks the bias of so-called "peer-review" that happens when peers are selected or excluded using criteria based not on merit but on the desired outcome of their findings. In this case, the Bush administration seems guilty of trying to influence the process by selecting experts that will back up whatever it is that they wish the outcome to be. Not all scientists are happy about this action.

The Bush administration has distorted scientific fact leading to policy decisions on the environment, health, biomedical research and nuclear weaponry, a group of about 60 scientists, including 20 Nobel laureates, said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Union of Concerned Scientists, an independent organization, also issued a 37-page report, "Scientific Integrity in Policymaking," detailing the accusations. The statement and the report both accuse the Bush administration of distorting and suppressing findings that contradict administration policies, stacking panels with like-minded and underqualified scientists with ties to industry, and eliminating some advisory committees altogether.

The scientists listed various policy issues as being unfairly influenced by the administration, including those concerning climate change, mercury emissions, reproductive health, lead poisoning in children, workplace safety and nuclear weapons.
[Wired News: Scientists: Bush Distorts Science]

:: More on the Union of Concerned Scientists from Science or Google News.

February 17, 2004

Reviews of Three US Government Databases/Info Services

Gerry McKiernan (Iowa State U) has made available self-archived copies of reviews from The Charleston Advisor of three important US federal databases/information services:

1) Energy Citations Database

Review: http://www.public.iastate.edu/~gerrymck/EnergyCitations.pdf

2) Science.gov

    Science.gov is a gateway to authoritative and reliable science and technology information produced by major U.S. Government agencies selected by the representatives of the respective agencies. It was developed by the science.gov Alliance, a federal interagency working group of 16 scientific and technical information organizations from 11 major science units.
Review: http://www.public.iastate.edu/~gerrymck/Science.gov.pdf

3) TranStats - The Intermodal Transportation Database

    Launched in September 2002, TranStats: The Intermodal Transportation Database is a "new [Web portal] * for transportation researchers and analysts, aimed at providing 'one stop shopping' for transportation data". Although aimed at governmental and nongovernmental transportation specialists, planners, and consultants, TranStats will also be of value to government documents librarians and other information specialists, and the worldwide transportation community and educated public.
Review: http://www.public.iastate.edu/~gerrymck/TranStats.pdf

The Charleston Advisor provides free and subscriber-based access to "Critical Reviews of Web Products for Information Professionals"

February 13, 2004

Science - Essays on Science and Society

:: Science continues its monthly series, Essays on Science and Society, in 2004. The theme this year is 2004: Beyond The Ivory Tower.

November 21, 2003

Best of What's New 2003 - Popular Science

:: Popular Science offers its 2003 Best of What's New, covering topics including auto tech, aviation and space, engineering, home entertainment and tech, and general innovation.