In 2002 the AmericanChemicalSociety (ACS) asked its members to submit proposals for the "ten most beautiful experiments in chemistry" (C&EN, Nov. 18, 2002, p. 5) and then proudly published the result of the vote in its Chemical and Engineering News magazine (C&EN, Aug. 25, 2003, pp. 27-30). Democratic as the procedure is, it avoids asking critical questions: What is an experiment? What is beauty? What is chemistry? In fact, you need not be able to (...) give an answer to these questions in order to vote. We could even imagine none of the voters being able to answer any of the questions in explicit terms. And yet, the members of the society might correctly consider the result valid, not only with regard to the top ten list but also regarding its implicit definitions of what ‘experiment’, ‘beauty’, and ‘chemistry’ means. The result thus reflects the tacit knowledge and the unquestioned feelings of the majority, as they have previously been trained to respond to such unusual questions, and helps newcomers to acculturate easily. However, such implicit consensus definitions and assessments are neither binding for non-members, nor suitable for explicit debates. Prompted by the questions of what a beautiful experiment in chemistry is, you might repeat the top ten list you have learnt by heart, but otherwise remain silent. (shrink)
Examination of a limited number of publisher’s Instructions for Authors, guidelines from two scientific societies, and the widely accepted policy document of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) provided useful information on authorship practices. Three of five journals examined (Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) publish papers across a variety of disciplines. One is broadly focused on topics in medical research (New England Journal of Medicine) and one publishes research reports in a single (...) discipline (Journal of Bacteriology). Similar elements of publication policy and accepted practices were found across the policies of these journals articulated in their Instructions for Authors. A number of these same elements were found in the professional society guidelines of the Society for Neuroscience and the AmericanChemicalSociety, as well as the ICMJE Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals. Taken together, these sources provide the basis for articulating best practices in authorship in scientific research. Emerging from this material is a definition of authorship, as well as policy statements on duplicative publication, conflict of interest disclosure, electronic access, data sharing, digital image integrity, and research requiring subjects’ protection, including prior registration of clinical trials. These common elements provide a foundation for teaching about scientific authorship and publication practices across biomedical and life sciences disciplines. (shrink)
Starting in the interwar years both the quantity and quality of physics research conducted within the United States increased dramatically. To accommodate these increases there needed to be significant changes to the infrastructure within the scholarly society and particularly to the organization's ability to publish and distribute scholarly journals. Significant changes to the infrastructure in physics in the United States began with the formation of the American Institute of Physics as an umbrella organization for the major scholarly societies (...) in American physics in 1931. The American Institute of Physics played a critical role in bringing about an expansion in the size of and breadth of coverage within scholarly journals in physics. The priority the American Institute of Physics placed on establishing a strong publication program and the creation of the American Institute of Physics itself were stimulated by extensive involvement and financial investments from the Chemical Foundation. It was journals of sufficient size and providing an appropriate level of coverage that were essential after World War II as physicists made use of increased patronage and public support to conduct even more research. The account offered here suggests that in important respects the significant government patronage that resulted from World War II accelerated changes that were already underway. (shrink)
Following some years of declining health, Professor Maurice Crosland passed away on 30 August 2020 at the age of eighty-nine. Author of four influential scholarly monographs, Maurice played major roles in the British Society for the History of Science during the 1960s and 1970s as an active Member of Council, Honorary Editor of the British Journal for the History of Science and Honorary President of the society. His academic career began in 1963 with his appointment to a lectureship (...) in the History & Philosophy of Science at the University of Leeds. In 1974 the by-then Reader in History of Science secured a £100,000 Nuffield Foundation Grant with which to establish, for the first time, a dedicated history-of-science group at the University of Kent at Canterbury. Appointed Professor of the History of Science and Director of the Unit for the History, Philosophy and Social Relations of Science, his objectives during the five-year Nuffield-funded period were to focus on promoting the research activities of the new group, build up much-needed library resources in a university which was barely ten years old, and effect a transition to a research and teaching unit that would offer modules to undergraduates in each of the three principal faculties. His own research centred on French science during and after the Napoleonic period, with particular emphasis on the history of chemistry and the formal institutions and informal networks of Parisian science. In 1984 his work was recognized with the AmericanChemicalSociety's award of the Dexter Prize, a rare achievement for a British scholar. (shrink)
One of the central debates among British chemists during the 1830s concerned the use of symbols to represent elements and compounds. Chemists such as Edward Turner, who desired to use symbolic notation mainly for practical reasons, eventually succeeded in fending off metaphysical objections to their approach. These objections were voiced both by the philosopher William Whewell, who wished to subordinate the chemists' practical aims to the rigid standard of algebra, and by John Dalton, whose hidebound opposition to abbreviated notation symbolized (...) the suspicion with which older British chemists perceived continental innovations. It is argued that the success of chemists like Turner in this debate reflects their larger success in the 1830s in achieving disciplinary autonomy and in beginning to align themselves more closely with prevailing chemical practice across the Channel. (shrink)
Selection bias? Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9490-4 Authors Henry M. Cowles, Program in History of Science, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.