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Science and Technology Library Newsletter: April 12, 2007 Edition.
Newsletter Archive > 2007 April 12 Issue

Sci-Tech Library Newsletter

April 12, 2007

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In This Issue

Science Policy
New Open Source E-Journal
New E-Books & Reports
Around DC and on the Net
Interesting Web Sites and News
TryScience Museum    Biology: Kings of Camouflage    Orangutan Diary    Soundscape: A Grey Seal Odyssey    The New Genetics    Dream Anatomy    Still Waters: The Global Fish Crisis    Education and Human Resources: PBS American Field Guide — Teacher Resources    Engineering: French High Speed Rail Sets Speed Record    Engineering Case Studies    Rube Goldberg Contest at Purdue    Geosciences: What Lived With Sue?    Mathematical and Physical Sciences: InterMath    Kepler’s Three Laws of Planetary Motion    Office for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education Resources    ChemSpider: Crawling and Indexing the Web of Chemistry    Saturn Moons Explorer: Titan    Physlets    Mathematicians Map E8    Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences: The Foundations of Anthropology at the University of California, 1901–1960: A Centennial Exhibit    RACE: Are We So Different?: A Project of the American Anthropological Association    National Park Service & Archeological Preservation    Polar Programs: Celebrating Polar Science
Inter Alia
The Race From Space

Science Policy

European Commission Unveils Its Vision for the Future of the European Research Area
http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/07/469&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

“Responding to the challenges posed to Europe by under-investment in research and the growing globalization of science and technology, the European Commission has put forward its ideas for a European research area that makes the most of Europe’s knowledge potential. This includes securing an adequate flow of competent researchers, effective knowledge sharing and well-coordinated research programs and priorities. The aim is to improve the generation and use of knowledge that is crucial for the European Union to achieve its economic, social and environmental ambitions.”

28 March: House Committee on Science and Technology hearing: “Shaping the Message, Distorting the Science: Media Strategies to Influence Public Policy”
Read the text of witness testimony and related documents (http://science.house.gov/publications/hearings_markups_details.aspx?NewsID=1736).

House Passes Budget Resolution, Funding the Innovation Agenda: A Commitment to Competitiveness to Keep America #1
http://www.ieeeusa.org/policy/eyeonwashington/2007/07eow04.asp#capitolhillwatch

This week, the House passed H.Con.Res.99, the 2008 House Budget Resolution, which, as designed by the Democrats, “takes America in a new direction.” Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office says, the $3 trillion budget resolution “is a fiscally responsible budget with the right priorities for America. Included in the Budget Resolution is sustained commitment to R&D and education, investments that are part of our Innovation Agenda: A Commitment to Competitiveness to Keep America #1.” Highlights of some of the budget functions are:

(From IEEE Eye on Washington)

U.S. Competitiveness & Innovation: Who’s Doing What to Address the Issue?
http://ieeeusa.org/policy/issues/innovation/index.asp

U.S. Competitiveness: The Innovation Challenge — A comprehensive list of reports and activities brought to you by IEEE.

Politicization of Science: Beyond Climate Science
The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2007 passed the House in mid-March amidst new hearings and reports addressing the politicization of government science. The bill now awaits consideration in the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, where it faces an uphill battle. The act extends whistleblower rights to government scientists and national security employees and clearly defines the rights of government scientists who report political interference in scientific findings. The legislation identifies specific protections for scientific freedom including guards against censorship, obstruction of dissemination, and misrepresentation of federal research results. Under H.R. 985 “abuse of authority” is defined as “any action that compromises the validity or accuracy of federally funded research or analysis; the dissemination of false or misleading scientific, medical, or technical information; any action that restricts or prevents an employee or any person performing federally funded research or analysis from publishing in peer-reviewed journals or other scientific publications or making oral presentations at professional society meetings or other meetings of their peers.”

The bill’s passage did not slow the torrent of hearings exploring political interference in science that continue to take place on the Hill. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held yet another hearing on politicization of climate science on March 19. A week later, the House Science and Technology Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight held its own hearing to address politicization of science.

Soon after the hearing on March 29th, the Department of Commerce (DOC) released its long-awaited new public communication policy that establishes procedures to protect government scientists and encourage research openness. The policy, which will affect the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), states that scientists may speak to the media and the public about their official work and freely and openly discuss scientific and technical ideas, approaches, findings, and conclusions based on their official work. In a section called Fundamental Research Communications, the new policy distinguishes between scientific research that may be shared with the media without internal approval and regular communications on budget, policy or management issues — information that still must go through the official channels. Though most of the discussion on political interference with science has focused on climate change research, a recent report by the Department of the Interior (DOI) Inspector General expands these allegations to endangered species protection. Chairman Rahall has said he plans to hold a hearing in May on the politics of endangered species. (From Lina Karaoglanova and Kasey White, AAAS Center for Science, Technology, and Congress)

Related links:

NSF Reauthorization Discussions Begin Anew
Scientists heralded the reauthorization of the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2002, with its ambitious plans to double the agency’s budget over five years. But the tight budget environment that followed prevented the increases from coming to fruition. A new reauthorization for the agency has resurfaced on the congressional agenda, with the House Research and Science Education Subcommittee holding two hearings at the end of March on the topic. Several key issues that the committee focused on are encouraging young investigators, furthering partnerships between universities and industry, supporting interdisciplinary research, and improving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education for grades K–16. A draft bill covering many of these topics is circulating, but has yet to be introduced. (From the AAAS S&T Newsletter)

Climate Change and the Environment
http://www.brookings.edu/comm/infocus/climatechange.htm

“In a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the Bush Administration’s position that carbon dioxide was not a pollutant that could be regulated under the Clean Air Act. The decision accepted the view of several state governments, which urged EPA to regulate such emissions and returns attention to how government should control harmful greenhouse gases. Brookings scholars have examined policy options ranging from cap-and-trade permits, to technology innovation, to state-level action, to the design of global institutions for managing climate uncertainty. This website presents a variety of papers on the topic.”

New Open Source E-Journal

The Fungal Biodiversity Centre (CBS) is pleased to announce that Studies in Mycology is available online at http://www.studiesinmycology.org/

Studies in Mycology (online ISSN: 1872-9797; print ISSN: 0166-0616) is an international journal which publishes systematic monographs of filamentous fungi and yeasts, and at occasions the proceedings of special meetings related to all fields of mycology, biotechnology, ecology, molecular biology, pathology and systematics. The first issue was published in 1972. Studies in Mycology is an open access journal that is freely available on the internet, but is also issued as individual booklets.

The publisher, The Fungal Biodiversity Centre (CBS) — an institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and situated in Utrecht, The Netherlands — maintains a world-renowned collection of living filamentous fungi, yeasts and bacteria. The Institute’s research programs principally focus on the taxonomy and evolution of fungi as well as on functional aspects of fungal biology and ecology, increasingly making use of molecular and genomics approaches.

Studies in Mycology online contains the full content of each issue of the journal, including all figures and tables, beginning with the volume 53, 2005 to volume 56 2006. The full text is searchable by keyword, and content links to the CBS and MycoBank strain databases are available in the full-text of articles. Cited references include hyperlinks to Medline, ISI (Thomson ISI Web of Knowledge), and to the online full text of many other frequently-cited journals.

We would appreciate comments, critiques, questions, or suggestions from you; these can be sent via the Feedback link found on all pages of the site. Feedback from readers will help us decide how well the site is working for its readers. The site is being produced in conjunction with Stanford University’s HighWire Press. You may find a list of online journals and their URLs at:

New E-Books & Reports

Federal Science and Engineering Support to Universities, Colleges, and Nonprofit Institutions: FY 2004. NSF, 2007.
http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf07316/pdf/nsf07316.pdf

Women, Minorities, and Persons With Disabilities in Science and Engineering. NSF, 2007.
http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/pdf/nsf07315.pdf

Green Paper: The European Research Area, New Perspectives. EU, 2007.
http://ec.europa.eu/research/era/pdf/era_gp_final_en.pdf

Cyberinfrastructure Vision for 21st Century Discovery. NSF, 2007.
http://www.nsf.gov/od/oci/ci_v5.pdf

Basic Research on Bacteria: The Essential Frontier. Am. Soc. for Microbiology, 2007.
http://www.asm.org/ASM/files/ccLibraryFiles/Filename/000000002932/NIHASMBacteriaReport.pdf

Ethanol and Biofuels: Agriculture, Infrastructure, and Market Constraints Related to Expanded Production (RL33928). CRS, 2007.
http://www.opencrs.com/rpts/RL33928_20070316.pdf

Industrial Competitiveness and Technological Advancement: Debate over Government Policy (RL33528). CRS, 2007.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL33528.pdf

Passenger Vehicle Fuel Economy: Preliminary Observations on Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards (GAO-07-551T). GAO, 2007.
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d07551t.pdf

The Future of Coal: Options in a Carbon-Constrained World. MIT, 2007.
http://web.mit.edu/coal/

Science, technology and innovation in Europe. Eurostat, 2007.
http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_OFFPUB/KS-AE-07-001/EN/KS-AE-07-001-EN.PDF

Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management: Approaches Used by Foreign Countries May Provide Useful Lessons for Managing U.S. Radioactive Waste. GAO, 2007.
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d07221.pdf

Interagency Strategic Research Plan for Tropical Cyclones. Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorology, 2007.
http://www.ofcm.gov/p36-isrtc/pdf/entire_p36_2007.pdf

Highlights of Space 2006. UN, 2007.
http://www.unoosa.org/pdf/publications/st_space_34E.pdf

Nanotechnology: The Future is Coming Sooner Than You Think. Joint Economic Committee of Congress, 2007
http://www.house.gov/jec/publications/110/nanotechnology_03-22-07.pdf

We Are Still Losing the Competitive Advantage: Now Is the Time To Act. American Electronics Association, 2007.
http://www.aeanet.org/publications/AeA_Competitiveness_2007.asp

The Future of U.S. Chemistry Research: Benchmarks and Challenges (prepublication). NAP, 2007.
http://www.nap.edu/catalog/11866.html

Innovation Inducement Prizes at the National Science Foundation. NAP, 2007.
http://books.nap.edu/catalog/11816.html

International Benchmarking of U.S. Chemical Engineering Research Competitiveness (prepublication). NAP, 2007.
http://www.nap.edu/catalog/11867.html

Mitigating Shore Erosion along Sheltered Coasts. NAP, 2007.
http://www.nap.edu/catalog/11764.html

Putting People on the Map: Protecting Confidentiality with Linked Social-Spatial Data. NAP, 2007.
http://books.nap.edu/catalog/11865.html

Scientific Opportunities with a Rare-Isotope Facility in the United States. NAP, 2007.
http://www.nap.edu/catalog/11796.html

Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K–8. NAP, 2007.
http://books.nap.edu/catalog/11625.html

Sustaining America’s Fisheries and Fishing Communities: An Evaluation of Incentive-Based Management. Environmental Defense, 2007.
http://www.environmentaldefense.org/documents/6119_sustainingfisheries.pdf

Next Generation Air Transportation System: Progress and Challenges in Planning and Implementing the Transformation of the National Airspace System (GAO-07-649T). GAO, 2007.
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d07649t.pdf

State of the World’s Fisheries and Aquaculture, 2006. FAO, 2007.
ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/009/a0699e/a0699e.pdf

Foreign Science and Engineering Presence in U.S. Institutions and the Labor Force. CRS, 2007.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/97-746.pdf

Federal R&D, Drug Discovery, and Pricing: Insights from the NIH-University-Industry Relationship. CRS, 2007.
http://www.ncseonline.org/NLE/CRSreports/07Jan/RL32324.pdf

Redacting the science of climate change: an investigative and synthesis report. Government Accountability Project, 2007.
http://www.whistleblower.org/doc/2007/Final%203.28%20Redacting%20Climate%20Science%20Report.pdf

State of the World’s Forests, 2007. FAO, 2007.
http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/a0773e/a0773e00.htm

Linking Elements of the Integrated Ocean Observing System with the Planned National Water Quality Monitoring Network. NOAA, 2007.
http://www.ccma.nos.noaa.gov/publications/IOOSTechMemo.pdf

Public Support for Science and Innovation. Australian Government Productivity Commission, 2007.
http://www.pc.gov.au/study/science/finalreport/science.pdf

Worlds Top Ten Rivers at Risk. World Wildlife Fund, 2007.
http://www.worldwildlife.org/news/pubs/10rivers.pdf

Too Good to Be True? An Examination of Three Economic Assessments of California Climate Change Policy. Harvard Univ., Kennedy School of Government, 2007.
http://ksgnotes1.harvard.edu/Research/wpaper.nsf/rwp/RWP07-016/$File/rwp_07_016_stavins.pdf

Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council Report. Marine Fish Conservation Network, 2007
http://www.conservefish.org/site/mediacenter/gulfcouncil_report_07.pdf

Standardized Analytical Methods for Environmental Restoration following Homeland Security Events (Revision 3.0). EPA Homeland Security Research, 2007.
http://www.epa.gov/nhsrc/pubs/reportSAM030107.pdf

Active Military Sonar and Marine Mammals: Events and References. CRS, 2007.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL33133.pdf

Climate Change: The Role of the U.S. Agriculture Sector. CRS, 2007.
http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/81931.pdf

Climate Change: Science and Policy Implications. CRS, 2007.
http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/81362.pdf

Radioactive Tank Waste from the Past Production of Nuclear Weapons: Background and Issues for Congress. CRS, 2007.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/RS21988.pdf

Radioactive Waste Streams: Waste Classification for Disposal. CRS, 2007.
http://www.ncseonline.org/NLE/CRSreports/07Jan/RL32163.pdf

PEPFAR Implementation: Progress and Promise (prepublication). NAP, 2007.
http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11905

Using the American Community Survey: Benefits and Challenges (prepublication). NAP, 2007.
http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11901

International Education and Foreign Languages: Keys to Securing America’s Future (prepublication). NAP, 2007.
http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11841

The New Science of Metagenomics: Revealing the Secrets of Our Microbial Planet (prepublication). NAP, 2007.
http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11902

Tools and Methods for Estimating Populations at Risk from Natural Disasters and Complex Humanitarian Crises (prepublication). NAP, 2007.
http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11895

Prospective Evaluation of Applied Energy Research and Development at DOE (Phase Two) (prepublication, second edition). NAP, 2007.
http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11806

Cancer Biomarkers: The Promises and Challenges of Improving Detection and Treatment (final). NAP, 2007.
http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11892

Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The First Biennial Review, 2006 (final). NAP, 2007.
http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11754

Validation of Toxicogenomic Technologies: A Workshop Summary (final). NAP, 2007.
http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11804

Assessment of the NIOSH Head-and-Face Anthropometric Survey of U.S. Respirator Users (final). NAP, 2007.
http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11815

Assessing the Medical Risks of Human Oocyte Donation for Stem Cell Research: Workshop Report. NAP, 2007.
http://books.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11832

Cancer in Elderly People: Workshop Proceedings. NAP, 2007.
http://books.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11869

Innovation Inducement Prizes at the National Science Foundation. NAP, 2007.
http://books.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11816

Putting People on the Map: Protecting Confidentiality with Linked Social-Spatial Data. NAP, 2007.
http://books.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11865

Handbook of Frequency Allocations and Spectrum Protection for Scientific Uses (final). NAP, 2007.
http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11719

Around DC and on the Net

Cafe Scientifique Arlington
“A Place to Eat, Drink and Talk About Science”

Who: Entomologist Gary Hevel (National Museum of Natural History)
What: Backyard Science Survey: A Buggy Bonanza
When: Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Where: The Front Page — 4201 Wilson Blvd, Arlington  22230
How: 6:00–6:30  Light hors d’oeuvres (buy your drink/meal)
6:30–8:00  Short presentation, followed by Q&A

About the Topic: Even in an urban area like the Washington Metro Area, an amazing diversity of life exists right outside (sometimes inside) your home. Insects are the undersung flag-carriers of urban diversity. Bug expert Hevel, who has identified about 4,000 species in his own backyard, will talk about how to explore the science laboratory outside your own home. This event is part of the National Geographic Society’s Bioblitz, which aims to informally census species and focuses this year on the Rock Creek Park.

About this Café: Generally held on first Tuesdays at the Front Page. This month’s event is co-sponsored by the National Geographic Society. To suggest topics or speakers, complete a survey on-site.

Find Out More: To hear about upcoming cafés sponsored by NSF, subscribe to the NSF e-mail list. Send a message to lyris@lists.nsf.gov. In the text, write subscribe cafesci. Don’t add a signature. (You can unsubscribe at any time.)

Other Cafés in DC Metro Area: Occasional cafés are also hosted by the American Chemical Society (http://science.meetup.com/62/) and Koshland Science Museum (http://www.koshland-science-museum.org/events/index.jsp).

Related Web Sites:

Resolving Natural Resource Conflicts: Perspectives on Participatory Management of Common Property
Communities throughout the world are increasingly involved in the management of local natural resources and the environment. This trend toward participatory decisionmaking introduces challenges and opportunities for practitioners, donors, and analysts. What are the degrees of public involvement? To what extent does public involvement facilitate conflict resolution? What are the systems for participatory planning in terms of initiating, implementing, and evaluating results? What are appropriate roles for market mechanisms, such as payment for environmental services and other compensation schemes? Our panelists will share a range of practical perspectives on these issues.

Who:
Moderator: Shalini Vajjhala, Fellow, Resources for the Future
Panelists: Mary Melnyk, Senior Advisor for Natural Resource Management, Asia and Near East Bureau, USAID; Gail Bingham, President, RESOLVE; Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute
What: First Wednesday Seminar
When: Wednesday, May 2, 2007, 12:45 pm – 2:00 pm
Where: Resources for the Future, 1616 P Street, NW, Washington, DC, First Floor Conference Center

Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future
http://mitworld.mit.edu/video/432/

George Whitesides refers to the recent National Academies report, “Rising Above the Gathering Storm,” as a “case study for how to catch the attention of the government at a particular time.”
George M. Whitesides,
Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor of Chemistry,
Harvard University

Climate and Energy: Uncertainties in Forecasts and the Problems of Scale
http://mitworld.mit.edu/video/431/

Ronald G. Prinn, TEPCO Professor of Atmospheric Science, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences and Director, Center for Global Change Science; Co-Director of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change

“When Ron Prinn spins one Wheel of Fortune, he arrives at a one in four chance of the Earth warming up at least 3 degrees centigrade, and the beginning of an irreversible melting of polar ice sheets. When he spins the other wheel, the odds of this level of dangerous warming fall to one in 40. The first wheel, Prinn suggests, represents the risks involved in doing nothing about climate change. The second wheel is attainable only by enacting a climate policy that stabilizes carbon dioxide levels in the near future. Prinn arrives at this casino scenario by way of an enormously complex climate model, the Integrated Global System Model (IGSM), which takes into account man made and natural activities forcing climate change, to generate a probability range of forecasts. Data come from measuring variables in the atmosphere, ocean, and land ecosystems, as well as from human emissions. GDP, energy use, policy costs, agricultural and health impacts get factored in as well.”

Managing Climate Change: The Daunting Energy Challenge Ahead
Monday, April 16, 2007
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 106
Washington, DC
Register (http://www.ametsoc.org/atmospolicy/ESSSRegister.html)

What is the scale of effort that is likely required to address the energy challenges posed by climate change? Have we, as a society, been successful in the past in organizing grand-scale programs to address critical issues of enormous scale? What are the suite of technologies and lifestyle changes that are likely to be essential components of an energy conversion program that effectively addresses the most serious threats and consequences of climate change? The grand challenges posed by unchecked greenhouse gas emissions will, no doubt, take considerable time and effort to deal with. What are likely to be some of the most effective strategies that can be deployed in the near- and mid-term? How critical is energy conservation in such a plan? Is it reasonable to assume that technological advances alone, in the absence of fundamental changes in our lifestyles and perspectives, are sufficient to tackle the problem at hand?

This seminar series is open to the public and does not require a reservation.

Science from the Poles — Climate Change
http://www.exploratorium.edu/poles/climate.php

“Over the past few decades, scientists say, the earth’s poles have experienced twice the rate of warming as the rest of the earth. One important focus of International Polar Year efforts will be to understand how and why the poles are affected so dramatically by global climate change. These programs will look at the work being done to understand climate change, the impact of global warming on people and the environment, and ways individuals can get involved.” Archived and upcoming webcasts include:

and much, much more!

Join National Geographic for a Virtual Teacher Workshop to Bring Earth Day into Your Classroom!
http://www.coexploration.org/ngs/EarthDay/

This year in support of Earth Day, the National Geographic is launching a workshop for teachers focused on the ocean to bring environmental issues into the classroom. Discussion will be led by Dr. Carl Safina, a renowned scientist and author who will present his findings to you and to better understand what this issue means to you. Dr. Greg Marshall, Project Manager for Crittercam, will look at what research is doing to help protect species. Dr. Michael Libbee, Director of the Michigan Geographic Alliance, will also join us for the entire workshop to demonstrate how to make these topics an important part of your curricula, with new classroom applications and extensions.

The NSF Cyberinfrastructure Initiative: Vision and Implementation Towards Learning and Discovery
http://mitworld.mit.edu/video/434/

“Cyberinfrastrcture offers the opportunity for new global-scale collaborations across disciplines and geography… Realizing its potential will however also require a new wave of commitment to collaborate between the complex array of stake holders necessary to create, deploy, sustain and apply cyberinfrastructure in transformative ways.” — Daniel Atkins

In 2006 the National Science Foundation created the Office of Cyberinfrastructure to make competitive, merit-reviewed awards for leading-edge, IT-based infrastructure that is essential to science and engineering, and named Daniel Atkins director of this new office. In his talk, Atkins outlines his ambitious goals for this new post.

The Realities of Middle Eastern Oil
http://cstsp.aaas.org/content.html?contentid=866

Tuesday, April 17, 2007; 4:00 pm Reception, 4:30 pm
Presentation and Discussion
AAAS Headquarters, Second Floor Auditorium
1200 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005

This lecture will feature Robert E. Ebel, who serves as Senior Advisor and Chairman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Energy Program, where he provides analysis on world oil and energy issues, with particular emphasis on the former Soviet Union and the Persian Gulf. He is also co-director of the Caspian Sea Oil Study Group and the Oil Markets Study Group. Additional details and RSVP information is available on-line.

Science, Innovation, and the FY 2008 R&D Budget
Tuesday April 24, 2007; 12:00–1:30 pm
The Capitol Hill Club
300 First Street, SE, Washington, DC 20003

AAAS, in conjunction with the House R&D Caucus, invites you to a congressional luncheon briefing that will focus on innovation proposals; the impacts of the budget proposal on the major R&D agencies; historical R&D trends; and the political outlook for R&D in the appropriations process. R&D Caucus co-chairs Rep. Judy Biggert and Rep. Rush Holt will provide opening remarks, and Kei Koizumi, Director, AAAS R&D Budget & Policy Program, will provide an overview of research and development in the FY 2008 budget request. RSVP (202/326-6789).

Workshop on Autism and the Environment: Challenges and Opportunites for Research
http://www.iom.edu/CMS/3740/35684/39826.aspx

National Academy of Sciences Building
2100 C St. N.W.
Washington, D.C.
Wednesday, April 18 and Thursday, April 19

This workshop is being organized in response to a request from the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, and will be hosted in collaboration with the IOM’s Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine. Seating will be limited and all attendees must be registered.

Sustainability
http://www.epa.gov/p3/

The National Sustainable Design Expo (April 24–25 on the National Mall in Washington, DC) will recognize innovations designed to advance economic growth while reducing environmental impact, such as products for green buildings and construction materials, innovative alternative energy technologies, strategies for rainwater collection and purification, and the latest in consumer products by a number of exhibitors. In conjunction with the Sustainable Design Expo, EPA’s annual P3 (People, Prosperity, and the Planet) Award competition will respond to the challenges in moving toward sustainability. This national competition enables college students to research, develop, and design solutions to sustainability challenges. Their designs are helping to achieve the mutual goals of economic prosperity while providing a higher quality of life and protecting the planet. NAE members will be among the judges for the competition.

This is Science Idol!
http://www.ucsusa.org/scientific_integrity/science_idol/

This spring, creative minds throughout America will have the opportunity to show off their artistic and comedic talents in support of independent science by entering the 2nd annual Science Idol: the Scientific Integrity Editorial Cartoon Contest. We’re looking for your creative take on the issue of political interference in science. Submit one-panel or multi-panel print cartoons that address the misuse of science on a specific issue or in general. But before you put pen to paper, please check out the contest guidelines to make sure you’re on the right track.

Meet Your Celebrity Judges
We’re pleased to announce our judges for this competition’s talented, award-winning cartoonists who will choose the top 12 finalists. Our celebrity judges are:

Entries are due by May 22, 2007

Interesting Web Sites and News

TryScience Museum
http://www.tryscience.org/

“TryScience is a virtual science museum — the first Web site to capture the very best science from more than 660 museums around the world. Now, anywhere and anytime, children, parents and teachers have instant access to experiments, exhibits and scientific breakthroughs. IBM scientists created the site in collaboration with the New York Hall of Science and the US Association of Science-Technology Centres. It is now available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese as well as Chinese and Japanese.” (From Science Websites)

Biology

Kings of Camouflage
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/camo/

Join NOVA on a voyage beneath the waves, where you’ll discover a bizarre, alien-like creature like no other. It’s an animal with eight sucker-covered arms growing out of its head, three hearts pumping its blue-green blood, and a doughnut-shaped brain. It has the ability to change its color and shape to blend in with seaweed and rocks, and it has a knack for switching on electrifying light shows that dazzle its prey. Perhaps most surprising of all, this animal is quite intelligent, with a highly complex brain. In this program, underwater cameras capture the extraordinary, transformative powers of the cuttlefish. Here’s what you’ll find on the companion Web site:

Also, Links & Books, a Teacher’s Guide, the program transcript, and more …

Orangutan Diary
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes/orangutandiary/

The ’old man of the forest’ could be extinct within a decade due to habitat loss. Many are orphaned, their parents shot for entering plantations in search of food. Follow Orangutan Diary on BBC One, an emotional insight into the daily lives of rescued orangutans and their carers. Our cousins, the great apes, are all endangered. But at least the gorillas of London Zoo seem happy in their new home. But will silverback Bobby breed with females Effie and Zaire?

Soundscape: A Grey Seal Odyssey
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/science/soundscape_seal.shtml

A dramatic and evocative story in sound following Selkie, a male grey seal, as he travels the coast of Britain on an epic journey in search of a mate. Narrated by Bill Paterson, each programme in this 5-part series follows a different leg of this challenging journey, combining a rich soundscape — with sounds recorded on location by Chris Watson and a powerful narration written by Paul Dodgson — to produce an evocative and absorbing series.

The New Genetics
http://free.ed.gov/resource.cfm?resource_id=1876

The New Genetics explains the process by which all living things pass genes to their offspring. Discover how genes serve as “instruction books” for making molecules (such as RNA and proteins) that perform the chemical reactions in our bodies. Learn how genes influence health and disease. Find out how studies of evolution drive medical research and how computers are advancing genetics in the 21st century. (From EdInfo)

Dream Anatomy
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/dreamanatomy/index.html

For centuries, artists and physicians have rendered the human body and its anatomy in a myriad of ways, and with the invention of the printing press in the 15th century, the number of anatomical drawings and their like multiplied. Drawing on the collections contained within the National Library of Medicine, this revealing digital exhibit explores some of the ways in which human anatomy has been imagined and represented over the past five centuries or so. These images are divided into a number of thematic sections, including Anatomical Dreamtime, Getting Real, and Visionary & Visible. Visitors to the site can also view the winners in a related contest which asked children to draw what they thought the body looked like under the skin. [KMG] (From the Scout Report)

Still Waters: The Global Fish Crisis
http://www7.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0704/feature1/index.html

“The Mediterranean may lose its wild bluefin tuna. High-tech harvesting and wasteful management have brought world fish stocks to dangerous lows. This story explores the fish crisis, as well as the hope for a new relationship between man and the sea.” This gorgeous site includes multimedia, photographs, maps, and more.

Education and Human Resources

PBS American Field Guide — Teacher Resources
http://www.pbs.org/americanfieldguide/teachers/index.html

“American Field Guide is a tremendous resource for you and your students. Embedded within this site you will find lesson plans that weave segments of video together into units of inquiry around specific topics. The lessons in the units of inquiry were all written by high school teachers and draw upon national and state standards for science learning.” (From Academic Info)

Engineering

French High Speed Rail Sets Speed Record

In many parts of the world, trains whisk passengers from city to city quickly. This past Tuesday, a high-speed train moved a group of people very quickly through the French countryside, and along the way, it broke the world speed record for conventional rail trains. Powered by two engines, this TGV (an acronym for high-speed train in French), reached 357.2 miles per hour at one point, effectively breaking the previous TGV record set in 1990. Along the way, a television crew caught the train drivers smiling as they realized they had broken the record, and spectators cheered and clapped as the train rushed by. TGV trains have been in service since 1981, and they generally travel at about 186 miles per hour, but starting in June they will be allowed to travel at approximately 200 miles per hour on the Paris to Strasbourg line. After the demonstration was completed, French President Jacques Chirac commented, “Economically efficient and respectful of the environment, the TGV is a major asset in efforts to ensure sustainable development in transport.” For the future, the hope is that TGV trains will be purchased in China, South Korea, Taiwan, and potentially California.

The first link for visitors leads to a piece from the BBC News about the recent speed record, complete with footage of the trip. The second link will lead users to an article from the Times’ Ben Webster, who was onboard during Tuesday’s record-setting trip. Moving along, the third link leads to the webpage created by the train’s manufacturers (the Alstom company) that provides a behind-the-scenes video, safety information, and a glimpse into the train’s workings. For those who love to know about the operations of these mighty machines, the fourth link will be a real find. Offered by TrainWeb, this site details the various workings of the TGV’s power electronics, including the main transformer and the thyristor controlled rectifier-bridge. The fifth link whisks users away to a very short film from 1938 that tells how one brave officer saved a train from certain disaster with the use of a mere flashlight. The trusty flashlight happened to be powered by Eveready batteries, and the Eveready Corporation sponsored the film. Finally, the last link leads to a nice online collection of different TGV trains in action from the past several decades. [KMG] (From the Scout Report)

Engineering Case Studies
http://www.civeng.carleton.ca/ECL/

“This is a collection of information on engineering cases. These are accounts of real engineering projects that are written for use in engineering education. The accounts are not highly technical, and are quite readable by those with the appropriate interest.” — Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Carleton University (From Academic Info)

Rube Goldberg Contest at Purdue
http://www.purdue.edu/UNS/rube/rube.index.html

Details about this competition inspired by cartoonist Rube Goldberg, in which “college students nationwide compete to design a machine that uses the most complex process to complete a simple task,” such as screwing in a light bulb, in 20 or more steps. Provides a FAQ, results of past competitions (back to 1999), photos of some of the machines, and background about Rube Goldberg and the contest. (From Librarians Index to the Internet) We’ve covered this site before, but it is always worth another look!

Geosciences

What Lived With Sue?
http://www.fieldmuseum.org/sue/interactive1/sue-whatlivedV3_content.html

A few years back, a team of intrepid paleontologists came across the bones of a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex in South Dakota. The dinosaur became known as Sue, and visitors to the Field Museum in Chicago have flocked to see her remains for the past seven years. This website, created by the Field Museum, allows visitors to learn about the other species roaming around South Dakota at the same time as Sue, some sixty-seven million years ago. Using this interactive exhibit, visitors can explore the dig site where Sue was discovered, and learn about some of her contemporaries, such as the Thescelosaurus and Hadrosaur, both ornithopods (bird-footed) dinosaurs. Overall, the site is a great way to learn about the very interesting world in which Sue lived, and it is also a visually stimulating and engaging experience. [KMG] (From the Scout Report)

Mathematical and Physical Sciences

InterMath
http://free.ed.gov/resource.cfm?resource_id=1874

InterMath is designed to help middle school teachers deepen their understanding of math concepts. More than 200 “recommended investigations” are offered for teachers to solve and then modify for use with students. They’re presented in 13 units: patterns, functions and equations, graphing (algebra); circles, quadrilaterals, triangles, polygons, 3-D objects (geometry); fractions and decimals, integers, ratio and percent (number concept); statistics and probability (data analysis). (From EdInfo)

Kepler’s Three Laws of Planetary Motion
http://www.phy6.org/stargaze/Kep3laws.htm

Four hundred years ago, the German astronomer Johannes Kepler described his concept of the laws of planetary motion in his work, “Astronomia nova”. These important laws remain important concepts for students of physics, and those who work with such students will find much of interest on this particular site. Created by David P. Stern (a retired physicist at the Goddard Space Flight Center), the site consists of an overview of Kepler’s laws, with examples, applications, problems and related history. The material is based on a talk that Stern gave in Maryland, and visitors will find that this resource is both accessible and very thorough. [KMG] (From the Scout Report)

Office for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education Resources
http://www.mste.uiuc.edu/resources.php

Located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, The Office for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education is primarily interested in creating resources for educators working on these topics. First-time visitors should definitely start by looking through the Resources area, as they will find classroom tested exercises that cover basic topics in algebra, trigonometry, and a number of related fields in math. Moving along, the site also features teaching modules that will help educators explain different concepts in technology, which can be most useful, particularly for beginning students. Finally, if visitors to the site have questions, there is a contact form and a place to make suggestions about material that might be covered in future projects and modules. [KMG] (From the Scout Report)

ChemSpider: Crawling and Indexing the Web of Chemistry
http://www.chemspider.com/

“Search engine for over 10 million chemical structures. The content is aggregated from publicly available data sources, such as PubChem. PDF manual is available for download on the search page. As of March 2007, ChemSpider is in a beta release, and some features may not be available.” (From InfoMine)

Saturn Moons Explorer: Titan
http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/multimedia/flash/Titan/index.html

Only now are we beginning to learn about Titan, one of Saturn’s most intriguing and enigmatic moons. This particular site provides an overview of Titan, courtesy of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, located at the California Institute of Technology. After watching an introductory video segment about Titan, visitors can learn more in the Quick Facts section. The Latest Images area contains twelve of the latest images of Titan as captured by the Cassini spacecraft. Visitors should also not miss the 3D Globe area, which contains an interactive rendering of Titan which allows visitors to visit a number of features on this moon, including an ice volcano, drainage channels, and The Smile, the brightest spot on Titan’s surface. [KMG] (From the Scout Report)

Physlets
http://qbx6.ltu.edu/s_schneider/physlets/main/index.shtml

Understanding how various concepts and processes in physics can be an exasperating experience for students beginning to study the field, so finding sites like this one can be quite a delight. These Java-based applets were developed at Davidson University by Wolfgang Christian, and they are a real delight. First-time visitors may wish to read through the introduction on using these physlets, and then move on to look through the different sections on the site. In total, there are over 100 physlets here, and they include those that illustrate (or animate) such processes as linear momentum, elastic linear collisions, and the movement of sound waves. [KMG] (From the Scout Report)

Mathematicians Map E8
http://www.aimath.org/E8/

“Mathematicians have mapped the inner workings of one of the most complicated structures ever studied: the object known as the exceptional Lie group E8. This achievement is significant both as an advance in basic knowledge and because of the many connections between E8 and other areas, including string theory and geometry. The magnitude of the calculation is staggering: the answer, if written out in tiny print, would cover an area the size of Manhattan. Mathematicians are known for their solitary work style, but the assault on E8 is part of a large project bringing together 18 mathematicians from the U.S. and Europe for an intensive four-year collaboration.”

This website includes information on all aspects of this fascinating project.

Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences

The Foundations of Anthropology at the University of California, 1901–1960: A Centennial Exhibit
http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/Exhibits/anthro/

This exhibit tells a story of key personalities and events driving the establishment and development of anthropology in its first sixty years at the University of California. The exhibit draws on the extensive collection of records, documents, and images held by The Bancroft Library. A special feature of the online exhibit are several audio and film clips generously provided by the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology.

RACE: Are We So Different?: A Project of the American Anthropological Association
http://www.understandingrace.org/home.html

“A presentation on the idea of ‘race’ from historical, biological, and experiential perspectives. Features a timeline of significant events in U.S. history; units include images and are cross-linked to related topics. Resources for teachers and researchers are also offered: lesson plans, bibliographies and fulltext papers in PDF.” (From InfoMine)

National Park Service & Archeological Preservation

NPS Archeology Program: Technical Briefs
http://www.cr.nps.gov/archeology/pubs/techbr/

National Park Service publication series on archaeological topics; site stabilization and preservation, public outreach programs, laws, and resource management.

National Park Service: Laws, Executive Orders and Regulations for Preservation
http://www.cr.nps.gov/laws.htm

The National Park Service offers texts of laws governing cultural heritage preservation. Documents are provided by topic: archaeology, historic preservation, maritime, museums, National Park Service, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, and transportation.

National NAGPRA Online Databases
http://www.cr.nps.gov/nagpra/onlinedb/

Databases of information related to implementation of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, providing contact information, status of the repatriation of cultural artifacts, and inventories of museums and Federal agencies. Databases offered:

(From InfoMine)

Polar Programs

Celebrating Polar Science
http://www.sciencemag.org/sciext/polarscience/

“In the 16 March 2007 issue, Science and its online jobs and career-development companion site, ScienceCareers.org, ring in the International Polar Year — a two-year, multinational research initiative aimed at exploring the Arctic and Antarctica and the impact of polar change on global climate. In Science, News and Review articles look at some of the more vibrant research under way at the ends of the Earth from studies of arctic air pollution and the influence of sea ice changes on our planet’s ecological and biogeochemical cycles, to the contributions of indigenous Arctic people to studies of climate change. A podcast segment highlights the complex dynamics of polar ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland. And a collection of articles on ScienceCareers.org focuses on scientists actively pursuing polar research.”

Inter Alia

Race From Space Coincides with Race on Earth
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition14/exp14_boston_marathon.html

Information about plans for astronaut Suni Williams to run the 2007 Boston Marathon “as an official entrant from 210 miles above Earth aboard the International Space Station. This will be the first time an astronaut in space will be an official participant in a marathon.” Includes a press release and links to related video and websites. From the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). (From Librarian’s Index to the Internet)

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