American Scientist Archive Launched
Established in 1913, Sigma Xi's award-winning publication, American Scientist, has evolved into a highly illustrated review of research with discussions of new books, professional issues, policy, and other topics of broad interest to those in research. The magazine is edited for an interdisciplinary, international audience and is an excellent way for researchers to keep abreast of developments outside their fields.
As part of Sigma Xi's Packard International Science Networking Initiative, a searchable, full-text, low-bandwidth archive of American Scientist content, including research review articles, commentaries and book reviews by leading scientists and engineers, is now available online. Created as part of an affordable membership model for transitional countries, it is currently free for both members and non-members to access. The archive was constructed as a low-bandwidth interface to an XML content database to enable future compatibility with external low-bandwidth access for services for Web-to-Email as well as disabled users. It now contains a comprehensive collection of magazine columns, features and book reviews from 1998 to present, and content prior to 1998 will be added in the near future.
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Electronic Communication Tools
Published statistics suggest that there is an immense gap between the abilities of 'developed' and 'developing' countries to use new information and communication tools. Approximately one- third of the general population in the industrialized world uses the Internet, yet less than two percent of the population in transitional countries are online. A large part of this can be attributed to either the lack of or prohibitive cost of Internet connectivity.
Over the past several years, many tools have been developed to assist those without Internet access. Web-to-email services now allow users to receive Web pages via e-mail. Initially, the World Wide Web Consortium created the first e-mail browser for the Internet, called Agora. Since that time, other browsers have been developed, such as SATELLIFE's GetWeb and www4mail from the International Centre for Theoretical Physics. The West African Doctors Network recently introduced pm2mail to allow access to PUBMED, the U.S. National Library of Medicine's bibliographic database, via email. Web pages are not the only materials now available via e-mail. As described in G.E. Boyd's How To Do Just About Anything by e-mail, it is even possible to convert PDF documents to text or HTML via e-mail.
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Public Communication of Science & Technology
Sigma Xi sent two representatives to the 7th meeting of the International Network for Public Communication of Science and Technology, held in December in Cape Town, South Africa. Adhering to the theme "Science Communication in a Diverse World," participants discussed new approaches to public engagement in science and technology. These discussions were set in the context of reviewing communication practices within multi-cultural societies and across different cultures, particularly with a view toward the exchange between the developed and developing world. The roster of delegates included important policymakers, scientists, academics and journalists. Abstracts as well as several of the papers and presentations are now available on the conference Web site.
Aside from its biennial meetings, PCST exists primarily through email as a networking and information-sharing initiative. The 2002 conference was organized by the Foundation for Education, Science and Technology, an arm of the South African Department of Science and Technology. The 2004 meeting will be held in Barcelona.
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Did You Know?
The Special American Business Internship Training Program (SABIT) is a U.S. Department of Commerce initiative offering competitive grants to cover a portion of the costs of hosting Eurasian managers and scientists for three to six months of professional training in U.S. business, research, and technology development practices. Any U.S. profit or non-profit organization can apply to host trainees from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Over $1.5 million in grants will be awarded, and the application deadline is March 1, 2003. See www.mac.doc.gov/sabit/snw/index.html for more information on applying as a host or www.sabitprogram.org for information on applying as a trainee.
The Network for the Popularization of Science and Technology in Latin America and the Caribbean (Red de Popularización de la Ciencia y la Tecnología en América Latina y el Caribe; RED-POP) is accepting nominations for the Latin American Prize for the Popularization of Science and Technology 2002-2003. This award seeks to highlight those efforts and initiatives that stand out because of their creativity, originality, rigor and impact, both at the national and the international level. Centers, programs and specialists are eligible to apply. Applications are due by January 31, 2003. The US$3000 and $1000 prizes for the centers/programs and specialists categories, respectively, will be awarded at the VIII RED-POP meeting in León, Guanajuato, México in May 2003. [Source: SciDev.Net]
The Natural Sciences Programme of UNESCO has recently launched a quarterly newsletter called A World of Science. The aim of this new publication is to keep UNESCO's concerns in the public eye and at the centre of public debate by making information easily available and attractive reading. You can either view the electronic version online or write to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a free paper subscription.
The Third World Academy of Sciences has issued a call for papers to its upcoming First International Young Scientists' Global Change Conference, to be held in November 2003 in Trieste, Italy. Scientists who are 35 years old and younger are invited to submit papers and posters on the physical, biological and human aspects of global change. Abstracts are due March 14, 2003. For more information, see.
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Engineering in International Development: One Piece of the Puzzle; Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; January 29 - February 1, 2003.
11th GASAT International Conference on Gender And Science And Technology (GASAT11); Le Reduit, Mauritius; July 6-11, 2003.
For more information on any of the programs mentioned in this newsletter, please contact:
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
P. O. Box 13975, 3106 East NC Highway 54
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 USA
Telephone: 919-549-4691 or 919-547-5246