TITLE: THE SCIENTIST

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Originally available only in paper form, THE SCIENTIST is published biweekly and is directed at an international field of professionals in the life sciences. Though it is heavily weighted with articles about biotechnology, it attempts to include coverage of all the sciences.

THE SCIENTIST does not report current research but claims to deliver "information on the workplace itself--the issues and events conditioning the professional environment in which researchers conduct their professional lives." A sort of "People" for life sciences.

Each issue contains the following sections: News, Opinion, Research, Tools & Technology, and Profession. The News section's mission is to present insights about the latest news to administrators and managers as well as researchers. The edition I reviewed (April 4, 1994) contained articles on the effect of proposed health care legislation and its "chilling effect" on drug research, the news that the Howard Hughes Medical Institute will be hiring more minorities, and a very chatty article by a reporter who attended the February meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. This last piece contained the splendid quote, "The things we know we do not know are much more obvious than the things we think we know but do not." Several other shorter articles were also included in this section.

The Opinion section contained a commentary by the president of a biotechnology firm warning scientists that they are taking the government's health plan "too casually" and that "health care reform is having a damaging impact on the scientific work force..." In conjunction with the article reported in the News section one gets the impression that THE SCIENTIST is not a big proponent of health care reform.

The top ten papers of 1993 were reported in the Research section. This ranking was based on the findings by the Institute for Scientific Information's citation analysis of research journals for that year. The number one citation on the list was concerned with the genetic causes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) and was cited in 54 other articles. Further analysis revealed that more than half of the top ten journal articles were concerned with molecular genetics. Noteworthy honors, however, went to a physical science article (number five on the list) concerning a new superconducting substance. A complete list of the top ten articles was given with the bibliographic citation, rank, and the number of articles that cited them.

The Tools & Technology section is devoted to announcing and reviewing new laboratory equipment and computer software. Two articles on DOE (Design-Of-Experiment) software were in the issue I reviewed. Also included was a list of 37 companies dealing in DOE software with their addresses, phone numbers, and fax numbers. Nine new products announcements were also included in this section. The Tools & Technology section probably comes closest to giving the active scientist useful information related to his or her research.

A report of an undergraduate women's science study program was the feature article in the Profession section. Glaxo Incorported, a research oriented pharmaceutical company in North Carolina , awards scholarships to 22 undergraduate women in the sciences from 11 North Carolina colleges. The scholarships provide each woman with $1000 per year until they graduate. A unique aspect of the program is the pairing up of each scholarship recipient with a female Glaxo scientist who acts as a mentor and role model. This section also contained short profiles of two Alzheimer's researchers and an obituary.

THE SCIENTIST is truly a bargain to those on the Internet. Paper subscriptions cost $58 per year. You don't get the cartoons or crossword puzzle but all of the substance is there. While this is a resource that is obviously designed for the life sciences researcher who wants to be "in the know," it is also of value to science undergraduates who sometimes labor under the impression that their chosen field is all facts and figures. For them, I believe, reading THE SCIENTIST will bring a more human and honest picture of their future workplace.

Jim Rible
Coordinator of Electronic Resources
Southern Oregon State College Library
rible@wpo.sosc.osshe.edu
April 18, 1994


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