As had been announced, Diane McGurgan leaves NASW in June, after 30 years of dedicated service. At a luncheon at the ScienceWriters 2008 meeting, a couple hundred attendees gathered to honor her. The sunny patio of the Crowne Plaza hotel, in Palo Alto, was filled with longtime friends and new members, alike in their appreciation of Diane's monumental contributions to our organization. Inside the hotel, friends viewed a slideshow and wrote fond wishes in an overflowing scrapbook.
A treasure trove on the history of science and technology has a new, permanent home on the west coast. The Burndy Library, composed of some 67,000 rare books and reference volumes, as well as a collection of scientific instruments, is now part of The Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif.
The pathetic term "word processor" is exactly the right description for Microsoft Word. Fortunately, there are nimble alternatives for both Mac and Windows, some of them free. They all let you write without getting in your way. A few are even designed for writers.
NASW members Terry Devitt, Nigel S. Hey, and S. Holly Stocking have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. All are members of Section Y (General Interest in Science and Engineering). They will receive formal recognition of this honor at a ceremony during the 2008 AAAS annual meeting, in Boston.
Cornell University's Center for Life Science Enterprise holds a poster session each year for its grant recipients as a requirement of the funding process. This year the poster session had a different spin: Scientists presented their grant-funded research to a lay audience in the form of a contest with a handsome prize and judged by community members.
The Great Turtle Race embraced everything web. It was interactive, participatory, solution-oriented, immediately accessible, updated several times a day, visual (videos, photos, charts, maps), and animated. It seeded and linked social networking, and had lots of context and continuity. It was useful and entertaining.
Stand-alone newspaper science sections rose to prominence in the late 1980s as a popular venue for in-depth science coverage, reaching a peak of 95 sections in 1989. Since then, they have been dropping in number and size, particularly among smaller papers. Those that remain have shifted dramatically toward softer consumer-oriented, "news you can use" medicine and personal health coverage and away from science topics like physics, astronomy, and earth sciences.