Issue 50

Pantaneto Introductory Physics Series – The first title in this series Empty Space is Amazing Stuff: The Special Theory of Relativity by Dennis Morris has just become available on Kindle, with a paperback print version forthcoming. Other titles in the series will be coming out over the next few months.


Mindboggling: Preliminaries to a science of the mind   by Roy Harris.  Do you have a mind?  Answers to this question have divided Western thinkers for centuries, and still do.  Mindboggling sets out to identify a nucleus of basic issues about the mind, and present the main arguments for and against in each case.  Targeted to a lay readership, each chapter discusses a different theory, myth or idea about the mind.  Anticipate wails from theorists whose theories have been given short shrift.  Mindboggling is available from Amazon (including Kindle), from Bookshops or direct from Publishers.


Science on Television by Bienvenido León.

The book is a clear and systematic guide to the narrative and rhetorical techniques used by science documentary filmmakers. The book is priced at £18.50, but for direct orders we are offering a 20% discount.  The book is also available on Amazon Kindle.


Motivating Science is a collection of articles from the first five years of The Pantaneto Forum.  We are offering a 20% discount for direct orders.  The book is also available on Amazon Kindle.




In response to financial stringency and the need to find sources of funding outside of governments, universities are becoming more market oriented. In “Why are Universities Adopting Market Oriented Management Practices?” Subrata Kumar Mitra explores the situation in India, where knowledge created in the university environment becomes a marketable commodity which can be bought and sold.


The situation in China is different with respect to other countries on the relationship between government and universities. In “On the Construction of Modern University System and the Transformation of Government Functions,” Fan Lvbing examines the university system in China and the changing role of the government from that of control to supervision.


There are many science degrees where some sort of foundation course is a condition of entry, especially where there is a significant variation in the level to which students have been previously trained. In “A New Learning Experience: Voluntary Preparatory Course for the Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering,” Muriel Botey and Olga Alcarez highlight the problems for an industrial engineers course at the Barcelona College of Industrial Engineering. In their study the authors found that required minimums were not met by a large number of students implying an educational gap which had to be addressed prior to students being able to continue on their course.


Science, in common with any human activity, is prone to rumours. In terms of communication rumours, though considered possibly or probably true, are generally unconfirmed and not supported by evidence. In “The science of rumors,” Massimo Crescimbene, Frederica La Longa and Tiziana Lanza analyse rumours from a scientific vantage point and suggest ways in which the most harmful effects of rumours can be combated.



The proceedings of the Science Matters conference, which we reported in Issue 28, October 2007, have been published and are available from the publishers – World Scientific.


Nigel Sanitt Editor

ISSN 1741-1572



Why Are Universities Adopting Market Oriented Management Practices?, Subrata Kumar Mitra


On the Construction of  Modern University System and the Transformation of Government Functions, Fan Lvbing


A New Learning Experience: Voluntary Preparatoryy Course for the Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering, Muriel Botey and Olga Alcaraz


The science of rumors, Massimo Crescimbene, Frederica La Longa and Tiziana Lanza