Issue 51

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 a time of static or decreasing budgets for science, outreach programmes are important because they engage directly with the public and help put pressure on politicians and funding sources. In “The Economic Effectiveness of Astronomical Outreach,” Carlos Pereira and William Saslaw promote the idea of emphasizing spinoffs as a crucial factor in gaining budget support for science.


One aspect of scientific funding is political lobbying by various interest groups. There has been a subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) change over the last forty years of the lobbying scene. In “A Study on the strategic changes in Australian lobbying industry since the 1970’s,” Juan Zhang examines changes in the way lobbying has been carried out in Australia. The changes Zhang identifies though, also apply to many other countries and have a significant impact on how government funding is allocated to the sciences and other areas.


It is a given (certainly amongst physicists) that Chemistry is a science which is reduced to Physics. In “The Ambiguity of Reduction,” Eric Scerri puts this assertion under the spotlight and suggests that in addition to the reduction of Chemistry to Physics, one also has to take into account the emergence of chemical phenomena from physical phenomena.


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



The Economic Effectiveness of Astronomical Outreach, Carlos Pereira and William C. Saslaw


A Study on the Strategic Changes in Australian Lobbying Industry Since the 1970’s, Juan Zhang


The Ambiguity of Reduction, Eric R. Scerri