Issue 52

Pantaneto Introductory Physics SeriesThe first five titles in this series have just become available and can be ordered direct from the publishers here.


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.




Science outreach is not just about communicating science to the public. It satisfies a vital aspect of science’s role in society as well as being a part of the grant funding process. In “How Academic Biologists and Physicists View Science Outreach”, Elaine Ecklund, Sarah James and Anne Lincoln interviewed biologists and physicists scientists in the United States. They found a number of obstacles to effective outreach and in particular a gender bias that women were much more involved in outreach than men.


A long standing gender issue is the small number of women physicists. In Europe one third of PhD graduates in the physical sciences are female and the percentage of women professors is 9%. In “Power and Prejudice: Women in Physics”, Marianne Johansen examines this issue from the perspectives of society, science and women themselves.


When anyone uses “rocket science” as an example of something difficult I always retort by saying that compared to dealing with people and trying to get them to change their minds, rocket science is easy. In “What makes physics difficult?” Funda Ornek, William Robinson and Mark Haugan surveyed students and teachers and found disparate attitudes between students and faculty members to such an extent that the authors claim that “students and faculty live in different worlds.”


With the advent of the internet information overload is a problem which has grown over the years. Last year the Research Information Network that was based in the British Library was relaunched as a community interest company. The roots of this network go back to a call for collaboration between universities and national libraries in a report chaired by Sir Brian Follett in 2003. In “How can university and national libraries achieve deeper collaboration?” Brian Follett puts forward the original case for his plan for the UK.


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



How Academic Biologists and Physicists View Science Outreach, Elaine Howard Ecklund, Sarah A. James and Anne E. Lincoln 


Power and prejudice: women in physics, Marianne Johansen


What makes physics difficult? Funda Ornek, William R. Robinson and Mark P. Haugan


How can university and national libraries achieve deeper collaboration? Brian K. Follett