Issue 58

Pantaneto Introductory Physics SeriesSeven 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.




Entropy is one of those scientific concepts that scientists rely on to explain many phenomena in the world, but outside of science means different things to different people. In “Different Senses of Entropy – Implications for Education”, Haglund et al identify the various meanings of the concept of entropy and the type of analogies which can be used by physics educators to teach students thermodynamics.


According to Dorothy Wallace “the majority of commercial textbooks do not serve students well.” In “Parts of the Whole: The Virtue of Books”, Wallace argues that textbooks are much more than just a by-product of an individual’s lecture notes. One of the examples she uses is “Statistics”, a course notorious for being taught badly.


Scientists who write research papers have a different agenda from those who write textbooks. For undergraduates trying to read research papers and are unfamiliar with the way papers are written, this can be a daunting exercise. In “How to Read Scientific research Articles”, Roxanne Bogucka and Emily Wood describe a course which gives students a hands-on tutorial on engaging directly with research articles.


In “We Must Stop the Avalanche of Low-Quality Research”, Bauerlein et al underline the falsity of the aphorism that more published output means more knowledge. They make a number of suggestions for promoting quality rather than quantity, but the system of merit and career advancement in science, through the number of publications, represents a steep hill to climb.



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



Different Senses of Entropy – Implications for Education, Jesper Haglund, Frederik Jeppsson and Helge Strömdahl


Parts of the Whole: The Virtue of Books, Dorothy Wallace


How to Read Scientific Research Articles: A Hands-On Classroom Exercise, Roxanne Bogucka and Emily Wood


We Must Stop the Avalanche of Low Quality Research, Mark Bauerlein, Mohamed Gad-el-Hak, Wayne Grody, Bill McKelvey and Stanley W. Trimble