Readership Report

Matthew Weed weed-matthew at
Wed Feb 17 18:20:57 EST 1993

In article <1luav9INNehs at MINERVA.CIS.YALE.EDU> smith-una at (Una Smith) writes:
>kristoff at NET.BIO.NET (Dave Kristofferson) writes:
>Reasons for "formal" Usenet identity:  as scientists I believe
>we have certain responsibilities, including the avoidance of
>an overly elitist culture, an obligation to perform our work
>in public as much as is practicable and to explain what we do
>and what our research means to curious lay people.  I reject
Yes, there is *much* import behind ensuring that 
the "general" public have access to the work going on in biology.
The moral and political implications of the work which is just beginning 
now are staggering, and will doubtless have fundamental effects on 
both the scientific comunity and the greater polity.
>the notion that "noise" would be a direct and unavoidable
>consequence of wider distribution of the bionet newsgroups.
Yes, but Mr. Kristofferson(sp), seems to disagree, and from my limited experience of
the "sci.*" groups, I would tend to support the position,
since these groups are often filled with yammering about 
subjects of limited relevancy to the group at hand.
It is a risk that is taken by opening distribution,
especially since I wonder if all universities are as closely coordinated 
ast American ones tend to be where usenet/internet access is concerned.
>And I think it is often quite educational for biologists to
>face the questions of non-biologists (many of whom are scien-
>tists or at the very least college-educated).
I see this as a matter of interpretation, as many people
(especially in the non-sciences), are 
highly uneducated where scientific matters are concerned.
In today's world, it seems that there is too much information for even the most intelligent of people to grasp across the board.
If this is so, then it would seem to me that 
greater publicity (as suggested by Mr. Kristoffersen), in 
university departments of biology and at life-sciences oriented organizations is the best "middle" path.
>--Una Smith
>                     Yale University
>                     New Haven, CT  06511
"The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets 
which it must turn over to the next generation, increased and not 
impaired in value." --President Theodore Roosevelt
Matthew Weed	weed-matthew at

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