How does an innocent scientist learn that bionet exists?

David Kristofferson kristoff at
Thu Feb 18 13:20:19 EST 1993

masuda at (Michiaki Masuda) writes:

>   Actually, I think that Science is right in its saying that the
>public interest is not sufficient enough based on my personal
>experiences including the one above. Whether Science should 
>publish only something with _sufficient_ interest or not is another
>issue, of course.

I tried to suggest to them that Science might want to be forward
looking and let scientists know about something that has the potential
of being extremely useful to them.  There seems to be to be much less
point to writing about something that everyone is already familiar

>>  Right now the people there seem
>>to think that BIOSCI is used by only a fringe and that it has not
>>played an important role in anyone's research.

>   Probably, it depends on the definition of an "important" role.
>If it means something like doubling the number of publication or
>an easier way to get a tenure position, perhaps BIOSCI is really 
>a fringe.

>   I may not be completely understanding the goal of the BIOSCI or the
>context of this thread, but I wonder if there is anything wrong
>with people's thinking that BIOSCI is a fringe. As I understand it,
>the BIOSCI doesn't have to be a network empire as long as those who
>want to subscribe to it can do so.

I'm not talking about building an empire because, as I said yesterday,
I will probably be leaving this effort at some point in the future.  I
doubt that running BIOSCI will be my avocation for the rest of my life
8-).  My goal during the remainder of this grant is to educate many
more bench scientists about the services available to them on the
network and then quietly exit the scene when a critical mass has been
reached.  I will feel that the job has been done when we have several
successful newsgroups being regularly used by research communities in
essentially the same fashion that scientific meetings/poster sessions
are now.  Once people are accustomed to this form of communication
there will no longer be a need for a rah-rah man.  There will still be
a need for a small level of systems maintenance but that will be about

>   If we really need to familiarize people with BIOSCI, what about these?

>[1] Acknowledge the suggestions and information obtained from BIOSCI
>    as such in the paper. This might give an impression that BIOSCI somehow
>    helps a paper to come out.

>[2] (I'm not sure if it's technically possible or not, but) Post an 
>    abstract of a paper in an appropriate group on the net, and mention
>    it in the footnote of a printed paper. (E.g., "The abstract of this 
>    paper was posted on February 17, 1993 in bionet.virology of the BIOSCI.
>    Article I.D.: #####.who at") This might also give an impression 
>    that BIOSCI somehow is linked to a publication.

>[3] Make some eye-catching "BIOSCI" T-shirts and wear it in the lab,
>    at the meeting, and on the beach, of course...

These are great suggestions except for the fact that we don't have any
money for T-shirt production.  If I had some idea that people were
really willing to buy such things and that they would serve as an
effective promotional tool, I might fund them out of my
personal funds and sell them at cost at meetings.  I wouldn't want to
get stuck with a truckload though 8-).

>  I hope that the last one didn't jeopardize my sincere posting.

Not at all.


				Dave Kristofferson
				BIOSCI/bionet Manager

				kristoff at

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