we're in trouble! - (2 points)

Cornelius Krasel krasel at alf.biochem.mpg.de
Sun Jul 3 15:02:10 EST 1994

U58563 at uicvm.uic.edu wrote:
: First, I'd like to thank Dan Zebatakis --- I couldn't have argued as well
: myself.  Then there are a few points to resolve:

: 1) The argument that a high school student has no business reading professional
: journals seems like "common sense", but in fact this is exactly what I am
: protesting --- if there is a complete separation between the sources a
: scientist uses, and those the general public use, it is no surprise that some
: members of the public will start making blatantly false statements about
: "scientists" as a group.  Besides, there is inevitable delay and loss of
: information in the translation.

The problem is simply that the general public won't have any advantage of
reading the primary journals, simply because they can't understand it.
Articles are usually that specialised that even "professional researchers"
may not understand papers that are published outside their field.

: An example with STD's, for instance, is clear:
: a high school student consulting popularized sources will simply see that
: AIDS is incurable; he won't see the efforts people are making.

I can only speak for Germany here: a high school student consulting
popularized sources will very well be able to see the efforts that
are made to cure AIDS if he spends some time to search it. When
consulting primary sources he will only get confused.


: 4) Sooner or later we must face the fact that physical publishing in the
: sciences is a dinosaur.

I couldn't disagree more. Internet may be fast but electronic publishing
just doesn't fit my (and probably other people's) reading habits. I had
a glance at the CD version of the Journal of Bacteriology, and although
it is certainly an advantage concerning space I always preferred the
printed version (in fact, the whole group preferred the printed edition :-).


/* Cornelius Krasel, Abt. Lohse, Genzentrum, D-82152 Martinsried, Germany */
/* email: krasel at alf.biochem.mpg.de                 fax: +49 89 8578 3795 */
/* "People are DNA's way of making more DNA." (Edward O. Wilson, 1975)    */

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