For many years, scientific information was provided primarily in text-based formats, such as journal articles, conference proceedings, and technical reports. Increasingly, however, scientists are communicating through multimedia formats (images, videos), and via direct access to their scientific data sets. Information users face some unique challenges in finding scientific information, particularly when it can take several forms. Imagine that a climatologist has created data sets detailing precipitation measurements for the North Slope of Alaska. The climatologist might present these findings first at a meteorological conference, and the presentation might be taped and made available as a video of the conference. Later, the climatologist publishes one or more technical reports, referring to the original data sets. How does a user find all this relevant information?
Scientific research being performed today using free-electron lasers could be fodder for the next James Bond or Star Wars movie but it is way better than science fiction and it is real.
Almost everything we know about the laws of nature and how and why we react to the world around us took many centuries to develop. However, recent free-electron laser research breakthroughs are shedding light on these fundamental processes of life and moving scientific discovery into warp speed.
Personnel of the Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) recently contributed to the Department of Energy's (DOE) "2013 Energy Pledge Campaign"! The 2013 Energy Pledge Campaign was part of DOE's efforts regarding the National Day of Service. Federal Agencies and Individuals joined together to make commitments to a wide range of causes, including energy conservation.
Social media has changed the way we look at everything. Just in the past few years, society as moved from a limited amount of news sources to an infinite network of information. And we don’t necessarily have to go looking for data because links, advertisements and news stories seem to be popping up on every screen, message or page.
When we think of scientists, most of us picture professionals working in labs or in university settings. But how did these people get to become scientists? They were born into the world like everyone else and could have selected from a myriad different career paths. The evidence does not suggest that scientists necessarily have children who become scientists. Thus the reality is that “new” scientists come from the general public fortuitously, and this reality is often unappreciated.
Many researchers and institutions devoted to motivating the next generation, including for example, the Davidson Institute for Talent Development, a national non-profit concerned with supporting “profoundly gifted students”, stress the importance of exposing youngsters to the latest scientific thoughts and discoveries through the internet and other sources. The public availability of current, up-to-date scientific and technical information is essential in this regard and the benefits of its availability are tremendous.