Accelerating Science Discovery - Join the Discussion

Published by Sharon Jordan
STIP meeting

 

Many posts could be written about the rich history of the Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI), which dates back to 1945 when Colonel K. D. Nichols announced plans for a complete and authoritative scientific record of all research work performed by Manhattan District contractors.  However, I want to focus on a specific slice of that history, one that is going strong and is well represented across the DOE complex.  I’m referring to DOE’s Scientific and Technical Information Program (STIP, www.osti.gov/stip).

Just a month ago, STIP representatives from across the DOE complex convened in Pleasanton, CA, to participate in the annual STIP Working Meeting.  This important present-day collaboration, which is coordinated by OSTI, stems from the 1948 establishment of the Technical Information Panel by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).  In 1948, the country was just coming to terms with the wealth of scientific research resulting from the Manhattan Project. The formation of the Technical Information Panel was an important step forward for the agency and focused on establishing information policies, ascertaining information needs, recommending information dissemination methods, and serving as an important liaison between central and local organizations.

Published by Tim Byrne

Standing in line at the DMV, sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, commuting to work on the bus or train, waiting for a meeting to start, whenever and wherever you get the urge to do a little energy-related research, you can do so now with your mobile phone via OSTI Mobile at m.osti.gov.

Published by Dr. Walt Warnick

On May 25, 2011, I made an invited presentation in Geneva, Switzerland at the 14th session of the United Nations’ Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD).  I want to share with you the reception WorldWideScience.org received at this conference.



Palace of Nations in Geneva, Switzerland

CSTD and OSTI share similar goals.  CSTD supports universal access for all to scientific knowledge.  OSTI seeks to share DOE R&D results with as many people as possible and we partner with other organizations to create integrated products designed to attract users.

Published by Brian Hitson
ScienceCinema

 

In February, I wrote to you about the launch of ScienceCinema, a multimedia search engine developed by OSTI, in partnership with Microsoft.

It continues to grow, and I am pleased to let you know that it is adding audio and video materials from CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.  The inclusion of CERN materials is a milestone in the longstanding scientific collaboration between DOE and CERN and will increase public access to CERN scientific multimedia collections 

You can read about the groundbreaking technology behind ScienceCinema and the new collaboration at the OSTI Press Release and on the DOE Blog. And be sure to try ScienceCinema and let us know what you think.

Brian Hitson, Associate Director

Administration and Information Services
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Published by Dr. Jeffrey Salmon
OSTI’s Committee of Visitors

 

"The unexamined life is not worth living."  So says Plato's Socrates in the Apology.   His self-examination led to extreme humility (or to an extreme irony) when Socrates confessed to his accusers that the only knowledge he had was knowledge of his own ignorance.  No one we know of came away from a Socratic cross-examination in one piece, but they would at least have known their own limits.  And in knowing their limits, or their ignorance, they would somehow be better.

That's really the reason we open ourselves up to honest reviews of our own performance, or open our programs up to honest review by outsiders.  Now there are two ways to go about such reviews.  One is to gather your amen corner around you and have them tell you how great you are and what progress you are making and how important you are, etc. etc.  You can then announce to the world that you are a smashing success.  The other way is to gather serious, knowledgeable, and thoughtful people and let them ask hard questions; ask them to put you through a Socratic dialogue.  You'll almost always discover that there is room for improvement, if you choose the latter course. 

OSTI chose the latter course when it had a Committee of Visitors (CoV) review its programs.  A previous CoV report some years ago had proved helpful.  I felt it was time for another review.