I saw a recent blog post about how the American Chemical Society was going to phase out hard copies of the journals that they produce – going strictly online in the future.
Now, this has probably been coming for a while – I’d say >95% of the journal articles I read in the last five years have been acquired by downloading the PDF version and printing it out locally. A decade or so ago (and before that), you would most likely be photocopying a paper out of a journal by hand in the chemistry library.
The chemistry library. There’s an institution that is probably going to be as rare as a Blockbuster Video store in the next few years. It’s weird to think that they’re obsolete (though my own practice suggested it) because I spent a lot of time in them as a student and young scientist. UNC had a good one (it’s no longer there) that was the epicenter of both learning (Do you have the latest issue of Nature?) and grad-student personal drama (Do you know who I saw Steve sitting with in the library!?!? You’ll never believe it!).
DuPont had a library that was three stories tall and took up a city block. It was awesome. You could go and peruse tables of contents and see what was going on in fields that weren’t necessarily your own. These days, it’s all done with keyword searches and email updates, and even though it’s more efficient, I became a lot less conversant in nearby fields. Hrmmm.
I suppose like all things, even scientific communication changes. I remember making the BIG change from slides (that you shot yourself!) to PowerPoint presentations. And today, I came across a series of videos from a group at the University of California at Davis about food safety (which is very important in the summer, don’cha know).
I’m not exactly sure why Frodo (or is that Sam?) is the “protagonist” or why our heroes are so mad about getting food poisoning that they go after him. I mean, I don’t think he meant to do it!