Wednesday, January 12, 2005


It's the first post on Occam's Blog. I feel like I should explain my mission here - why I'm doing this, what I hope to gain from the experience, and what I hope I can help you with.

First the selfish reasons:
  1. I do not have a lot of reasons to write in a non-scientific voice on a day-to-day basis. The writing that my work calls for is usually technical in nature and there are a whole separate set of rules for writing like that (e.g., passive voice is always preferred). This makes it more difficult for me when I am given or asked to write something in a different tone. Occam's Blog is an excuse for me to write.
  2. The scope of my scientific work is small. Most everyone's scope is small compared with the whole of scientific inquiry and I believe there are lessons to be learned in every field that can help me with my chosen field of study. I read lots of papers in my field of chemistry, but don't often have the time to drastically expand my scope. Occam's Blog is an excuse for me to read.
And now the unselfish reasons:

  1. Within the next decade you will be able to (free of charge) read any scientific journal you like online. Right now access is restricted to organizations (like universities) who can afford the expensive subscriptions. Sure you can go to your local college or universities library and probably get access, but judging by the attendance in science libraries in the last few years, you're not doing that. This kind of access is great, but these articles are not written to be readable by everyone. The niche between experts reading about cutting edge research in their field in journals and the general scientific community has been filled by magazines like Scientific American. There is a role for blogs to play here too.
  2. Wasn't #1 good enough?
So I've got my reasons to write; I hope I can provide reasons for you to read.


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