Imminent Death of the Paper Book Predicted, .GIF at 11

I got a royalty statement yesterday for How to Teach [Quantum] Physics to Your Dog (it continues to sell steadily, which is very gratifying), which includes a breakdown of the sales in terms of different formats. That reminded me of a particular annoying quirk of many recent discussions of the state of modern publishing, which […]

Science Is Not Solitary

There was another round of the “who counts as a scientist?” debate recently, on Twitter and then on the Physics Focus blog. In between those, probably coincidentally (he doesn’t mention anything prompting it), Sean Carroll offered a three-step definition of science: Think of every possible way the world could be. Label each way an “hypothesis.” […]

Do the New Paper Dance

OK, it’s a paper I mentioned here before, when it went up on the arxiv, but the “Comments on Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics” article I wrote this summer is up on the Physica Scripta web site now, and for the next not-quite-thirty days it’s free to read and download: Searching for new physics through […]

How Did the arXiv Succeed?

In which we look again at the question of why, despite the image of physicists as arrogant bastards, biologists turn out to be much less collegial than physicists. ———— While I was away from the blog, there was a spate of discussion of science outreach and demands on faculty time, my feelings about which are […]

It Figures: The Historical Aesthetics of Scientific Publishing

Steve Hsu has a post comparing his hand-drawn diagrams to computer-generated ones that a journal asked for instead: He’s got a pretty decent case that the hand-drawn versions are better. Though a bit more work with the graphics software could make the computer ones better. This reminded me, though, of something I’ve always found interesting […]