Science Celebrates Darwin

| 8 Comments

Science Magazine is celebrating the bicentenary of Darwin’s birth and the sesquicentenary of his publication of On the Origin of Species with the first of a monthly series of articles, beginning with an essay on the origin of life by Carl Zimmer. This essay (and presumably the rest of the series) is available at no cost. A February issue will feature an essay on art. The latest issue (January 9) also features an article, “Darwin’s Originality,” by Peter J. Bowler, but that article is available only by subscription. Finally, Science has initiated Origins, their new evolution blog, which is available without subscription. You may get links to Zimmer’s and Bowler’s articles, and Origins here.

Update, January 15: Mike Klymkowsky of the University of Colorado has just notified me of a special issue of The Lancet devoted to “Darwin’s Gifts.” I got the entire issue here, but I am on campus right now, so I do not know whether it is available free or whether I got it because our library has a subscription. Maybe some reader can elaborate. The Lancet is a proprietary journal, and articles are generally expensive.

8 Comments

Zimmer’s piece isn’t accessible on the sciencemag site without subscription, but you can read it on his personal website: On the Origin of Life on Earth

Yes it is - I just logged in as a “guest” and was informed that I had to execute a free registration. I also got the article thru the blog after an extraordinary number of clicks. Other articles on the blog seem to be included in their entirety, and I got them and the comments without registering. Bowler’s piece, however, is available to subscribers only.

I just received my last print copy of Nature magazine. The rate has gone to $200 per year, and they are damn cheap about the online access.

The value of Nature contrasted to Science published by the non-profit American Association for the Advancement of Science, is very poor. Science gives subscribers all of the magazine’s issues since the 1800s. Better yet, merely registering for free gives access to all but the current year’s issues. To anyone! That is why I continue to support Science and not Nature.

My last print issue of Nature promoted a “free” download of “15 Evolutionary Gems” Here is the announcement:

About a year ago, an Editorial in these pages urged scientists and their institutions to ‘spread the word’ and highlight reasons why scientists can treat evolution by natural selection as, in effect, an established fact (see Nature 451, 108; 2008).

This week we are following our own prescription. Readers will find at http://www.nature.com/evolutiongems a freely accessible resource for biologists and others who wish to explain to students, friends or loved ones just what is the evidence for evolution by natural selection. Entitled ‘15 evolutionary gems’, the document summarizes 15 lines of evidence from papers published in Nature over the past 10 years. The evidence is drawn from the fossil record, from studies of natural and artificial habitats, and from research on molecular biological processes.

In a year in which Darwin is being celebrated amid uncertainty and hostility about his ideas among citizens, being aware of the cumulatively incontrovertible evidence for those ideas is all the more important. We trust that this document will help.

This boon was just a little tiny bit more than a Nature magazine promotion. Four of the fifteen primary articles were “pay only” with download fees for very short papers as high s $32 US. The scientists who worked to provide these “gems” will receive nothing from this sale of their work. Nature has no intent to help- they are only interested in cashing out.

Gary,

Thanks for the link.

There is an interesting piece on the nature of scientific evidence in the current issue of Newsweek on Page 17.

This boon was just a little tiny bit more than a Nature magazine promotion. Four of the fifteen primary articles were “pay only” with download fees for very short papers as high as $32 US. The scientists who worked to provide these “gems” will receive nothing from this sale of their work. Nature has no intent to help- they are only interested in cashing out.

Is this Nature‘s way of celebrating? Very disappointing.

Gary Hurd said:

Science gives subscribers all of the magazine’s issues since the 1800s. Better yet, merely registering for free gives access to all but the current year’s issues. To anyone!

It DOES?! I didn’t know that! I’m over there leaving a little whirlwind of dust behind me. Boy, that’s a gold mine.

Cheers – MrG / http://gvgpd.proboards.com

The Lancet Link takes you to the free and downloadable book.

It looks great

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on January 14, 2009 3:28 PM.

Organismal size over evolutionary time is a constrained stochastic property was the previous entry in this blog.

Freshwater Day 11: Board’s case ends; Freshwater’s begins is the next entry in this blog.

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