Introducing [email protected] Lab
As the 21st century enters its fifth year, it's still individual
researchers who come up with the bright ideas and do the hard
work, but the walls between scientific disciplines are rapidly
dissolving in a research environment that increasingly draws
on expertise from many different fields to make significant
progress in any one.
That kind of team science had its beginnings when Ernest
Lawrence founded what has become Berkeley Lab almost 75 years
ago, as a research department on the University of California's
Berkeley campus. In acknowledgment, we've renamed our venerable
online science magazine, Science Beat, to honor the way science
has long been done at this multidisciplinary laboratory.
[email protected] Lab stories won't be news stories. Instead,
they'll look beyond the parade of press-release "breakthroughs"
to examine what it takes to prepare the ground for real advances
in knowledge: the instruments and techniques, the scholarship
and discipline, and the exchanges of ideas without which progress
[email protected] Lab will tackle long, complicated stories
in bite-sized chunks: each issue will have at least one installment
"In Series" on multidisciplinary science. In coming
months look for series on renewable energy, carbon sequestration,
bioremediation, nanoscience, the water-energy nexus, synthetic
and in silico biology, and other emerging fields in which
Berkeley Lab takes a lead.
[email protected] Lab will have departments too departments
whose dividing membranes, like those of a cell, are very permeable.
The Energy Bar, debuting in this issue, will feature stories
on energy and the environment, ranging from what our scientists
are learning about saving on home heating costs to the research
needed to cope with global warming. However, we expect it
will sometimes be hard to tell whether a story fits in the
Energy Bar or ought to go in the Parallel Processor, our department
for computational science, or in Signals, the biology department,
or in one of the others we'll create as we need to. We'll
take that kind of difficult decision as a good sign that cross-disciplinary
science is thriving.
One concrete way you can help us is to recommend the stories
in [email protected] Lab that you'd like to see made available
as pdf files you can download and print, for your own reference
or for use in the classroom. If we get enough requests for
a particular story we'll have our designers translate it into
pdf, and we'll make the library of pdfs available online as
we build it up. Just let
Thanks for joining us as we follow the continuing quest to
discover how the world works.