Understanding begins at home

Understanding begins at home

256 F. General F330. History of science (especially oceanography) 86:1773 Jackson, C.I., 1985. Exploration as science: Charles Wilkes and the U.S. E...

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F. General

F330. History of science (especially oceanography) 86:1773 Jackson, C.I., 1985. Exploration as science: Charles Wilkes and the U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838--42. Am. Scient~ 73(5):450-461. With the controversial Lt. Charles Wilkes as leader, the U.S. Exploring Expedition (the 'forgotten voyage') mapped the southern oceans in new detail, discovered the continental dimensions of Antarctica, extended the frontiers of American science, and contributed to broadening the American vision known as 'Manifest Destiny.' The author reappraises Wilkes, his alleged 'contempt for science,' cruelty, etc., and, after presenting additional evidence and insight, concludes that much credit for the success of the expedition is due him. Jackson is publisher of American Scientist; 345 Whitney Ave., New Haven, CT 06511, USA. (wbg)

F360. Science education 86:1 774 Anonymous, 1985. Understanding begins at home. A British committee has suggested how the general understanding of science might be improved. Nature, Lond., 317(6033):p.97. This piece is a commentary on the significance of the Royal Society's report on the public's understanding of science. The report places responsibility for most public ignorance about science on the educational system (but the problem goes deeper) and encourages researchers to talk about their work (instead of engaging in discussion-stifling practices). 'The frontiers of knowledge are also the boundaries of ignorance'; hence, academics should also discuss the unknown, especially with their students. The author concludes that 'public understanding begins at home, in the laboratory and the lecture room.' (wbg)

F370. Multidisciplinary scientific studies (general interest) 86:1775 Eglinton, G., C.D. Curtis, D.P. McKenzie and D.G. Murchison (eds.), 1985. Geoehomim~ of buried ~nl& Phil. Trans. R. Soc., (A)315(1531):1233; 13 papers. The issue reviews many aspects of our current understanding of diagenetic processes operative in

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recent sediments: the role of microbes; elemental cycling; sulfate reduction and organic decomposition; the modification of non-silicate minerals, sediment lipids, kerogens, and clay minerals during diagenesis; the kinetics of non-silicates and organic reactions during burial; petroleum generation; and the optical properties of organic matter. Case studies of ancient sediments include a description of North Sea sandstone reservoirs and the subsidence history of the Nova Scotia margin. Each of the 13 presentations is followed by several pages of discussion.

0abf) 86:1776 Stauffer, B., G. Fischer, A. Neftel and H. Oeschger, 1985. Increase of atmospheric methane recorded in Antarctic ice core. Science, 229(4720):13861388. The rapid accumulation of ice at Siple Station, Antarctica (75°55"S; 83°55°W), renders this site well suited for the study of atmospheric methane levels in the recent past (1965), as recorded in entrapped air bubbles. Two methods, melt extraction and dry extraction, are compared and both found to be practical. Results (using corrected gas ages) are consistent with those from other stations, and when compared with CO 2 data, suggest a pattern of increasing atmospheric methane resulting from depletion of its main sink, OH radicals, due to increasing CO. Phys. Inst., Univ. of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland. (gsb) 86:1777 Tucholke, B.E., C.D. HoUister, P.E. Biscaye and W.D. Gardner, 1985. Abyssal current character determined from sed/ment bedforms on the Nova Scotian continental rise. Mar. Geol., 66(1-4):43-

57. An intense bottom current at 4800-5000 m decreases in strength upslope to tranquil near-bottom conditions at 3200-4000 m; weak currents are present above 3200 m. Long-term flow parallels the bathymetric contours, but significant short-term variability is indicated by orientations of small-scale bedforms. The Western Boundary Undercurrent has relatively little effect, but the deep currents (>4000 m) have a significant effect. Repeated photography suggests that many bedforms are constructed and destroyed by strong, variably directed, current events ('benthic storms') on time scales of 3-6 months or less. WHOI, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA. 86:1778 Watson, A.J. and M.I. Liddicoat, 1985. Recent history of atmospheric trace gas coneentratiom