Communicating Science

Volume 6 Issue 9 | November 2011

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Cover Story

Communicating Science

By

The scientific community has historically taken a dim view of communications with nonscientific publics. No thanks, said scientists. What an imposition! Why bother? What good could possibly come from interrupting research, sticking our necks out and dumbing it down for non-scientific dunderheads, only to see them mismanage our findings?

Sections

Editor's Buzz

Speak Up

Some believe public engagement is “a scientific duty that benefits the public good by promoting informed debate.” In addition, there have been studies that show a correlation between visibility of research and research funding.

Leadership and Staffing

Hiring the Best

“If we don't get the people thing right, we lose; it is the most important thing in all of business,” said Jack Welch, retired CEO of General Electric Company, who was named “Manager of the Century” in 1999 by Fortune Magazine.

Lab Manager Academy: Under-Management Defined

Many people believe “undermanagement” does not provide: 1. Clear performance requirements for the job 2. Clear and measurable goals with deadlines 3. Performance metrics or feedback on a timely basis 4. Enough atta-boys or atta-girls. And they would be correct; however, there is also under-management when a manager’s body language is “telling on” him or her.

Science Matters: Making the Good Hire

In the new job landscape, I’m afraid we might be leaving hiring managers in the dust. After all, as the job market continues to evolve, those looking for work need as much direction as possible— and career experts know this.

Laboratory Technology

The Power of Portability

Over the past year, the trends in portable instrumentation that we first explored in July 2010 have continued to progress, with devices getting smaller, faster, and more powerful as demand for portability remains high.

Controlling Airflow in Class II Biosafety Cabinets

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the increased availability and reduced cost of electronic air velocity sensors made sensor-based feedback loops a viable solution for biosafety cabinet manufacturers.

Lab Design and Furnishings

Laboratory Acoustics

Understanding basic acoustic space design criteria and strategies that building managers, users, planners, and designers can use to recognize and address the acoustic needs of laboratory spaces is deeply important for collaboration and efficiency.

Lab Health and Safety

In the Hood

One focus of laboratory management is equipment, and a basic fixture in any laboratory is the chemical fume hood. We recently had an issue with a chemical hood that we think is a common occurrence, and we feel it is a good time to discuss chemical fume hood design and installation.

Lab Health and Safety Tips

Product Focus

Gentle Mixing, Aeration for Biological Samples

“Shaken, not stirred” was James Bond’s preferred mixing method for martinis. Similarly, biological shakers aerate and mix cells with their media by the action of a moving platform.

Product Focus

Product Focus: Mass Spectrometry Detectors

Early in the evolution of chromatography- mass spectrometry, one could consider the two components as separate boxes requiring a good deal of engineering to link them together.

Product Focus: pH Meters

Mature product lines such as pH meters are fundamentally limited in underlying technology, so they evolve through adding features and functionality. High-end pH meters often come with USB or Bluetooth communications and networking capability.

Surveys

Are You in the Market for Lab Equipment Repair and Maintenance?

In today’s economic environment, cost reduction is a driving force in the lab, but research organizations should not forget the critical role lab equipment repair and preventive maintenance plays in generating high-quality results that get their products to market faster. 

Are You in the Market for a Chromatography Data System?

With the widespread adoption of liquid and gas chromatography instruments throughout laboratories, chromatography data systems (CDS) have followed suit, becoming one of the most popular software products in use within a lab.

Lab Product

The Right Choice For Overhead Stirrers

Common in both industrial and academic laboratories, mixing is an important part of many tasks. Deciding which type of stirrer, magnetic or overhead, is best for you depends on the viscosity and scale of the substance you’re stirring.

Surveys

2011 Shaker Survey Results

Mixing solutions is one of the most common laboratory tasks. Read on to discover the fascinating results of our most recent lab shakers and stirrers survey. Brought to you by:    

Ask the Expert

Ask the Expert: Designing an Eco-Friendly Laboratory

Matthew Gudorf, campus energy manager with the Facilities Management group at University of California, Irvine, (UCI) discusses the Smart Labs program developed at UCI, which aims to reduce overall energy consumption by 50 percent.

Research-Specific Labs

Lab Product

Evolution of Ultra-High-Throughput Screening

Ultra-high-throughput screening (uHTS) is an automated methodology for conducting hundreds of thousands of biological or chemical screening tests per day using liquid handling devices, sensitive detectors, robotics, data processing, and control software.

Business Management

Help Wanted

A curious high school student conducts several chemistry experiments during a field trip and discovers an affinity for the sciences. Is this a fluke or could this student be on to something that may lead to a meaningful career and, more importantly, may aid in the healing process of an ailing profession?

Laboratory Technology

How it Works

How to Reduce the Environmental Impact of Pure Water in the Lab

Laboratories everywhere rely on water purification systems to produce the pure water they need for their daily procedures and experiments. Such systems, including those from EMD Millipore, use a combination of several purification technologies in order to remove contaminants present in tap water.

How Titration Instrumentation for QC Analysis in Beverage Products Works

In an age of ever-increasing consumer requirements and the enforcement of strict regulations such as the Food Law and Foodstuffs and Commodities Act (US Food and Drug Administration, §64 LFBG), it is vital that beverage manufacturers demonstrate the quality and safety of their final product.

How it Works: A Portable Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer

Routine monitoring of soil and groundwater are used to detect contamination from toxic chemicals. This contamination may be due to industrial runoff or wastewater effluent. Monitoring provides protection of local tributaries and surrounding property.