Featured Interviews> April 2011

Current Author Commentaries

In these interviews, scientists talk to ScienceWatch.com and offer behind-the-scenes insights into their research: reflections on what led them to their chosen field, the motivation driving their work in a given direction, and the challenges encountered along on the way. These authors also offer their views on why their work has wielded particular influence in the scientific community, as indicated by Clarivate Analytics citation data, and on how research in their respective fields has progressed over time and will likely unfold in the future.

Featured Interviews for April 2011


"When I heard that RHIC was going to be constructed in the 1980s, I did some semi-analytical work trying to see what one could learn from it, and convinced myself that interesting systems could be formed in these collisions. So I dove in and proposed an experiment at RHIC, even though I didn't really have a good idea of what might be the most interesting things to actually measure. It was a relatively cheap experiment—under 10 million dollars compared to close to 100 million for the big detectors..."
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Special Topic of Hadron Colliders, November 2010

John Hardy

"Alzheimer’s disease research has changed enormously over the 25 years I have been doing it: when I started we knew almost nothing. Now we really have an outline understanding of the disease. Research has changed… in the obvious technical ways… but also in research philosophy. The group who succeed now and the group who are good collaborators and who make their data available to others. We have been doing this for genetic data for 5 years and ADNI has pioneered this for clinical data..."
Special Topic of Alzheimer's Disease, April 2011


Göran Pilbratt

"Herschel has been designed to provide the largest astronomical telescope of its kind ever flown in space, and it also pushes into one of the last poorly explored parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, the far infrared and submillimetre. Simply put, with a 3.5 m diameter Cassegrain telescope and a set of novel instruments if extends the envelope of possible observations to where nobody has been before. A larger telescope provides higher angular resolution at a given observing wavelength and also a greater collecting area giving ..."
Emerging Research Front, April 2011


Beth Reid

"The Sloan Digital Sky Survey was an enormously successful project that imaged a quarter of the sky and obtained more than 1 million redshifts. This paper presents an analysis of galaxy clustering on large scales from the final data release of the survey. It is highly cited because our measurement can be used to constrain both the geometry of the universe through the redshift-distance relation between us and our galaxy sample as well as the statistics of the matter fluctuations in our universe. Any new cosmological..."
Fast Breaking Paper, April 2011


Kevin J. Shingfield

"This paper reported the results of a meta-analysis of published data to re-examine the value of measuring concentrations of a natural metabolite in milk (urea) as a practical tool to monitor the feeding of dietary protein in lactating cows. Protein is the most expensive ingredient in the diet and therefore feeding the right amounts is essential to profitable milk production. Feeding diets containing excessive amounts of protein can also have a negative effect on cow health and fertility..."
Featured Scientist, April 2011


Lynn Smith-Lovin

Lynn Smith-Lovin is the Robert L. Wilson Professor of Arts and Sciences in the Sociology Department at Duke University. Here she discusses her Current Classics article selection from the field of Social Sciences for August 2010: “Birds of a feather: Homophily in social networks,” McPherson, M, Smith-Lovin, L;Cook, JM, ANNU REV SOCIOL 27: 415-44, 2001.
Podcast Interview; MP3 ¦ WMA. April 2011.


Betsy Von Holle

"This experiment was the first to simultaneously test three different hypotheses that had been suggested in the literature to be important to the success of nonnative species in a natural area: resident diversity, environmental conditions, and propagule pressure. We found that biological invasion into our natural area was best predicted by the number of nonnative species and number of individuals of each introduced into that site, rather than the level of resistance produced by the native community members, which can be thought of the competitors, predators or parasites ‘ganging up’ on..."
Emerging Research Front, April 2011

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