Archive ScienceWatch



December 2008

In these interviews, scientists talk to 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 December 2008 are listed below. To view featured interviews from past months/years, visit the Featured Interviews Main Menu.

Featured Interviews for December 2008:

John Apostolakis & Makoto Asai of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center - Podcast Interview


This is a Podcast InterviewThe authors discuss their 2003 Nucl. Instrum. Meth. Phys. Res. A paper: "GEANT4-a simulation toolkit." Geant4 is a complex system of detector description and simulation tools. The toolkit simulates the passage of elementary particles through matter in order to aid in the design and optimization of detectors, as well as the development and testing of reconstruction and analysis programs, and the interpretation of experimental data. This was a Current Classics paper selection for Aug. 2008 (Eng.).
Listen: MP3| WMA

Jonathan Bagger & Neil Lambert on Multiple M2-branes - Emerging Research Front Commentary


Excerpt from the interview: "Our paper presents the construction of a new highly supersymmetric Lagrangian field theory. This Lagrangian was not previously thought to exist and enables a definition of the interacting theory of multiple 2-branes in M-theory. Our result is novel in that it is the first example of a field theory with a maximum amount of supersymmetry that..."
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Alessandra Bendini on Analytical Methods in Olive Oil Research - Featured Scientist Interview


Excerpt from the interview: "The identification and quantification of the individual phenols of virgin olive oil are of great interest because several agronomic and technological parameters can affect phenolics' presence in virgin olive oil, and, as a consequence, affect the resistance to oxidation of oil during storage, the sensory and health properties, and..."
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Chemistry & Biodiversity in the Spotlight - Featured Journal Interview

Chemistry & Biodiversity

Excerpt from the interview: "Chemistry & Biodiversity (CB) was grown as a "spin-off" of the Helvetica Chimica Acta (HCA), a monthly journal covering all aspects of chemistry. HCA is a more than 90-year-old monthly periodical published by Verlag Helvetica Chimica Acta, a publishing house originally owned by the Swiss Chemical Society and now a subsidiary..."
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Shanhui Fan Discusses His Photonic Crystals Research - Special Topic of Photonic Crystals


Excerpt from the interview: "This paper dealt with the optimal condition for a frequency-selective transfer between two waveguides. This condition leads to the construction of ultra-compact photonic crystal channel add/drop filters, which is of great importance in wavelength division multiplexing for communication purposes. In addition, the paper provides..."
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Suhua Feng & Xing Wang Deng on Light and Gibberellins - Fast Breaking Paper


Excerpt from the interview: "Light and gibberellins (GA) are two important factors regulating multiple aspects of plant development. It was previously known that both pathways have crosstalk with each other; however, molecular mechanistic insight was lacking. The study in our paper defines a novel and important connection between light and GA signaling..."
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Laurie Garrett from the Council on Foreign Relations - Podcast


This is a Podcast InterviewLaurie Garrett, the Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City, and author of an article in the journal Foreign Affairs, entitled: “The Challenge of Global Health, ” in January 2007, discusses the impact of turmoil in the energy & financial markets on the health of poor people around the globe.
Listen: MP3| WMA (recorded in July 2008)

Francisco Guinea on the Fun of Working with Graphene - Special Topic of Graphene


Excerpt from the interview: "Graphene is a lot of fun for many reasons. It relates to almost all interesting problems in condensed matter and statistical physics, and it has also fascinating connections to field theory, and even cosmology. Besides, there is a general consensus about the general models to be used, so that there is not the confusion typical of..."
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Desmond G. Higgins discusses Clustal W and clustal X version 2.0 - Fast Breaking Paper


Excerpt from the interview: "This paper describes a recent version of a computer program called Clustal (actually Clustal W and Clustal X versions 2.0) which is widely used for aligning sets of related protein or DNA (or RNA) sequences together. Much of modern molecular biology revolves around the determination and analysis of sequences, and one..."
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Minding the Mind: The Top 20 Institutions in Psychiatry & Psychology; Institution Feature

Harvard University

Excerpt from the feature: "This month, presents a listing of the top 20 institutions which, as of the fourth bimonthly update of Essential Science IndicatorsSM attracted the highest total citations to their papers published in Clarivate Analytics -indexed Psy. & Psy. These institutions are the top 20 out of a pool of 360 comprising the top 1% ranked by total citation count in this field...."
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Toben Nelson Discusses College-Age Binge Drinking - Special Topic of Underage/College Drinking


Excerpt from the interview: "There is a very clear pattern in our college student data that students who either participate in intercollegiate athletics, or who are sports fans, are more likely to binge drink. This was true for both male and female students, and there are not differences in drinking behavior between the athletes and the fans. We also found that at colleges..."
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Daniel Stokols, Shalini Misra, Richard Moser, Kara Hall & Brandie Taylor Discuss Science of Team Science - Emerging Research Front


Excerpt from the interview: "Our article provides an overview of important personal and situational factors that either constrain or facilitate successful interdisciplinary collaboration in scientific, training, and applied research settings. This article is part of the rapidly growing "science of team science," broadly concerned with understanding and managing..."
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Top 20 Countries in ALL FIELDS, 1998-August 31, 2008 - Country Feature

Excerpt from the feature: "In the seventh annual presentation, presents the top 20 countries (among nations that published 1,000 or more papers during the period, and across all fields) out of a pool of 147 which, as of the latest bimonthly update of Essential Science IndicatorsSM, attracted the highest total citations to their papers published in Clarivate Analytics-indexed journals from 1998-August 31, 2008, a 10-year + 8..."
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Georgia Tech'sZhong Ling Wang New Power Generation - Science Watch® Newsletter Interview

Excerpt from the interview: "When I first started in 1995, people were just beginning to work on the self-assembly of nanoparticles—metallic particles of gold, silver, etc., so I worked on that. I worked on shape control of self-assembled nanoparticles and on carbon nanotubes, and I developed a method called in situ nano-measurement, which means..."
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Duncan Watts & Steven Strogatz Discuss Small-World Networks - Featured Paper Interview


Excerpt from the interview: "...the behavior of complex interconnected systems cannot be understood without also understanding the role played by the network. These days, it’s become conventional to say that "networks matter," but as the current financial crisis illustrates quite painfully, we still don’t understand how. Getting network science to the point..."
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(Additional interviews/commentaries will be added during December 2008)


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