Letters to the Editor
Upon reading Publisher Karen Newman’s editorial on Frank
H. Andres (“Wanted: Good Observers,” May/June BioPhotonics, p. 9),
I was immediately struck by the thought of a website specifically for the observant.
Perhaps a small grant from the National Academy of Sciences or the National Science
Foundation could be a starting point in enriching the lives of people.
Posting of the observations of astute people and bringing attention
to ideas for ideas’ sake is the cornerstone of a scientific community. This
site would, of course, require some type of peer review, which is where the grant
money would come in to assist in the cost. Science teachers across the globe could
be made aware of this site for the sake of teaching the future scientist how to
observe and think.
Always remember that the independent and/or amateur scientist
has throughout time made discoveries that have changed the course of history. Now
is the time to implement a system for observers of the universe around us for the
sake of knowledge, not just for profit.
I can relate to Frank Andres (editorial, “Wanted: Good Observers,”
May/June BioPhotonics). When I was in graduate school doing laser spectroscopy research,
there were numerous times when my colleagues and I “observed” so much.
We acquired spectra of some beautiful molecular systems but couldn’t put together
a compelling story to actually publish it in journals – and we had hundreds
of such unexplained spectra.
Journals are great, but for actual acceptance and publication,
they require a compact, well-defined story: an observation + theory/proposition
+ conclusion. And sometimes all we have is the “observation,” as does
Mr. Andres. But we also know that someone out there has the ideas and talents needed
to explain our set of observations.
I toyed with the idea of beginning a publication that simply accepts
observations. I had a unique name for it – The Journal of Unexplained Spectra,
or JUS. Authors would describe their experiment and submit their observations. It
would open the platform for others to pick up our work and build on it. Of course,
this does happen at conferences and on the Internet, but actually publishing such
observations in a journal (especially if supported by the American Chemical Society,
the American Physical Society, etc.) gives it much credibility.
That’s my suggestion to help the Frank Andreses of the world.
E. Dinesh Pillai, PhD
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