BioScience seeks nominations of beauteous experiments

BioScience, the monthly journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, has asked the presidents of 86 scientific societies to invite their members to submit nominations for an unusual contest that seeks to name the most beautiful biology experiments. Biologists are encouraged to submit nominations to bioscience@aibs.org by the end of 2003.

BioScience has appointed a panel of distinguished experts who will screen nominations, and the journal will commission essays by experts on experiments judged worthy of recognition. The contest does not seek to identify a single "winner," but may honor several experiments. Experiments from any period in history will be considered. Further details about the contest are available at BioScience online at www.aibs.org/bioscienceonline.

Although scientists do not normally judge experiments by the subjective criterion of beauty, the notion has a precedent. In 2002, Robert P. Crease invited readers of Physics World to nominate beautiful physics experiments. And the late science historian Frederic Lawrence Holmes entitled a 2001 book 'Meselson, Stahl, and the Replication of DNA: A History of "The Most Beautiful Experiment in Biology."' The invitation to presidents of the 86 member societies of the American Institute of Biological Sciences was sent by Timothy Beardsley, editor-in-chief of BioScience, and Gregory J. Anderson, 1997 distinguished alumni professor and head of the department of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Connecticut-Storrs. Anderson serves as chair of the American Institute of Biological Sciences' publications committee.

"This is a light-hearted contest, but the underlying purpose is serious: to encourage biologists to think creatively about well known and less well known experiments," said Beardsley. The expert panel that will screen nominations consists of Richard M. Buri

Contact: Donna Royston
202-628-1500 x261
American Institute of Biological Sciences

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