28th February 2003 at 00:00
Look at the number of scientific papers published on January 29. Nature prints about 16 major articles a week and at least 2,000 journalists use their website for news. I was pointed towards a website which has listings of articles in 3,617 science and medicine journals. From the phenomenal range of papers published on January 29 or 30 I picked: under Medicine - Analysis of Antioxidative Phenolic Compounds in Artichoke; Physics - Particle physics: Now you see them, now you don't; Biology - Vaccinology: past achievements, present roadblocks and future promises; Chemistry - Experimental and Computational Evidence for a Boron-Assisted, sigma-Bond Metathesis Pathway for Alkane Borylation.

Discuss with students the different environment in which Newton worked, how he had a grasp of the main scientific issues of the day. Scientists now work in huge collaborations or on one extremely specialised aspect as can be seen from the chemistry paper mentioned. It's amazing to think how much new understanding, discussion, computer analysis and experiment went on in the scientific community on one day.

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