IUSS Alert - 10 (February 2006)

Information for and from the global soil science community

Expression of interest - Science and outreach

 The International year of Planet Earth has been approved for 2008 by the UN. There will be a science and outreach programme and if you are interested in proposing either a research or outreach project fill out the Expression of Interest form on the website www.esfs.org You will be contacted when fully worked-up bids for funding can be considered. The IUSS is founding partner of this global initiative.

National Soil Society Officers Update

Would all National Societies please send to Stephen Nortcliff ( ) details of their current officers together with postal and email addresses. This will avoid the problem of documentation being sent to the addresses held by IUSS which in some cases may be four or five years out of date.

Request for contributions

The 13th issue of the Newsletter of the Commission on the History, Philosophy and Sociology of Soil Science of the IUSS (C4-5), which is a combined activity with the Council on the History, Philosophy and Sociology of Soil Science of the SSSA (S205.1), will be published before the 18th World Congress of Soil Science in Philadelphia. Suitable contributions, in the form of articles, book reviews, relevant announcements, observations, photographs, requests, etc. could be forwarded to one of the editors: preferably as a word document. To read earlier issues, see the website of the IUSS under IUSS Newsletters.

Soil science books on Google

Most of us will use the Web of Science, ScienceDirect, Scirus or perhaps Google Scholar for a search through the international scientific literature. That is immensely neat and fast but usually does not include books. Google - the holy index to our electronic lives - has started digitising books and make them available through the internet. That gives a lot of noise with the publishers and libraries, but for us, consumers and producers of scientific information, it is a nice development. Over 3 million book pages on soils are already listed. For more information on Google books click here  Keep Googling, but don't forget to read!

Any Pedocasts out there?

Internet is host to a new kind of audio transmission - the podcast. In September 2005, Nature introduced the Podcast, which each week highlights a selection of papers and news features with interviews of authors and their peers. Scientists explain their results to a wide audience, in their own words. Their input is augmented by comment and analysis from Nature editors and journalists. It's hearing an audio item at a time that suits you, rather than when radio schedules dictate. There are other science podcasts too, from NASA, as well as podcast versions of established radio shows, such as Science Friday. There is plenty of interest too. Click here for more information on the Nature podcasts.

Nature 439, 2 (5 January 2006) | doi:10.1038/439002a

We wonder: is there any soil scientist out there that is podcasting ideas and talks on the internet? There are radio interviews (e.g. with Prof. Alex McBratney on the role of soils in the C cycle: here) but let us know of other interviews and podcasts and we'll list them on the IUSS Website.

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