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Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Science media center launches," by Helen Pearson. Nature Science Update, 15 November 2001.

The Science Media Centre opened in London on November 15, 2001. The goal is to improve science news coverage, but skeptics are concerned that the institution might benefit scientists and the press more than it benefits the general public. Susan Greenfield is the director of the Royal Institution that launched the US$175,000 centre, which hopes to become the "portal" for science communications. The existing British Association for the Advancement of Science (BA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) each have their own databases of available experts on their online press sites, AlphaGalileo and EurekAlert!: the Science Media Centre hopes to become the central source of science news for the scientifically literate, and also become the place where non-specialist media and others can find an explanation of science jargon and methodology. The Centre will be operational in early 2002, and is seeking financial support from public and private sources (capped at 5 percent of the total cost of operation to maintain independence).

--- Annette Emerson

American Mathematical Society