Help ECS Support Young Scientists

2014highlightsImagine a world where anyone—from the student in Atlanta to the researcher in Port au Prince—can freely read the scientific papers they need to make a discovery, where scientific breakthroughs in energy conversion, sensors or nanotechnology are unimpeded by fees to access or publish research.

At ECS, that is our vision of the future. We’re working to provide open access to all ECS publications, while maintaining our high standards of peer-review and fast delivery of content.

Please help us make this vision a reality by
making a tax-deductible donation to ECS today.

Your donation fosters the growth of electrochemistry and solid state science and technology by supporting ECS publications and the participation of scientists from around the world at our biannual meetings.

Through travel grants and reduced fees, ECS enables the participation of young scientists and students who otherwise might not be able to attend an ECS meeting. This is particularly important as the work of these scientists, and all ECS members, increasingly holds the keys to solving global challenges in energy, waste and sustainability.

Please help us continue the important work of ECS by donating today.

Thank you again for your incredible work and continued support.

Cyborg Roaches Advance Science

roach

Photographs of Blaberus discoidalis (A), the transmitter circuit (B) and of a quarter coin (C) to compare the scales involved.

While browsing through the vast array of Open Access articles that ECS hosts in its Digital Library, one title in particular caught our eye here at headquarters.

I mean, it is pretty hard to ignore an academic article titled “Wireless Communication by an Autonomous Self-Powered Cyborg Insect.

The article, published in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society by researchers from Case Western Reserve University (one of the authors is ECS Board of Directors Senior VP Dan Scherson), details – to put it simply – how a cyborg cockroach can generate and transmit signals wirelessly.

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The Price of Academic Research

There is a wealth of knowledge that exists in the huge array of academic articles that are being produced. Still, the discovery process and dissemination of knowledge is not as fast as it potentially could be.

The issue lies in the paywalls. In order to read the huge majority of these articles, one would need to have university access or else pay the often substantial fee.

Martin Paul Eve, a lecturer at the University of Lincoln’s School of English & Journalism in the United Kingdom, sat down with The Atlantic recently to discuss this issue that he has delved into in his book entitled Open Access and the Humanities: Contexts, Controversies, and the Future.

Here at The Electrochemical Society, we are beginning our bold move toward open access publication in order to speed up and make more efficient the dissemination of scientific research. Still, the issue of paywalls in academic research exists and often time impedes on progress.

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Everybody Poops

WorldToiletDayHere at The Electrochemical Society, we give a crap about sanitation. With our recent partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – which awarded $210,000 in seed funding to innovative research projects addressing critical gaps in water and sanitation – we’ve spent a great deal of time these past few months talking about poop.  We plan to keep that trend alive, which brings us to World Toilet Day.

Two and a half billion people – 36 percent of the world’s population – don’t have access to a toilet, according to UNICEF. Globally, more people have mobile phones than toilets. Most people in developed countries think of access to adequate sanitation as a right rather than a privilege.

For this reason, ECS hosted the Electrochemical Energy and Water Summit, where some of the brightest minds in electrochemical and solid state science came together to brainstorm innovative ways to address the global sanitation crisis. We’re not just flushing and forgetting, we’re attempting to make adequate sanitation a basic human right.

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Celebrating Open Access Week

OpenAccess3

Open access allows free, immediate, online access to peer-reviewed research with full rights to reuse the work.

This week has been declared International Open Access Week. Here at ECS, we’re boldly moving toward open access (OA) publication to make scientific research results and the latest findings more widely accessible, and thereby speeding up the discovery process.

Still, open access can be confusing and controversial at times – specifically for publishers. In order to explain many of the issues and concerns revolving around open access, a few OA advocates have banded together and took to Reddit’s popular “Ask me Anything” series.

Head over there now to see what they had to say about all things open access.

It’s a good day for renewable resources.

According to a jointly written report of solar photovoltaic systems (PV) pricing trends from the Energy Department’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), prices have dropped by 12 to 19 percent nationwide in 2013.

The report goes on to state that prices are expected to drop an additional 3 to 12 percent in 2014. The variation in percentage is dependent on the system location and market segment.

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Michael Gordin discuses the universal language of science and the issue of pressure put on scientists to publish new discoveries in English.Credit: Frank Wojciechowski

Michael Gordin discusses the universal language of science and the demand for scientists to publish new discoveries in English.
Credit: Frank Wojciechowski

The words “permafrost,” “oxygen,” and “hydrogen” may look like the language of science, but these words really have Russian, Greek and French origins. So how is it that English has become the universal language of science? That is the question Michael Gordin, professor the history of science at Princeton, sets out to answer in his interview with PRI.

“If you look around the world in 1900, and someone told you, ‘Guess what the universal language of science will be in the year 2000?’ You would first of all laugh at them because it was obvious that no one language would be the language of science, but a mixture of French, German and English would be the right answer,” Gordin said in his interview.

Gordin goes on to describe how German – the dominant language of science – collapsed during WWI when a boycott was organized against scientists in Germany and Austria, prohibiting them from attending conferences or publishing in Western European journals. Pair this with the anti-German hysteria taking place in the United States and the rise of American scientific establishments, and you being to see how English started to take over as the universal language of science.

“And you have a set of people who don’t speak foreign languages,” said Gordin, “They’re comfortable in English, they read English, they can get by in English because the most exciting stuff in their mind is happening in English. So you end up with a very American-centric, and therefore very English-centric community of science after World War II.”

Here at ECS, due to our vast number of international members, we know science doesn’t conform to a specific mold or language. Through open access (OA) publication, we hope to break this rigidity and focus on the more important issue – the free dissemination of scientific research for the benefit of all. Find out more about ECS’ bold move toward open access publication and publish your paper as OA today.

Listen to Gordin’s full interview below.

The transparent bandage displays an oxygen-sensitive colormap.Credit: Li/Wellman Center for Photomedicine

The transparent bandage displays an oxygen-sensitive colormap.
Credit: Li/Wellman Center for Photomedicine

A paint-on, see-through bandage – fully equipped with oxygenation sensors – has been developed with the purpose of better aiding wounded soldiers and improving the success of surgeries to restore limbs and physical functions.

Not only does it protect wounds and burns as any bandage should, but it also enables direct measurement and mapping of tissue oxygen.

The “smart” bandage was developed by an international, multidisciplinary team of researchers led by Assistant Professor Conor L. Evans at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine of Massachusetts Generall Hospital (MGH) and Harvard Medical School (HMS). The group’s findings have been recently published in The Optical Society’s (OSA) open-access journal Biomedical Optics Express.

This from The Optical Society:

Now, the “smart” bandage developed by the team provides direct, noninvasive measurement of tissue oxygenation by combining three simple, compact and inexpensive components: a bright sensor molecule with a long phosphorescence lifetime and appropriate dynamic range; a bandage material compatible with the sensor molecule that conforms to the skin’s surface to form an airtight seal; and an imaging device capable of capturing the oxygen-dependent signals from the bandage with high signal-to-noise ratio.

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“Stella” is the name on every climate-cautious, pollution-loathing environmentalist’s lips.

Who is Stella? Well, she’s a car.

She may not be “pretty” by conventional standards, but Stella is the first family car powered by solar energy. The car – driven by a team of students from Eindhoven University of Technology – has just finished its road trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco, fueled solely by the California sunshine.

While the car is capable of traveling 500 miles (800km) on a single charge and can clock up to 80 miles per hour, there is still one pressing question on everyone’s mind – who will drive it?

“Do you want it in your daily life? Would you want to take it to get groceries?” asked one of Stella’s drivers, Jordy de Renet, in an interview with Popular Science.

The car’s strange shape stems from a compromise for aerodynamics and allowing comfort for at least two people. Also, the wedge-shaped vehicle’s flat surface allows for more solar cell coverage.

This from Popular Science:

Stella is CO2-neutral and the first energy-positive car in the world. The solar array charges while the car is in motion as well as when it is parked. “We get more energy out of the car than is needed to drive it,” said de Renet. That power, as much as twice what the car uses, can be returned to the grid.

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A Revolution in Renewable Energy

Towering like a beacon of hope in Germany’s North Sea stand wind turbines. Stretching as high as 60-story buildings and standing as far as 60 miles from the mainland, the turbines are part of Germany’s push to find a solution to global warming.

Some call it change. Some call it transformation. We call it a revolution.

According to an article in the The New York Times, it is expected that by the end of the year, scores of new turbines will be set in place – thus allowing low-emission electricity to be sent to German cities hundreds of miles south.

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