Short items

  • The Iraqi virtual science library has been launched by the US’s national academies, offering seven Iraqi universities and three other national centres discounted online access to the content of 20 nonprofit and commercial scientific publishers. The American Chemical Society was the first active partner in the project, which claims to now reach nearly 80 percent of Iraq’s scientists and university students, with an average discount of 95 per cent being offered. 
  • Queen’s University Belfast has topped the UK charts for the average number of citations per paper in chemistry from 2001-2005, ahead of Oxford and Cambridge universities, according to Science Watch, the bimonthly newsletter published by US-based Thomson Scientific. 
  • The UK’s Undergraduate ambassadors scheme (UAS) has a new board member. Ray d’Inverno from the University of Southampton replaces UAS cofounder, broadcaster Simon Singh. The UAS introduces science, technology, engineering and mathematics undergraduates to the world of teaching, allowing them to use their experience as a credit towards their degree. 
  • A report published by the UK’s Royal Society urges scientists to consider the public interest when deciding whether, when and how to communicate their research results. The report outlines 15 questions that researchers should ask themselves to help them take the public interest into account. The report, Science and the public interest: communicating the results of new scientific research to the public, used the Freedom of Information Act as a guide. 
  • The second bird flu summit will be held on 28-29 June in Washington, DC, US. The conference will be updated on the status of bird flu globally, as well as discussing vaccine delivery and community preparedness. Robert Zitz from the US department of homeland security will address the delegates.