Chemical Literature, Volume 4, Number 3, Fall 1952 Page: 2
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2 Fall, 195,
willing to cooperate in this program, please L. Cabot, Inc.,49 Beach Street, Boston 11
write to Miss Hanna Friedenstein, c/o Godfrey Massachusetts.
As You May Have Noticed..
A recent editorial in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry (April, 1952) listed
"better methods of recording and locating information" as one of the three altered(
working techniques which have transformed chemical science and technology . ... An
two of the "four freedoms for researchers" advanced in the April 14, 1952, issue o:
Chemical and Engineering News are "freedom to use past recorded knowledge without
too much difficulty" and "freedom to disseminate findings and discoveries as the researcher
* * *
According to the Industrial Research Newsletter of the Armour Research Foundation,
the Frederick S. Bacon Laboratories reports that some of their clients don' t want
their technical reports made clear and lucid. Clients complained that such reports
weren't "scientific sounding" and were "not long enough". In one case, a report "as
scientifically corny as we could accomplish" was chosen in preference to several
* * *
The Editorial Governing Board of Special Libraries, according to Associate Editor
Dora Richman, has "recommended that Division Chairmen submit to the Associate Editor
all division papers presented at the annual convention not later than July 1 (about
a month after the meeting), these papers to be screened by the Editorial Governing
Board and those not published in Special Libraries to be returned to Division Chairman
not later than October 1 for publication elsewhere if so desired." While the ACS's
superlative editorial processing of papers presented at meetings could hardly be
adapted to guarantee acceptance or return of all papers in four months, it might well
be possible for ACS editors to consider instituting such a program with more a practical
* * *
According to the New York Times, Dr. Leon Brillouin of the Watson Laboratories of
IBM recently told the Americal Physical Society that "the writing, distribution, and
reading of books are never worth the energy put into them from the thermodynamic
point of view." Based on a definition of entropy as the amount of disorder in a
system, information, or facts, are said to be a negative sort of entropy; that is, information
decreases disorder. Accordingly, "It would seem a simple matter to decrease
disorder by writing a book. If 1,000 copies were printed and each was read by 100
individuals, the apparent result is to multiply the information by 100,000. However,
this is not true. If it were, the laws of thermodynamics would be violated by the
printing and reading of books. Energy, or information, cannot be multiplied. There
will be mistakes in the book, and perhaps some misprints. Some of the readers will
read carelessly. And in the end all will have forgotten what they read. Books con'
tain bound information. Negative entropy, or information, must be applied to the,
before the information they contain can be freed. To read, one must have light, for
instance. The electric light is negative entropy which must be applied to free the
information in the book."
According to the Times, "the conclusion was reached that writing, editing, pub'
lishing, distributing, and reading a book used up more negative entropy (order) thta
was gained in countering disorder by making the information available. Books are
Continued on Page 11
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American Chemical Society. Division of Chemical Literature. Chemical Literature, Volume 4, Number 3, Fall 1952, periodical, Autumn 1952; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5769/m1/2/: accessed November 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .