Most scientists these days specialize in narrow parts of their field. Physicists in particular often have a great depth of knowledge, and very little breadth. String theorists have no idea what nuclear experimentalists are up to, plasma physicists are out of the loop in acoustic physics, etc.
The problem, as I see it, is science is just really hard. Almost no one has time to become an expert in more than one field.
The editors of the journal Physical Review Letters are hoping to make it easier for physicists, and anyone else who is interested, to stay up to date on a range of subjects. They’re selecting a handful of papers each week that they identify as suggested reading.
And to make things easier still, I’ve built a Yahoo Widget that lists the five most recent suggested papers on your desktop. Just click the image at the top of this story to download the widget.>
If you never used on of these things, you will have to download the Yahoo Widget 4 engine first.
While you’re at the Yahoo site, check out the thousands of other cool widgets they have as well. My favorites at the moment are the binary clock, the battery monitor, and the phases of the moon widget.