Van Nostrand’s Scientific Encyclopedia (General Science & Technology)

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9780442018641: Van Nostrand’s Scientific Encyclopedia (General Science & Technology)

Advancements in science and engineering have occurred at a surprisingly rapid pace since the release of the seventh edition of this encyclopedia. Large portions of the reference have required comprehensive rewriting and new illustrations. Scores of new topics have been included to create this thoroughly updated eighth edition. The appearance of this new edition in 1994 marks the continuation of a tradition commenced well over a half-century ago in 1938 Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, First Edition, was published and welcomed by educators worldwide at a time when what we know today as modern science was just getting underway. The early encyclopedia was well received by students and educators alike during a critical time span when science became established as a major factor in shaping the progress and economy of individual nations and at the global level. A vital need existed for a permanent science reference that could be updated periodically and made conveniently available to audiences that numbered in the millions. The pioneering VNSE met these criteria and continues today as a reliable technical information source for making private and public decisions that present a backdrop of technical alternatives.

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From the Back Cover:

Praise for the Ninth Edition

"Still one of the best concise encyclopedias for the sciences."
Library Journal Reviews

"For two-year and undergraduate institutions, Van Nostrand's is essential."
Choice

The Scientific Encyclopedia has long enjoyed a reputation as one of the most important and comprehensive general scientific references available, suitable for both academic and professional environments. This outstanding reference remains the definitive scientific resource with topics ranging across all scientific disciplines including the life sciences, earth and atmospheric sciences, physical sciences, medicine, and mathematics, as well as many areas of engineering and technology.

The new, three-volume Tenth Edition contains articles contributed by industry experts and scholars worldwide. It comprises more than 10,000 entries and features hundreds of completely rewritten and re-referenced articles, as well as 2,500 completely new entries covering emerging technologies affecting genetics, global warming, communications, informatics, nanotechnology, and more.

Internet references in addition to traditional print references have been updated and expanded to reflect the editors' conviction that modern students and researchers move from link to link as well as from page to page. The exciting Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia is also available online in full-color and with more content at http://interscience.wiley.com/reference/vnse.

The Tenth Edition of the incomparable Scientific Encyclopedia in both print and electronic formats is an essential addition to academic and industrial libraries, as well as an indispensable reference for students and professionals across an ever-expanding range of scientific and engineering disciplines.

From Booklist:

First published in 1938, this desktop science encyclopedia has been published in two volumes beginning with the sixth edition. It is edited by Douglas Considine and Glenn Considine. Distinguished in their respective fields of engineering and information management, they are also the editors of several other well-known technical reference books (e.g., Van Nostrand Reinhold Encyclopedia of Chemistry). Approximately 250 scientists, engineers, and educators from eight different countries contributed to this new edition.

Van Nostrand's covers the six general areas of earth and space sciences, life sciences, energy and environmental science, materials science, physics and chemistry, and mathematics and information sciences. Where appropriate, entries have an identifying tag (e.g., Bond [Chemical]). The length of entries varies from one sentence (Aeolian Tones) to 11 pages (Climate). Only the longer entries are signed by their authors and have appended reading lists. The entries appear to be current. For example, Jupiter mentions the Ulysses satellite flyby of the planet in 1992, and 13 new readings have been added to its bibliography. Telescope has been expanded from 8 to 12 pages, has several new illustrations, and its bibliography is twice as long. This entry mentions the 1993 corrections to the Hubble Space Telescope. Similarly, the coverage under Television has been expanded to include a discussion of high-definition television, with mention of developments as recent as 1994. This work does not contain any biographies. Information on symbols and mathematical conversions is found under Units and Standards.

This encyclopedia has a good history of revision. A comparison with the previous edition shows that about 200 new pages have been added to the text. There are approximately 7,300 entries, an increase of several hundred. Throughout the text are many appropriately placed black-and-white photographs, line drawings, tables, charts, and diagrams. In the past this work has been criticized for the quality of its illustrations. There are several instances in this new edition of attempts to improve the contrast and size of photographs.

The index now appears at the end of each volume so the volumes can be used independently. A sampling determined that there are approximately 12,600 index entries and more than 5,300 cross-references in the text. This dual system of cross-references and indexing is barely adequate.

The only comparable work is the McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Science & Technology [RBB N 15 94]. It has 7,700 alphabetically arranged entries, 1,700 illustrations, and an outstanding index of 30,000 citations. More than 3,000 authors contributed to the work, and all articles are signed. There is a bibliography of databases and appendixes of conversion units, symbols and abbreviations, and a classification of living organisms. In addition, there is a list of important scientists. McGraw-Hill is clearly superior in illustration quality and indexing. In contrast, Van Nostrand's has almost twice the number of pages and longer entries than McGraw-Hill. Academic, public, and high-school libraries should consider Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia for their collections.

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