A synchrotron is a large machine (about the size of a football field) that accelerates electrons to almost the speed of light. As the electrons are deflected through magnetic fields they create extremely bright light. The light is channelled down beamlines to experimental workstations where it is used for research.

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Synchrotron applications:
Synchrotron light is advancing research and development in fields as diverse as:
– biosciences (protein crystallography and cell biology)
– medical research (microbiology, disease mechanisms,
– environmental sciences (toxicology, atmospheric research, clean combustion and cleaner industrial production technologies)
– agriculture (plant genomics, soil studies, animal and plant imaging)
– advanced materials (nanostructured materials, intelligent polymers, ceramics, light metals and alloys, electronic and magnetic materials)
– forensics (identification of suspects from extremely small and dilute samples).

USERS WORKSHOP
The joint workshop of the Australian Synchrotron and the Australian Synchrotron Research Program will be held at Rydges Melbourne (186 Exhibition St) from Wednesday 29 November to Friday 1 December 2006.

More on registration … 

JSC2006-E-23034 : Mark Polansky and William OefeleinNASA has said it over and over again: The coming missions to finish the International Space Station are among the hardest and most complex ever.

But if you ask the astronauts and engineers which of the final 14 assembly flights may be the most complex, many would point to Discovery’s next mission, set to launch in December.
“What makes this one singularly unique is the fact that we’re going to rewire the space station,” Mark Polansky, Discovery’s commander, said.

More from NASA …

Posted

On Friday, the School of Thinking celebrated it’s 27th Anniversary.

At that time, Edward de Bono and I had formed a business partnership to sell consulting services in the USA and so we were meeting with senior managements of Fortune 500 corporations in New York like Citicorp and so on. We registered the consultancy as a New York Corporation–Edward de Bono & Associates Inc–and we were the only two shareholders. We agreed that Edward would be the major shareholder and I was Managing Director.

Working in the US market, I soon began to see the potential of a national project for ‘teaching thinking’ and developed a scalable method for teaching ‘teachers of thinking’ based on the Scheyville train-the-trainer method I had learned in the Australian Army during the Vietnam war.

So, on November 17th, 1979 I met with Edward de Bono, at JFK in New York and put forward my idea of training “teachers of thinking” in a properly instituted school of thinking.

He agreed with the idea and offered to contribute his CoRT Thinking syllabus. We co-founded the School of Thinking in New York City and launched the “Learn-To-Think Project” whose stated goal was to create “500,000 thinking instructors by 1985”.

Because Edward de Bono was still employed as a Professor of Investigative Medicine at Cambridge University in the UK he could only contribute part time. We agreed that he would be appointed Chairman and I would run SOT on a daily basis as Managing Director. Edward and I co-authored and published Learn-To-Think: Coursebook and Instructor’s Manual (Capra/New, Santa Barbara 1982) which set out both the CoRT Thinking lessons and how to train them using the Scheyville train-the-trainer method.

In January 1980 I recruited SOT’s first intake (01/80) of 50 trainees and within 100 days I trained and graduated our first class of ‘thinking instructors’–also the first in the world! Dr Eric Bienstock was a member of that first intake graduating top of the class and subsequently he became the first Chief Instructor SOT.

Today, Eric is Vice Principal SOT and lives in New Jersey with his wife Jane. Their daughter, Elizabeth, was an SOT baby and is now a rising advertising thought-leader in Manhattan. Eric became internationnally recognised for his idea of 3-Minute Thinking.

Happy birthday to the school and all who have trained in her since 1979!!

More SOT history …

It’s virtually impossible to get knowledge-workers to do their job much better than they are currently doing in their environment.

Why? Because, in order to ensure their survival, people behave intelligently according to their environment. This is why exhortation doesn’t work. It’s also why ‘productivity drives’ are not lasting. It’s why ‘innovation training’ so often fails to take hold.

Unless their environment makes it intelligent behaviour to offer innovation then knowledge-workers just won’t do so. People may wear the badges, parrot the slogans and mantras but if their managers, workplace, tools and metrics do not provide them an innovation environment then they cannot do their jobs any better than they are currently doing in that environment.

Thought-leaders like GOOGLE and PIXAR are obvious example of companies that have reached and gone beyond their itpoe.

What is itpoe?

itpoe = the innovation tipping point of the enterprise

itpoe

Getting to itpoe             itpoe           itpoe and beyond

Below the itpoe threshold an enterprise cannot be said to be an innovation environment. Once itpoe has been reached then the enterprise IS an innovation environment and so the people in that environment will find that it is now intelligent behaviour to offer innovation. And, naturally they do so.

Getting to itpoe & the itpoe audit.

Ask yourself these questions about your own enterprise:
• How would you rate your innovation environment? Pre or post itpoe?
• How are you getting to itpoe?
• How close are you to your itpoe?
• When will you get there?
• How do you know?
• What metrics do you use?
• Who cares?

These and other itpoe questions are occupying the minds and driving the strategies of the leaders of enterprise innovation.

For a range of reasons, not the least of which is a special treat for your own personal entertainment and enlightenment, I hope you can close your door for an hour and sit back and enjoy this very recent lecture by Oxford Professor Richard Dawkins on his current tour of the US about his latest best-selling book–‘The God Delusion’.

NOTE: Richard Dawkins reads excerpts from The God Delusion and anwsers questions at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia on October 23, 2006. This Q&A features many questions from the rent-a-crowd students from Jerry Falwell’s so-called Liberty “University”. It makes for an amusing event.

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Richard Dawkins signs his book.