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The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project: Providing access to classic scientific papers and other scholarly materials, since 1993. More About: ESP | OUR CONTENT | THIS WEBSITE | WHAT'S NEW | WHAT'S HOT
The ESP Timeline (one of the site's most popular features) has been completely updated to allow the user to select (using the timeline controls above each column) different topics for the left and right sides of the display.
New Left Column
New Left Column
New Right Column
New Right Column
DEC released its first mini computer: PDP-1
Alister Hardy promotes his Homo aquaticus or "aquatic ape" hypothesis to the British Sub Aqua Club. He will follow up this announcement with several magazine articles.
Clive Sinclair founds Sinclair Radionics
Computerized spreadsheets for use in business accounting developed
LEO III completed in 1961
Minivac 601 Computer Launched
Robert Noyce Awarded Patent for "Integrated Circuit"
F. Jacob and J. Monod publish "Genetic regulatory mechanisms in the synthesis of proteins," a paper in which the theory of the OPERON is developed.
Martin Glaessner determines fossils in the Ediacara Hills of South Australia (Ediacaran fauna) to be Precambrian in age (approximately 600 million years old), making them the oldest-known multicelled organisms.
"Music from Mathematics" LP was created using an IBM 7090 computer
The first commercial Modem manufactured
The Machester Atlas was inaugurated on 7th December 1962
Human geneticist James Neel develops the "thrifty genotype" hypothesis that human ancestors endured feast-famine cycles that made the human body very effective in storing fat for lean times.
James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins share a Nobel Prize in Medicine for their work in elucidating the structure of DNA.
Douglas Engelbart Invents the Mouse
First edition of the ASCII standard was published.
Theodore H (Ted) Nelson coins the word Hypertext
Kodak introduces the Instamatic.
Lantian Man, a 500,000-year-old Homo erectus specimen, is found in Lantian County, China, just north of Xi'an.
BASIC language developed
First operation of BASIC
First operation of Ferranti Atlas
Graphic tablet developed
IBM releases the System 360 range of commercial computers
Introduction of CDC 6600
Introduction of DEC PDP-7 18-bits minicomputer
First Pentax Spotmatic SLR introduced.
Louis Leakey describes Homo habilis, meaning "handy." The new species designation is not well received by the scientific community.
Two deciduous molars, roughly 44,000 years old, are collected at Grotta del Cavallo in southeastern Italy. After an initial classification as Neanderthal, they will be assigned to modern humans in a 2011 study.
Vincent Dethier publishes "Microscopic Brains," an article on insect behavior, in Science. He calls for a more empathetic approach to animal subjects, even tiny invertebrates.
Commodore Business Machines (CBM) is founded.
DEC unveils the PDP-8,
Introduction of Wang 300 electronic calculator
Moore's Law coined
François Jacob, André Lwoff, and Jacques Monod share a Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discoveries concerning genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis.
N.H. Field publishes "Fossil sea-echinoids from a Romano-British site" describing the centuries-long occupation of a Romano-British settlement in Dorset. Newer buildings have been built upon older ones, with fossil urchins in each.
Introduction of DEC PDP-9
The hand-held pocket calculator was invented at Texas Instruments in 1966
Willi Hennig works on a new approach to assessing evolutionary relationships, known as cladistics. Although it will be hotly debated, this technique will eventually become standard practice in paleontology, botany and zoology.
Harry Whittington begins reexamining Burgess Shale fossils originally identified by Charles Walcott starting in 1909. Over the next two decades, Whittington (with the assistance of his graduate students Simon Conway Morris and Derek Briggs), will eventually overturn some of Walcott's theories and propose that most of the animals left no living relatives.
Barclays Bank in the UK claims to have installed the first cash dispenser
Elliott Automation merged with English Electric
Introduction of DEC PDP-10
First MOS 10 by 10 active pixel array shown by Noble
Lynn Sagan (later Lynn Margulis) hypothesizes that chloroplasts originated as cyanobacteria, and that mitochondria originated as bacteria. She suggests that both were engulfed by other cells and began functioning as symbionts.
Graduate student S.B. Misra discovers a well-preserved sea floor with numerous fossils dating from the late Precambrian (later to be dubbed the Ediacaran Period) at Mistaken Point, Newfoundland.
P. S. Martin suggests that fast-moving bands of human hunters caused the extinctions of Pleistocene big-game species.
Richard Leakey finds two fossil skulls, Omo I and Omo II, in Ethiopia. Though initially dated at 130,000 years, the fossils will later be dated (using argon decay) at 195,000 years, and designated as the oldest examples so far found of Homo sapiens.
Daniel Janzen argues that, because they live under "easy" conditions, tropical plants cannot likely survive a wide range of temperature, light, or hydrologic conditions.
CDC Introduces the 7600 Supercomputer
Douglas C. Engelbart publicly demonstrates the mouse
IBM tests a 8in floppy disc
Integrated Circuits First Used in Apollo Moon shot
Introduction of HP-9100 desk calculator
Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore found Intel Corporation
T J Watson and IBM granted patent for the DRAM
A.G. Cairns-Smith publishes a paper suggesting that the first life on Earth might have been fine-grained clay crystals. He will publish on this topic several more times before his death, but the experimental evidence will remain scant, perhaps in part because sufficient technology doesn't yet exist to test the hypothesis.
Robert W. Holley, Har Gobind Khorana, and Marshall W. Nirenberg share a Nobel Prize in Medicine for their interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis.
Richard Fox describes a Paleocene mammal, Prothryptacodon albertensis, retrieved from a well dug in Alberta, Canada. This find eerily resembles that of another Paleocene mammal recovered from a Louisiana oil well and described in 1932 by George Gaylord Simpson.
Teenaged fossil enthusiast Tadashi Suzuki finds a plesiosaur fossil in his hometown of Iwaki City, Japan. The fossil turns out to be a new species, but it won't be identified as such for nearly 40 years.
AMD Advanced Micro Devices is founded
ARPANET launch the world's first successful packet-switched wide area computer network
DEC PDP-15 Introduced
First flight to Moon of Apollo XI with Raytheon Apollo Guidance Computer
Honeywell releases the H316 "Kitchen Computer",
Intel announces a 1 kilobit RAM chip
Plessey buys out Ferranti's numerical Control Interests
R. H. Whittaker proposes to divide all living things into five kingdoms: Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Protista and Monera.
Max Delbrück, Alfred D. Hershey, and Salvador E. Luria share a Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discoveries concerning the replication mechanism and the genetic structure of viruses.
Archaeologist Joachim Hahn pieces together the fragments of the lion- headed man found 30 years earlier the Hohlenstein-Stadel Cave in Germany.
John Ostrom publishes Osteology of Deinonychus antirrhopus, an Unusual Theropod from the Lower Cretaceous of Montana — a description of Deinonychus with a frontispiece illustration by Bob Bakker, suggesting that the dinosaur is alert, agile and intelligent.
ESP Quick Facts
In the early 1990's, Robert Robbins was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, where he directed the informatics core of GDB — the human gene-mapping database of the international human genome project. To share papers with colleagues around the world, he set up a small paper-sharing section on his personal web page. This small project evolved into The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.
In 1995, Robbins became the VP/IT of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Soon after arriving in Seattle, Robbins secured funding, through the ELSI component of the US Human Genome Project, to create the original ESP.ORG web site, with the formal goal of providing free, world-wide access to the literature of classical genetics.
Although the methods of molecular biology can seem almost magical to the uninitiated, the original techniques of classical genetics are readily appreciated by one and all: cross individuals that differ in some inherited trait, collect all of the progeny, score their attributes, and propose mechanisms to explain the patterns of inheritance observed.
In reading the early works of classical genetics, one is drawn, almost inexorably, into ever more complex models, until molecular explanations begin to seem both necessary and natural. At that point, the tools for understanding genome research are at hand. Assisting readers reach this point was the original goal of The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.
Usage of the site grew rapidly and has remained high. Faculty began to use the site for their assigned readings. Other on-line publishers, ranging from The New York Times to Nature referenced ESP materials in their own publications. Nobel laureates (e.g., Joshua Lederberg) regularly used the site and even wrote to suggest changes and improvements.
When the site began, no journals were making their early content available in digital format. As a result, ESP was obliged to digitize classic literature before it could be made available. For many important papers — such as Mendel's original paper or the first genetic map — ESP had to produce entirely new typeset versions of the works, if they were to be available in a high-quality format.
Early support from the DOE component of the Human Genome Project was critically important for getting the ESP project on a firm foundation. Since that funding ended (nearly 20 years ago), the project has been operated as a purely volunteer effort. Anyone wishing to assist in these efforts should send an email to Robbins.
With the development of methods for adding typeset side notes to PDF files, the ESP project now plans to add annotated versions of some classical papers to its holdings. We also plan to add new reference and pedagogical material. We have already started providing regularly updated, comprehensive bibliographies to the ESP.ORG site.
ESP Picks from Around the Web (updated 06 MAR 2017 )
CRISPR-Cas: Bringing precise editing to DNA manipulation.
Treating Disease with Fecal Transplantation
Fossils of miniature humans (hobbits) discovered in Indonesia
Science Policy & Funding
Overbuilding Research Capacity: an important editorial in which Bruce Alberts argues that the current funding trajectory is unsustainable.
Rescuing US biomedical research from its systemic flaws: Bruce Alberts and others argue that "it is time to rethink some fundamental features of the US biomedical research ecosystem."
Gates Foundation research can't be published in top journals
DNA barcoding shows that restaurant seafood is often not what it seems
Dinosaur tail, complete with feathers, found preserved in amber.
Dinosaurs and Feathers: A Bibliography
Mysterious fast radio burst (FRB) detected in the distant universe.
Colliding stars will light up the night sky in 2022
Big Data & Informatics
Big Data: Buzzword or Big Deal?
Hacking the genome: Identifying anonymized human subjects using publicly available data.
Using DNA as a mass-storage device for digital data.