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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 May 2004

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“Of what use a newborn babe?” was Oersted's response to a question from the audience as to the value of electromagnetism following his demonstration that a compass needle could be deflected by passing current through a nearby wire. Such is the immediate reaction anytime something new is encountered: What is it, and why do we need it? This perplexity arises from the certain conclusion of a proof derived from the objective facts: we seem to have managed quite well up to now without it. But as functional as a world before cell phones and email seemed, how dysfunctional would the world now appear without them? Time changes, and Science is change. Scientific journals track and pioneer those changes.

© Cambridge University Press 2004