With this project we pursued to raise interest for science among the general public (especially young students) and make them aware of the importance of scientific research and development, illustrating how it leads to innovation.
For this reason, the book was thought as an open resource. Our aim was to freely distribute copies in schools, high-schools and libraries of our region. Later on, we started to receive requests by individuals and universities worldwide. Recently it can also be freely downloaded, ensuring that it is available worldwide for future use.
The team involved in the project consisted of 21 students and researchers, all of them from the Universidad de Salamanca and the Centro de Láseres Pulsados (CLPU). Five of us (all predoctoral fellows) acted as editors.
We received financial support from the Laserfest project through a grant awarded to our student chapter of The Optical Society of America (OSA). The CLPU and the OSA Foundation (OSAF) also joined the initiative. This budget allowed us to print and distribute 2000 copies.
The project lasted for one year. From March to May 2010, we worked in the outline and distributed the tasks among the authors. By August we had the first draft and started the review process. In December the book was ready and sent for printing. In 2011 we advertise and distribute copies (see “Advertisement” and “Impact” sections below). More recently it is also available in the internet.
The book is written in Spanish. To the best of our knowledge, there are not many scientific books in this language. This lack of resources in their mother tongue is one of the main problems for educators in Spain and Latin America.
• Free distribution in schools, libraries and universities
• Local newspapers – a piece of news appeared in some relevant local newspapers.
• Internet (in our website, blogs, scientific outreach sites, professional societies …)
• Conferences – we took advantage of some conferences to distribute copies among the attendees. Two examples were the IONS-9 (International OSA Network of Students) and the OSA Student Leadership Meeting.
• Outreach activities – we also organize outreach activities for schools. We took advantage of these events to give the teacher a copy of the book.
• Professional magazines like Optics&Photonics News (OPN) – we posted an announcement and a review appeared in the “Book review” section.
A complete list of press coverage and news related to the book can be found here.
The acceptance was very good and we started to have international requests, not only from organizations, but also from individuals. We asked for an OSAF grant that allowed us to cover shipping expenses to Latin America.
A track of the distributed copies was kept by creating a database with the emails of organizations and individuals who received a book. Since the book has recently been uploaded in the internet, we do not have the webstats yet to measure the impact it has as an online resource.