An on-line archive of articles published in The National Science Foundation’s flagship magazine from 1970 to 1992.
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About MOSAIC Online

by Ben Patrusky

Overall site design, including database and its implementation, by Fred Herzog and Seth J Hersh.

Both the impetus and the technical know-how required to launch this site came from Fred Herzog, a New York-based IT consultant, computer whiz, and self-styled, life-long science buff (who also happens to be married to a top-flight public school science teacher). Fred’s interest in creating grew from extended conversations with neighbor and friend Ben Patrusky, executive director of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing who was a frequent contributor to Mosaic. It was Ben’s contention that the complete Mosaic archive, were it Web-accessible, would prove invaluable to a wide range of readers in search of a fuller understanding of the intellectual ferment and historical research strides that undergird many of today’s (and tomorrow’s) dazzling scientific advances and, indeed, many societal issues we face today.

Fred offered his talents pro bono – something he does on a regular basis to help friends and a host of small non-profit institutions deal with computer glitches and master the might of the Internet. The next, crucial step was to get Warren Kornberg, Mosaic’s editor for most of its 22-year existence, to sign on to the effort.

Warren had been, since its demise in 1992, the deeply devoted keeper of the Mosaic flame. Until recently, he had maintained an Internet presence on Mosaic’s behalf by way of a complete index of published articles. Anyone interested in obtaining a copy of a Mosaic article had merely to contact Warren, who would Xerox the article and supply a copy. Not surprisingly then, Warren, once approached by Ben and Fred, was quick to endorse and lend his unequivocal support to the project.

With Warren on board, Fred registered the domain name and proceeded to enlist the services of friend and colleague, Seth Hersh, another IT maven. Together they shaped the site’s format to make it eminently searchable and went on to put it through a series of trials using a few sample issues and Warren’s index in a test of its feasibility and utility.

That done, the time came for Warren to make a huge sacrifice. Readying Mosaic for online posting would oblige him, as he knew it would, to eviscerate his much-treasured set of bound Mosaic volumes (the source for story-request fulfillment and perhaps the only complete set available anywhere). Warren did not waver. He took it upon himself to cut those precious volumes apart to separate out individual issues, 611 in all. These he then packed and shipped to New York where, aided by an industrial-strength paper cutter, Fred sundered the issues to yield the individual pages required for feeding to the high-speed digital scanner that was made available to him gratis by one of his clients.

What you have in, then, is the product of that all-volunteer labor of love.

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Mon, Jan 22 2018, 01:07:38PM EST