Forrest Mims


Forrest Mims

__NOTOC__ Forrest M. Mims III is an amateur scientist [http://www.forrestmims.org/ 'Country Scientist' starting column today in Express-News] ForrestMims.org, October 30, 2006] and magazine columnist and the author of the popular "Engineer's Mini-Notebook" series of instructional books originally sold in Radio Shack electronics stores. Mims graduated from Texas A&M University in 1966 (major in government with minors in English and history) then became a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force. Although Mims has no formal academic training in science he has a successful career as a science author, researcher, lecturer and syndicated columnist. For instance, his series of electronics books for Radio Shack sold over 7 million copies. Mims edits [http://www.sas.org/tcs/index.html "The Citizen Scientist"] —the journal of the Society for Amateur Scientists and is also the Chairman of the Environmental Science Section of the Texas Academy of Science. He also teaches electronics and atmospheric science at the University of the Nations, an unaccredited (by choice [According to the University of the Nations website, the university has intentionally not applied for accreditation in any nation's education system. [http://www.uofnkona.edu/index.cfm?fuseaction=control.main&sectionid=182] ] ) Christian university in Hawaii.cite journal |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |year=2006 |month= |title=Watchmen for the World |journal=Transformations |volume=3 |issue= |pages= |id= |url= http://www.uofnkona.edu/Transformations/pdfs/Fall2006.pdf|accessdate=2007-08-12]

Mims does scientific studies of sunlight, the atmosphere, mosquitoes and bacteria using instruments he designs and makes. A simple instrument he developed to measure the ozone layer earned him a [http://www.rolexawards.com/laureates/laureate-38-marion_mims.html Rolex Award for Enterprise] in 1993. Mims is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the National Science Teachers Association and several scientific societies.

Forrest Mims is also an advocate for Intelligent design and serves as a Fellow of the International Society for Complexity, Information and Design and the Discovery Institute. [ cite web |url=http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&isFellow=true&id=35|title=Discovery Institute-Forrest M. Mims |accessdate=2007-08-11|publisher=Discovery Institute ] [cite web | title=What follows are selected excerpts from an open letter by Forrest M. Mims III to Daniel Ji | work=SkepticFiles.org | url=http://www.skepticfiles.org/evolut/forestmi.htm | accessdate=2006-04-27] He is also a skeptic of global warming. [Temperature doesn’t affect global warming Forrest Mims, Seguin Gazette-Enterprise, September 1 1999. [http://www.forrestmims.org/publications.html Publications] , ForrestMims.org] [ [http://www.sas.org/tcs/weeklyIssues_2005/2005-03-11/editorial/index.html Questions and Answers About Climate Change] Forrest M. Mims III. Citizen Scientist, Society for Amateur Scientists, March 11 2005]

MITS

, had become very successful selling kits for project articles published in "Popular Electronics". [cite journal
author = Forrest M. Mims III | year = 1984 | month = November | title = The Altair story; early days at MITS
journal = Creative Computing | volume = 10 | issue = 11 | pages = 17 | publisher = Creative Computing | url = http://www.atarimagazines.com/creative/v10n11/17_The_Altair_story_early_d.php | accessdate = 2007-03-17
] Mims wanted to do a construction article along with his LED article. Roberts and Mims decided on an optical communication system that would send voice over an LED beam. Both stories were in the November 1970 issues of "Popular Electronics" and were featured on the cover. [cite journal | last = Mims | first = Forrest | year = 1970 | month = November | title = Light-emitting Diodes | journal = Popular Electronics | volume = 33 | issue = 5 | pages = 35–43 | publisher = Ziff Davis ] [cite journal | last = Mims | first = Forrest | coauthors = Henry E Roberts | year = 1970 | month = November | title = Assemble an LED Communicator - The Opticom | journal = Popular Electronics | volume = 33 | issue = 5 | pages = 45–50, 98–99 | publisher = Ziff Davis ]

The kit sales were poor so Roberts shifted his interest to developing a kit calculator. Zaller, Cagle and Mims sold their stock in MITS back to Roberts, for the same price as their initial investment, $100. Mims left the Air Force to pursue a career as a free lance writer. [cite journal | last = Mims | first = Forrest | year = 1985 | month = January | title = The Tenth Anniversary of the Altair 8800 | journal = Computers & Electronics | volume = 23 | issue = 1 | pages = 58–62, 81–82 | publisher = Ziff Davis ] He wrote articles for "Popular Electronics" and "Radio Electronics" and then in October 1975 started a column in "Popular Electronics" that ran until the last issue in 1985. Ed Roberts developed a calculator kit, followed by the Altair 8800 computer. The Altair launched the personal computer revolution.

Mims also wrote a series of electronics project books called the "Engineer's Notebooks", which were sold through Radio Shack stores for many years. These books, consisting of hand drawn schematic diagrams in the style of a laboratory notebook, featured projects that could be constructed using the components then being sold by Radio Shack stores.

"Scientific American" controversy

In May 1988 Mims wrote to Scientific American proposing that he take over The Amateur Scientist column, which needed a new editor. Despite concern about his views, he was asked to write some sample columns, which he did in 1990. [FM Mims III, Sunspots and How to Observe Them Safely, Scientific American, 262, 6, 130-133, June 1990] [FM Mims III, How to Monitor Ultraviolet Radiation from the Sun, Scientific American, 263, 2, 106-109, August 1990.] [FM Mims III, A Remote-Control Camera that Catches the Wind and Captures the Landscape, Scientific American, 263, 2, 126-129, October 1990.] Mims was not offered the position, due, Mims alleges, to his Christian and creationist views. The ACLU of Texas offered to take his case, but he declined. [ [http://www.arn.org/docs/orpages/or131/mimsrpt3.htm Defending Darwinism: How Far is Too Far?. Origins Research 13:1. Hartwig, Mark ] ] Others have argued that the situation is more complicated than Mims has claimed [ [http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA320_1.html Talk.Origins page on the Scientific American controversy] ] .

Pianka controversy

In 2006 Mims expressed concern with a March 3, 2006 lecture by scientist Eric Pianka.cite web | title=Meeting Doctor Doom | work=The Citizen Scientist: Feature 1 | url=http://www.sas.org/tcs/weeklyIssues_2006/2006-04-07/feature1p/index.html | accessdate=2006-04-27] In this lectures at the 109th Annual Meeting of the Texas Academy of Science held at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, Mims alleges that Pianka advocated genocide with a genetically enhanced Ebola virus with the goal of exterminating up to 90% of the human population. Mims disapproved when the Texas Academy of Science awarded Pianka with a plaque naming him "2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist". He confronted Pianka with the statement "The undeniable issue at hand is that you have advocated genocide and mass extermination to your students and to the Texas Academy of Science. The logical conclusion I am exploring is the genocidal racism inherent in your goal."

Pianka has stated that Mims took his statements out of context and that Pianka was stating what would happen from biological principles alone if present human population trends continue, and that he was not in any way advocating that it happen.

References

External links

* [http://www.forrestmims.org Forrest Mims's homepage]
* [http://www.sunandsky.org/ Forrest Mims's science page]
* [http://www.sas.org Society for Amateur Scientists]

Pianka controversy-related

* [http://anthropik.com/2006/04/pianka-mims-misanthropy-genocide/ Pianka, Mims, Misanthropy & Genocide] : Commentary from Anthropik blog.
*PZ Myers comments [http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/04/pianka_and_mims.php on "Pianka v. Mims "] on Pharyngula.
* [http://www.geocities.com/tetrahedronomega/pianka-mims.html Commentary on the Mims and Pianka controversy] by James Redford.


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