Re: Historic Scientific Instruments (Attn: Allan Adler)

AA: You can get Chem Heritage at a lot of decent public
libraries as well as university libraries. And I think
you should try to visit the CHF museum in Philly or any
other sci instrument museum close to wherever you are and
talk to the staff members. I think that THEY would want
to talk to YOU!

I am pretty sure they would not want to talk to me, since I really
have nothing useful to say. I'm full of ignorant questions and have
no training in history of science or of scientific instruments. I'm
not very good at science itself either. I just like the subjects and
do what little I can to study them.

Although we have different opinions about whether the museum staff members
would want to talk to me, these opinions can be subjected to a scientific
test as soon as we can figure out an objective measure of how badly they
would want to talk to me. This is something economists do all the time to
measure demand. For example, would the museum staff be willing to hire me as
a consultant at $500/hr, plus expenses, to be able to talk to me? If not, we
can try other figures until we have obtained a scientific measure.

My guess is that, not only would they not want to talk to me at any price,
but they have no idea who I am.

How much would YOU pay to see their instruments and ask THEM
the sorts of Qs you ask of us at sci.chem? $500? $10? A
few minutes of your time?

They won't pay anything to talk with you until you've submitted
a prospecus or, alternatively, spoken to them gratis for a few
minutes. I'm just about certain that they would comp you a ticket
to the museum and show you around but I doubt that they would pay
your airfare to Philly, put you up in a fancy hotel for several
days and give you an honorarium. They MIGHT give you a free
subscription to Chem Heritage Magazine (seriously, they might).

Regarding economics and "bidding" as a better predictor of
outcomes, it has also been applied to elections and seems to
be better than polling.