Could there be any real doubt that our Informationists are taking the world by storm? Our very own Peggy Gross, Public Health and Basic Science Informationist, and Victoria Goode, Clinical Informationist, recently had an article published in the Maryland Medicine Journal. Of course, these aren't the only Informationists from Welch who've had articles published---they're just the most current ones. By next week, who knows what'll be in store. Enjoy.


Alonzo LaMont 

Posted in: Hopkins Community , Informationists  Tags:

Yesterday (5/3/12), the Strauch Auditorium in the Armstrong Building was abuzz with grand ideas. The Provost’s Lecture Series presented a panel discussion on the theme of “Innovation”. And the swirl of ideas translated into a glorious introspective glimpse into the nature of how ideas become reality.


Our guest panel was comprised of Lisa Cooper, Professor of Medicine and Director, Johns Hopkins Center to Eliminate Cardiovascular Health Disparities, Lisa Feigenson, Associate Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Jerry Krill, Assistant Director for Science and Technology, Applied Physics Laboratory and moderator/panelist Charles Limb, Associate Professor of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery and Faculty, Peabody Conservatory. After Lloyd Minor, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic affairs for JHU, gave a short introduction on the foundation for the discussion the audience was---intellectually---off and running. Charles Limb asked the panel “What do you view as Innovation?” Dr. Cooper said it’s “new lenses that offer a wider views to a particular problem”. Lisa Feigenson ventured a hypothesis that pronounced “innovation is a combination of technology and methodology that combines finding the mysteries in everyday behavior”. Jerry Krill, with a little less abstraction offered “innovation is not just a great idea, it’s the implemention of that idea. Without the implementation, the idea never takes flight”.


Here’s a small sample of the questions that were raised: what is the relationship between individual creativity and institutional innovation? Are creative people innovative? What is insight, and how does insight differ from creativity? Dr. Cooper mentioned that the medical community has too wide a chasm between themselves and their environment, the short-sighted scientist cannot operate in a vacuum and has to offer some engagement on a larger platform. Reflections were offered regarding science and medicine needing to build better bridges to art and the humanities. Each panelist was asked about a specific recollection to a creative moment, and the confessional nature of those moments were dazzling to behold. The audience was quite captured by the inside peek into the birth of an idea. More often than not, each panelist’s moment came from some small instance, some tiny doubt or question, even from a brief break in a daily routine. Lloyd Minor noticed a distinct rapid eye movement that came when a patient heard a particular noise or sound. This led to Superior canal dehiscence syndrome (SCDS), first described (discovered!) by Dr. Minor. But, as Charles Limb asked, “what caused that first moment?” So many procedures in the field of Otolaryngology had already been performed, documented and accepted. What was the the origin of this innovation? It was a question directed to everyone in the audience, since on some level, we’re all participants.


Such was the terrain of an enlightened discussion, one you rarely hear around the quad.  Speaking with Charles Limb afterwards he commented that “medicine is so far behind in bringing art and science into the same room.” Certainly, symposiums such as these show how imagination runs parallel to the hard sciences, and also how the intimacy behind the creative process can lead to conversations that intersect all disciplines.   




Left to Right: Lisa Feigenson, Dr. Lloyd Minor, Dr. Lisa Cooper, 

Charles Limb and Jerry Krill) 


Alonzo LaMont


Posted in: Hopkins Community  Tags:

We're scheduled to kick off our ride on May 18th. As fate would have it, that's also the official "Bike To Work" day. I'm sure Hopkins has a good many folks participating in Bike-to-Work, BUT, if you want to participate in OUR event----we'll show you just as good a time.

We're going to start at "One World Cafe" on University Parkway, and we plan on leaving between 8:15-8:30. One World opens at 8:00 and it will give you some time to stop in and pick up a juice or something. Since we'll be leaving a little later than you might be used to (or not), maybe you can give your supervisor and/or co-workers a heads-up. But I ask you, how can they put the kabash on such a healthy activity?!

There will be a sign-in sheet, and also a bike waiver sheet (in case you bulldoze into a bus, or heaven forbid, vice versa). Please bring a helmut! And check your tires the night before. Air is definitely a plus with bicycle tires. We can easily work our way to the Jones Falls Trail and make our way to Guilford Ave. From Guilford, we come down (take a shortcut on Madison) and come up on Monument. If you're uncomfortable riding on Monument, feel free to take the sidewalk. Going back home will take a little longer, since we'll be going back another route. (Madison Ave.- the quicker route tends to be tight and crowded during rush hour. I never go home that way. Will give you the going home route later).

If you have any questions or comments, let me know. No really, don't be a stranger. We'll ride with whoever shows up. Hope that it's you.

Alonzo Lamont


Posted in: Hopkins Community  Tags:

The other day, my friend Carla Reinhard and I were chatting about the academic degree program she administers at the School of Public Health. Her department wants to get the word out that there are a lot of great career opportunities available for graduates of their master’s program in occupational and environmental hygiene (MSPH). Essentially, students study “Industrial Hygiene” – and what, you may ask, is this? By definition, “Industrial Hygiene is the science and art devoted to the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, and control of workplace environmental factors which may cause sickness, impaired health and well-being, or significant discomfort and inefficiency among workers or among citizens of the community.” An Industrial Hygienist anticipates, recognizes, evaluates and controls workplace environmental hazards.


            Carla, an Academic Program Administrator, explained that there are various titles someone can hold with a degree in OEH, (to name a few) Industrial Hygienist, Environmental Risk Assessor, Occupational Health Specialist, Environmental Policy Specialist. Do these titles sound familiar? I’m willing to bet dollars to donuts they do. Why? Because you’re bound to see them advertised in newspapers, online employment sites, and just about everywhere. They’re the ones that usually have a few impressive zeroes attached to the pay grade. And where do their graduates become employed? The largest employment percentile land in industry, with consulting firms and government following along.


            Carla emphasized that students need a strong background in science and math (the prerequisites are biology, chemistry, calculus and physics).Current students and graduates come from a variety of backgrounds. All have undergraduate degrees in a science-related field. They’ve had engineers, nurses and doctors who’ve decided to switch careers, or perhaps they’ve just decided to enhance their skills should they decide on a professional change. Geographically, students from around the world and around the country find the program. Currently they have a student from British Columbia, Nigeria, China, and Mongolia, not to mention those scattered throughout the US – even Alaska.


            Typically, more and more students find the program through Google. (Surprise!) The program has a strong online component, and their part-time/internet-based students all work on their degree while holding a full-time job. Carla mentioned that many realized they needed more education to successfully perform their jobsor to advance their careers.


            I agreed with Carla that her program does indeed deserve more attention. With such varied opportunities, the value of a program like this seems well worth investigating. Look for our interview with Dr. Patrick Breysse, who spearheads the program, in the days ahead. 


Alonzo LaMont

Posted in: Hopkins Community  Tags:
CommComm posted on May 1, 2012 00:03

The picture says it all, but the article almost makes you grimace at the figures. If you're aware of the Open Access movement you already know the players, the game and you won't need a scorecard.


Alonzo LaMont

Posted in: Hopkins Community  Tags:


The JHU libraries would like to have your opinion about e-books!


An "e-book" is a book that you read on any device, including computers and laptops.


Whether you DO or DO NOT read e-books, please take our survey:


It's only 9 questions; we know you're busy. Your comments will be a huge help to your library.


If you have any questions, please contact










Posted in: Hopkins Community  Tags:










  Welch has a new kid on the block, Carrie Price. Carrie comes to us from the Eisenhower Library and joins our illustrious list of Clinical Informationists.  I asked Carrie about her motivation into the world of librarianship, and what triggered her arrival at our humble Welch Library doorstep. “For a couple of years in college I worked as a Physical Therapy Technician, helping people rehab from orthopedic injuries. I really liked it and the experience has always stuck with me.” Carrie also mentioned that the prospect of working in a high-energy research hospital environment is a challenge she’s looking forward to. “People don’t seem to have a lot of free time here.” She knows the landscape, already she’s speaking like a veteran Informationist.

Carrie’s a graduate of Towson University and………she plays the Cello. Since not everybody I run into plays the Cello, I asked Carrie how much Cello she played. Thinking of course that she played Cello “on the side,” as a little sidelight. But noooooo, Carrie played with the Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra, a volunteer orchestra in Harford County. Oh.  For 3 years. Ohhhhhhh. Previously, Carrie worked at the Friends School and has put some time into the Maryland SPCA. A pet lover! (says the man with 2 dogs and 2 cats). She marveled at how much mentoring and support she’s gotten from her peers, and she’s looking forward to turning that early-getting-your-feet-on-the-ground-learning-curve into a straight line. Also, look for her in a local marathon or two. Better yet, she bikes. Ah-haaaa, now we’re talking. If you see her around the quad, don’t be a stranger.    

Alonzo LaMont


Posted in: Hopkins Community  Tags:


This fairly long article (it's from The New Yorker, and they have alot to say) takes an in-depth look at Stanford University's role in academia and silicon valley. This 'look' ponders the position Stanford plays with regard to student and faculty entrepreneurship. Look no further for an example of this role than the current student who creates an app called "Snapchat". Snapchat allows photos you send online (you know the kind, the ones you want to disappear the moment after you send them), to exist only for a limited period of time, then they disappear. 

Reading the article I was constantly reminded of the cordial relationship between the Stanford population and the Silicon Valley business community. Most academic institutions seem to incorporate a certain disdain for business and business culture. Now, before everyone leaps down my throat----I think whether this is a reality or not, it's certainly a perception. We see business and commerce as something that hinders the freedom, the free-flow of ideas and individualism that college represents.

Traditionally, I think it's safe to say that most students see business as a greedy soul-sucking corporate machine. AKA, the enemy. Perhaps much of this is based on certain idealistic (antiquated?) visions we have about college. However the environment at Stanford is quite the opposite. But how did the population at Stanford brush aside the usual campus politics associated with commercial enterprise? Was it the access to the "free-flow" of cash money that was, is, and remains in such close proximity?

Things to consider for a blue (cold) Monday.    

Alonzo LaMont




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CommComm posted on April 20, 2012 23:26

Just thought I'd review some stories you may have overlooked....

1) Those way-too-hip-for-their-own-good Google glasses made some major yakkety-yak. Either ya love 'em or ya hate 'em. Think how nifty they'd look when you're sitting in Starbucks and somebody's cyber mouth is running non-stop. (Oh, you say you hate those kinda people).

2) Getting more women involved in math and science is now an educational priority.

3) The NY Times chimes in on journal retraction.

4) Caine's Arcade makes you realize all kids aren't like the ones we know. (D'uh, of course I'm kidding)

5) And the Trinity Repertory Theater Co. explores malpractice & forgiveness. 


Alonzo LaMont


Posted in: Hopkins Community  Tags:
CommComm posted on April 18, 2012 00:42

I have a confession. I'm a drama guy. Yes, I know, I know: but therapy didn't help, so I'll just stay this way. This morning I posted a facebook post about the rise in scientific errors in medical journals . Errors. Mistakes. Things that can have serious complications. People-can-die territory. It's disturbing that mistakes are becoming more prevalent. But that's stating the obvious, right. Taken a step further let's move right into that hospital room where a surgery is about to happen. A patient gets prepped. Everyone is on their game. It could even be "minor surgery". Someone once told me that minor surgery is something that happens to somebody else. If anybody cuts me open it's major, am I right?

If that patient doesn't come out alive then an emotional door flies open that maybe no one can close. And what if an accident happened? A misstep? That door possibly stay permanently propped open. Such a tragedy goes right to where we live. The family wants details. Answers. They want MORE, period. 

So I ran across a play by the Trinity Repertory Company that addressses such a scenario. We see someone who made a medical mistake grappling with their own consequences and guilt, along with a family searching for a direction and answers.

The article is part play review and part observation.

Alonzo LaMont

Posted in: Hopkins Community  Tags:

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