at the sky, you might wonder how life arose and evolved, and
how the smallest pieces of matter come together to make up all
that we see in the vast universe. In other words, where did
everything come from and what is it made of?
Around the world, thousands of people dedicate their lives and
minds to research that can help answer questions like these.
Their enterprise often involves special locations, intense collaboration,
and the construction of magnificent instruments to help observe
In this collection of Web sites, you can explore the scientific
life through interviews, live broadcasts, and photos that capture
the often-unseen moments of investigation. We look over the
scientists shoulders, seeing what their eyes see and hearing
their thoughts on the fascinatingand sometimes elusivelaws
of nature.Our Web sites are rooted in the places where fundamental
research happens. We visited "observatories"hubs
of scientific researchlocated in a range of climates,
from the frozen valleys of Antarctica to the teeming jungles
of Belize. Some sites, like the particle accelerator at CERN
and the Hubble Space Telescope, are centered around massive
construction projects devoted to detecting what hasnt
been seen before. Others, like Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
on Long Island and the Natural History Museum in London, have
great stature as libraries and gathering places with long histories
of discovery. While the scenes and the study may be different
in these observatories, they each reflect important aspects
of the human enterprise we call science.
There are two ways to explore this set of Web sites: You can
visit each site, or follow the threads we created to tie them
together: people, place, tools, and ideas. Whichever path you
choose will reveal a larger picture of scientific research today,
and the intellect and energy behind the great discoveries that
fuel our understanding of the universe.