The amateur scientist was a column in the scientific american, and was the definitive how-to resource for citizen-scientists for over 72 years (19282001), making it the longest running column in scientific americans history. The column was regarded for revealing the brass-tacks secrets of research and showing home-based experimenters how to make original discoveries using only inexpensive materials. Since its début in 1928, the amateur scientist was a primary resource for science fair projects. It also inspired amateur experimenters, launched careers in science, and enjoyed a place of honor in classrooms and school libraries all over the world. Although always accessible to an amateurs budget, projects from the amateur scientist were often elegant and sophisticated. Some designs were so innovative that they set new standards in a field. Indeed, professionals continue to borrow from the amateur scientist to find low-cost solutions to real-world research problems. The amateur scientist traces its pedigree to may 1928, when. The amateur scientist traces its pedigree to may 1928, when. Stong numerous amateurs have under taken the formidable but none theless fascinating task of making a gas laser. Earlier articles in this depart ment have described how to build a helium-neon laser and an argon laser see the amateur scientist scien tific american, september, 1964, and february, 1969. I was recently linked to a video about the board of education for the state of alabama continuing to add a statement about the controversy of evolution. Stong x amateur who builds a radio trans mitter is likely to measure his success and pleasure in terms of the transmission range he achieves. 112 scientific american december 1996 the amateur scientist dissecting the brain with sound by shawn carlson the amateur scientist conductor versus composer conductor arthur nikisch (top) rescored part of the pathétique so that the first violin plays f, e, d, c, b and.   the society for amateur scientists was founded to place the power, process, and promise of science within reach of everyone. Sas links science enthusiasts of all backgrounds and interests with world-class professional scientists, to empower amateurs to take part in the great scientific debates of our time as full members of the scientific community.