One nagging thought stuck in Leon Lederman's mind as he was being interviewed on ABC's "Nightline."

It had nothing to do with his Nobel Prize-winning discoveries. Rather, it concerned the effect of adhesive tape on epidermis. A microphone was affixed to the University of Chicago physicist with duct tape because the cord that should have held it around his neck was missing.

"All I could think of was how much it was going to hurt when they took it off," recalls Lederman.

Ah, the glamorous world of television.

Appearing on television can be worrisome, inconvenient, and uncomfortable, but it seldom involves actual physical pain. Indeed, scientists who have taken to the airwaves to discuss their work say the benefits easily outweigh the drawbacks.

"The proper placement of science into what we call the subsoil of the mind is a major question for modern democracy, and if you don't use television,...

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