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Gentlemachines
What's new at the crossroads of culture, technology and science
Curated by Artur Alves
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A call to those who care about Europe’s science

A call to those who care about Europe’s science | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Better collaboration is a laudable goal, but that alone will not be enough to fix the damage caused by Europe’s falling investment, says Amaya Moro-Martin.
Artur Alves's insight:

«When the European Parliament asked its proposed new commissioner for research what the continent should do about the state of its science, Carlos Moedas pledged greater cooperation between member states. Moedas might not have noticed, but we are already uniting: to protest against vicious budget cuts that are wrecking our scientific base and threatening our economic future.

(...)

There are too many examples to list, but here are some of the most prominent: since 2009, Italy has seen recruitment of scientists fall by 90% and the amount spent on basic research drop to nothing. In Spain, the amount of money spent on civilian research and development has dropped by 40%, and fewer than 10% of researchers who retire are being replaced. Since 2011, the budget of Greek research centres and universities has halved, with a freeze on hiring. Already reeling from budget cuts of 50% for universities and research centres, Portugal may now have to close half of its research units because of a flawed evaluation process supported by the European Science Foundation.«

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Online, Researcher Says, Teens Do What They've Always Done

Online, Researcher Says, Teens Do What They've Always Done | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
In the world of social media research, danah boyd is a star. She says most adults misread and overreact to the online lives of teenagers. But as the title of her new book suggests, It's Complicated.

Before Facebook, before Myspace, boyd (who uses lowercase for her first and last name) was an early adopter of the Internet. She got hooked when she was a teenager in the mid-1990s living with her family in a small town in Pennsylvania. It was "inspiring and exciting" to suddenly have access "to people who were more interesting than the people I went to school with," she says.

Today boyd is one of those people who seems to have memorized several maps of the World Wide Web. She roams like the rest of us, but she also seems to know exactly where to go and what to do when she gets there. She's got a variety of different Twitter accounts. "I have both my formal, professional @zephoria account, but then I also have a personal account which is me joking around with friends — and then I have an even sillier account which is me pretending to be my 7-month-old son," says boyd. "Flickr," she says, "has been a home for a long time to share photos with friends," and LinkedIn is where she spends professional time.

On the subject of Facebook, boyd rolls her eyes. Yes, she's there, but she finds it a very hard space to manage.


Via Andrea Naranjo
Artur Alves's insight:

"It's Complicated" - danah boyd's new book

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Canadian government accused of destroying environmental archives

Canadian government accused of destroying environmental archives | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Researchers fear that valuable documents will disappear as libraries close and merge.
Artur Alves's insight:

"The closures were mostly completed by last autumn, but hit the headlines last week when pictures of dumpsters full of scientific journals and books began circulating online. Some of facilities that have been closed include the library at the century-old St. Andrews Biological Station in New Brunswick, which had just completed a multi-million-dollar refurbishment a year earlier, and the library at the Freshwater Institute in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The libraries housed hundred of thousands of documents on fisheries and aquatic science, such as historical fish counts and water-quality analyses.

Scientists fear that valuable archival information is being lost, and that the government, which is seen as hostile to environmental science, has little interest in preserving it."

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Stanford psychologists uncover brain-imaging inaccuracies | KurzweilAI

Stanford psychologists uncover brain-imaging inaccuracies | KurzweilAI | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
The researchers found that traditional methods of processing fMRI data may lead scientists to overlook smaller brain structures, thus skewing their results
Artur Alves's insight:

Brain imaging techniques might not be sufficiently accurate to support the studies which rely on fMRI.

"Traditional methods of fMRI analysis systematically skew which regions of the brain appear to be activating, potentially invalidating hundreds of papers that use the technique, according to Stanford School of Medicine researchers."

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Titan supercomputer debuts for open scientific research - CNET

Titan supercomputer debuts for open scientific research - CNET | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

"Titan supercomputer debuts for open scientific researchCNETThe Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility is home to Titan, the world's most powerful supercomputer for open science with a theoretical peak performance exceeding 20 petaflops"

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The power of collective research, task-based investigations and ...

The power of collective research, task-based investigations and ... | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

A good compendium of case histories of augmented collective intelligence -- Howard

 

"Perhaps the gold standard for collective investigative reporting is the MPs Expenses experiment by Simon Willison at the Guardian where 170,000 documents were reviewed by 15,000 people in the first 80 hours after it went live. The Guardian has deployed its readers to uncover truth in a range of different stories, most recently with the Privatised Public Spaces story. We’ve also looked at crowdmapping broadband speeds across the UK, and Joanna Geary’s ‘Tracking the Trackers‘ project uncovered some fascinating data about the worst web browser cookie abusers. #

Last year Germany’s defense minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, a man once considered destined for an even larger role in the government, was forced to resign from his post as a result of allegations that he plagiarized his doctoral thesis. It was proved to be true by a group of people working collectively on the investigation using a site called GuttenPlag Wiki. #"


Via Howard Rheingold
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After controversy, Facebook promises stricter scrutiny over research

After controversy, Facebook promises stricter scrutiny over research | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Facebook is planning stricter scrutiny when conducting research. Facebook came under fire for a 2012 study that manipulated users' newsfeeds without their knowledge.
Artur Alves's insight:

«

There will be a stricter review of requests for research, for internal work or academic purposes, that deals with personal content or specific groups of people, Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer wrote.

He did not elaborate on the new guidelines.

«

 

To be continued, then...

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How the ‘Matthew Effect’ helps some scientific papers gain popularity - MIT News Office

How the ‘Matthew Effect’ helps some scientific papers gain popularity - MIT News Office | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Fine-grained research shows boost for leading-edge and low-profile work in the life sciences happens after authors are honored.
Artur Alves's insight:

«The study reports that citations of papers increase by 12 percent, above the expected level, when their authors are awarded prestigious investigator status at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), a major private research organization. However, certain kinds of research papers are boosted more than others by the increased prestige that accompanies the HHMI award, Azoulay notes.

“We find much more of an effect on recent papers, published in a short window before the prize,” Azoulay says. Moreover, he adds, the greatest gains come for papers in new areas of research, and for papers published in lower-profile journals. Younger researchers who had lower profiles previously were more likely to see a change as well. 

“The effect was much more pronounced when there was more reason to be uncertain about the quality of the science or the scientist before the prize,” Azoulay observes.«

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Essay on issues related to what digital scholarship 'counts' for tenure and promotion | Inside Higher Ed

Essay on issues related to what digital scholarship 'counts' for tenure and promotion | Inside Higher Ed | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it
Artur Alves's insight:

"As institutions become increasingly open to new approaches, resistance to digital work still emanates more from a traditionalism rooted in departmental lore. It’s hard to change cultures, but academic publishing currently confronts a major structural transformation, and contributors as well as evaluators seek advice on how to assess digital projects. What steps should scholars, especially younger ones, take with their digital work to ensure that it will "count" toward hiring, promotions and tenure?"


Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2013/02/20/essay-issues-related-what-digital-scholarship-counts-tenure-and-promotion#ixzz2OYkUH5Pw
Inside Higher Ed
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Millennials and Privacy in the Information Age: Can They Coexist?

Rapid advancement in information technologies (IT) has created dramatic changes in many aspects of society. Changes in communication's economics now enable fast, easy, and cheap mass dissemination of information.
Artur Alves's insight:

"Since Millennials continue posting growing
pieces of their lives, actions
that cannot be undone, new legislation
should limit the purpose and
use of information obtained from
the web. Usually, people know it is
forbidden to use a credit card even
if it was found on the street. However,
using other and sometimes
much more sensitive personal
information obtained on the web is
considered to be legitimate. Laws
that regulate conflicting interests
should play a more active role balancing
“the right to be left alone”
and “the right to know.” It is time
for some new laws addressing the
policy vacuum that continues to
widen quickly, or else, current
innocent social networks’ status
updates may haunt the naive user
for years to come."

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Research fraud exploded over the last decade

Research fraud exploded over the last decade | Gentlemachines | Scoop.it

"A number of studies have spotted a worrisome trend: although the number of scientific journals and articles published is increasing each year, the rate of papers being retracted as invalid is increasing even faster. Some of these are being retracted due to obvious ethical lapses—fraudulent data or plagiarism—but some past studies have suggested errors and technical problems were the cause of the majority of problems. (...) The authors find that, since 1975, the rate of retracted articles as a percent of total publications has increased nearly tenfold. Duplicate publications and plagiarism, which didn't use to be a significant problem, have boomed since 2005. And while retractions due to errors have increased, those due to fraud have increased much faster"

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The social side of gaming: How playing online computer games creates online and offline social support 10.1016/j.chb.2011.12.003 : Computers in Human Behavior | ScienceDirect.com

"The results of the present study have revealed three underlying processes – physical proximity, social proximity, and familiarity – that either directly or indirectly determine the formation of offline social support through gaming in e-sports clans. These results have practical implications that could proof beneficial especially with regard to the protection of younger video game players who are particularly at risk of excessive gaming and thus of facing social isolation. Implementing mechanisms that foster physical-and social proximity as well as familiarity in gaming and hence supporting the formation of social capital might help buffering the potential negative effects of online gaming by transforming games into an activity with a positive potential for offline friendships."

 

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