The European Commission has published a consultation recommending that copyright law be changed to allow researchers to use automated text and data mining (TDM) software to hunt for vital information in published scientific papers
When the heads of states of the European Union and Africa meet in Brussels this week (2-3 April) to work out their future cooperation, they will have input from a series of expert meetings held in the run-up to the main event.
One piece of advice, courtesy of the African European Radio Astronomy Platform (AERAP), is that collaboration on radio astronomy research can bring societal benefits, both directly and through building capacity for other types of research and data handling.
Shortly before his column came out, Carole Vance and Kim Hopper, longtime professors at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, learned that they were losing their jobs because they hadn’t brought in enough grant money. Both, ironically, are models for the sort of publicly engaged intellectual Kristof wants to see more of. Vance has done pioneering work on the intersection of gender, health and human rights. “She has been a mentor and a leading influence on generations of scholars as well as activists and practitioners,” says Rebecca Schleifer, the former advocacy director for the health and human rights division at Human Rights Watch. Hopper, who divides his time between Columbia and the Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, is both an advocate for the homeless and one of the nation’s foremost scholars on homelessness. Last year, American Anthropologist ran a piece highlighting his work beyond academia, noting that Hopper “has long urged anthropologists to take part in public debates, to translate ethnographic ﬁndings into policy proposals.”
His termination, along with Vance’s, suggests that scholars have good reason not to take this advice. Kristof is right that universities have become inhospitable places for public intellectuals, but he misses the ultimate cause. The real problem isn’t culture. It’s money.
A group of freelance reporters are on a mission to produce a new kind of science journalism. Called Climate Confidential, the planned digital outlet is an entrepreneurial effort by six veteran journalists to “unravel fact from fiction and innovation from repetition,” in environmental and technology writing. Unlike other journalists starting their own news sites, Climate Confidential will be the first…
Ten years ago, on February 4, 2004, a new social networking site called Facebook was launched. While it was by no means the first, Facebook is arguably one of the largest and most influential social networks today. It's worth taking a step back to look at how powerful the concept of social networking has become, and what its potential is for the future, especially for scientific research and discovery.
Several players have been the drivers of social networking. Its origins can be traced to the Computerized Bulletin Board System (CBBS) launched in 1978 by Ward Christensen, an IBM field technical sales specialist, and his collaborator Randy Suess. During the past 15 years social networking platforms such as MySpace, LiveJournal, LinkedIn, Foursquare and Reddit have launched to great fanfare. Facebook originated as a social networking platform for students at Harvard. It was referred to at the time as a college version of Friendster. By 2009 it was ranked as the most used social network with more than 200 million users, twice that of rival MySpace. Today it is estimated that there are more than one billion Facebook users across the globe.
Less traveled, but no less important are those social networks geared to scientists such as Labroots, Quora, Research Gate, Mysciencework.com and Mendeley.
When I signed on to my AOL e-mail (retro cool!) on Thursday, a headline flashed on the screen saying something about the Shroud of Turin. Instinct said: Look away! Nothing good can come of reading a Shroud of Turin article. Fact-free zone! But I was weak, and I looked, and soon discovered that I had plunged down the rabbit hole of pseudoscience and bunk.
It was a Huffington Post article. The headline said: “Shroud of Turin Formed by an Earthquake? Scientists Say Face of Jesus Image Caused By Neutron Emissions.”
It’s the kind of result anyone who writes about science for the general public will find disheartening: less than 2 percent of news coverage in traditional media is about science and technology, according to a new report released to Congress by the National Science Board this month.
Robotic operator and aerospace engineer, Natalie Panek discusses some of the reasons why women are still under-represented in STEM careers and calls for the media to help turn the tide.The under-representation of women in my field like Aerospace, and all other science and engineering fields is known, and has been known for many years.
MIT Assistant Professor of Science Writing Seth Mnookin is the best-selling author of The Panic Virus, which examines how inaccurate scientific reports linking vaccines to autism have reverberated through the media, causing incalculable damage. Fearing vaccines, some parents have exposed their children ...
John Brockman, the publisher and science impresario who runs the online science and culture salon Edge.org, has asked his provocative,annual Edge question: What scientific idea is ready for retirement? “Few truly new ideas are developed without abandoning old ones first,” Brockman writes. “What established scientific idea is ready to be moved aside so that science can advance?”
Here’s my candidate for forced retirement: The idea that we need to distinguish between things in biology that are there for a purpose and those that aren’t.
Just 30% of the world’s researchers are women. While a growing number of women are enrolling in university, many opt out at the highest levels required for a research career. But a closer look at the data reveals some surprising exceptions. For example, in Bolivia, women account for 63% researchers, compared to France with a rate of 26% or Ethiopia at 8%.
Women in Science, a new interactive tool, presents the latest available data for countries at all stages of development. Produced by the UIS, the tool lets you explore and visualize gender gaps in the pipeline leading to a research career, from the decision to get a doctorate degree to the fields of research women pursue and the sectors in which they work.
Last week, the Washington Post eliminated a column published digitally in its science section following an article in the Knight Science Journalism Tracker in which editor Paul Raeburn called out the paper for posting university press releases describing health studies. By printing work that hadn’t been carefully reported, Raeburn argued that the Post is diluting its brand and misleading readers….
"Idea Thieves": Who are they? You have an idea and relate it to your boss; he appreciates it but at the same time thinks it is not a very practical idea for the current project or for initiating a new project. Three months later he comes up with the same idea and completely forgets to mention your name. Sound familiar? Many have gone through this scenario at times in their career path. These "idea thieves" are the very people who kill the scientific innovation/creativity in an organization and these people negatively affect the long term-growth of a company. Now the question is: why do some people steal ideas and who they are? People, who steal ideas in an industrial set up have specific career goal such as peer recognition as an innovative scientist, as well as corporate advancement and monetary reward. Often times they are in middle and top management positions and lack creative/innovative ideas of their own. Working at the management level, they often have the power to decide the job security of the people who are working for them and have the support from the higher authorities in the company. This places them in a position to misuse their power and steal ideas from their subordinates. One of the main quality management criteria of an innovative/creative company is to find out these so called "idea thieves" and take necessary actions. Most of the organizations wont consider taking any immediate actions since it is not affecting their growth or revenues in the short term. In fact there are more long-term scientific, business and social impact of "idea stealing". Often, share holders and consumers pay the price for the above mismanagement.
A February 10, 2014 story in the Wall Street Journalabout a NASA program that helps science fiction writers create scientifically accurate stories about future space exploration has caused a little controversy. Journalism professor Charles Seife expressed concern that the space agency is creating subtle propaganda.
“Getting a message across embedded in a narrative rather than as an overt ad or press release is a subtle way of trying to influence people’s minds. It makes me worry about propaganda.”
"Once the trainee presents a great idea with some interesting preliminary data, kill his/her enthusiasm by saying that the idea is useless, not relevant, premature, too complex for the current state of science etc. During the next few months, gently incorporate the idea in your casual talks. Finally, give the project to someone other than the originator of the idea as your own."
Journalists are increasingly doing their own number-crunching and reporting on it, rather than asking scientists to tell them what they’ve found. Call it data journalism, or computational journalism, or knowledge-base journalism, it’s a hot field these days, with top journalism schools offering dual degrees and specialized training in computer programming and statistical analysis.
Some journalists have also begun calling for the adoption of aspects of the scientific method, particularly the practices of collaborating, sharing data, citing reference sources, and aiming for reproducibility. There are fundamental differences between science and journalism that make complete co-option of scientific method infeasible, even undesirable.