background preloader

Science

Facebook Twitter

Unreliable research: Trouble at the lab. Problems with scientific research: How science goes wrong. Bad reviews: The perils of modern peer reviews. Scholarly journal retracts 60 articles, smashes ‘peer review ring’ Updated Every now and then a scholarly journal retracts an article because of errors or outright fraud.

Scholarly journal retracts 60 articles, smashes ‘peer review ring’

In academic circles, and sometimes beyond, each retraction is a big deal. Now comes word of a journal retracting 60 articles at once. The reason for the mass retraction is mind-blowing: A “peer review and citation ring” was apparently rigging the review process to get articles published. How long is the average dissertation? Average dissertation and thesis length, take two. About a year ago I wrote a post describing average length of dissertations at the University of Minnesota.

Average dissertation and thesis length, take two

I've been meaning to expand that post by adding data from masters theses since the methods for gathering/parsing the records are transferable. Lol My Thesis. Gary King and Stuart Shieber on Open Access. Nine simple ways to make it easier to (re)use your data. This is a nicely written article.

Nine simple ways to make it easier to (re)use your data

Fraud fighter: 'Faked research is endemic in China' Shi-min Fang tells us how risking his life and libel writs to expose scientific misconduct in his native China has just won him the inaugural Maddox prize You've just won the inaugural Maddox prize, awarded for your continuing work exposing scientific misconduct in China despite the threats you face.

Fraud fighter: 'Faked research is endemic in China'

How does that feel? Scientific Utopia: II - Restructuring Incentives and Practices to Promote Truth Over Publishability by Brian A. Nosek, Jeffrey Spies, Matt Motyl. Abstract An academic scientist’s professional success depends on publishing.

Scientific Utopia: II - Restructuring Incentives and Practices to Promote Truth Over Publishability by Brian A. Nosek, Jeffrey Spies, Matt Motyl

Publishing norms emphasize novel, positive results. As such, disciplinary incentives encourage design, analysis, and reporting decisions that elicit positive results and ignore negative results. Prior reports demonstrate how these incentives inflate the rate of false effects in published science. Crimes and Misdemeanors: Reforming Social Psychology. The recent news of Dirk Smeesters’ resignation is certainly not good news for social psychology, particularly so soon after the Diedrik Stapel case, but I believe it can serve as an opportunity for the field to take important steps towards reform.

Crimes and Misdemeanors: Reforming Social Psychology

The reforms that are needed the most, however, are not restricted to preventing or detecting the few instances of fraud by unscrupulous researchers who are intentionally falsifying data. 20 tips for interpreting scientific claims. Science and policy have collided on contentious issues such as bee declines, nuclear power and the role of badgers in bovine tuberculosis.

20 tips for interpreting scientific claims

Calls for the closer integration of science in political decision-making have been commonplace for decades. However, there are serious problems in the application of science to policy — from energy to health and environment to education. One suggestion to improve matters is to encourage more scientists to get involved in politics. Although laudable, it is unrealistic to expect substantially increased political involvement from scientists.

Another proposal is to expand the role of chief scientific advisers1, increasing their number, availability and participation in political processes. Perhaps we could teach science to politicians? In this context, we suggest that the immediate priority is to improve policy-makers' understanding of the imperfect nature of science. No, you're not entitled to your opinion. Every year, I try to do at least two things with my students at least once.

No, you're not entitled to your opinion

First, I make a point of addressing them as “philosophers” – a bit cheesy, but hopefully it encourages active learning. Secondly, I say something like this: “I’m sure you’ve heard the expression ‘everyone is entitled to their opinion.’ Perhaps you’ve even said it yourself, maybe to head off an argument or bring one to a close. Research priorities must serve all the world's people - science-in-society. I want science for all, not just the elite, says Princess Sumaya of Jordan, president of her country's Royal Scientific Society Are there problems with how science is viewed in the Arab and Islamic world?

Research priorities must serve all the world's people - science-in-society

Roger Highfield on science writing: 'Grab them with your first sentence' What makes a good science story?

Roger Highfield on science writing: 'Grab them with your first sentence'

Teaching scientists to talk science. Anna Richards, fire ecology postdoc Read all about it (Image: Everett Collection/Rex Features) Training and personal development is something that can sometimes get left behind in many post-docs and PhD courses as you struggle to write the next grant application, scientific paper or analyse the next sample.

However, programs that develop these areas can be really useful, as I recently discovered. In early June I participated in a national event called Fresh Science. Fresh Science focuses on training post-docs and PhD students to effectively communicate their science to the media and general public. Mathematical medallist: Seducing CEOs and socialists. Cédric Villani's mission to tell the world what it means to be a mathematician began when he won a Fields medal, often called the Nobel prize of mathematics. Director of the Henri Poincaré Institute in Paris, France, he studies kinetic theory, the mathematical interpretation of thermodynamic concepts like entropy, and was one of four mathematicians under 40 who won the medal last year.

New Scientist caught up with him at a public talk at the London Mathematical Society. Moments that make a research career worthwhile. Andrew Pontzen, astrophysics postdoc (Image: Andrew Pontzen) What makes scientists tick? Psychologist Greg Feist is trying to find out what drives scientific curiosity, from ways of thinking to personality types You are championing a new discipline: the psychology of science.

What exactly is this? It's the study of the thought and behaviour of scientists, but it also includes the implicit science done by non-scientists - so, for instance, children and infants who are thinking scientifically, trying to figure out the world and developing cognitive conceptual models of how the world works. Why pursue a PhD. I am a research scientist, and that's why I drink. Please allow me to introduce myself, I am Dr Kayleigh Dodd, once a hard working, enthusiastic young science graduate preparing myself for an illustrious and distinguished career in medical research.

Connecting Research and Researchers. There is a culture of acceptance around mental health issues in academia. Tyler DeWitt: Hey science teachers.