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GIP 58: The Geologic Time Spiral, A Path to the Past. The Earth is very old—4.5 billion years or more according to scientific estimates.

GIP 58: The Geologic Time Spiral, A Path to the Past

Ten Simple Rules for the Care and Feeding of Scientific Data. Citation: Goodman A, Pepe A, Blocker AW, Borgman CL, Cranmer K, Crosas M, et al. (2014) Ten Simple Rules for the Care and Feeding of Scientific Data.

Ten Simple Rules for the Care and Feeding of Scientific Data

PLoS Comput Biol 10(4): e1003542. Editor: Philip E. Bourne, University of California San Diego, United States of America Published: April 24, 2014 Copyright: © 2014 Goodman et al. OneZoom Tree of Life Explorer. Eos: Earth and Space Science News. Nautilus Three Sentence Science. The Fermi Paradox. PDF: We made a fancy PDF of this post for printing and offline viewing.

The Fermi Paradox

Buy it here. (Or see a preview.) Everyone feels something when they’re in a really good starry place on a really good starry night and they look up and see this: The Earthquake That Will Devastate Seattle. When the 2011 earthquake and tsunami struck Tohoku, Japan, Chris Goldfinger was two hundred miles away, in the city of Kashiwa, at an international meeting on seismology.

The Earthquake That Will Devastate Seattle

As the shaking started, everyone in the room began to laugh. Earthquakes are common in Japan—that one was the third of the week—and the participants were, after all, at a seismology conference. Then everyone in the room checked the time. Seismologists know that how long an earthquake lasts is a decent proxy for its magnitude. The 1989 earthquake in Loma Prieta, California, which killed sixty-three people and caused six billion dollars’ worth of damage, lasted about fifteen seconds and had a magnitude of 6.9. Public-Friendly Open Science. Previous “A “Modern Scientist” Manifesto” In the 21st century science is growing more technical and complex, as we gaze further and further while standing on the shoulders of many generations of giants.

Public-Friendly Open Science

The public has often a hard time understanding research and its relevance to society. One of the reasons for this is that scientists do not spend enough time communicating their findings outside their own scientific community. Obviously there are some exceptions, but the rule is that scientists write content for scientists. Academia is often perceived as an ivory tower, and when new findings are shared with the outside world, this is not done by scientists, but by the media or even the political class. PLOS Genetics: Distinguishing between Selective Sweeps from Standing Variation and from a De Novo Mutation. Abstract An outstanding question in human genetics has been the degree to which adaptation occurs from standing genetic variation or from de novo mutations.

PLOS Genetics: Distinguishing between Selective Sweeps from Standing Variation and from a De Novo Mutation

Here, we combine several common statistics used to detect selection in an Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) framework, with the goal of discriminating between models of selection and providing estimates of the age of selected alleles and the selection coefficients acting on them. We use simulations to assess the power and accuracy of our method and apply it to seven of the strongest sweeps currently known in humans. We identify two genes, ASPM and PSCA, that are most likely affected by selection on standing variation; and we find three genes, ADH1B, LCT, and EDAR, in which the adaptive alleles seem to have swept from a new mutation.

We also confirm evidence of selection for one further gene, TRPV6. Physics of Superheroes. Science of 'the Dress': Why We Confuse White & Gold with Blue & Black. Steven Weinberg: the 13 best science books for the general reader. If you had a chance to ask Aristotle what he thought of the idea of writing about physical science for general readers, he would not have understood what you meant.

Steven Weinberg: the 13 best science books for the general reader

All of his own writing, on physics and astronomy as well as on politics and aesthetics, was accessible to any educated Greek of his time. Anthropocene: The human age. Illustration by Jessica Fortner Almost all the dinosaurs have vanished from the National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC.

Anthropocene: The human age

The fossil hall is now mostly empty and painted in deep shadows as palaeobiologist Scott Wing wanders through the cavernous room. Wing is part of a team carrying out a radical, US$45-million redesign of the exhibition space, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution. And when it opens again in 2019, the hall will do more than revisit Earth's distant past. The top ten myths about evolution. For those of you who are not familiar Cameron Smith's The Top Ten Myths About Evolution, it is an excellent book.

The top ten myths about evolution

Like the best works of popular science, it guides the reader without expecting them to already know anything about the subject. While its main purpose is to rebut the most popular misconceptions about the theory of evolution, it also teaches the science needed to fill the void that abandoning creationism leaves. In this post, I am going to provide my own rebuttals to Cameron's "top ten myths. " The reason why I am doing this is because I want a succinct and easy to read list available for linking. I believe that lots of people are on the fence about evolution not because they embrace creationism, but because they simply are unaware of the facts behind the science.

How Workplace Climate Changes the Knowledge We Generate. Why Isn't the Sky Blue? The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science — Mother Jones. ReviewCynthiaWhitney.pdf. Zero_to_Infinity_-_The_Foundations_of_Physics_Rowlands_WorldSci_20071.pdf. ARM Climate Research Facility. Welcome to Earth Science Week. Virology blog — About viruses and viral disease. The top 100 papers. The discovery of high-temperature superconductors, the determination of DNA’s double-helix structure, the first observations that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating — all of these breakthroughs won Nobel prizes and international acclaim.

The top 100 papers

Yet none of the papers that announced them comes anywhere close to ranking among the 100 most highly cited papers of all time. Citations, in which one paper refers to earlier works, are the standard means by which authors acknowledge the source of their methods, ideas and findings, and are often used as a rough measure of a paper’s importance. What Scientists Really Do by Priyamvada Natarajan. Curiosity: How Science Became Interested in Everything by Philip Ball University of Chicago Press, 465 pp., $35.00 Ignorance: How It Drives Science by Stuart Firestein Oxford University Press, 195 pp., $21.95 Rien ne dure que le provisoire.

What Scientists Really Do by Priyamvada Natarajan. How Real-Life Science Influenced Guardians of the Galaxy. Marvel Studios Of all the people who are partially responsible for Friday’s much-anticipated Marvel movie Guardians of the Galaxy—studio head Kevin Feige, co-stars Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana, Jack Kirby and Jim Starlin for pioneering Marvel’s “cosmic” stories—the most surprising one might be scientist Richard Feynman. Not that the celebrated physicist known for his work in the fields of quantum mechanics and nanotechnology contributed directly to the movie in any way (having died in 1988, that would’ve been unlikely), but without Feynman, GotG screenwriter Nicole Perlman might never have gotten involved in writing in the first place. “Science was my gateway drug,” Perlman says, “so I tried to see if I could apply my interest in science stories to actual science—and discovered that the nitty gritty is a lot less exciting than the stories.”

Nicole Perlman. Ben Rasmussen/WIRED. Replication Effort Provokes Praise—And 'Bullying' Charges. After a string of scandals involving accusations of misconduct and retracted papers, social psychology is engaged in intense self-examination—and the process is turning out to be painful. This week, a global network of nearly 100 researchers unveiled the results of an effort to replicate 27 well-known studies in the field. In more than half of the cases, the result was a partial or complete failure. As the replicators see it, the failed do-overs are a healthy corrective. “Replication helps us make sure what we think is true really is true,” says Brent Donnellan, a psychologist at Michigan State University in East Lansing who has undertaken three recent replications of studies from other groups—all of which came out negative.

“We are moving forward as a science,” he says. But rather than a renaissance, some researchers on the receiving end of this organized replication effort see an inquisition. Schnall, however, says that her work was “defamed.” Just another weblog. How to read and understand a scientific paper: a guide for non-scientists « Violent metaphors. Update (8/30/14): I’ve written a shorter version of this guide for teachers to hand out to their classes. If you’d like a PDF, shoot me an email: jenniferraff (at) utexas (dot) edu. Last week’s post (The truth about vaccinations: Your physician knows more than the University of Google) sparked a very lively discussion, with comments from several people trying to persuade me (and the other readers) that their paper disproved everything that I’d been saying. While I encourage you to go read the comments and contribute your own, here I want to focus on the much larger issue that this debate raised: what constitutes scientific authority?

It’s not just a fun academic problem. Getting the science wrong has very real consequences. “Be skeptical. What constitutes enough proof? I want to help people become more scientifically literate, so I wrote this guide for how a layperson can approach reading and understanding a scientific research paper. 1. 2.


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