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Posts tagged "research"

The Dangers of Doing Psychological Research with an Agenda

People (including Ed) have been saying that Twenge over-states the true effect sizes of her studies. It’s nice that someone in the media has finally taken note.

(via Seeing Narcissists Everywhere -

One of the top ten is markedly different from the others…

Reasons not to stretch

The evidence against stretching before exercise continues to mount.

(via Reasons Not to Stretch -

We’ve done it! The big Hawaii 5-0 (feel free to hum the theme song, gramps)!

But its not all laughter and high-fives… The guys tackle the fairly serious topic of academic honesty. And of course we’ve got some wonderful smart suggestions which you will find hyperlinked below, for your convenience.

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Scientific fraud is more common than most people think. It’s time to take some measures to counteract it. This piece may be a bit too “academic” for some of our readers, but it certainly affects all of us.

A life saving discovery would allow patients to live even without the use of their lungs or other respiratory problems. Its also got us buzzing about other potential uses: equipment free scuba diving? “Super blood doping”? An end to warnings on plastic bags?

What would you do if you didn’t have to breath?

For non-physicists, the importance of finding the Higgs belongs to the realm of understanding rather than utility. It adds to the sum of human knowledge—but it may never change lives as DNA or relativity have. Within 40 years, Einstein’s theories paved the way for the Manhattan Project and the scourge of nuclear weapons. The deciphering of DNA has led directly to many of the benefits of modern medicine and agriculture. The last really useful subatomic particle to be discovered, though, was the neutron in 1932. Particles found subsequently are too hard to make, and too short-lived to be useful.

This helps explain why, even at this moment of triumph, particle physics is a fragile endeavour. Gone are the days when physicists, having given politicians the atom bomb, strode confidently around the corridors of power. Today they are supplicants in a world where money is tight. The LHC, sustained by a consortium that was originally European but is now global, cost about $10 billion to build.

That is still a relatively small amount, though, to pay for knowing how things really work, and no form of science reaches deeper into reality than particle physics. As J.B.S. Haldane, a polymathic British scientist, once put it, the universe may be not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose. Yet given the chance, particle physicists will give it a run for its money.

This is pretty harsh. [The Economist]

The conversations that have sprung up are very interesting. Some are calling this an engineering feat and not one of science, others are trying to figure out who wins a Nobel Prize for this endeavor since it was a collaborative effort between thousands of scientists from hundreds of nations.

I just think it’s pretty cool anyway.

(via thenoobyorker)

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I don’t usually Bogart the blog for my own personal reasons. Okay, I suppose I do that all the time, but rarely is it for a cause as worthy as this.

I’m walking in a fundraiser called the “Walk to End Alzheimer’s.” My team has the goal of raising $1,000 dollars and I have a personal goal of raising at least $100 before the walk on August 28th.

Both of my grandmothers suffered from Alzheimer’s disease as did nearly all of my paternal grandmother’s nine siblings. Probabilistically, I’m at quite a great risk of experiencing it myself. It’s a devastating illness and research into the prevention and treatment of it is in dire need of funding. I would greatly appreciate it if you could chip in some money (no donation is too small) to help me in this regard.

You can find the donation page here. Thanks!

Update: I surpassed my goal of $100 in 3 hours. People are awesome. Obviously, if you would still like to donate I appreciate it, and you can still do so via the link. Thanks again to all who donated.

While Jordan’s away, the rest of crew pick up the slack. On this very social episode we discover a smart rock band, cover a controversial news story, and Ed talks about why he left Goldman Sachs. Then we delve into the reasoning and risks behind unfriending and managing awkward social interactions online.

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The interview feels highly edited to my ears, but its still interesting.

The Elsevier boycott grows by the day. 7,000 signatures and counting. Check out this blog post in which Mike Taylor calls it “a declaration of independence.”

Meanwhile, Elsevier seems to be trying re-assure people that it does support some open access journals as evinced from this link that I received in an email from them this week. Let’s break it down:

At Elsevier, we support your choices in how to disseminate your work. As found in a recent External link PEER report, for most of you this still means ‘traditional’ publishing in a subscription journal, as the audience and impact of established journals are what researchers are looking for above all else.

Okay, so basically, they’re partially responsible for creating a system where researchers have to rely on their ‘audience and impact’ you take our indication that “traditional” publication is the way we have to go to mean that “we prefer it” that way.

But we’ve learned that many authors like the idea of having their article available as Open Access. Some authors even take a journal’s access status into account when deciding where to publish. So what are the options Elsevier offers authors who want to make their articles open access? Read on and find out! 

This whole process has been a “learning” experience for Elsevier. Huh, apparently some scientists think that science should be available to everyone free of charge. Also, according to Elsevier “some” = 7,000+.

They then go on to talk about their “expanding” list of open access journals and list eight recent editions. The last part of the page is worth noting, particularly this bit:

Do you want to post your manuscript on your personal or institutional website? Go ahead. Elsevier encourages you to showcase your research.

If your funder or employer requires you to post your articles, Elsevier needs an agreement in advance to make sure that the organisation’s manuscript posting policies do not undermine the quality and sustainability of the journal. Typically, such an agreement entails a period of embargo, as well as links to the published journal article.

For example: Elsevier has an arrangement with NIH under which Elsevier deposits accepted author manuscripts to PubMed Central for authors reporting research funded by the NIH. As a result, Elsevier has deposited more than 80,000 author manuscripts since 2005. 

Oh, so Elsevier is fine with you posting your research on your own personal or institutional website. That’s nice. You just have to make sure that the organisation you work for doesn’t “undermine the quality and sustainability of the journal.” Also, you might have to wait a while to post your work, so people who want it right away will have to pay.

They finish by essentially pimping an “arrangement” that they have been paying lawmakers to put an end to with the Research Works Act. Ridiculous.

Nice try Elsevier. It’s too little, too late.

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