Even at moments of the most extreme duress, it is difficult for me to stop thinking like a scientist.
A few days after the birth of my son some twelve weeks ago, things were just starting to normalize for Richard and me. We were home from the hospital and, though the daze of sleepless nights had hit us pretty hard, we’d found time to get out of the Continue reading
The internet was all aflutter last week because Elsevier has sent thousands of take-down notices to Academia.edu, a social networking site where many researchers post and share their published papers. This marks a significant change of tack for Elsevier. Previously the publisher had only been sending a handful of DMCAs a week to Academia.edu (the n Continue reading
There has been a flurry of articles of late listing important things that scientists, politicians and the public should know about each other. I am logging them here because I enjoyed each of the pieces and think it likely that I will want to consult them in future.
First to appear was the piece by William Sutherland, David Spiegelhalter and Mark B Continue reading
Back in July I went, for one reason or another, on a meandering bike ride. I ended up here:
My bike. And the Thames Barrier
The Thames Barrier is apparently the world’s second largest movable flood barrier (I believe the Dutch have the largest immovable such barrier: most of Holland is actually a giant dyke). Continue reading
Women in science seem to fare less well than men based on practically any measure. The reasons for this are many and various; they are also much discussed yet progress remains slow. To take as a specific example, why are success rates for women applying to the ERC for grants – at all levels and in all domains – lower than for men? This question wa Continue reading
Last night I reported that Cromer was being battered by the combination of a very high tide and onshore winds. This lunchtime the Canes Croxorum and I went down there to see for ourselves.
From a distance, Cromer seems untouched, the pier thrusting magnificently into the sea as much as it ever did, and especially after last year’s £1.2-m ref Continue reading
This picture taken not one hour since by Cromer resident Spencer Gray and posted on Twitter (@spenny10) shows the proximal end of Cromer Pier getting a thorough battering in a lethal combo of high winds and high tides not seen in these parts since 1953.
What’s happening at the distal end is less clear. You can see lights on at the Pavilion Th Continue reading
Classification is something that librarians are supposed to be good at, but when it comes to classifying types of libraries there is a bit of a #FAIL. At library school I was taught that there are three main kinds of libraries: public libraries, academic libraries and ‘special’ libraries. Public libraries are well-understood, usually co Continue reading
After the Bohannon fun, we’re all more aware of predatory publishers trying to get our money to publish any old crap. You would have thought they would have been aware of his, and at least made an attempt to look more legit. Well, apparently not. I jut got this unsolicited spam in my email:
Dear Colleague, Continue reading
This one spotted on a large wooden packing case in the loading dock of a university department, by our correspondent Professor Trellis of North Wales, who disclaims all responsibility.
“What the large wooden edifice contains seems to be a mystery,” says the sage, somewhat querulously, “but the label worries me… Deeply… Why i Continue reading
The newspapers these days run almost daily stories about sexism and women being disadvantaged in one way or another (plus the occasional response that it is men that are being hit hardest by current circumstances). For women in STEM the issue is manifest, particularly on the physical sciences and engineering side. Not for nothing has the Science an Continue reading
It’s now awfully fashionable to compile lists of things to see or do before you die. These lists are called Bucket Lists, presumably for the colloquialism in which ‘kicking the bucket’ means ‘die’ (qv. ‘bought the farm’, ‘flensed the ferret’, ‘spoke to God on the Great White Telephone̵ Continue reading
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The Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books award ceremony took place on Monday night. The event is open to anyone so I went along – I like to feel part of the great science communications endeavour. But I had had a busy day stuffed with meetings so was unable to get there as early as I would have liked. The doors opened at 6pm but by te Continue reading