Author Archives: Stephen

Higher Education and Research Bill – Letter to my MP

Science is Vital this week launched a campaign to seek amendments to the Higher Education and Research Bill 2016. The bill is a rather dry and procedural piece of legislation but hidden amongst its many sections and schedules are real … Continue reading

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Ways of Seeing

It is the weekend and I have been treating myself to some time with the paper. Usually, I buy the Saturday Guardian. On occasion I will also get The Observer on a Sunday but most weekends I don’t have the … Continue reading

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Pride and Prejudice and journal citation distributions: final, peer reviewed version

Today sees the publication on bioRxiv of a revised version of our preprint outlining “A simple proposal for the publication of journal citation distributions.” Our proposal, explained in more detail in this earlier post, encourages publishers to mitigate the distorting effects … Continue reading

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ICYMI No.7: a day in the life of a naked scientist

In case you missed it last week, I had a segment in the Naked Scientist’s 15th anniversary radio show. Or rather, three segments, based on a day-in-the-life-of-a-scientist piece that I wrote a few months back on the Guardian, that were … Continue reading

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ICYMI No. 6: What is the meaning of Brexit?

Today EMBO Reports has published my commentary on the implications for scientific research of Britain’s recent decision to leave the EU. It’s free to read. The piece is trying to be more analytical than the more personal response that I posted at … Continue reading

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Pride and Prejudice and journal citation distributions

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a researcher in possession of interesting experimental results, must be in want of a journal with a high impact factor. It is also true – and widely understood – that journal impact factors … Continue reading

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Letters from Europe

This weekend’s Guardian has a quite wonderful feature comprised of letters to Britain from European writers about the decision to be made in the upcoming referendum. It offers a fresh and little-heard perspective on a debate that has become worn … Continue reading

Posted in International | 2 Comments

How to look at Art?

I was sneered at on Twitter yesterday for sneering at people taking pictures of the Impressionist paintings on display at the Musée D’Orsay in Paris. Fair enough perhaps. I had adopted an exaggerated version of the pontifical tone that comes … Continue reading

Posted in Science & Art | 1 Comment

ICYMI No. 5: Asking universities to be open about research assessment

I first wrote about the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) when it was launched in May 2013. DORA is a simple statement asking the different players in the business of academic research to free themselves from the damaging … Continue reading

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Transitory Mercury

I wasn’t sure I was going to get to see today’s celestial encounter. The forecast was for blanket cover by early afternoon and the blue skies of the morning had largely filled with cloud by lunchtime, when the transit was due … Continue reading

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ICYMI No. 4: Books to read before university

This week’s Times Higher Education has a nice cover feature listing books recommended by various scholars to students preparing for university. More particularly, as the author of the piece, Matthew Reisz, explained to me in an email, “We are asking … Continue reading

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