Category Archives: Science

Does science need to be saved? A response to Sarewitz.

I wrote this piece a few months ago at the invitation of The New Atlantis. It was supposed to be one of a collection of responses to a polemical essay that they published last year on the parlous state of … Continue reading

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University rankings are fake news. How do we fix them?

This post is based on a short presentation I gave as part of a panel at a meeting today on Understanding Global University Rankings: Their Data and Influence, organised by HESPA (Higher Education Strategic Planners Association). Yes, it’s a ‘manel’ … Continue reading

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The Cathedral on the Marsh

I’ve already shared this video on Twitter and Facebook but wanted to post it here as a more permanent record. Two weeks ago I fulfilled the ambition, held since I had seen Nic Stacey’s and Jim Al-Khalili’s quite wonderful BBC documentary … Continue reading

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ICYMI No.10 – New Year’s Resolution

Along with many of my academic colleagues from across the nation, I was asked by the Times Higher Education to set down at least one new year’s resolution for 2017. I drew inspiration from Richard Hamming (whom I wrote about … Continue reading

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ICYMI No. 9: Preprints and Embargoes

I’m rather late getting round to this but, for the record, here is a piece I wrote for Research Fortnight in late November on the challenges that preprints pose to embargoed press releases of research reports. The tl;dr version (though the piece … Continue reading

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ICYMI No. 2: Time for positive action on negative results

Today I had a short opinion piece in Chemical and Engineering News on publishing negative results, a topic that I covered about this time last year in the Guardian on the occasion of the publication my lab’s first paper on an … Continue reading

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Open access and public engagement: I need your help

Dear Reader, I would appreciate your help. I am working on a chapter for a book on openness within science (to be published by Manchester University Press). The book is part of the ‘Making Science Public’ program run by Prof … Continue reading

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Anatomy of a blog post on the anatomy of a scientific discovery

At the risk of getting uber-meta, here is a blog post about writing my latest blog post at the Guardian. This was an account of a scientific discovery, albeit a minor one, that occurred during the process of shepherding the latest paper … Continue reading

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ICYMI No.1: Preprints for biologists

Since I have developed a habit of writing elsewhere, which necessarily takes time and words away from the blog here at Reciprocal Space, I thought I would try to make amends by developing the habit of linking to the pieces … Continue reading

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Jolly good fellows: Royal Society publishes journal citation distributions

Full marks and a side order of brownie points for the Royal Society: they have started publishing the citation distributions for all their journals. This might seem like an unusual and rather technical move to celebrate but it matters. It … Continue reading

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Structural Biology: a beginner’s guide?

I got impatient waiting for my latest review article to come out, so here it is. The scheduled publication date has slipped twice now without the publisher getting in touch to explain why. The latest I’ve heard, after querying the … Continue reading

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Lunacy and sanity

It’s less than 24 hours, so this still counts as a timely post. I guess I had been primed because I had been thinking about it. But although I hadn’t set my alarm I found myself awake at 02:52 on … Continue reading

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