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How science has shifted our sense of identity - Nature Oct 2019, Nathaniel Comfort
I want to suggest that many of the worst chapters of this history result from scientism: the ideology that science is the only valid way to understand the world and solve social problems. Where science has often expanded and liberated our sense of self, scientism has constrained it.
NatureJournal  opinion 
yesterday by pierredv
Make more digital twins - Nature comment, Sep 2019
"Virtual models boost smart manufacturing by simulating decisions and optimization, from design to operations, explain Fei Tao and Qinglin Qi. "

"There is much to be done to realize the potential of digital twins. . . . Here we set out the main problems and call for closer collaboration between industry and academia to solve them."
1. Data difficulties
2. Model challenges
3. Twin teams

Four bridges
"The following steps would make research and development of digital twins more coherent."
1. Unify data and model standards.
2. Share data and models.
3. Innovate on services.
4. Establish forums.
mirror-worlds  digital-twins  NatureJournal  opinion 
17 days ago by pierredv
Global 5G wireless networks threaten weather forecasts - Nature, Apr 2019
The US government has begun auctioning off blocks of wireless radio frequencies to be used for the next-generation mobile communications network known as 5G. But some of these frequencies lie close to those that satellites use for crucial Earth observations — and meteorologists are worried that 5G transmissions from cellphones and other equipment could interfere with their data collection.
5G  NatureJournal  Interference  meteorology  NASA  NOAA 
may 2019 by pierredv
Biodiversity thrives in Ethiopia’s church forests - Nature, Jan 2019
"Ecologists are working with the nation’s Tewahedo churches to preserve these pockets of lush, wild habitat. "

Lovely full-screen photos
NatureJournal  Ethiopia  forestry  ecology  conservation  photography  religion  churches 
january 2019 by pierredv
Geodesy and metrology with a transportable optical clock | Nature Physics, Feb 2018

Optical atomic clocks, due to their unprecedented stability1,2,3 and uncertainty3,4,5,6, are already being used to test physical theories7,8 and herald a revision of the International System of Units9,10. However, to unlock their potential for cross-disciplinary applications such as relativistic geodesy11, a major challenge remains: their transformation from highly specialized instruments restricted to national metrology laboratories into flexible devices deployable in different locations12,13,14. Here, we report the first field measurement campaign with a transportable 87Sr optical lattice clock12. We use it to determine the gravity potential difference between the middle of a mountain and a location 90 km away, exploiting both local and remote clock comparisons to eliminate potential clock errors. A local comparison with a 171Yb lattice clock15 also serves as an important check on the international consistency of independently developed optical clocks. This campaign demonstrates the exciting prospects for transportable optical clocks.
NatureJournal  geodesy  metrology  clocks 
december 2018 by pierredv
Science in hand: how art and craft can boost reproducibility - Nature News, Dec 2018
“We — a surgeon, a research nurse and a synthetic chemist — looked beyond science to discover how people steeped in artistic skills might help to close this ‘haptic gap’, the deficit in skills of touch and object manipulation. We have found that craftspeople and performers can work fruitfully alongside scientists to address some of the challenges. We have also discovered striking similarities between the observational skills of an entomologist and an analytical chemist; the dexterity of a jeweller and a microsurgeon; the bodily awareness of a dancer and a space scientist; and the creative skills of a scientific glassblower, a reconstructive surgeon, a potter and a chef.”
NatureJournal  art  science  surgery  performance  skill  training 
december 2018 by pierredv
Costs and consequences of wind turbine wake effects arising from uncoordinated wind energy development | Nature Energy, Nov 2018
Via Nature podcast
"Optimal wind farm locations require a strong and reliable wind resource and access to transmission lines. As onshore and offshore wind energy grows, preferred locations become saturated with numerous wind farms. An upwind wind farm generates ‘wake effects’ (decreases in downwind wind speeds) that undermine a downwind wind farm’s power generation and revenues. Here we use a diverse set of analysis tools from the atmospheric science, economic and legal communities to assess costs and consequences of these wake effects, focusing on a West Texas case study. We show that although wake effects vary with atmospheric conditions, they are discernible in monthly power production. In stably stratified atmospheric conditions, wakes can extend 50+ km downwind, resulting in economic losses of several million dollars over six years for our case study. However, our investigation of the legal literature shows no legal guidance for protecting existing wind farms from such significant impacts."
NatureJournal  wind  energy  economics  interference 
december 2018 by pierredv
Happy with a 20% chance of sadness - Nature Oct 2018
Researchers are developing wristbands and apps to predict moods — but the technology has pitfalls as well as promise.
behavior  NatureJournal  psychology  suicide 
november 2018 by pierredv
Self-driving car dilemmas reveal that moral choices are not universal - Nature, Oct 2018
"The largest ever survey of machine ethics1, published today in Nature, finds that many of the moral principles that guide a driver’s decisions vary by country. For example, in a scenario in which some combination of pedestrians and passengers will die in a collision, people from relatively prosperous countries with strong institutions were less likely to spare a pedestrian who stepped into traffic illegally."
NatureJournal  ethics  AI  morality  automobile 
october 2018 by pierredv
(27) Shake those bees back and forth: Smart swarm intelligence - YouTube Sep 2018
"What happens when you shake a swarm? This bundle of buzzing bees changes shape to form a more stable structure. This clever response is the result of individual bees following simple rules - a kind of emergent intelligence."
complexity  emergence  video  YouTube  NatureJournal 
october 2018 by pierredv
The quest to conquer Earth’s space junk problem, Nature news, Sep 2018
"Zombie satellites, rocket shards and collision debris are creating major traffic risks in orbits around the planet. Researchers are working to reduce the threats posed by more than 20,000 objects in space. "

(great animation from ESA, and Nature infographic)

"Several teams are trying to improve methods for assessing what is in orbit, so that satellite operators can work more efficiently in ever-more-crowded space. Some researchers are now starting to compile a massive data set that includes the best possible information on where everything is in orbit. Others are developing taxonomies of space junk — working out how to measure properties such as the shape and size of an object, so that satellite operators know how much to worry about what’s coming their way. And several investigators are identifying special orbits that satellites could be moved into after they finish their missions so they burn up in the atmosphere quickly, helping to clean up space. "
space  orbital-debris  space-junk  animation  visualization  infographics  NatureJournal 
october 2018 by pierredv
Reimagining of Schrödinger’s cat breaks quantum mechanics — and stumps physicists - Nature Sep 2018
In a multi-‘cat’ experiment, the textbook interpretation of quantum theory seems to lead to contradictory pictures of reality, physicists claim.
quantum-mechanics  NatureJournal 
september 2018 by pierredv
Help to shape policy with your science - Nature career feature, Aug 2018
"When scientists get involved in policy, they should be careful not to advocate for specific solutions, warns Gluckman. Instead, he says, quoting from a book by political scientist and public-policy expert Roger Pielke Jr, a scientist should be an ‘honest broker’, helping policymakers to understand possible policy options and their consequences."

"Most of all, scientists should understand that policymakers rarely want to hear about the results of a researcher’s latest peer-reviewed study. "

See also:

"To make sure science influences policy, it’s best to collaborate with policymakers from the start, says Mach."
policy  policy-making  advocacy  science  NatureJournal 
august 2018 by pierredv
Muddled meanings hamper efforts to fix reproducibility crisis : Nature News & Comment
Various definitions:
1. “Reproduction is taking the idea of a scientific project and showing that it is robust enough to survive various sorts of analysis”
2. "a finding is reproducible if another researcher gets the same results when doing exactly the same experiment"
3. "a reproducible experiment is merely one that has been published with a sufficiently complete description — such as detailed methods — for another scientist to repeat it"

“Reproducibility is shorthand for a lot of problems,” -- Jon Lorsch

"researchers at the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford in California proposed three [expanded terms]: methods reproducibility, results reproducibility and inferential reproducibility, mapping roughly onto the three concepts described by Fang [above]."

"Victoria Stodden, a data scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, makes the distinction between ‘empirical’ reproducibility (supplying all the details necessary for someone to physically repeat and verify an experiment) and ‘computational’ and ‘statistical’ reproducibility, which refer to the resources needed to redo computational and analytical findings"

"a white paper by the American Society for Cell Biology in Bethesda dismissed reproducibility as a catch-all term, and introduced a four-tier definition instead. According to this paper, “analytic replication” refers to attempts to reproduce results by reanalysing original data; “direct replication” refers to efforts to use the same conditions, materials and methods as an original experiment; “systematic replication” describes efforts to produce the same findings using different experimental conditions (such as trying an experiment in a different cell line or mouse strain), and “conceptual replication”, which refers to attempts to demonstrate the general validity of a concept, perhaps even using different organisms"

"a paper that aimed to distil best practices for neuroimaging outlined 10 levels of reproducibility in such experiments across three categories, called ‘measurement stability’, ‘analytical stability’ and ‘generalizability’."
reproducibility  definitions  semantics  scientific-method  NatureJournal 
july 2018 by pierredv
Exposure of Insects to Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields from 2 to 120 GHz | Scientific Reports

Insects are continually exposed to Radio-Frequency (RF) electromagnetic fields at different frequencies. The range of frequencies used for wireless telecommunication systems will increase in the near future from below 6 GHz (2 G, 3 G, 4 G, and WiFi) to frequencies up to 120 GHz (5 G). This paper is the first to report the absorbed RF electromagnetic power in four different types of insects as a function of frequency from 2 GHz to 120 GHz. A set of insect models was obtained using novel Micro-CT (computer tomography) imaging. These models were used for the first time in finite-difference time-domain electromagnetic simulations. All insects showed a dependence of the absorbed power on the frequency. All insects showed a general increase in absorbed RF power at and above 6 GHz, in comparison to the absorbed RF power below 6 GHz. Our simulations showed that a shift of 10% of the incident power density to frequencies above 6 GHz would lead to an increase in absorbed power between 3–370%.
RF  mmwave  NatureJournal 
june 2018 by pierredv
Richard Feynman at 100 - Nature May 2018
Paul Halpern celebrates the oeuvre of the brilliant, unconventional scientist.
physics  quantum-mechanics  Richard-Feynman  people  biography  NatureJournal 
may 2018 by pierredv
Deep learning - Yann LeCun, Yoshua Bengio & Geoffrey Hinton | Nature May 2015
Deep learning allows computational models that are composed of multiple processing layers to learn representations of data with multiple levels of abstraction. These methods have dramatically improved the state-of-the-art in speech recognition, visual object recognition, object detection and many other domains such as drug discovery and genomics. Deep learning discovers intricate structure in large data sets by using the backpropagation algorithm to indicate how a machine should change its internal parameters that are used to compute the representation in each layer from the representation in the previous layer. Deep convolutional nets have brought about breakthroughs in processing images, video, speech and audio, whereas recurrent nets have shone light on sequential data such as text and speech.
machine-learning  ML  AI  NatureJournal 
april 2018 by pierredv
Time to talk about why so many postgrads have poor mental health - April 2018
Poor mental health is an issue for many of our readers. That fact is underscored by the response to a tweet sent by @NatureNews earlier this week, which highlighted that rates of depression and anxiety reported by postgraduate students are six times higher than in the general population (T. M. Evans et al. Nature Biotechnol. 36, 282–284; 2018), and asked what should be done to help. The figures are a shock, but it was the reaction that blew us away: more than 1,200 retweets and around 170 replies.
academia  psychology  culture  NatureJournal 
april 2018 by pierredv
Need to make a molecule? Ask this AI for instructions - Nature Mar 2018
"Researchers have developed a ‘deep learning’ computer program that produces blueprints for the sequences of reactions needed to create small organic molecules, such as drug compounds. The pathways that the tool suggests look just as good on paper as those devised by human chemists."

"Segler and his team tested the pathways that the program threw up in a double-blind trial, to see whether experienced chemists could tell the AI’s synthesis pathways from those devised by humans. They showed 45 organic chemists from two institutes in China and Germany potential synthesis routes for nine molecules: one pathway suggested by the system, and another devised by humans. The chemists had no preference for which was best."

"Segler’s tool is different because it learns from the data alone and does not need humans to input rules for it to use."
AI  chemistry  NatureJournal 
march 2018 by pierredv
Fourier’s transformational thinking - Nature Mar 2018
Via Dale Hatfield

"The mathematics of Joseph Fourier, born 250 years ago this week, shows the value of intellectual boldness."
physics  history  profile  NatureJournal  maths 
march 2018 by pierredv
‘Wavelet revolution’ pioneer scoops top maths award : Nature News & Comment - Mar 2017
"French mathematician Yves Meyer has won the 2017 Abel Prize for his “pivotal role” in establishing the theory of wavelets — data-analysis tools used in everything from pinpointing gravitational waves to compressing digital films."
physics  NatureJournal  maths 
march 2018 by pierredv
Scientific ballooning takes off - Nature, Jan 2018
via Dale Hatfield

"Private companies want to take scientific experiments sky-high in 2018 — aboard high-altitude balloons."

"companies such as World View of Tucson, Arizona, are lofting payloads quickly and cheaply into the stratosphere, between 16 and 30 kilometres up"

"Among the ballooning companies that accept scientific payloads are Raven Aerostar of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Near Space Corporation of Tillamook, Oregon. World View has made a splash in the past year by developing a standardized ‘Stratollite’ platform that dangles beneath its balloons. "
science  balloons  NatureJournal 
january 2018 by pierredv
Conferences: The secrets of a standout seminar : Nature : Nature Research, Oct 2017
" it is key, say veteran organizers, to encourage interactions between those attending, and between attendees and speakers"

"In the mornings, all attendees offered a 20-minute talk about their work. In the afternoons, they split into groups. . . . Each group would sum up its discussions in a 10-minute presentation on the last day."

"sometimes connects two or more researchers for conversations before the meeting"

"'speed networking sessions'. Scientists are organized into pairs, based on mutual interests, to chat for five to eight minutes before moving to their next partner."

"scientific conversations can — and should — spill over into evenings and free time"

"Diversity is about more than gender, ethnicity and geography"
howto  conference  seminar  research  NatureJournal 
october 2017 by pierredv
Mini satellites prove their scientific power : Nature News & Comment, Apr 2014
"Firefly is part of a growing band of mini satellites known as CubeSats that are now coming into their scientific own. Thanks to cheap parts and free launches, CubeSat launches are booming."
space  satellite  cubesats  NatureJournal 
august 2017 by pierredv
United States revives space-policy council after 24-year absence : Nature News & Comment
"The United States will revive the long-dormant National Space Council, a group meant to coordinate space policy among government agencies and departments. Vice-president Mike Pence, who will chair the council, announced its reinstatement on 7 June at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas."
space  NatureJournal 
june 2017 by pierredv
Crowd-based peer review can be good and fast : Nature News & Comment. Benjamin List. May 2017
"I am not proposing what is sometimes referred to as crowdsourced reviewing, in which anyone can comment on an openly posted manuscript. I believe that anonymous feedback is more candid, and that confidential submissions give authors space to decide how to revise and publish their work. I envisioned instead a protected platform whereby many expert reviewers could read and comment on submissions, as well as on fellow reviewers’ comments."

" Compared with our control experiments, we found that the crowd was much faster (days versus months), and collectively provided more-comprehensive feedback.

Our authors reacted positively, saying that they appreciated the comprehensiveness of the crowd’s comments and the speedy turnaround."
peer-review  research  methods  NatureJournal 
may 2017 by pierredv
Cognitive science: Mind as mirror : Nature : Nature Research
Review of
Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking
Douglas Hofstadter & Emmanuel Sander

"In fact, this intriguing, frustrating book seems to exist almost in an intellectual vacuum. Unless one combs through the bibliography, one could mistakenly imagine that it is the first attempt to explore the idea of analogy and metaphor in linguistics, overlooking the work of Raymond Gibbs, Andrew Ortony, Esa Itkonen and many others."
metaphor  analogy  cognition  books  reviews  NatureJournal 
march 2017 by pierredv
Give the public the tools to trust scientists : Nature News & Comment
Whereas journalists are debating facts and falsehood, their own role and possible ways to react, scientists seem to see themselves as victims of, rather than active players in, the new political scene. Most debate centres on how the new political order threatens scientific knowledge and research funding, or downgrades climate-change policy.

All are important, but what's overlooked by many is how science is losing its relevance as a source of truth. To reclaim this relevance, scientists, communicators, institutions and funders must work to change the way that socially relevant science is presented to the public.
science  truth  journalism  narratives  NatureJournal 
january 2017 by pierredv
How to trump group-think in a post-truth world : Nature News & Comment - Nov 2106
Here, Kahan tells Nature about the real-world consequences of group affinity and cognitive bias, and about research that may point to remedies.
"Hierarchical and individualistic people tend to have confidence in markets and industry: those represent human ingenuity and power. People who are egalitarian and communitarian are suspicious of markets and industry. They see them as responsible for social disparity.

It’s natural to see things you consider honourable as good for society, and things that are base, as bad. Such associations will motivate people’s assessment of evidence."
cognition  bias  psychology  Dan-Kahan  politics  NatureJournal 
december 2016 by pierredv
The mathematics of science's broken reward system : Nature News & Comment - Nov 2016
“Whenever quantitative metrics are used as proxies to evaluate and reward scientists,” write Smaldino and McElreath, “those metrics become open to exploitation if it is easier to do so than to directly improve the quality of research.” That’s basically a statement of Goodhart’s law, familiar to economists: when a measure of success becomes a target, it loses its worth.
science  research  methods  sociology  NatureJournal 
november 2016 by pierredv
Scientists can publish their best work at any age : Nature News & Comment
"New equation also suggests way to predict a researcher's potential to produce top work."
research  productivity  science  video  NatureJournal 
november 2016 by pierredv
There is a blind spot in AI research : Nature News & Comment - Oct 2016
“People worry that computers will get too smart and take over the world, but the real problem is that they’re too stupid and they’ve already taken over the world.” This is how computer scientist Pedro Domingos sums up the issue in his 2015 book The Master Algorithm1. Even the many researchers who reject the prospect of a ‘technological singularity’ — saying the field is too young — support the introduction of relatively untested AI systems into social institutions.

In part thanks to the enthusiasm of AI researchers, such systems are already being used by physicians to guide diagnoses. They are also used by law firms to advise clients on the likelihood of their winning a case, by financial institutions to help decide who should receive loans, and by employers to guide whom to hire.

AI will not necessarily be worse than human-operated systems at making predictions and guiding decisions. On the contrary, engineers are optimistic that AI can help to detect and reduce human bias and prejudice. But studies indicate that in some current contexts, the downsides of AI systems disproportionately affect groups that are already disadvantaged by factors such as race, gender and socio-economic background2.

We believe that a fourth approach is needed. A practical and broadly applicable social-systems analysis thinks through all the possible effects of AI systems on all parties. It also engages with social impacts at every stage — conception, design, deployment and regulation.
AI  automation  Ryan-Calo  opinion  NatureJournal 
october 2016 by pierredv
Mobile-phone expansion could disrupt key weather satellites : Nature News & Comment - Jul 2016
"As Hurricane Patricia barrelled down on Mexico last October, forecasters at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) grabbed as many ­satellite images as they could to track its progress. But at least one crucial shot failed to download. A 22 October image from the ­Geostationary Operational Environ­mental Satellite (GOES) system showed a black swathe — no data — across most of the Pacific Ocean. . . . The culprit was radio interference from mobile-phone companies. And the problem may soon get worse."
"In a representative sample of GOES imagery taken between May and September 2015, the agency found that 3.6% of the data ­during that stream had been subject to interference. And in May of this year, NOAA clocked 30 events in which satellite transmissions had dropped out, either streaking or nearly obliterating the images. “We consider that to be unacceptable,” Wissman says."
cellular  satellite  weather  weathersatellite  interference  LightSquared  Ligado  NOAA  GOES  NatureJournal 
july 2016 by pierredv
Back to the thesis: Francis Collins - YouTube
2:25: "I wanted to contribute. I wanted to have some insight, to feel like, that my involvement in science had meant something."
people  stories  scientific-method  education  YouTube  video  quotations  NatureJournal 
july 2016 by pierredv
Muddled meanings hamper efforts to fix reproducibility crisis : Nature News & Comment
"A semantic confusion is clouding one of the most talked-about issues in research. Scientists agree that there is a crisis in reproducibility, but they can’t agree on what ‘reproducibility’ means."
"Instead of advocating for a common definition, several scientific leaders are calling for an expanded set of terms. Earlier this month, researchers at the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford in California proposed three1: methods reproducibility, results reproducibility and inferential reproducibility"
reproducibility  scientific-method  NatureJournal 
june 2016 by pierredv
Human mind excels at quantum-physics computer game - Nature news Apr 2016
"With particles that can exist in two places at once, the quantum world is often considered to be inherently counterintuitive. Now, a group of scientists has created a video game that follows the laws of quantum mechanics, but at which non-physicist human players excel (J. J. W. H. Sørensen et al. Nature 532, 210–213; 2016)."
quantum-mechanics  games  NatureJournal 
april 2016 by pierredv
Versed in science - Nature Blog March 21, 2016 | by Barbara Kiser
"Speculating on this ancient fusion of science and poetry, Padel points to their mutual use of metaphor; their predication on precision; their toleration of uncertainty."
science  poetry  metaphor  NatureJournal 
march 2016 by pierredv
Statisticians issue warning over misuse of P values : Nature News & Comment March 2016
"Misuse of the P value — a common test for judging the strength of scientific evidence — is contributing to the number of research findings that cannot be reproduced, the American Statistical Association (ASA) warns in a statement released today. The group has taken the unusual step of issuing principles to guide use of the P value, which it says cannot determine whether a hypothesis is true or whether results are important."
statistics  NatureJournal 
march 2016 by pierredv
How scientists fool themselves – and how they can stop : Nature News & Comment
Perlmutter: "Science is an ongoing race between our inventing ways to fool ourselves, and our inventing ways to avoid fooling ourselves"
reproducibility  scientific-method  bias  quotations  NatureJournal 
october 2015 by pierredv
Strong placebo response thwarts painkiller trials : Nature News & Comment
"Simply being in a US trial and receiving sham treatment now seems to relieve pain almost as effectively as many promising new drugs. Mogil thinks that as US trials get longer, larger and more expensive, they may be enhancing participants’ expectations of their effectiveness."
placebo  healthcare  NatureJournal 
october 2015 by pierredv
The undisciplinarian : A view From the Bridge
"In Undisciplining Knowledge, Harvey Graff examines the ideals and practice of interdisciplinary research through 12 case studies, from genetic biology in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to nanotechnology and cultural studies in the twenty-first. Here, the Ohio Eminent Scholar in Literacy Studies and professor of English and history at The Ohio State University talks about the myth that interdisciplinarity demands the integration of entire disciplines."
research  scientific-method  books  interdisciplinarity  NatureJournal 
october 2015 by pierredv
Interdisciplinary research by the numbers : Nature News & Comment - Sep 2015
"Interdisciplinary work is considered crucial by scientists, policymakers and funders — but how widespread is it really, and what impact does it have? Scholars say that the concept is complex to define and measure, but efforts to map papers by the disciplines of the journals they appear in and by their citation patterns are — tentatively — revealing the growth and influence of interdisciplinary research."
research  scientific-method  interdisciplinary  NatureJournal 
september 2015 by pierredv
Reproducibility will not cure what ails science : Nature News & Comment - Sep 2015
“As the spotlight shines on reproducibility, uncomfortable issues will emerge at the interface of research and 'evidence-based' policy.” “This battle for the soul of science is almost surreal in its avoidance of the true issue, which is ideological. One side believes that the government should introduce stricter environmental regulations; the other wants fewer restrictions on the marketplace. Science is the battleground, but it cannot adjudicate this dispute.” “More and more, science is tackling questions that are relevant to society and politics. The reliability of such science is often not testable with textbook methods of replication.”
scientific-method  reproducibility  politics  NatureJournal 
september 2015 by pierredv
Podcast Extra: The Invention of Science by Nature Podcast | Aug 2015
Discussion with David Wootten about his book "The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution"
scientific-method  history  science  podcasts  NatureJournal 
september 2015 by pierredv
Five ways of looking at a butterfly : A view From the Bridge
Review by Barbara Kiser of five books about butterflies. Some great quotes: Kiser: "an iridescent current of butterflies shuffling and pirouetting over a froth of wildflowers" Michael McCarthy: moths on summer nights “would pack a car’s headlight beams like snowflakes in a blizzard” Matthew Oates: “perhaps it is we who need rewilding, not Nature” Peter Marren: Vladimir Nabokov, the towering novelist-lepidopterist whose mastery of language “seems at times to be deployed with the crisp decision of a pin through the thorax”
writing  books  quotations  NatureJournal 
september 2015 by pierredv
Robust research: Institutions must do their part for reproducibility : Nature News & Comment
"Tie funding to verified good institutional practice, and robust science will shoot up the agenda, say C. Glenn Begley, Alastair M. Buchan and Ulrich Dirnagl."
reproducibility  scientific-method  NatureJournal 
september 2015 by pierredv
Over half of psychology studies fail reproducibility test : Nature News & Comment
Brian Nosek, a social psychologist and head of the Center for Open Science in Charlottesville, Virginia, and 269 co-authors repeated work reported in 98 original papers from three psychology journals, to see if they independently came up with the same results. ... According to the replicators' qualitative assessments, as previously reported by Nature, only 39 of the 100 replication attempts were successful. (...) But whether a replication attempt is considered successful is not straightforward. Today in Science, the team report the multiple different measures they used to answer this question.
science  method  reproducibility  NatureJournal 
august 2015 by pierredv
Menageries of the mind : A view From the Bridge - Nature Books and Arts blog
review of "a small, beautifully curated exhibition at the British Library" “Ursus múrmurat: The bear grumbleth”.
animals  BritishLibrary  exhibition  NatureJournal 
august 2015 by pierredv
Nature Podcast: 20 August 2015 by Nature Podcast | Acast
Incl. fascinating interview with Bill Martin about his work, "Endosymbiotic origin and differential loss of eukaryotic genes" doi:10.1038/nature14963, see also News & Views piece doi:10.1038/nature15205
genetics  podcasts  NatureJournal 
august 2015 by pierredv
Realistic risks : Nature News & Comment
"The outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in South Korean hospitals is effectively over, with no new cases since 2 July. Since it began on 11 May, a total of just 186 people were infected by the coronavirus, 36 of whom have died. The episode was tragic, but its economic and social impact was disproportionate. If the world is to respond effectively to infectious-disease outbreaks, then the authorities, the media and communities must pay more attention to risk communication."
risk  risk-management  media  editorial  comments  NatureJournal 
august 2015 by pierredv
Statistics: P values are just the tip of the iceberg : Nature News & Comment
"Ridding science of shoddy statistics will require scrutiny of every step, not merely the last one, say Jeffrey T. Leek and Roger D. Peng."
statistics  comment  NatureJournal 
april 2015 by pierredv
Poverty shrinks brains from birth
"In the largest study of its kind, published on 30 March in Nature Neuroscience1, a team led by neuroscientists Kimberly Noble from Columbia University in New York City and Elizabeth Sowell from Children's Hospital Los Angeles, California, looked into the biological underpinnings of these effects. They imaged the brains of 1,099 children, adolescents and young adults in several US cities. Because people with lower incomes in the United States are more likely to be from minority ethnic groups, the team mapped each child’s genetic ancestry and then adjusted the calculations so that the effects of poverty would not be skewed by the small differences in brain structure between ethnic groups."
poverty  development  NatureJournal 
april 2015 by pierredv
We dislike being alone with our thoughts : Nature News & Comment July 2014
"Given the choice, many people would rather give themselves mild electric shocks than sit idly in a room for 15 minutes, according to a study published today in Science" "Wilson and his colleagues began by asking undergraduate students to stash their mobile phones and other distractions, and to sit in a sparsely furnished room for up to 15 minutes. Afterwards, nearly half of the 409 participants said that they did not enjoy the experience" “In the next experiment, participants were given a small electric shock — akin to a jolt of static electricity — that was so unpleasant that three-quarters of them said they would be willing to pay not to experience the shock again. Yet when they were placed in the room to sit alone with their thoughts, 67% of male participants and 25% of female subjects were so eager to find something to do that they shocked themselves voluntarily.”
meditation  psychology  science  NatureJournal 
july 2014 by pierredv
Science joins push to screen statistics in papers : Nature News & Comment July 2014
"The journal Science is adding an extra round of statistical checks to its peer-review process, editor-in-chief Marcia McNutt announced today. The policy follows similar efforts from other journals, after widespread concern that basic mistakes in data analysis are contributing to the irreproducibility of many published research findings.. . . Working with the American Statistical Association, the journal has appointed seven experts to a statistics board of reviewing editors (SBoRE). Manuscript will be flagged up for additional scrutiny by the journal’s internal editors, or by its existing Board of Reviewing Editors (more than 100 scientists whom the journal regularly consults on papers) or by outside peer reviewers. The SBoRE panel will then find external statisticians to review these manuscripts."
Science  statistics  research  NatureJournal 
july 2014 by pierredv
Lost in migration - YouTube - Nature video
Seems to be AM signals "Electromagnetic noise is emitted everywhere humans use devices. For decades, people have wondered whether this noise is affecting birds' ability to sense the Earth's magnetic field. Migrating birds use their magnetic-sensing compass to help them fly in the right direction. "Now, researchers at the University of Oldenburg in Germany have shown that radio waves affect European robins. Only when the robins are put inside huts that screen out the man-made electromagnetic noise can they position themselves in the right direction. "
video  birds  migration  RF-noise  NatureJournal 
may 2014 by pierredv
Model Universe recreates evolution of the cosmos : Nature News & Comment May 2014
Work by Mark Vogelsberger et al, MIT "Can current theories of cosmology explain how the Universe evolved? One way to find out is to plug everything we think we know about the early Universe and how galaxies form into a supercomputer, and see what comes out. In a simulation presented today in Nature1, researchers did just that — and revealed a cosmos that looks rather like our own. The findings lend weight to the standard model of cosmology, but could also help physicists to probe where our models of galaxy formation fall down."
cosmology  universe  modeling  simulation  mirror-worlds  NatureJournal 
may 2014 by pierredv
Slow Life on Vimeo - David Stoupin
""Slow" marine animals show their secret life under high magnification. Corals and sponges are very mobile creatures, but their motion is only detectable at different time scales compared to ours and requires time lapses to be seen. These animals build coral reefs and play crucial roles in the biosphere, yet we know almost nothing about their daily lives."
video  timelapse  animals  invertebrates  biology  VecindadGrafica  corals  sponges  GreatBarrierReef  NatureJournal 
may 2014 by pierredv
Physics: QBism puts the scientist back into science : Nature News & Comment
A participatory view of science resolves quantum paradoxes and finds room in classical physics for 'the Now', says N. David Mermin.
quantum-mechanics  David  Mermin  Bayesian  QBism  NatureJournal 
april 2014 by pierredv
Full disclosure : Nature News & Comment
"As part of a consultation on tougher regulation of silica exposure, OSHA asked that people submitting scientific comments to the agency should declare financial conflicts of interest. According to [OSHA Chief David] Michaels, this might be the first time that any federal agency has made such a request" "But even though this is a request and not a requirement, it has not gone down well in all quarters. In particular, a group of powerful US senators has come out against the idea that such a declaration should be part of federal rule-making (see page 18). They suggest that OSHA might “prejudge the substance” of comments on the basis of such disclosures."
regulation  conflict-of-interest  editorial  opinion  NatureJournal 
march 2014 by pierredv
Half of US clinical trials go unpublished : Nature News & Comment Nov 2013
The results of clinical trials are going unpublished as much as half the time, and those that are published omit some key details, a study has found
clinical  trials  research  methods  NatureJournal 
december 2013 by pierredv
Physics: Quantum quest : Nature News & Comment
The lesson, says Fuchs, isn't that Spekkens's model is realistic — it was never meant to be — but that entanglement and all the other strange phenomena of quantum theory are not a completely new form of physics. They could just as easily arise from a theory of knowledge and its limits. To get a better sense of how, Fuchs has rewritten standard quantum theory into a form that closely resembles a branch of classical probability theory known as Bayesian inference “It turns out that many principles lead to a whole class of probabilistic theories, and not specifically quantum theory,” says Schlosshauer.
Bayesian  physics  quantum-mechanics  NatureJournal 
september 2013 by pierredv
See-through brains clarify connections : Nature News & Comment
"The technique, published online in Nature on 10 April, turns the brain transparent using the detergent SDS, which strips away lipids that normally block the passage of light  (K. Chung et al. Nature; 2013). Other groups have tried to clarify brains in the past, but many lipid-extraction techniques dissolve proteins and thus make it harder to identify different types of neurons. Deisseroth’s group solved this problem by first infusing the brain with acryl­amide, which binds proteins, nucleic acids and other biomolecules. When the acrylamide is heated, it polymerizes and forms a tissue-wide mesh that secures the molecules. The resulting brain–hydrogel hybrid showed only 8% protein loss after lipid extraction, compared to 41% with existing methods."
anatomy  brain  NatureJournal 
may 2013 by pierredv
Alchemy on Vimeo
"Alchemy is a short film about transformation. In nature, everything is constantly changing: the earth, the sky, the stars, and all living things. Spring is followed by summer, fall and winter. Water turns into clouds, rain and ice. Over time, rivers are created, canyons carved, and mountains formed. All of these elements, mixed together, create the magic of nature's alchemy."
Evosia  Vimeo  timelapse  landscape  **  video  NatureJournal 
april 2013 by pierredv
Monkey brain area keeps count of kindnesses : Nature News & Comment
"When given the option either to drink juice from a tube themselves or to give the juice away to a neighbour, the test monkeys would mostly keep the drink. But when the choice was between giving the juice to the neighbour or neither monkey receiving it, the choosing monkey would frequently opt to give the drink to the other monkey. The researchers found that in two out of the three brain areas being recorded, neurons fired in the presence or absence of the juice reward only. By contrast, the third area — known as the anterior cingulate gyrus — responded only when the monkey allocated the juice to the neighbour and observed it being received. The authors suggest the neurons in the ACG respond to and record the act simultaneously."
brain-ACC  altruism  primatology  NatureJournal 
december 2012 by pierredv
Biology and ideology: The anatomy of politics : Nature News & Comment
"From genes to hormone levels, biology may help to shape political behaviour." “I'd like to see people have a little less chutzpah about their political beliefs, and understand that some people experience the world differently,” says [political scientist John] Hibbing.
morality  hormones  twin-studies  genetics  politics  brain  NatureJournal 
october 2012 by pierredv
Sociology: Honour the helpful : Nature : Sep 2012
"What kind of scientist does a department want to hire? The investigator who churns out high-impact papers and travels around the world giving seminars? Or someone with an average publication record who is always discussing other people's work with them, attending seminars and providing feedback on colleagues' papers? Most departments would probably hire the first one and not think twice. I believe the choice is not so straightforward." ... "By reviewing the acknowledgements in immunology papers since 1950, I have found that when principal investigators (PIs) who were frequently thanked by others died unexpectedly, the quality of the papers of their collaborators dropped. In contrast, the quality of co-authors' work changed little after the passing away of PIs who were not particularly helpful to others"
research  science  sociology  helpfulness  academic  NatureJournal 
october 2012 by pierredv
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