gnat + science   266

Is it time to up the statistical standard for scientific results? | Ars Technica
Johnson concludes that if we assume that only one-half of the hypotheses should give us a positive result, then "these results suggest that between 17 percent and 25 percent of marginally significant scientific findings are false." If we assume the proportion of correct hypotheses is larger—which we might, given that scientists are usually pretty clever about the hypotheses they choose to test—then the problem gets even more pronounced. Overall, Johnson's suggestion is simple: raise the statistical rigor all around. Demand that experiments produce a p value of 0.005 or smaller. And be even pickier about results that we consider highly significant. There is a cost to this, in that you need bigger samples to achieve the higher statistical rigor. In his example, you'd have to double the sample size. That's no problem if you're breeding bacteria and fruit flies, but it will add a lot of time and expense if your project involves mice. Science as a whole would move a lot more slowly.
science  statistics 
november 2013 by gnat
Creating Young Darwins – Phenomena: The Loom
Ned Friedman, a botanist at Harvard, has come up with an intriguing way to use Darwin’s life to teach the basics of evolution. He and a team of graduate students have created a freshman seminar called “Getting to Know Darwin,” in which the students recreate ten of Darwin’s experiments and observations, spanning his life from his college days to the work on earthworms, which he carried on during his final years. To get an intimate feel for Darwin’s ideas and work, the students read his letters in which he discusses each topic. They then run experiments very similar–or in same cases, identical–to the ones Darwin ran himself.

Friedman has now gone the extra mile and put all the details of the class online at the Darwin Correspondence Project site.
science  history  education 
february 2013 by gnat
Pseudoscience and stereotyping won't solve gender inequality in science | Chris Chambers and Kate Clancy | Science |
The broader societal constraints that lead so few girls to consider themselves "science people" by middle school derive not from whether we push them into science, but what we value in girls as a culture. What gendered representations of science continue to exist in underperforming countries like the US and UK? What messages do we send about how we value intelligence and knowledge, about how girls contribute to society? And, what would it take to overcome these obstacles to produce a more egalitarian learning environment?
gender  science  feminism 
february 2013 by gnat
Why Can Some Kids Handle Pressure While Others Fall Apart? -
stress either causes worry or amps up performance. worriers have higher IQ, warriors test better.
SAT problem seems to be high-stakes testing.
can get better results by telling test-takers, as they start the test, that worry the night before leads to better performance.
better is to compete when there are inherent rewards for participating, practice managing stress
experience with situations helps worriers outperform warriors (eg jetpilots)
education  research  science  psychology 
february 2013 by gnat
Pirates in Indian Ocean feature as a new variable in marine weather forecasts - Economic Times

"In 2012, most weather forecast agencies across the world failed to predict the IOD correctly. In April, it was predicted to be negative, due to which a drought was predicted for India. The IOD was predicted to be negative based on sea surface temperatures. But we did not have data about subsurface ocean conditions due to the problem of pirates in this region," said Japanese meteorologist Toshio Yamagata.
science  piracy 
november 2012 by gnat
Excerpt from The Ravenous Brain: How the New Science of Consciousness Explains Our Insatiable Search for Meaning - Boing Boing
>> books i'll read on consciousness this summer

Consciousness concerns itself only with the most meaningful mental constructions and is ever hungry to build new patterns over existing architectures. To help in this aim, it itches to combine and compare any objects in our awareness. How the brain supports consciousness closely mirrors these functions. Those specialist regions of the cortex that manage the processing endpoints of our senses—for instance, areas involved in recognizing faces, rather than merely the colors and textures that constitute a face—furnish our awareness with its specific content. But there is also a network of our most advanced general-purpose regions that directly draws in all manner of content from these specialist regions. This is the core network, incredibly densely connected together, both internally and across major regions throughout the brain. In this inner core, multiple sources of meaningful, potentially highly structured information are combined by ultra-fast brain rhythms. And this, neurally speaking, is how and where consciousness arises.
brain  science 
november 2012 by gnat
The Tamiflu story: Why we need access to all data from clinical trials | Open Knowledge Foundation Blog
One consequence of our access to this bonanza of regulatory material has been a comparison between the details and broad message of the few published trials and their regulatory much more detailed reports. Apart from discrepancies in reporting harms and some less-than-detailed aspects of study design, we think the mode of action of the drug is not what the manufacturer says and (like FDA) could not find any evidence supporting a number of effects of the drug (including those for which it was stockpiled).

But we do not know for sure because we do not have all the data. The practical result of all this is our refusal to consider published trials (either on their own or as part of reviews) for inclusion in our reviews. There are signs that this distrust of the published word is spreading.
science  open  data 
november 2012 by gnat
Teenage Gamers Are Better At Virtual Surgery Than MDs | Popular Science
great link bait, but there's no actual RESEARCH published on the UTMB web site.
research  science  medicine  gaming 
november 2012 by gnat
NASA will text you whenever the International Space Station passes overhead | Ars Technica
Now, NASA is making knowing when to look up a bit easier. If you go to its Spot the Station site, you can register to have e-mail alerts sent to you whenever the facility is due to pass overhead in your area. Since the Station crosses near something like 90 percent of the Earth's population, nearly everyone should have the chance to see it.
mobile  marketing  space  science  nasa 
november 2012 by gnat
The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science | Mother Jones
"you don't lead with the facts in order to convince. You lead with the values—so as to give the facts a fighting chance."
psychology  politics  science 
july 2012 by gnat
Faculty Advisory Council Memorandum on Journal Pricing § THE HARVARD LIBRARY TRANSITION
Harvard's annual cost for journals from these providers now approaches $3.75M. In 2010, the comparable amount accounted for more than 20% of all periodical subscription costs, and just under 10% of all collection costs for everything the Library acquires.
open  science  publishing 
may 2012 by gnat
Kodak’s HQ secretly housed a nuclear reactor for over 30 years | VentureBeat
For thirty years, Kodak housed under its Rochester headquarters a research reactor equipped with over three pounds of enriched uranium. Kept secret, the uranium was removed in 2007, Democrat and Chronicle reports.

Though the reactor and its surrounding lab’s existence are perplexing and still a bit disconcerting, the idea behind the operation was fairly solid: Kodak used the uranium and reactor to test chemicals for impurities, as well as run neutron radiography tests. How that research was applied to its actual core operations isn’t clear, however.
business  history  science 
may 2012 by gnat
Science in Years 5 to 8: Capable and Competent Teaching (May 2010) - Education Review Office
links to free download of ERO's report on what's working in Y5-8 science. Includes self-review questions and "indicators of capable practice in science"
education  nz  science 
may 2012 by gnat
The Six Degrees of Bacon - Boing Boing
Sir Francis Bacon ... viz the history of science
science  history  people 
may 2012 by gnat
Times Higher Education - Wider open spaces
"I should make it clear that I am all for open access, but I also worry that it is a distraction from the larger challenge of developing meaningful public engagement with research."

aka "I am all for women's rights, but I also worry that it is a distraction from the larger challenge of climate change."
open  science 
may 2012 by gnat
Evolutionary ecology of pungency in wild chilies
capsaicin variation linked to variation in damage caused by a fungal pathogen on the seeds. hotness is a defense against the pathogens.
food  science 
november 2011 by gnat
Smarter Science
open source framework for teaching and learning science in grades 1-12. very suited to inquiry.
education  science 
october 2011 by gnat
Rider on the Storm • Damn Interesting
parachuted through cumulo-nimbus and lived
science  weather  people  history 
october 2011 by gnat
Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science - Magazine - The Atlantic
doctor who specializes in statistics and statistical analysis and protocols for trials and experiments to find fraud and simply shit research
health  medicine  statistics  science 
august 2011 by gnat
Welcome to my world wide futures web | ariadne
"Globalisation of : New Zealand’s R&D direction" speech by Peter Gluckman and
science  innovation  from twitter_favs
august 2011 by gnat
(Saving...) The scientific method is alive and well | Cosmic Variance | Discover Magazine
Lehrer’s article is a dramatic example of the problem he decries. The title and subtitle, and the first few pages, make it sound like there’s something profoundly and mysteriously wrong with the scientific method. Far into the article the obvious and rational explanations appear.
march 2011 by gnat
Beer Batter Is Better: Scientific American
CO2 -> foamy batter => thermal insulation so fish cooks slowly
alcohol -> evaporates faster => cooks faster
food  science 
february 2011 by gnat
Introduced plants 'becoming Australian'
A number of introduced plant species have become more like natives, suggesting rapid evolution could happen far more frequently than previously thought, according to new research from UNSW.
On the upside, the result suggests plants may be able to adapt to climate change. On the downside, it means that invasive plants will become even more problematic over time.
Using pressed plant specimens from NSW dating back around 150 years, researchers found that the majority of introduced herbaceous plants -- such as clover and wild geranium -- showed significant change since being introduced to Australia.
science  bio  gardening 
february 2011 by gnat
Science and culture: Elementary | The Economist
The journey is organised along five quirky themes: power, fire, craft, beauty and earth. For instance, Mr Aldersey-Williams groups together elements that resonate with power: economic power in the case of gold, silver and platinum; industrial might in the case of iron; power in its most literal sense when it comes to elements used in nuclear reactors. He charts a meandering route. The Aztecs and the Incas make way for Wagner’s “Ring” cycle and Wallis Simpson, meteorites rain down from the skies and Glenn Seaborg crafts five new elements by bombarding heavy isotopes with neutrons.
books  science 
february 2011 by gnat
Occam’s razor and Bayes’ theorem — The Endeavour
A paper by Jim Berger suggests a Bayesian justification of Occam’s razor: simpler hypotheses have higher posterior probabilities when they fit well.
probability  philosophy  science 
february 2011 by gnat
The Difficulty of Discovery (Where Have All The Geniuses Gone?) | Wired Science |
While the most cited studies in a field used to be the product of a lone genius – think of Einstein or Darwin – Jones, et. al. have demonstrated that the best research now emerges from groups. It doesn’t matter if the researchers are studying particle physics or human genetics: science papers produced by multiple authors receive more than twice as many citations as those authored by individuals. This trend was even more apparent when it came to “home run papers” – those publications with at least 1000 citations – which were more than six times as likely to come from teams of scientists.
collaboration  science 
january 2011 by gnat
“Astrology is rubbish”, but… | Whewell's Ghost
Thirdly, while I agree with the best skeptics that “astrology is rubbish”, this is because there is no evidence that celestial objects can affect our lives, events and emotions in the way that is claimed, not because practising astrologers don’t understand basic celestial mechanics and positional astronomy.
astronomy  history  science 
january 2011 by gnat
Science in the Open » Blog Archive » Hoist by my own petard: How to reduce your impact with restrictive licences
The message is pretty clear. If you want to reduce the effectiveness and impact of the work you’re doing, if you want to limit the people you can reach, then use restrictive terms. If you want our work to reach people and to maximise the chance it has to make a difference, make it clear and easy for people to understand that they are encouraged to copy, share, and cite your work. Be open. Make a difference.
licensing  open  science 
january 2011 by gnat
Measuring hell - The Boston Globe
In 1588, when Galileo was a 24-year-old unknown, a medical school dropout, he was invited to deliver a couple of lectures on Dante’s “Divine Comedy.” Many in Galileo’s audience would have been shocked, even dismayed, to see this young upstart take the stage and start poking holes in what they believed about the poet’s meticulously constructed fantasy world.
science  history 
january 2011 by gnat
The Dwarf Planet Eris May Not Be So Big After All -
In 1980, Alexander J. Dessler, now at Texas A&M University, and Christopher T. Russell of the University of California, Los Angeles, published a graph of the mass estimates through the years and jokingly predicted that Pluto would disappear entirely in 1984. “Those of you interested in observing Pluto should hurry,” they wrote.
january 2011 by gnat
EteRNA, an Online Game, Helps Build a New RNA Warehouse -
RNA folding, foldit with a twist: Stanford scientists synthesize some entries each week to see if they really do fold that way. building a library of RNA useful in nanotech, they hope
crowdsourcing  science  bio 
january 2011 by gnat
Talking about the past | Psychology Today
why early childhood memories aren't formed
science  kids  brain 
january 2011 by gnat
Medicine is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability. Sir William Osler, 1849-1919
quotes  medicine  probability  science 
january 2011 by gnat
PLoS (and NPG) redefine the scholarly publishing landscape
science publication landscape changing. PLoS ONE copied by NPG for a new venture, "Scientific Reports". Instead of charging for access, it charges article authors (as PLoS does). Seeing a major publisher move this way, argues Neylon, signals the eventual demise of borderline-profitable small journals and the success of the author-pays model.
publishing  science  open  access 
january 2011 by gnat
Guest Blog: Can sitting too much kill you?
"individuals who sat the most were roughly 50% more likely to die during the follow-up period than individuals who sat the least, even after controlling for age, smoking, and physical activity levels"
health  science 
january 2011 by gnat
Mechanics for Mathematicians (PDF)
So then people would say, Ah, so you're going to be writing about symplectic
structures, or something of that sort. And I would have to say, No, I'm not
trying to write a book about mathematics for mathematicians, I'm trying to write
a book about physics for mathematicians; of course, symplectic structures will
eventually make an appearance, but the problem is that I could easily understand symplectic structures, it's elementary mechanics that I don't understand
math  physics  science  books 
january 2011 by gnat
A Click of the Tongue: Ultrasound Translates Dying Languages: Scientific American
Before ultrasound, linguists relied on x-rays and glue-on electronic probes. The x-rays failed because they exposed subjects to harmful radiation, whereas the probes were often inconvenient. “You can imagine if you walk into a village and say, ‘Look, people, all I want to do is blow-dry your tongue and glue things to it,’ people might be a little nervous,” says Diana Archangeli, a linguistics professor at the University of Arizona who has worked with ultrasound since 2004.
science  language 
january 2011 by gnat
Politics in the Lab. In the Pipeline:
Politics, and political ideology, is just one template people use to view the world. Everything can be fit into it one way or another, and it's fun to keep score. I imagine the point-totaling sound as being like a pre-digital pinball machine: chunk-chunk-chunk-ding! This side scores, that side scores.

But how much of this overlaps with what goes on in the labs? The examples in the quoted paragraph certainly do, but there are many less politically contentious issues that are scientifically important. It's hard to fit disagreements over dark matter or RNA's role in early life forms into a left/right framework, much less intramural spats like the structure of the norbornyl cation, the usefulness of total synthesis, or how much palladium you really need to do a metal-catalyzed coupling.
science  politics  from instapaper
december 2010 by gnat
In Pursuit of a Mind Map, Slice by Slice
attempting to map the mind, model it in computers
science  data  from instapaper
december 2010 by gnat
Leigh Van Valen, Evolutionary Biologist, Dies at 76 -
he started his own journal to publish the paper that became a new law in evolution (the Red Queen hypothesis)
bio  evolution  science  bio_  evolution_  science_  from delicious
november 2010 by gnat
Volcanoes and air travel: Small eruption in Iceland | The Economist
very elegant roundup of volcano and Icelandic eruption science, and with a very nice piece of subediting on the title of the chart of historical eruptions.
science  science_  from delicious
april 2010 by gnat
Frank Ahrens: Why it's so hard for Toyota to find out what's wrong
Members of Congress are generally lawyers and politicians, not engineers. But they are launching investigations and creating policies that have a direct impact on the designers and builders of incredibly complex vehicles -- there are 20,000 parts in a modern car -- so there are some basics they should understand. Chief among them: The only way to credibly figure out why something fails is to attempt to duplicate the failure under observable conditions. This is the engineering method.
science  transportation  from delicious
march 2010 by gnat
Forensic Astronomer Solves Fine Arts Puzzles | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian Magazine
astrophysicist at Texas State University looks into literature, history, and art with the tools of an astronomer. He figures out where Julius Caesar landed in Britain, where Munch painted "Girls on the Pier", reproduces Ansel Adams's "Autumn Moon", etc.
art  science  astronomy 
june 2009 by gnat - Kameras
amazing videos from camera that captures 1M fps.
video  science 
june 2009 by gnat
Books of The Times - ‘Catching Fire’ by Richard Wrangham - Humans, the Cooking Apes - Review -
He cites studies showing that a strict raw-foods diet cannot guarantee an adequate energy supply, and notes that, in one survey, 50 percent of the women on such a diet stopped menstruating.
food  science 
june 2009 by gnat
Findings - Ear Plugs to Lasers - The Science of Concentration -
attention and focus. synchronised firing forces focus, but takes much of prefrontal brain's power. sounds are particularly hard to ignore, so love your earplugs. "typical person's brain can process 173 billion bits of information over the course of a lifetime" (probably not information theoretic sense of "bit").
brain  science  attention 
may 2009 by gnat
Sir John Maddox and science journalism | The nature of Nature | The Economist
However, the craziest person in the building is no longer the editor, and staff need no longer feel obliged to restrain him, says Alun Anderson.
people  history  books  science 
may 2009 by gnat
The link between autism and extraordinary ability | Genius locus | The Economist
RRBIs (Restrictive and Repetitive Behaviours and Interests) => 10k hours. savants arise from "ability to see differences where a neurotypical would only see similarities". RTMS gives rise to 1hr improvement in drawing, faces, proofreading, and true memory.
science  brain  autism  body  hacks 
april 2009 by gnat
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