Let's promote good research: Share it in accessible and engaging ways. Put it in context and help your colleagues appreciate it. The more we can put substance ahead of hype, the more science and our colleagues benefit from our highlights.
Everyday, thousands of colleagues use social media to express surprise, dislike, or even outrage for the impact factor, for articles in luxury journals, against closed access, against Trump and so on and so forth. This voluminous response carries a powerful message about the influence and visibility of what is criticized; this response and its hyperlinks … Continue reading Inadvertent Support
Magnanimity pays off
Francis Crick exceeded the brilliance of his double helix model by this magnanimous act:
Chalk talks are awesome!
Interviews for tenure track positions are not to be feared but to be anticipated and enjoined. If your experience is anything like mine, you will meet many thoughtful colleagues and perhaps even start new collaborations. Enjoy the adventure!
The dark age of 20th century science
Dogma held reason back for half a century. It happened in the age of “modern science” and the atomic bomb. It happened because of sloppy reasoning and twisting arguments in favour of the preferred conclusion, the dogma of the time. What could be more antithetical to science ? What is the antidote ?
Can mere hype succeed in the long-term ?
Michael I. Jordan, one of the most prominent statisticians of our time, warns that "The overeager adoption of big data is likely to result in catastrophes...". This comment raises a question: If much of the enthusiasm for big data is indeed mere hype, is the big data movement likely to deliver results in the long--term? I … Continue reading Can mere hype succeed in the long-term ?
Honor or Disrespect
Before presenting, a scientist is introduced to a group of expert scientists with a list of prizes, awards, grants, titles and fellowships but no word of the research that led to these accolades. I have been in the audience many times, and every single time I felt disrespected. I also felt that the presenter's research … Continue reading Honor or Disrespect
Respect for the limits of quantification
Maybe in our efforts to be quantitative and objective, we have focused on what can be easily quantified (quantity) and pretended that it reflects what really counts (quality). A measure of humility and realignment is in order if we are to preserve and further the research enterprise.
Tell me about the science, not the prizes!
One might introduce Egas Moniz as the great Nobel laureate and Dmitri Mendeleev as a chemist with few great awards. Much more informatively, however, one should introduce Egas Moniz as an influential protagonist of lobotomy and Dmitri Mendeleev as the co-inventor of the periodic table of elements.
Discoveries lie hidden behind the façade of popular assumptions
One can come up with very many reasonable trade-offs that theoretically could account for aerobic glycolysis. Such hypotheses make sense and appear plausible but are diametrically opposing each other.