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School Students’ Work May Help Better Climate Models

Posted 20 December 2012 by Khalil A. Cassimally

A bunch of school students with help from researchers at the University of Arizona have published a paper in the American Journal of Botany that may help better climate models. Their work reveals that the shrinking of dried leaves, if unaccounted for, may make climate models less reliable. These computer models are based on fragments of data of the Earth’s past that we find in fossils. One such fragment is area of fossilised leaves. Typically, species that spring larger leaves... Read more

How do we make DIYBio sustainable?

Posted 13 December 2012 by Rayna Stamboliyska

At December 13th's SoNYC discussion, hosted by Nature Publishing Group (NPG), a panel will discuss the growth of DIY science, describing some of the opportunities it presents and looking towards the future. The conversation will cover the challenges faced by DIY science enthusiasts, such as safety and accurate data collection, as well as the ways to deal with these concerns within an online world of support. In the build up to this event, the folks at NPG are publishing a... Read more

Life performs computation much more than you’ve ever thought

Posted 23 November 2012 by Rayna Stamboliyska

“The level of intelligence has been tremendously increased, because people are thinking and communicating in terms of screens, and not in lettered books. Much of the real action is taking place in what is called cyberspace. People have learned how to boot up, activate, and transmit their brains. Essentially, there’s a universe inside your brain. The number of connections possible inside your brain is limitless. And as people have learned to have more managerial and direct creative access to their... Read more

Creating the true citizen scientist

Posted 16 November 2012 by Joel Winston

Citizen science is a powerful concept. Surely there’s no better way to engage the public in science than to include them in actual research. And already there are hundreds of projects all over the world, including conservation projects that depend on enthusiasts to count local wildlife populations, and internet-based projects, such as Galaxy Zoo, which make use of the human mind’s advantage over computers for recognising patterns in space images. But is this the furthest citizen science can go? While... Read more

The power of many

Posted 1 November 2012 by Akshat Rathi

Credit: http://blogs.clicksoftware.com/clickipedia-blog/bid/84936/There-is-a-Crowd-in-Your-Future Crowdfunding is all the rage. Scientists aren't holding back Global recession has meant shrunken budgets for many. And, despite strong economic arguments, scientific research has not been spared. Fortunately for some, such a change comes at a time when crowdfunding is all the rage. Kickstarter, an online crowdfunding platform, has been making headlines by raising millions of dollars for music albums, video games and comic books. These high-value projects compensate ‘backers’ with rewards. Even though some projects do... Read more

Crowdsourcing a recommendation letter

Posted 29 October 2012 by Akshat Rathi

Bradley Voytek, like thousands of other postdoctoral researchers, wants a tenured professorship. Like many other aspirants, his résumé showcases: Plenty of papers, teaching experience, well-respected doctoral supervisor and such. But he has something that few others can boast. He is a master communicator of neuroscience. For the past three years he has been blogging at Oscillary Thoughts, answering questions on Quora and regularly tweeting about his subject. He has quietly built a large audience: 750 blog subscribers, 5000 Twitter followers, 400,000 blog views,... Read more

Charting New Waters

Posted 24 October 2012 by Joel Winston

The excitement of discovery and invention is moving beyond the lab Cracks are appearing in the scientific culture of the 20th century. Old ways of doing research and disseminating knowledge are being destroyed to be replaced by new ones. Much of scientific research still happens in labs owned by big institutions, but new cultures are emerging. Scientific and technological collaborations, propelled by the rise of the internet, are moving beyond the lab at a rapid pace. This blog aims to capture some of... Read more