Notions of authority are not eroding. People will continue to seek out and reward expert opinion. No one is storming the proverbial gates, and there are still plenty of people who want to get inside them. What is happening instead is the creation of a de facto, rather than de jure, culture of curation to deal with a world that has become more of an abundant present than a considered past.
With academics doing much of the work and the Internet reducing distribution costs, you might expect the cost of academic publishing to fall as the Internet makes communication more efficient. Instead, the opposite has happened. Subscription rates for top academic journals have skyrocketed in recent decades – with one study reporting per journal subscription costs rose 215 percent between 1986 and 2003, despite the consumer price index only increasing 68 percent in that same time period.
At some point academic research will be free and public by default. Some day.
Unreliable research: Trouble at the lab. Science relies on the replication of experiments. The concern is that a startlingly small number of published papers hold up to attempts to reproduce the results. The Economist looks at what that means for the field and for academic research more broadly.
Why it’s time to lay the selfish gene to rest. Surprise, the biology you learned in high school isn’t necessarily correct.
Obama’s Ethanol Policy an ‘Ecological Disaster.’ A story of how one borderline environmental policy can have far-reaching and disastrous consequences.
An astronomer’s vision for an energy revolution. Feature story about Roger Angel and his goal for bringing sustainable energy sources on to a smarter electric grid.
The importance of stupidity in scientific research. Sometimes fully realizing the infinite scope of our stupidity is the most liberating thing. This is a cool essay about the importance of productive stupidity.