Two good reaction pieces to Facebook’s new study published in Science. Zeynep Tufekci wrote an overview of the study as well as links to many other good reflections. Nathan Jurgenson also wrote about what makes the study methodologically questionable and some of its other shortcomings.
Hervé This: The World’s Weirdest Chef. Explores the ideas and background of a molecular gastronomy pioneer.
The big sleep. A survey of recent research and work in to suspended animation. The details about what’s working in labs on animals is fascinating.
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.