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.

Three years on a beat, and then you move on

Chris Ander­son as para­phrased by Andreas Kluth.

The first year after arriv­ing to your new assign­ment was ter­ri­fy­ing and exhil­a­rat­ing. It was a ver­tig­i­nous learn­ing curve, but you could ask dumb ques­tions with­out fear and note that the emperor has no clothes.

In the sec­ond year, after the emperor had invited you in a few times to explain the sub­tle polit­i­cal dynam­ics that require him to go gar­b­less for the ulti­mate good of the nation (but surely there were more impor­tant things to write about, such as his new ele­vated rail project), you would find your­self writ­ing sophis­ti­cated analy­ses, trav­el­ing eas­ily through the region, admir­ing your bulging rolodex and oth­er­wise feel­ing very productive.

In the third year, you’d find your­self return­ing to sto­ries with a cer­tain cyn­i­cism and world­weary account­ing of end­less process. The ele­vated rail project has been delayed once again because of infight­ing within the oppo­si­tion party. The emperor has no fis­cal dis­ci­pline. You under­stand every­thing all too well. It’s time to move on.

Piracy: No stopping them

Piracy: No stop­ping them. Piracy off the coast of Soma­lia is get­ting worse despite the inter­na­tional efforts of the EU, UN, and even coun­tries like Iran. As naval forces make the ship­ping routes through the Gulf of Aden safer the pirates move far­ther afield. In one case they attacked a ship 1,300 miles off the coast.

Mandated Fun

The Econ­o­mist recently pub­lished an arti­cle about the “cult of fun” among busi­nesses. Kyle Bax­ter has a bet­ter take on it:

Here’s a much sim­pler solu­tion: make the work itself inter­est­ing and reward­ing for your employ­ees so they can get sat­is­fac­tion from their jobs, make the envi­ron­ment warm and enjoy­able for peo­ple to be a part of. If you do these two things (which, admit­tedly, is dif­fi­cult, but that is your job if you are run­ning a com­pany), work­ers will find fun things to do nat­u­rally with their colleagues.