Dear Fellow Pursuers on the scientific quest for truth, Seasoned Scientists, Professionals, Distinguished Professors, Students and University graduates:
Good day/evening. How is every one? I do hope you have time out of your busy schedule to read this blog entry. The Journal of Caribbean Students' Research (JOCSR) cordially invites you to join us on a voyage for the quest for truth through scientific exploration.
The Journal of Caribbean Students' Research hopes to be a newly launched online only, open access and peer-reviewed journal for undergraduate (college level) science students for the publication of high quality and refereed papers. This journal is also ISSN registered.
The international Ayurveda Symposium in Birstein has been ranging among the most interesting professional Ayurveda conferences in Europe for many years. This year more than 30 excellent lectures, workshops and panel discussions will be held by renowned professors, doctors and specialists of Ayurveda from India, South-America and various European countries. Main topics:
Ayurveda and Psychotherapy; Phytotherapy with Classical and European Medicinal Plants
Get assess PDF-LINK for details: http://www.ayurveda-akademie.org/00_pdf/ayurveda-symposium2010_en.pdf
Dr. Mauroof Athique, Middlesex University (UK),
Prof. Ramesh Babu, Director General, CCRAS India,
Prof. Dr. Horst Przuntek, Neurologist, Ruhr University (Germany),
Dr Mukesh D. Jain, M.D. AYUSH Muscular Dystrophy Society (India),
Dr. Antonio Morandi, Ph.D., Neurologist Milan (Italy)
Karin Bachmaier, Germany,
Jorge Luis Berra M.D., Argentina,
Dr. Ashish Bhalla M.D., Austria,
Such is the title of a two-part publication by Brian Whitworth and Rob Friedman. It provides for a fascinating assessment of the state-of-the-art of Information Science over the last ten years, much of it generalizable to other fields. In the following, I will list some quotes from the papers — I will try to comment on them later as time permits: Part I
When I was notified recently that a new article on vocal learning had appeared in PLoS ONE, I took a brief look and found the study relevant but not interesting enough to actually read it now. However, I accidentally came across the phrase "Large-Scale Assessment of the Effect of Popularity on the Reliability of Research" - the title of a paper published the same day whose abstract and discussion actually got me interested, since they centred around the relationship between the popularity of research topics and the reliability of the corresponding results. This is related to the issues of (i) multiple testing, familiar to anyone working with statistics, and (ii) measuring research impact - a common subject here as well as on other blogs.
The Internet represents an opportunity to change this system, one which has created a 300-year-old, collective long-term memory, into something new and more efficient, perhaps adding in a current, collective short-term working memory at the same time. With new online tools, scientists could begin to share techniques, data and ideas online to the benefit of all parties, and the public at large.
Here is some brainstorming on criteria suitable for the evaluation of
scientific contributions (initially perhaps just journal articles, but
in the long run also blog posts, wiki edits, project proposals,
database entries and basically anything related to science that can be
described by a Uniform Resource Identifier).
For a start, I have listed below the criteria currently in use at PLoS ONE for pre-publication assessment of research manuscripts:
- Results reported have not been published elsewhere.
- Experiments, statistics, and other analyses are performed to a high technical standard and are described in sufficient detail.
- Conclusions are presented in an appropriate fashion and are supported by the data.
- The article is presented in an intelligible fashion and is written in standard English.
- The research meets all applicable standards for the ethics of experimentation and research integrity.
- The article adheres to appropriate reporting guidelines (e.g. CONSORT, MIAME, STROBE, EQUATOR) and community standards for data availability.
- The study presents the results of primary scientific research.
These points raise a number of issues with respect to adaptations to online environments:
- "Published" in this sense refers to "making the information publicly available after peer review", while the term has other connotations in the context of blogs or wikis where it simply means "making the information publicly available", and review by experts and non-experts can then take place afterwards.
- Sufficient detail can be defined differently in paper-based and web-based (and particularly hyperlinked) contexts.
- Support by the data is clearly crucial, and while traditional manuscripts have usually published only part of the data, online environments allow, at least in principle, direct links to or even embedding from the sites wherethe data are hosted.
- Intelligibility is traditionally defined with respect to the scope of a journal, but with blogs, it is the content of the individual posts that define the thus evolving scope, and intelligibility is likely to vary heavily from reader to reader and from blog post to blog post. Also, online environments tend to be less formal than traditional journals when it comes to the use of English.
- These standards and the concepts behind them do evolve.
- So do these guidelines and standards.
- Instead of describing only the results of primary research, online environments allow to describe the whole process that leads there.
Last but not least, it is crucial for an assessment system that the original contribution as well as its timestamp, contributor and evaluator can be uniquely identified, and that evaluations aggregated (e.g. via a PageRank system) across contributions, contributors and evaluators, as discussed here, here and here (evaluation on this page is unidimensional but you may use it anyway).
Science is expected to be essential for addressing current and future major global issues such as sustainability, environmental changes, climate change or ageing population. Scientists and researchers are the backbone of knowledge-based economies. The number of researchers in OECD countries rose from 2.4 million in 1990 to 3.4 million in 2000, and demand is still expanding. The EU alone estimates it will need 700,000 additional researchers by 2010 (1). Where will all these new scientists and researchers come from?
Crisis in scientific vocation. Over the past 15 years, the proportion of S&T students in most OECD economies has steadily decreased. Some disciplines, such as mathematics or physical sciences, show particularly worrying trends (2).The situation is not only dramatic inthe richest countries, especially in Europe, but also in countries such as
Acceptability of science by the society.Science is also suffering from an image problem. Popularity of science and technology is decreasing in a growing number of countries (European countries,
Cost of science and financing mechanisms.The costs of scientific research and education are being increasingly funded out of internal university funds.There is concerns about financing means for research projects that guarantee the transparency and objectivity of conclusions and recommendations.Identifying such sustainable and transparent financial mechanisms is essential to avoid ethical crisis that would heavily impact on science image and scientific vocation.
Balkanization of knowledge.As human knowledge expands, the relative share of competence of any scholar dramatically drops. A recent estimation reported about 24,000 peer-reviewed journals, publishing about 2.5 million articles a year, across all languages and all scholarly and scientific research disciplines (5).This fragmentation offers favourable conditions to work duplication, maintenance of inefficient techniques, not to mention wrong usage.Such atomisation hampers the gathering and the transmission of the full breadth of knowledge required for future discovery and thus threatens the sustainability of the scientific education pyramid.
Nations are far from equal in face of these problems and brain drain or brain circulation result from important asymmetries. Consequently, the regional distribution and the relation between these issues need to be addressed on a global scale. It’s a necessary step for identifying the optimal conditions to making science sustainable from a socio-economic, political and cultural point of view.
1. Key figures 2005 for science, technology and innovation” European Commission
2. Evolution of Student Interest in Science and Technology Studies. OECDPolicy Report. May 2006
3. Report from
4. Badhuri S.Science, Society, and Technology—Three Cultures and Multiple Visions.J Sci Edu & Tech., 2003 Vol. 12: p303-308
5. Harnad, S. (2005) On Maximizing Journal Article Access, Usage and Impact.
The European Council meeting on how Europe should respond to the current economic downturn was held on 19 and 20 March:
the economy back on track is one of the biggest challenges Europe is
facing. EU leaders meeting in Brussels on 19 and 20 March affirmed that
the implementation of the December recovery plan is progressing well.
The fiscal stimulus of over €400 billion will generate new investments,
boost demand and create jobs.
heads of state and government decided to double to €50 billion the
amount of financial assistance to non-euro member states facing
balance-of-payments problems. They also reached an agreement on the
€5 billion Community part of the recovery plan, boosting specific
infrastructure projects. These include broadband internet and energy
connections, such as support for the Nabucco gas pipeline" etc.
One could have expected that the major economical crisis could provide opportunities to green the economy.
In fact, despite an encouraging credo:
magnitude and the underlying causes of the ongoing global financial and
economic crisis demonstrate the need to reshape macroeconomic global
management and the regulatory framework for financial markets."
It seems that most if not all measures are targeted to get back on the
same very track as fast as possible.
What annoys me is that the
root "develop" (development, developing etc.) occurs 43 times in 30 pages --which is fine-- while the word environment is virtually absent from the report (apart from bodies in the reference section) --which is not. There is not a single occurence of "green" either.
Play it again Sam. Yes in Europe too.
'Higher, more effective and efficient investments in education, research and innovation are a key factor for the sustainable long-term growth of a competitive European economy and should remain a high priority, also in the context of the current global economic downturn,' reads one of the recommendations adopted by EU research ministers at the Competitiveness Council meeting in Brussels, Belgium on 5 and 6 March.
In the recommendation, the ministers also highlight the importance of reaching the goal of investing 3% of gross domestic product (GDP) in research and development (R&D), and call on Member States to encourage the private sector to invest more in research.
'In the present situation, the consensus on higher and more effective research and development investments that we have reached here today with my colleagues from the other Member States is an important signal for all citizens,' said Ondrej Liska, the Czech Minister of Education, Youth and Sports who was chairing the meeting. 'Innovative companies and highly educated mobile scientists are an adequate strategy for the EU to combat the recession.'
Elsewhere in the recommendations, the ministers call on Member States to encourage universities, research institutes and industry to 'step up their cooperation'; the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT) will play a key role in achieving this goal.
According to the ministers, the role of frontier research needs to be 'reinforced'. Furthermore, as the ministers noted, the review of the structures and mechanisms of the European Research Council (ERC) should be a priority.
The Ljubljana process, which is designed to make the European Research Area (ERA) a reality, is the subject of another recommendation, in which both Member States and Commission are called on to ensure effective ERA governance and implement the five ERA initiatives (covering research infrastructures, joint programming, researchers' careers, international cooperation and knowledge sharing).
Concerning research infrastructures, the ministers call for negotiations on the proposed legal framework for European research infrastructures to be completed 'as soon as possible'. 'It is also necessary to consider the research infrastructure investments with respect to their contribution to Europe's long-term competitiveness, as confirmed by the EU heads of state and government,' commented Minister Liska.
Improving researchers' career prospects is a key pillar of European research policy, and the ministers state that measures are needed to improve training, enhance researchers' working conditions and ensure a balanced circulation of scientific talent. 'In addition, interest in research and innovation needs to be stimulated in society, particularly among the young,' the ministers underline.
Other points adopted by ministers include the need to address the research and innovation needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and the importance of improving the coordination of national research programmes.
In total, the ministers unanimously adopted over 30 recommendations and key messages on how Europe should respond to the current economic downturn. These will now be sent for endorsement by the next European Council which will be held in Brussels on 19 and 20 March.
The International Academy for the Promotion of Scientific Research offers New Scientists Peer-Review OpportunitiesFri, 31/10/2008 - 10:50am | by celindgren
- The first Journal (Journal of Scientific Thought) is for academicians who have published peer-review work in the past and are seeking other ways of getting new and alternative work reviewed and published. Such individuals should have at least five published peer-review works in their chosen field, a terminal degree (doctorate) and are serious in conducting new work
- The second Journal (New Era in Scientific Learning) will be concerned with all of the six basic aspects of the Academy and will be for individuals who have previous published, hold a MA degree or teach at a lower lever of college training. This opportunity will allow students the opportunity to be published by a peer-review journal, just meant for this type of individual. We will by January have an excellent selection of noted academicians, educationalists, Nobel Winners, and winners of other noted awards to assist new scientists in their search for the 'right answers." Starting in December 2008, members of the Academy, non-fellows, WAYS members and any and all scholars of the world community should start presenting their articles to the Academy Journal Committee. These articles will then be submitted to the Peer-Review Committee for 1-3 months for evaluation. Scholars, wishing to serve on Peer-Review Committees should contact the Academy's President and Director so their names may be considered for evaluation. The President, Director and Peer-Review Committee will need a copy of published works. achievements, academic accomplishments, honors and previous grants. They will also need two letters of recommendation.
- WAYS members are welcome to be proposed to Academy Fellowship or Associateship. Individuals seeking membership should be proposed by two Fellows of the Academy or two noted scholars from other Academies, a copy of publications, a biographical sketch and a reason for requesting membership.
A recent article on http://www.scidev.net/ discusses ways of reducing the brain drain from developing to developed countries, and the impact of such measures:
http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080109/full/451112b.html (subscription required). If you know free info on the topic, please post it here. Thanks
Young voices in research for health
The Global Forum for Health Research and The Lancet are sponsoring their second joint essay competition on the occasion of Forum 11, the 2007 annual meeting of the Global Forum for Health Research in Beijing, People's Republic of China, 29 October to 2 November 2007.
Entries relating to some aspect of the overall theme of Forum 11: Equitable access, research challenges for health in developing countries are invited from young professionals working in or interested in the broad spectrum of health research for development.
Deadline for submissions: 20 APRIL 2007
For rules, guidelines, principles, timeframe and prizes see:
The Mother-Child Health International Research Network, a nascent partner and affiliate of WAYS, is actively looking for young scientists working or studying in a field relevant to Mother-Child health research - be it nutritional, perinatal or other - to act as volunteer "Champions" for the network, create content such as blog entries, and recruit other members.
Once we have selected an adequate amount of Champions from different geographic areas, we will constitute an international committee from the positive responders with the eventual plan to organize an actual face-to-face meeting at a later date. In addition to the meetings, we can offer the oppurtunity to be a full member of an international network with some very interesting links all over the globe.
In return, applicants are expected to post at least one blog entry or event per week which relates to their research, work, or ethics in Mother-Child Health, in addition to commenting on each other's posts and recruiting collegues to register on the network.
The preferred methods to apply for the position are to register an account on the Mother-Child network and then either leave a comment on this post with your username, or to contact me through my profile page on the Mother-Child site.
An alternate, less desirable method is to email me directly.