Archive by date | November 2007

Keeping protests within the law

December’s editorial in Nature Neuroscience (10, 1501; 2007) describes how law-enforcement agencies in the United Kingdom are acting before trouble develops to protect researchers from threats and harassment by animal rights extremists. Other countries should consider adopting similar policies and tactics.  Read more

Successful collaborations and their authorship

Ai Lin Chun, one of the editors of Nature Nanotechnology, writes about the column in the journal Top Down Bottom Up (example at this link), which highlights the multidisciplinary nature of nanoscience and nanotechnology by going “behind the scenes” to explore how collaborations occur and work together. Collaborations could be between two or more different disciplines (for example, physical scientists and biomedical researchers) or between academic departments and industrial researchers. The name of the section is intended to suggest how researchers with different expertise come at a problem from different directions.  Read more

New phase for environmental research literature project

Via the SciDev.Net website, I read that a new phase of the international initiative ‘Online Access to Research in the Environment’ (OARE) was launched on 6 November. In the first phase of the project last year, institutions from 72 countries subscribed. Now, interested institutions from another 36 developing countries will have access to an environmental and related sciences research database.  Read more

Why scientists write and read blogs

What’s the point of blogging? is a question asked by Duncan Hull at Nodalpoint: are people wasting their time reading and writing blogs? As Duncan writes, “most leading scientists are too damn busy to pay much attention to the blogosphere, especially when it descends (as it frequently does) into “uncontrollable verbal discharge”. ” There follows a list of links to various articles about scientific blogging in Nature, Cell and other publications, including one with the title “Ten Reasons Why Blogging is Good for your career”, with a perhaps predictable rejoinder, “”http://the.taoofmac.com/space/blog/2005/03/12″>Ten Reasons Why Blogging doesn’t matter”. Among other sentiments, this last article (written in March 2005) contains this summary of relevance to scientists: “Bloggers tend to have strong, acute viewpoints on niche issues – a lot like academia, in fact.  Read more

Changing the way scientists are trained

If you could make one change to the way young scientists are taught and trained, what would it be and why? If you could make one change to the way scientists communicate their latest experimental results, what would it be and why? Corie Lok, Editor of Nature Network, asked some Boston scientists these questions. You can see thir answers in Corie’s Network news article How would you change the way scientists are trained?. Here are a few of the points made by the scientists, who are at different stages of their careers:  … Read more

Authors’ one-page summaries

Michael Kenward starts a debate in Nature Network’s science writers’ group called Science experiments in accessibility, in which he highlights the journal Science‘s trial project of starting each Research Article with a one-page author’s summary. Michael sees two benefits for science writers: one, to help authors to produce accessible summaries; and another to use the summaries to write more easily and confidently about the research.  Read more