World Science Festival: Cabaret science

Happy hour starts early in New York, at least it does when you’re hanging out with scientists. At 5 pm on Friday an eager audience took their seats at the 92Y-Tribeca for a cabaret-style presentation of science, comedy and, the biggest surprise, a singing Nobel Prize physicist.  Read more

Emerging tech: Location, location, location

“I’m really low-tech,” laughs Kathleen Weldon nervously in front of the MIT audience at the EmTech meeting. She’s here to explain how she launched, a website connecting customers interested in local, fresh produce with New England farmers. “And the farmers are even more low-tech than me!”  … Read more

Emerging tech: not yet diggin it?

Have you ever used news aggregator sites like Digg, Slashdot or Reddit? This was the question posed to EmTech attendees this morning, during a panel discussion with three founders of popular social media sites — Kevin Rose of Digg, Tariq Krim of NetVibes, and Garrett Camp of StumbleUpon. Thanks to live audience voting using our interactive name tags, the MIT audience revealed that 61% have yet to try user-driven news services.  Read more

Emerging tech: local networking

My second night in Boston I attended the Nature Network Boston pub night. Hosted by Corie Lok at a bar on Mass ave, there was a good turn out from young Cambridge area scientists. The discussions ranged from yeast genetics, to neuropathology, Finnish baseball (yes, really, we didn’t believe it either) and beer brewing (coming back full circle to the yeast genetics . If you’re in the Boston area check out the pub night next month.  Read more

Emerging Tech: it sure aint TiVo

My personal benchmark for transformative technology is TiVo. Like many women I approach new technology as a tool, with the modest hope that it will enhance my life, but no expectation that it will define or transform me. TiVo was different. When this personal video recorder entered my world it changed the way I viewed TV forever. Now I watch shows on my schedule and skip all the boring commercials. What’s more it had a smart and intuitive user interface and a remote control I could care for. Thanks to its friendly curves and intelligent fastfwd and rewind I was hooked.  Read more

Integrity: the dark-side of mentoring

The final morning of the research integrity meeting began with a question that should probably have come earlier in the meeting: what do we know for certain about bad research behaviour? Is misconduct actually on the rise? Sure, there are more scientists than ever, and competition between them is rising, factors that you think would contribute to more misconduct. There are also worrying signs from the young that internet ´research´ at school and university is becoming a substitute for real academic work. But does that mean this is a problem that is only going to get worse? And what can the science community do about it?  Read more

Integrity: conference bingo

There are a bewildering number of acronyms, and their representatives, at the research integrity meeting in Lisbon. Many I had never heard of. So during a more pedestrian session I started playing conference bingo: could I construct the words ‘research integrity’ from the organisations in attendance?  Read more