We take stock of the past 32 episodes and plot a course for future episodes of the show. We both work in roles where we help integrate teams and enable them to co-create knowledge, and we are going to focus on sharing more of those insights going forward. After a paternity leave for Matt we will return with the show later in the Fall. We will have a few longer interviews of academics but mostly focus on shorter 15 minute episodes centered on teams.
The podcast and artwork embedded on this page are from Christine Ogilvie Hendren and Matt Hotze, which is the property of its owner and not affiliated with or endorsed by Listen Notes, Inc.
This time we talk academic conferences! What do we thing about them as ECRs? Amy was at the ABCD workshop during recording (check out https://abcdstudy.org/) giving a hands-on picture of conference activities. Of course, we couldn’t talk conferences without mentioning our favourite SIPS!(see https://improvingpsych.org/meetings/previous-sips-meetings/).
We compare conferences, discuss how we try to make the most out of our conference experience, and what conferences are like for ECRS
Music credit: Be Jammin – Alexander Nakarada
The podcast and artwork embedded on this page are from ReproducibiliTea Podcast, which is the property of its owner and not affiliated with or endorsed by Listen Notes, Inc.
This episode we chatted to Bethan Wolfenden, the co-founder of Bento Bioworks, a biotech startup that has created a ‘laptop size laboratory’. This kit allows the user to perform simple DNA analysis and dramatically reduces the cost of the components you’d need to analyse samples, thus lowering the barrier to entry for molecular biology.
This episode is a very candid discussion about founding the company, as we cover the difficult decision to move on from a PhD to develop the company and the challenges of crowdfunding the product (of which they had a successful KickStarter campaign).
We also meander through the burgeoning DIY bio community, how the IGEM competition has informed her attitude towards science done within the confines of academia, and what citizen science can actually achieve (when it’s not reduced to data collection).
If you liked the episode be sure to subscribe on iTunes (or your podcast site of choice) and leave a rating/comment. It helps a bunch 🙂
It’s been 500 years since the death of Leonardo Da Vinci, and he’s remembered mainly for his great works of art, like The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. But he was also a scientist, working across disciplines like anatomy, engineering, and architecture.
Sadly, his scientific research was never published and his engineering ambitions went largely unrealised. However, through his sketches and drawings we can see his anatomical discoveries, his plans for machines, and his investigations into the world around him. We can see what was occupying his mind, allowing us to piece together clues about the mysteries he aspired to solve.
So to mark the anniversary of his death, 200 of those drawings will go on display at the Queen’s Gallery next to Buckingham palace in the exhibition Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing. In this episode, we talked to Martin Clayton, Head of Prints and Drawings for Royal Collection Trust at Windsor Castle, about Da Vinci’s lasting scientific legacy. We ask him about the work he was doing, how he influenced the scientific disciplines he experimented with, and what we should remember him for.
He speaks to BBC Science Focus editorial assistant Helen Glenny in this week’s episode of the Science Focus Podcast.
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Mindy’s going to need a few tips if she’s going to win the local eating competition, lucky for her, Guy Raz knows the best eater in the universe! The supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy! Join Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas as they explore the Who, What, When, Where, Why, How, and Wow in the World of black holes! (originally aired May 7th)
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As a researcher, you may brag about the open, collegial way that scientists share their findings in lab meetings, poster sessions, and journal articles.
But if you dig beneath the surface, you’ll find a darker tendency built into our habits and institutions that actually cover up a lot of what we learn.
For example, you might spend months testing the efficacy of a new cancer drug in vitro. But if that drug doesn’t have a significant impact on cancer growth, you’ll conclude your work is ‘not publishable,’ and the discovery will languish in your lab notebook.
Meanwhile, in some other lab, at some other University, another scientist might get the same idea you had, and spend their own weeks or months doing the same tests, only to learn the same result.
And so, year after year, the research community wastes immeasurable time re-learning the same lessons. And because of that, the march toward real insights and real cures slows to a crawl.
This week on the show, we talk with Jon Tennant, PhD, who wants to re-open the channels of scientific communication and transform the way we build on what others have learned.
Open Source Science
The “Open Science” movement goes far beyond sharing negative results. It builds on the “Open Source” software movement that has been vital to the software engineering community for a generation.
It encompasses all aspects of the scientific process, from planning experiments to sharing raw data to educating the public.
Jon described just a handful of ways that scientists are opening their methods to the wider world.
The first idea is the microPublication. Rather than gathering reams of data in the hopes of crafting a ‘story’ that a journal is willing to pick up, micropublishing focuses on sharing the results of individual experiments – pushing the data out to other scientists as they happen. In this way, you can collaborate in near-real-time, and inspire new paths of inquiry – even if the original idea doesn’t pan out.
Another way to open your research is through pre-registration. In this mode, you present your hypothesis and research plan to a third party for review before you begin to collect data. That way, no matter the result, the world gets to learn about your experimental approach and whether the hypothesis was supported or rejected.
While these novel modes of publication might sound exciting, they can have a hard time gaining traction in an academic setting where the Impact Factor of a journal can mean a promotion or a dismissal. How are postdocs and junior faculty members supposed to adopt these new publishing methods when the hiring or tenure committee puts so much stock in the ‘top-tier journals?’
Weaning academics from their addiction to Cell, Science, and Nature requires a cultural solution. The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment encourages signatories in academia and funding agencies to look beyond the Journal Impact Factor when making hiring and funding decisions.
They highlight “the need to assess research on its own merits rather than on the basis of the journal in which the research is published.”
Ewine van Dishoeck has spent her life studying the space between the stars. Not so long ago, interstellar space was thought to be an empty, sterile void. The idea that there would be organic molecules in interstellar clouds was absurd. Ewine, however, has revealed that there are some astonishingly sophisticated organic molecules in space. The molecules that are needed to form the building blocks of life were formed long before planets emerged from these swirling clouds of interstellar dust. Jim talks to Ewine, winner of the 2018 Kavli Prize for Astrophysics, about quantum chemistry, astronomy and why we need to keep building telescopes. Do Ewine’s discoveries make it more likely that we will find life elsewhere in the universe?
Producer: Anna Buckley
Main Image: Ewine van Dishoeck receiving the Kavli Prize in astrophysics, 4 September 2018 in Oslo. Credit: Berit Roald / NTB SCANPIX / AFP) / Norway
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