— digitalgrip.fieldnotes


This is really most delightful :)

Insbesondere die letzten 10 Minuten.

Schön, dass sich auch ein etabliertes Format wie Science Weekly immer wieder etwas Neues einfallen lässt.

Mehr Infos zu Film und Experimenten gibt es direkt bei der Royal Institution.

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John Cleese on lightbulbs, open and closed modes, Flemming and penicillin, play, 27 phonecalls and a quiet mind. And much more. Like not chickening out of your creative discomfort, because that would be too easy. Absolutely worth your time!

John Cleese on Creativity – YouTube.

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When I was at Science Online 2012 earlier this year, I had the opportunity to interview Ivan Oransky of Retraction Watch and Embargo Watch. When I tweeted about transcribing the interview as part of the preparations for this article in Spektrum, some people asked if they could read the transcript. After Ivan kindly agreed, I can now say: Yes, you can.

Just a note in advance, though: It’s a transcript (minus some off-topic remarks and outside distractions…), not an edited interview, so it may meander a bit here and there. We talked about blogging and the role of journalism, specifically science journalism, about potential business models and a retraction mystery novel, about science as a human endeavor and a developing culture of error reporting online, about commenters and German readers, about dialogue and the role of humor – and much more. I immensely enjoyed listening to the kind and generous innovator I found in Ivan, and I hope you do, too.

So without further ado – the interview:

K: What motivated you to start Embargo Watch and later Retraction Watch?

IO: It was actually this conference that inspired me to start these blogs. I have been here every year, this is the sixth year, and I wouldn’t miss it. Because it’s just a wonderful group of people and you learn so much. And it’s just such a supportive goup and we can all criticize each other’s work in an incredibly constructive way, without it ever being a personal issue. You can even criticize speakers while they are speaking, on Twitter, and people will respond and we all are the better for it at the end of it.

On the subject matter, though: I had always thought a lot about embargoes. This goes back years. When I was at The Scientist, I wrote a few blogposts for the Scientist-Blog, about a couple of situations. And there is a book by Vincent Kiernan called „Embargoed Science“. It’s his thesis. He was a reporter at the Chronicle of Higher Education for many years and then went back to get a PhD in communications or science communication. And his thesis was about embargoes and what effect they have on science and science communication, in particular journalism. So he eventually published that thesis as a book and I always followed his work, I thought very highly of it. And then there were some incidents with WHO, the World Health Organization, the New York Times, the New England Journal of Medicine had something else that happened with embargoes, so I would always write little items about it, you know, think about it a little bit, used the „Ingelfinger Rule“, it’s a fun word to use…

The nice thing about blogging is that it can give voice and a regular rhythm to your obsessions, right? And embargoes really are one of my obsessions…

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After some instructions and much encouragement by master science scribe Perrin Ireland, I finally sat down and gave it a try in the session “Story as Shape or Song: Geometry and Music as Longform Nonfiction Structural Models” hosted by Deborah Blum and David Dobbs:



Of course, this doesn’t even begin to do justice to the beauty of the event, so please check out Maryn McKenna’s Storify and this summary by Tanya Lewis.

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On January 19-21. Check here for the program, or read Bora’s more personal introduction to this year’s unconference.

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Nächste Woche beginnt Science Online 2012 – die sechste Un-Konferenz über Wissenschaft online in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Bis dahin werde ich die Gelegenheit nutzen und einige der Teilnehmerinnen und Teilnehmer und ihre sites vorstellen. Go Science!


The Science Cheerleaders–current and former professional NBA and NFL cheerleaders who are also scientists and engineers–perform LIVE at the U.S.A. Science and Engineering Festival in Washington D.C., October 23-24, 2010.

Diese Idee finde ich auf den ersten (deutschen) Blick immer ein bisschen befremdlich. Aber warum nicht? Wenn es um role models und Frauen in der Wissenschaft geht – auch hier gibt es eben viel mehr Spielarten, als wir uns das gerne so vorstellen. Und in den USA sind die Science Cheerleaders ziemlich erfolgreich.
Wenn also nichts anderes, dann sind sie zumindest ein schönes Beispiel, wie Wissenschaftskommunikation in den jeweiligen kulturellen Kontext eingepasst sein kann.

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… and wows not only the audience, but a select panel of neuroscientists, too.


More of Bobby McFerrin and the science behind this demonstration is in the full “Notes & Neurons: In Search of the Common Chorus” event video from the World Science Festival 2009:


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 Kevin Slavin: How algorithms shape our world

From the introduction:

Kevin Slavin argues that we’re living in a world designed for — and increasingly controlled by — algorithms. In this riveting talk from TEDGlobal, he shows how these complex computer programs determine: espionage tactics, stock prices, movie scripts, and architecture. And he warns that we are writing code we can’t understand, with implications we can’t control.

In Kevin Slavin’s words:

[I talk about] the role of contemporary math — not just financial math, but math in general. That its transition from being something that we extract and derive from the world to something that actually starts to shape it — the world around us and the world inside us. And it’s specifically algorithms, which are basically the math that computers use to decide stuff. They acquire the sensibility of truth, because they repeat over and over again. And they ossify and calcify, and they become real.

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TEDxAmsterdam 2011 Human Brain #1 (dress rehearsal) – YouTube.

Rutger Hauer, The Dutch National Ballet and Amsterdam’s creative community make brains from people, an Idea Worth Doing. This is the dress rehearsal of the first human brain in a series of three. See it live: 25th November 2011. http://www.tedxamsterdam.com

via @neuroghetto and @DrShock

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With registrations open these days for Science Online 2012, I created a Wordle from the preliminary program:

Ready to register?



Inspired by @Comprendia‘s Twitter-clouds today

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