👓 Chan Zuckerberg Initiative acquires and will free up science search engine Meta | TechCrunch

Read Chan Zuckerberg Initiative acquires and will free up science search engine Meta (TechCrunch)
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s $45 billion philanthropy organization is making its first acquisition in order to make it easier for scientists to search, read and tie together more than 26 million science research papers. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is acquiring Meta, an AI-powered r…

Following up on the fate of Sciencescape.

👓 Sciencescape Wants To Solve Academic Research Discoverability, Deal With The Noise Problem | TechCrunch

Read Sciencescape Wants To Solve Academic Research Discoverability, Deal With The Noise Problem (TechCrunch)
Toronto-based startup Sciencescape came about because of a problem that was significant enough to lure co-founder Sam Molyneux away from a bourgeoning career as a cancer researcher, and into a new venture that wants to tackle the bigger picture issue of fixing the entire system of academic, medical…

Checking in on Sciencescape and it’s fate since I had an account there once upon a time and it’s now no longer resolving.

👓 Data sharing and how it can benefit your scientific career l Nature

Read Data sharing and how it can benefit your scientific career (Nature)
Open science can lead to greater collaboration, increased confidence in findings and goodwill between researchers.

❤️ lpachter tweeted I once asked Robert McEliece whether he would mentor me.

Liked a tweet by Lior PachterLior Pachter (Twitter)

👓 Bob Gallager on Shannon’s tips for research | An Ergodic Walk

Annotated Bob Gallager on Shannon’s tips for research (An Ergodic Walk)

Gallager gave a nice concise summary of what he learned from Shannon about how to do good theory work:

  1. Simplify the problem
  2. Relate it to other problems
  3. Restate the problem in as many ways as possible
  4. Break the problem into pieces
  5. Avoid getting locked into thinking ruts
  6. Generalize

As he said, “it’s a process of doing research… each one [step] gives you a little insight.” It’s tempting, as a theorist, to claim that at the end of this process you’ve solved the “fundamental” problem, but Gallager admonished us to remember that the first step is to simplify, often dramatically. As Alfred North Whitehead said, we should “seek simplicity and distrust it.”

I know I’ve read this before, but it deserves a re-read/review every now and then.

🎧 The Too-Good-To-Be-True Cancer Cure | On the Media | WNYC Studios

Listened to The Too-Good-To-Be-True Cancer Cure from On the Media | WNYC Studios

Despite steadily declining rates of cancer deaths over the past two decades, cancer remains responsible for 1 in every 6 deaths worldwide. It’s a scourge. So when, this week, an Israeli company called Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies captured the news cycle with promises of a complete cure for cancer within the year, the story caught fire.

The company’s technology is called “MuTaTo” — that's multi-target toxin. And, to judge from the news media this week, it seems vetted, verified and veering us all toward a cancer-free future. Reports began in the Jerusalem Post, but quickly took off, making their way into various Murdoch-owned publications like FOX and the New York Post and landing in local news outlets around the country and the globe.

A couple days into the fanfare, the skeptics started coming out: for one thing, as oncologist David Gorski points out in his blog “Respectful Insolence,” the claims are based on experiments with mice: no human trials have yet started. For another, they haven’t been sufficiently peer reviewed. In fact, the company won’t share its research, claiming it can’t afford the expense. The too-good-to-be-true story appears to be just that, built on PR puffery. But who can resist a good cancer cure?

With Mutato in mind, for this week’s podcast extra, we revisit our Breaking News Consumer’s Handbook: Health News edition, with Gary Schwitzer, publisher & founder of HealthNewsReview.org.

This is a fantastic piece of reporting relating to improved journalism and media consumption with respect to the frequent health studies seen in the main stream media. For those interested, here’s a link to the original version from 2015.

👓 Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences (my reading notes) | Raul Pacheco-Vega, PhD

Read Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences (my reading notes) by Raul Pacheco-VegaRaul Pacheco-Vega (raulpacheco.org)
Although it’s been a while since I last taught Research Methods or Research Design, I am collaborating with my department’s working group on research methods. We are redesigning courses, syllabi and sequences, so I am always keen on reading and keeping up-to-date with methodological advances. Mo...

📑 Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences (my reading notes) | Raul Pacheco-Vega, PhD

Annotated Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences (my reading notes) by Raul Pacheco-VegaRaul Pacheco-Vega (raulpacheco.org)
While I would say that Alexander L. George and Andrew Bennett’s book “Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Sciences“, is neither a new book nor an old one (it was published in 2004), it is definitely a classic and a must-read. Moreover, I’m a comparativist, and someone who undertakes systematic case study comparisons, so George and Bennett’s book is definitely my go-to when I want to revise my research strategy.   

👓 "Little Foot" hominin skeleton from South Africa will finally be open to other scientists | Michael Balter

Read After more than 20 years in the hands of one researcher, the nearly complete "Little Foot" hominin skeleton from South Africa will finally be open to other scientists at the end of November (michael-balter.blogspot.com)
In 1994, Ron Clarke, a paleoanthropologist at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, was looking through some museum boxes filled with fossil specimens from the Sterkfontein caves, located about 40 kilometers northwest of the city. Beginning in the 1930s, a number of hominin fossils had been found there, mostly australopithecines, in what South Africans call the Cradle of Humankind. Clarke quickly realized that four of the fossils, all small toe bones, had been misidentified as belonging to monkeys. They actually belonged to an early hominin, most likely another australopithecine. It quickly became known as "Little Foot."