better tools for mining the scientific literature

Freethinker’s Asylum has a great post reviewing a number of tools designed to help researchers mine the scientific literature–an increasingly daunting task. The impetus for the post is this article in the latest issue of Nature (note: restricted access), but the FA post discusses a lot of tools that the Nature article doesn’t, and focuses … Continue reading better tools for mining the scientific literature

one possible future of scientific publishing

Like many (most?) scientists, I’ve often wondered what a world without Elsevier would look like. Not just Elsevier, mind you; really, the entire current structure of academic publishing, which revolves around a gatekeeper model where decisions about what gets published where are concentrated in the hands of a very few people (typically, an editor and … Continue reading one possible future of scientific publishing

what do turtles, sea slugs, religion, and TED all have in common?

…absolutely nothing, actually, except that they’re all mentioned in this post. I’m feeling lazy very busy this week, so instead of writing a long and boring diatribe about clowns, ROIs, or personality measures, I’ll just link to a few interesting pieces elsewhere: Razib of Gene Expression has an interesting post on the rapid secularization of … Continue reading what do turtles, sea slugs, religion, and TED all have in common?

elsewhere on the internets…

The good people over at OKCupid, the best dating site on Earth (their words, not mine! I’m happily married!), just released a new slew of data on their OKTrends blog. Apparently men like women with smiley, flirty profile photos, and women like dismissive, unsmiling men. It’s pretty neat stuff, and definitely worth a read. Mating … Continue reading elsewhere on the internets…

why do we sing up?

While singing loudly to myself in the car the other day (windows safely rolled up, of course–I don’t want no funny looks from pedestrians), I noticed that the first few notes of the vocal melody of most songs seem to go up rather than down. That’s to say, the first pitch change in most songs … Continue reading why do we sing up?

how to measure 200 personality scales in 200 items

One of the frustrating things about personality research–for both researchers and participants–is that personality is usually measured using self-report questionnaires, and filling out self-report questionnaires can take a very long time. It doesn’t have to take a very long time, mind you; some questionnaires are very short, like the widely-used Ten-Item Personality Inventory (TIPI), which … Continue reading how to measure 200 personality scales in 200 items

on the limitations of psychiatry, or why bad drugs can be good too

The Neuroskeptic offers a scathing indictment of the notion, editoralized in Nature this week, that the next decade is going to revolutionize the understanding and treatment of psychiatric disorders: The 2010s is not the decade for psychiatric disorders. Clinically, that decade was the 1950s. The 50s was when the first generation of psychiatric drugs were … Continue reading on the limitations of psychiatry, or why bad drugs can be good too

what’s the point of intro psych?

Sanjay Srivastava comments on an article in Inside Higher Ed about the limitations of traditional introductory science courses, which (according to the IHE article) focus too much on rote memorization of facts and too little on the big questions central to scientific understanding. The IHE article is somewhat predictable in its suggestion that students should … Continue reading what’s the point of intro psych?