Nobel laureate announces boycott of glamour mags...

Randy Schekman: The incentives offered by top journals distort science, just as big bonuses distort banking

This is excellent. I'm sorry it took a scandal about free content creation, sexism and racism to bring DNLee to my attention:

Small Business expert and contributor to Forbes recently wrote an interesting and compelling article, If I Was a a Poor Black Kid. Piggy-backing on the inspiring ...

For some reason this Opinionator piece about turtle blood for the common cold got me riled up enough to come out of hibernation:…/

Bottom-down processing.

hypothetical aliens,
Nagel (the philosopher, not the graphic artist from 80's hair salons),
decontextualized speech sounds, ...
and taking long lunches to read novels because your data don't make any sense. Yet.

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It's important to develop a sensitivity for arguments that, ultimately, fail to move you.

Typo of the day: "Heman Genome Project." And yes, this means I'm finally getting another post together.

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Stumbled upon this piece from a couple of years ago. How poignant to read about Mendeley before they were owned by Elsevier...

On Father's Day three years ago, biologist Jonathan Eisen decided he?d like to republish all his father's papers. His father, Howard Eisen, a biologist

Lots of good stuff here, notably:

"Many in the publishing industry dismiss the idea that the public even wants to read scientific papers, pointing to their often highly technical language. But a major reason these papers are so inscrutable is that their authors conceive of their audience very narrowly – basically scholars in their field. And if you have no expectation that the public will read your work, you do not write it to be accessible to the public."

I gave a talk last night at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco about science publishing and PLoS. There will be an audio link soon, but, for the first time in my life, I actually gave the talk (largely) from prepared remarks, so I thought I’d post it here.

This paper took five years to publish after our initial presentation at Cognitive Science in 2008. It is really solid work. There's no reason getting it into the literature should have been like passing a stone.

I am seriously considering just sending everything I do to PLOS ONE from now on. The review process at most journals has become a parody of itself, and then your work ends up behind a paywall. Why?

I know my tendency is to send things to PLOS ONE only when they have b...een so battered and bruised at other journals that I just want to get the publication process over with and move on. This colors my perception of other work that is published there. And that's a shame.

But if I knew that people were sending their work there on principle, and that people were willing to send their best work there, along with the stuff that they feel isn't conclusive or "splashy" enough to appear elsewhere, that would change.

So far I have been afraid to put my money where my mouth is, because it feels like unilateral disarmament, and competition in the field being what it is, I didn't think I could afford to put myself (and more importantly the people who've worked with me) at a disadvantage. But I am growing tired of complaining about this, and listening to everybody else complain about it, and not doing anything.

What if I just announced that I was going to send everything from my lab to PLOS ONE from now on? What bad would happen?

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Learning to read in any language requires learning to map among print, sound and meaning. Writing systems differ in a number of factors that influence both the ease and the rate with which reading skill can be acquired, as well as the eventual division of labor between phonological and semantic proc...

Taken out of context this sounds like a terrible thing to say, so you just have to read the article to see why I'm with Tal Yarkoni on this:

"Unlike the other considerations listed above, I think the concern that being honest carries a price when it comes to doing research has a good deal of merit to it. "

You could be forgiven for thinking that academic psychologists have all suddenly turned into professional whistleblowers. Everywhere you look, interesting new papers are cropping up purporting to d...

Turing's initial paper on the "Turing test" is prescient in so many ways. How have I gone so long without reading this?


Science is broken; let's fix it. This has been my mantra for some years now, and today we are launching an initiative aimed squarely at one of science's biggest problems. The problem is called publ...

"Anyone who wants to argue that the behavior they observe in anybody has no historical origin or political context, but is a dislocated manifestation of an uncultural human nature, will not be taken seriously by a community of scholars of human behavior, unless they can really unambiguously prove their point."

...unless those scholars are psychologists?

A blog about evolution, anthropology, and science, inspired by the three Georges: Gaylord Simpson, Carlin, and S. Kaufman.

Has everyone else seen this already? I found it in the comments of this interesting discussion of crowdfunding for science on Drugmonkey:…/hurdles-for-the-crowdfunding-scien…/

Grant proposals vs. reality

Typo of the day: "jittery ITI." Time to cut back on the coffee...

"Because of these problems with measuring perception, the “seductive allure of brain imaging” for me was not so much that it would explain the “neural correlates” of anything. Rather, the idea was that the brain activity elicited under passive conditions was a better measure of the limits of perception than behavioral tasks because the tasks themselves were interfering unacceptably with what we wanted to observe...

"It seemed like a good idea at the time..."

NIH has been fiddling with Autocorrect again. It keeps turning "neuroethology" into "neuropathology."

"The mind is only one of the operations of the brain, just as entertainment is only one of the operations of a circus."

We can't go around knocking out genes to see what effects they have in people, or raising children in caves to find out at what age they irreversibly lose the ability to learn language, but cognitive neuroscience uses non-invasive imaging techniques that show us patterns of brain activityrelated to ...