Razib Khan One-stop-shopping for all of my content

January 30, 2012

Boycott Elsevier

Filed under: academia,Science and Society — Sean Carroll @ 8:56 am

While I have the blog open, let me throw in a quick two cents to support the Boycott Elsevier movement. As most working scientists know, Elsevier is a publishing company that controls many important journals, and uses their position to charge amazingly exorbitant prices to university libraries — and then makes the published papers very hard to access for anyone not at one of the universities. In physics their journals include Nuclear Physics, Physics Letters, and other biggies. It’s exactly the opposite of what should be the model, in which scientific papers are shared freely and openly.

So now an official boycott has been organized, and is gaining steam — if you’re a working scientist, feel free to add your signature. Many bloggers have chimed in, e.g. Cosma Shalizi and Scott Aaronson. Almost all scientists want their papers to be widely accessible — given all the readily available alternatives to Elsevier (including the new Physical Review X), all we need to do is self-organize a bit and we can make it happen.

January 10, 2012

Noisy Systems and Wandering Canines

Filed under: Environment,Science and Society — Sean Carroll @ 4:03 pm

There are three types of scientific explanations: those involving cats, those involving dogs, and those that aren’t very interesting. Via Andrew Revkin, here’s a well-done animation that uses a dog to explain the difference between a long-term trend and a short-term variation.

Show this to your local climate denialist when they get confused about the distinction between “climate” and “weather.” Not that it will change their minds, but the dog is cute.

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