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Call a professional

Scientists have a hard time explaining things. Granted, much of what they’re trying to explain is impossibly complicated. But not always. Jimmy Kimmel and John Oliver recently produced some great videos that should inspire everyone in science communication to realize that maybe all we really need to do is turn over the explaining to the professionals.…

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Your relatives are bacteria

When Charles Darwin’s famous book, “On the Origin of Species,” was published in 1859, it took science and society by storm. Coming on the heels of the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution, Darwin’s book catalyzed a veritable new industry of trying explaining the natural world, both to good and ill effect (for instance, the idea of evolution gave racists new ammunition in their efforts to discriminate against non-whites). To-date (save…

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Impact factors are stupid

Impact factors are hugely important in journal publishing. Essentially, they determine which journals are more widely read (more “impactful”). Naturally, then, just like the Nielsen ratings in television, they are significant measures because publishing in high impact journals is considered more prestigious, and therefore more valuable for things that matter to researchers like academic tenure and funding opportunities. But what if impact factors were way off? It’s no secret in…

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Climate change opinions not budging much

According to a recent New York Times/CBS news poll, “a solid majority of Americans say the United States should join an international treaty to limit the impact of global warming.” While this may be encouraging news, other survey data cited in this article shows just how stubborn American public opinion has been over the last 20-plus years on the issue of climate change. For instance, when asked whether global warming…

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Science Isn’t Broken

If you follow the headlines, your confidence in science may have taken a hit lately. Peer review? More like self-review. An investigation in November uncovered a scam in which researchers were rubber-stamping their own work, circumventing peer review at five high-profile publishers. Scientific journals? Not exactly a badge of legitimacy, given that the International Journal of Advanced Computer Technology recently accepted for publication a paper titled “Get Me Off Your…

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ARCS Conference, Philadelphia

ARCS is a conference designed to examine the practices, roles, attitudes, trends, and technologies that drive and affect scholarly communication. Through cross-disciplinary participation from scholars, librarians, scientists, publishers, professional societies, and funders, we will transcend organizational and disciplinary silos to positively influence the communication of scholarly knowledge in the digital age. Registration for ARCS is now open. Attendees can register at the regular rate through April 3, 2015. Click here…

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Why join a scientific society?

Wiley publishes around 950 journals for over 900 society partners. In 2014, a membership survey was sent out to 1.2 million recipients to learn more about why research professionals do or don’t join societies. Around 14,000 individuals participated in this survey (69% of whom belonged to societies). The results were released this past month. When respondents were asked why they originally joined their society or association, the most common reason…

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