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Obama administration requests 2014 STEM overhaul

A proposed reshuffling of federal STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education programs in the United States would move the Department of Education (ED) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to the head of the class. Their new status would be a major change for the federal government, which now spends nearly $3 billion on 226 STEM education programs run by a dozen agencies. Many of those programs were created…

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Measuring Journal Impact in the Digital Age

Article Level Metrics (ALMs) are a new approach to quantifying the reach and impact of published research. Historically, impact has been measured at the journal level. A journal’s average number of citations to recent articles (i.e., its impact factor) has for years served as a proxy for that publication’s importance. Articles published in highly cited journals were viewed as impactful by association. As electronic dissemination of scholarly content surpassed print,…

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Researchers fight sequestration plans

Dr. Larry Corey is a virologist and infectious-disease specialist who devoted years to a yet-unfulfilled quest for an HIV vaccine. But the president of Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center lately has been preoccupied with a vexing challenge of a different sort: the $85 billion fiscal ax known as sequestration. Corey is one of hordes of advocates for various interest groups who have been descending on Washington, D.C., to argue…

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New World Bank report makes case for urgent international action on climate change

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This report provides a snapshot of recent scientific literature and new analyses of likely impacts and risks that would be associated with a 4° Celsius warming within this century. It is a rigorous attempt to outline a range of risks, focusing on developing countries and especially the poor. A 4°C world would be one of unprecedented heat waves, severe drought, and major floods in many regions, with serious…

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NSF helps launch new international research data alliance

The National Science Foundation today awarded a $2.5-million grant to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to enable its participation in a new international organization that will accelerate research data sharing among scientists around the globe. The grant will be used to develop a Research Data Alliance (RDA) that will allow researchers the world over to collaboratively use scientific data to speed up innovation. To date, more than 120 U.S. and international participants…

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A Little Science Goes a Long Way: Engaging Kids Improves Math, Language Scores

A Washington State University researcher has found that engaging elementary school students in science for as little as 10 hours a year can lead to improved test scores in math and language arts. Samantha Gizerian, a clinical assistant professor in WSU’s Department of Veterinary and Comparative Anatomy, Pharmacology and Physiology, saw improved test scores among fourth-grade students in South Los Angeles after students from the Charles R. Drew University of…

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Misconduct Widespread in Retracted Science Papers, Study Finds

Source: NY Times Last year the journal Nature reported an alarming increase in the number of retractions of scientific papers — a tenfold rise in the previous decade, to more than 300 a year across the scientific literature. Other studies have suggested that most of these retractions resulted from honest errors. But a deeper analysis of retractions, being published this week, challenges that comforting assumption. Click here to read more…

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Anti-GMO researchers used science publication to manipulate the press

Very little of the public gets their information directly from scientists or the publications they write. Instead, most of us rely on accounts in the media, which means reporters play a key role in highlighting and filtering science for the public. And—through embargoed material, press releases, and personal appeals—journals and institutions vie for press attention as a route to capturing the public’s imagination. This system doesn’t always work smoothly. Just…

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