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Are Big Cities Still A Primary Engine For Scientific Innovation?

It used to be that if you wanted to be an inventor or a scientist, it helped to be around other inventors and scientists, which could mean working at one of a handful of elite universities in a big metro area. New research questions whether big cities are still a primary engine for innovation. NPR’s social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam sat down with our colleague David Greene to explain what…

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Do Nobel Laureates Create Prize-Winning Networks?

Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine who received the Prize between 1969 and 2011 are compared to a matched group of scientists to examine productivity, impact, coauthorship and international collaboration patterns embedded within research networks. After matching for research domain, h-index, and year of first of publication, we compare bibliometric statistics and network measures. We find that the Laureates produce fewer papers but with higher average citations. The Laureates also…

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Science collaboration built from the ground up

Whether it’s in the daily stream of students through McQuinn Atrium, the chance conversations between scientists in its hallways or the postdoctoral researchers in the Catalyst Café, the Bond LSC has created a physical environment in which it’s difficult for occupants not to interact. “This place is intended to be a coordinated organism, not a hotel for good scientists,” says Jack Schultz, director of the Bond LSC since 2007. “It’s…

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Some scientists share better than others

Some scientists share better than others. While astronomers and geneticists embrace the concept, the culture of ecology still has a ways to go. Research by Michigan State University, published in the current issue of Bioscience, explores the paradox that although ecologists share findings via scientific journals, they do not share the data on which the studies are built, said Patricia Soranno, MSU fisheries and wildlife professor and co-author of the…

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NIH’s world research reporting tool

An article published in Science last week discusses the value of creating a global map of health R&D activity to improve coordination of research and create a “global observatory” for health research. I encourage you to check it out, and I also thought it was a timely reminder for discussing updates to the world research reporting tool I blogged about in March last year. The World Research Portfolio Online Reporting…

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The state of team science: NSF review and recommendations

An October 2013 NSF workshop explored organizational and institutional factors and policies affect team science. Presenters discussed research related to the following questions:  How do current tenure and promotion policies acknowledge and provide incentives to academic researchers who engage in team science? What factors influence the productivity and effectiveness of research organizations that conduct and support team science, such as research centers and institutes? How do such organizational factors as…

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Ten Simple Rules for the Care and Feeding of Scientific Data

Two pages (scan) from Galilei’s Sidereus Nuncius (“The Starry Messenger” or “The Herald of the Stars”), Venice, 1610 In the early 1600s, Galileo Galilei turned a telescope toward Jupiter. In his log book each night, he drew to-scale schematic diagrams of Jupiter and some oddly moving points of light near it. Galileo labeled each drawing with the date. Eventually he used his observations to conclude that the Earth orbits the…

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Recent advances in massive, open, online science research

First MOOCs, now MOOLs: Massive Online Open Laboratories Self-assembling RNA molecules present compelling substrates for the rational interrogation and control of living systems. However, imperfect in silico models—even at the secondary structure level—hinder the design of new RNAs that function properly when synthesized. Here, we present a unique and potentially general approach to such empirical problems: the Massive Open Laboratory. The EteRNA project connects 37,000 enthusiasts to RNA design puzzles…

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