Nobel prizes as research assessment and dissemination

The Nobel committees for Physics, Chemistry, and Physiology or Medicine do a great job on the whole. Major advances are identified annually, and outlined for anyone to see.

Assessment is done the only sensible way – by inviting nominations as the basis for a decision on importance, this being made by a small group of distinguished scientists actively involved in each subject. No metrics, proxies, nor impact statements. No publication counts, journal impact factors, grant income. Compare with UK REF, research “performance management”, and nonsensical league tables.

Dissemination takes the form of the motivation and background to the awards. These are are models for increased public understanding of new discoveries and their significance.

Streams here are pubic, and from Live Video Player, part of the excellent and informative Nobel Prize Web site; a resource also for the history of science since 1901.

Politics and the English Language

The essay focuses on political language, which, according to Orwell, “is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” Orwell believed that the language used was necessarily vague or meaningless because it was intended to hide the truth rather than express it.

Wikipedia contributors. Politics and the English Language. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. July 25, 2014, 20:54 UTC. Available at: Accessed September 2, 2014.

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.

George Orwell. Politics and the English Language. Wikilivres. Available at: Accessed September 2. 2014.

Use of words in misuse of power | John F. Allen’s blog