REF and Volkswagen’s cheating device

When a measure becomes a target then it ceases to be a measure. From BBC News, 25 September 2015:  According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), some cars being sold in America had devices in diesel engines that could detect when they were being tested, changing the performance accordingly to improve results. “We’ve totally screwed… Continue reading REF and Volkswagen’s cheating device

The Devil in the Detail | fanismissirlis

The Devil in the Detail | fanismissirlis A post by Fanis Missirlis on matters arising from our letter: Allen JF, Missirlis F (2012) Queen Mary: nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. Lancet 379 (9828): 1785. Who guards the guardians? And what happens if meta-guardians themselves have something to hide? Research Assessment and REF What is ‘research output’? Can it be measured? If so,… Continue reading The Devil in the Detail | fanismissirlis

Fascination of Plants University of Greenwich 2015

17 April. My pleasure to help provide the solar energy demonstration. Dr Iskander M. Ibrahim demonstrates the power of sunlight with the famous solar-powered train set.  The demonstration was devised as part of my inaugural lecture, thinking outside the green box.  On this sunny April day in Chatham the train could be driven by sunlight rather than artificial… Continue reading Fascination of Plants University of Greenwich 2015

The Bucket or the Searchlight?

“The Bucket and the Searchlight: Two Theories of Knowledge” from Sir Karl Popper presents two views of knowledge. We advance knowledge in research and disseminate knowledge in teaching. How we undertake these tasks depends on which view we take. The bucket theory underlies many mistakes. Notably in universities. I raised Popper’s essay in two papers published… Continue reading The Bucket or the Searchlight?

Rosetta #CometLanding webcast

Live webcast from ESA mission control, when Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft dispatches the Philae lander to make the first-ever touchdown on a comet. Official hashtag: #CometLanding

Nobel winners say scientific discovery ‘virtually impossible’ due to funding bureaucracy – Telegraph

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/10870995/Nobel-winners-say-scientific-discovery-virtually-impossible-due-to-funding-bureaucracy.html Nobel winners say scientific discovery ‘virtually impossible’ due to funding bureaucracy Major scientific discovery is being hindered because of the peer preview system, Nobel Prize winning scientists have warned By Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor 10:30PM BST 02 Jun 2014 Major scientific discoveries of the 20th Century would not have happened under today’s funding rules, Nobel Prize… Continue reading Nobel winners say scientific discovery ‘virtually impossible’ due to funding bureaucracy – Telegraph

The damaging bureaucracy of academic peer preview – Telegraph

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/10870609/The-damaging-bureaucracy-of-academic-peer-preview.html The damaging bureaucracy of academic peer preview Academic funding agencies should support research in unfashionable fields  10:35PM BST 02 Jun 2014   SIR – Under current policies, academic researchers must submit their proposals to a small group of their closest competitors – their peers – for consideration before they might be funded. Peers… Continue reading The damaging bureaucracy of academic peer preview – Telegraph