Sunday Night Science & Innovation Links, Nov 27, 2016

A lot of people talk about science and innovation.  Few of them talk to each other.  

Talk!  To each other!

“By moving research closer to the team that actually builds the products, the company believes it can develop a better understanding of how AI can do things customers truly want.” — Artificial Intelligence Is Driving Huge Changes at Google, Facebook, and Microsoft | WIRED

“If anything, the situation for underrepresented minorities is getting worse. Gibbs found that between 2005 and 2013, almost 6,000 scientists from those groups earned their doctoral degrees, while the number of assistant professors fell by six.” — The Minority Talent Pool in Science Is Draining Away – The Atlantic

“But as Richard Smith, the former editor of the BMJ, summed up: “We have little or no evidence that peer review ‘works,’ but we have lots of evidence of its downside.”” — This new study may explain why peer review in science often fails – Vox

“Carafano’s recent report on science policy argues that OSTP should be eliminated because it is unnecessary given the other sources of science advice the president can access” — Advocate for Eliminating OSTP Appointed to Trump Transition Team | American Institute of Physics

“A move like this, if it actually happened, could be a big deal. Not only would it mean serious changes to US climate research, but it could affect a host of other key NASA programs that provide info on everything from weather to wildfires to drought and much more.” — A Trump adviser wants to scale back NASA’s ability to study climate change – Vox

“[the plan] shows what the NIH is interested in and (likely) where grants will follow. And that could ultimately shape the direction of behavioral and social science itself.” — Social Science Is Busted. But the NIH Has a Plan that Could Fix It | WIRED

“Because of the competition for grants, scientists often propose projects that they know will work rather than on ideas that are more adventurous with potentially greater payoffs.” — James Simons’s Foundation Starts New Institute for Computing, Big Data – The New York Times


Sunday Night Science & Innovation Links, Nov 20, 2016

A lot of people talk about science and innovation.  Few of them talk to each other.  

Talk!  To each other!

“‘Even as an anti-establishment president elect, he is not going to thumb his nose at the public. The public understands the value of science and technology. At least it does sometimes.'” — Scientists Prepare to Fight for Their Funding Under Trump | WIRED

“A new “science of science policy” is emerging, and it may offer more compelling guidance for policy decisions and for more credible advocacy.” — Wanted: Better Benchmarks | Science

“IRIS is creating a data platform incorporating an array of metrics on the science and innovation system, from individual participation and career trajectories, to material and equipment purchasing patterns, to publication and patent outputs over the long term. — A Q&A with the Institute for Research on Innovation & Science | AAAS – The World’s Largest General Scientific Society

“Not everyone can go out and grab thirty AI-happy astrophysicists.” — Giant Corporations Are Hoarding the World’s AI Talent | WIRED

“Once prediction became cheap, innovators reframed driving as a prediction problem. Rather than programing endless if-then-else statements, they instead simply asked the AI to predict: “What would a human driver do?”” — Digitopoly | The Simple Economics of Machine Intelligence

“the hype around machine intelligence methods continues to grow: the words “deep learning” now equally represent a series of meaningful breakthroughs (wonderful) but also a hyped phrase like “big data” (not so good!).” — The current state of machine intelligence 3.0 – O’Reilly Media

“They often share a common ideology, tied not just to the neoliberal drive to privatize, innovate and disrupt, but to long-standing modernist ideas about creative destruction, quantification and the value of scientificity.” — What Is A Media Lab?

Re: “The 7 biggest problems facing science, according to 270 scientists” Pt 3

Back in July,  Julia Belluz, Brad Plumer, and Brian Resnick wrote up this beautiful thing, which you need to go read right now.   And I said at the time that I would reply.  And then I got lazy.  But then so this is me doing that, now.  In 7 parts, structured as their big beautiful article is.

Rough Draft as of Nov 16.  Will be updating with links and more careful thought on an irregular basis.

Part III: The Replication Issue

The problem here is relatively simple: replicating results is critical to science, but there is almost no incentive to do so.Read More »

Sunday Night Science & Innovation Links, Nov 13, 2016

A lot of people talk about science and innovation.  Few of them talk to each other.  

Talk!  To each other!

“These giants don’t merely set standards for certain formats of semiconductors, glass, pharmaceuticals, and software. Their mastery over patents and markets empowers them to block or buy most any newcomer that might threaten their sovereignty. What technologies are developed, and how and where they are developed, is increasingly up to these small clubs of executives alone.” — Washington Monthly | Estates of Mind

“Our analysis uses 1.8 million U.S. patents and their citation properties to map the innovation network and its strength.” — Innovation Network

“Our results support theoretical arguments that IPR protection strengthens firms’ incentives to innovate[…]” — Intellectual Property Rights Protection, Ownership, and Innovation: Evidence from China

“Still, any major political transition is liable to bring about significant change in public science policy. As Kevin B. Marvel, the executive officer of the American Astronomical Society, points out, science research is pretty much always in peril since public science research budgets are subject to the whims of Congress.” — As president, Trump will shape the future of science. And scientists are worried. – Vox

“I often wonder whether there is any value in reporting very early research. Journals now publish their findings, and the public seizes on them, but this wasn’t always the case: journals were meant for peer-to-peer discussion, not mass consumption.” — This is why you shouldn’t believe that exciting new medical study – Vox

“In its new role—nonprofit, Caltech-affiliated, NASA-funded, civilian-controlled—JPL became a center for the most insane, creative engineering on earth.” — Inside the Jet Propulsion Laboratory: NASA’s Crazy, Kooky, Legendary Research Facility