August 22, 2014

2:46 PM | Repeat After Me
Reproducibility is the ability of an entire experiment or study to be reproduced, either by the researcher or by someone else working independently. It is one of the main principles of the scientific method and relies on ceteris paribus. Wikipedia I was going to start this post with a similar statement in my own words, […]

August 20, 2014

1:49 PM | Plastica commestibile? Con Ooho da oggi si può
Il suo nome sarebbe Ooho e si tratterebbe di un nuovo materiale inventato dal trio di scienziati Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, Pierre Paslier e Guillaume Couche, vincitori del prestigioso premio “Lexus Design Award 2014″, caratterizzato da membrane commestibili costituite da cloruro…Read more →

August 19, 2014

3:19 PM | ICPSR Managing and Curating Data Workshop
Submitted by guest contributor  Willow Dressel, Plasma Physics/E-Science Librarian, Princeton University. The last week of July I attended ICPSR’s workshop Curating and Managing Research Data for Reuse at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  The workshop is part …read more
11:35 AM | Registration now open for Data Scientist Training for Librarians (DST4L)
Data Scientist Training for Librarians or DST4L ( is an experimental course being offered by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics John G. Wolbach Library and the Harvard Library to train librarians to respond to the growing data needs of their …read more

August 18, 2014

6:45 PM | Highlights of NN/LM MAR Symposium on Approaches to RDM for Libraries
Highlights of: National Network of Libraries of Medicine Symposium: Doing It Your Way: Approaches to Research Data Management for Libraries Rockefeller University, NY, April 28-29, 2014 In late April, the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region (NN/LM …read more
4:34 PM | Arte e ambiente: Change As Art
Rhinewater Purification Plant (Germania, 1972) Cheryl Gladu è un’artista e designer canadese con il pallino per l’ambiente e per i progetti che favoriscano il cambiamento del tessuto sociale locale. Con il sostegno della Concordia University di Montreal (Canada), dove è…Read more →
4:24 PM | Risparmio energetico in casa: alcune soluzioni
2 motivi e 7 modi per risparmiare energia in casa. Perché farlo? Banalmente si potrebbe iniziare a risparmiare sull’energia anche solo per un discorso prettamente egoistico e di salvaguardia del nostro portafogli, partendo da una domanda: perché spendere 100 euro…Read more →
4:16 PM | Scienza: scoperto M82 X-1, nuovo buco nero di taglia media
I buchi neri di ‘taglia media’ esistono eccome e sono stati svelati da lampi di luce a ritmo di bossa nova: ad accertarlo e’ stato un gruppo di astronomi dell’universita’ del Maryland. Per primo ha identificato uno di questi rari…Read more →
4:08 PM | Pile in grafene per ricaricare gli smartphone. Merito dei ricercatori dell’IIT
L’invenzione dell’Istituto italiano di tecnologia sarà sfruttata nel settore delle auto elettriche e dei device tecnologiciRead more →
1:58 PM | Beni culturali: boom di visite a ferragosto
E’ stato un vero successo l’afflusso di visitatori nei musei italiani nella giornata di Ferragosto. E’ stato così possibile, per migliaia di turisti e non solo, fare visita ai musei di Stato, ai castelli ed ai siti archeologici che da…Read more →
11:16 AM | Open letter to AAAS concerning their new journal Science Advances?
To continue the recent American Association for the Advancement of Science theme, I present the text of a recent open letter I signed to the AAAS concerning their new journal Science Advances. Thanks to Jonathan Tennant for spearheading this effort. You can read more about the rationale behind writing the letter and the process involved…

August 15, 2014

4:56 PM | Reading Diary: Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey by Nick Bertozzi
First Second Books has done it again! They’ve published another wonderful science-themed graphic novel that belongs on every bookshelf. (Of course, they publish tons of other non-science themed graphic novels too. One of my particular favourite recent ones in the biography of Andre the Giant. The Zita the Spacegirl series is also wonderful beyond words.)…
11:35 AM | Friday Fun: Chinese cyber spies disappointed by Canada’s complete lack of scientific research
From the “So Funny it Hurts” file… This one combines the recent spying cases between Canada and China with the equally “humourous” ongoing Canadian War on Science. Chinese cyber spies disappointed by Canada’s complete lack of scientific research BEIJING – Chinese state-sponsored hackers were disappointed after hacking into Canadian government and business research archives and…

August 14, 2014

12:59 PM | 50 musei da vedere almeno una volta nella vita
Arte, tecnologia, storia: il meglio del genio umano si trova qui, in luoghi di storico fascino o esaltante architettura contemporaneaRead more →
12:46 PM | Asteroidi e forze di van der Waals
Guardatela bene, quest’ombra qui a fianco: quella che s’intravede nel buio è la sagoma di1950 DA, un asteroide con un diametro medio di circa 1,3 km. Un Near Earth Object, come gli scienziati chiamano i corpi del Sistema solare la cui…Read more →

August 13, 2014

11:21 AM | Climate change fiction is the hottest thing in the book world!
Sorry about that, but posts and articles about climate change fiction seem especially prone to bad puns… In any case, climate change fiction (or “cli-fi” to use the rather ugly short form) is fiction — either speculative or realistic — that takes as it’s basis the fact that the earth’s climate is changing and jumps…

August 12, 2014

5:30 PM | Hello Darkness, My Old Friend
[This is not an ordinary post for this blog, but this is not an ordinary day.]    Robin Williams July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014 His death is a shock. The tributes from the many people who knew and/or loved him continue to spread across every form of media. People are sad. I am […]
3:29 PM | Opening for Science Collections Librarian at Tufts University
The Tisch Library at Tufts University, has recently announced a job opportunity for a Science Collections Librarian. For further details:  
2:25 PM | Application deadline for OpenCon 2014 is August 25th
OpenCon 2014 will be held in Washington DC November 15-17th. This workshop is geared to students of all levels, early career researchers, and young professionals in fields related to scholarly and scientific research (e.g. librarians, professional advocates, etc.). OpenCon 2014′s …read more
12:51 PM | Developing a for-credit course on data management
Submitted by Sarah Wright, Life Sciences Librarian for Research at Cornell University’s Albert R. Mann Library We all know that instruction is a major part of librarians’ jobs, but more specialized instruction opportunities, like educating students about data and research …read more

August 11, 2014

11:54 AM | Fragile knowledge of coding and software craftsmanship
To continue the ongoing discussion, I think my concerns and experiences with informal education in coding (and perhaps formal education offered to those not being groomed into being software engineers or developers) fall into two piles: fragile knowledge and craftsmanship. Fragile knowledge. Feynman (yes, I know) described fragile knowledge of physics as learning by rote […]

August 08, 2014

9:08 PM | What I want/need in a programming class
Abigail Goben (Hedgehog Librarian) has a recent blog post discussing some of the shortcomings she's identified in the various coding courses she's taken online and the self-study she has done. I think my view overlaps hers but is not the same. Instead of try to compare and contrast, I'll say what I've seen and what […]
7:09 PM | This, That, and a Bit of The Other Thing
I like to make the cards that I give to people. Yes, I too often give in and buy the prefabricated ones, but even then, I try very hard to pick ones out that are blank inside, not substituting anyone else’s words for my own. I like the handmade touch. I have a small box […]
5:00 PM | Friday Fun: McAfee unveils first homeopathic antivirus software
Ah, News Biscuit. You’ve nailed this one. What’s next? Homeopathic dishwasher detergent? In any case, enjoy a taste but make sure you read the whole thing. It’s very funny! McAfee unveils first homeopathic antivirus software “Our customers are increasingly demanding Anti-Virus software that has no discernible effect on the performance of their laptops and other…
11:44 AM | Reading Diary: Wizards, Aliens, and Starships: Physics and Math in Fantasy and Science Fiction by Charles L. Adler
Only rarely in my life as a reviewer do I get books that seem to be absolutely perfectly suited for me. This is certainly the case with Charles L. Adler’s Wizards, Aliens, and Starships: Physics and Math in Fantasy and Science Fiction, a book that combines my love for science and my love for science…

August 06, 2014

8:48 PM | The bad news is “AAAS Names New Science Publisher”, the good news is Walt Crawford’s Open Access Trilogy
It seems that the American Association for the Advancement of Science has just announced the new publisher of it’s flagship family of Science journals: AAAS CEO Alan I. Leshner today announced the appointment of Kent Anderson, a past president of the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SPP), to serve as Publisher of the Science family of…
6:14 PM | The results are nice, but what I really need to know is HOW you did it
For the past few days I’ve been at the 2014 Library Assessment Conference in Seattle, WA. It has been a great conference and I’ve got tons to think about and lots to do when I get back to work. As I listen to all of the presentations one of the biggest things that strikes me […]
12:44 AM | John Oliver as an Instruction Librarian
I’ve been a big John Oliver fan from his time at the Daily Show and his weekly podcast with Andy Zaltzman, The Bugle, but I never knew just how effective he could be as an instruction librarian. Just watch this video below as he carefully examines the emerging media form of native advertisements and the problems […]

August 05, 2014

2:31 PM | Data Dictionaries
Recently, I was reading through Christie Bahlai’s excellent roundup of spreadsheet best practices when I started thinking about documenting spreadsheets. You see, best practices say that spreadsheets should contain only one large data table with short variable names at the top … Continue reading →

August 04, 2014

3:31 PM | NECDMC goes to Las Vegas: ALA 2014 and ‘Dry Heat/Blue Legs’
Submitted by Regina Fisher Raboin, Data Management Services Group Coordinator,  Science Research & Instruction Librarian, Tisch Library, Tufts University You know the oft-quoted phrase, “Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”? Well, I did hear this line many, many times …read more
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