September 17, 2014

4:00 AM | Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food
By Paul Greenberg Synopsis: Writer and life-long fisherman Paul Greenberg takes us on a journey, examining the four fish that dominate our menus: salmon, sea bass, cod, and tuna. Investigating the forces that get fish to […]
1:00 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews Philip Ball
Special thanks to Philips Ball for answering 5 questions about his recently featured book – Serving the Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Physics under Hitler Philip Ball is a freelance science writer. He worked […]
12:15 AM | New data show child mortality rates falling faster than ever
New data released today by the United Nations show that under-five mortality rates have dropped by 49% between 1990 and 2013. The average annual reduction has accelerated – in some countries it has even tripled – but overall progress is […]test The post New data show child mortality rates falling faster than ever appeared first on Australian Science.

September 16, 2014

6:15 PM | Another retraction for Diederik Stapel, this one from Dutch drama festival on “truth and reality”
Here’s a case of art imitating science. The organizers of a Dutch drama festival have put a halt to a play about the disgraced social psychologist Diederik Stapel, prompting protests from the authors of the skit — one of whom is Stapel himself. According to an article in NRC Handelsblad: The Amsterdam Discovery Festival on […]
3:30 PM | PubPeer Selections: “Meta-rant” about Science paper; posting raw data satisfies critics; was gel splicing ever OK?
Here’s another installment of PubPeer Selections: A reminder that correlation is not causation, using a paper from Science as the basis for “a meta-rant.“ Gel splicing used to be OK, right? So all those older papers were just following standard operating procedure. Uh, no, says a commenter. Commenters question figures in a Cancer paper, and […]
2:41 PM | Au Revoir, Auf Wiedersehen, The Real World Blog
Eric F. Brown, author of the blog The Rheol World" signed off for the last time yesterday. His blog will be missed as during it's heyday around 2010, it was pretty active, being both humorous and informative. Sadly the posting frequency has slacked off greatly as of late and yesterday the end was formally announced. I'm hoping Eric can restart the blog sometime in the future, so I will await that day patiently. My RSS feeder will be sure to alert me.Do stop by his blog once last time and be […]
1:30 PM | What should an ideal retraction notice look like? We (and COPE) want your input
Last week, we announced a new partnership with PRE (Peer Review Evaluation) “to improve access to information about retraction policies.” The first step, we and PRE said, was that Retraction Watch would create guidelines for retraction notices, to which PRE’s flagship product, PRE-val, would link. Well, it turns out that great minds think alike, or […]
4:00 AM | Cult of Personality: How Personality Tests Are Leading Us to Miseducate Our Children, Mismanage Our Companies, and Misunderstand Ourselves
By Annie Murphy Paul Other Title: The Cult of Personality Testing: How Personality Tests Are Leading Us to Miseducate Our Children, Mismanage Our Companies, and Misunderstand Ourselves Synopsis: Millions of people worldwide take personality tests each […]
12:15 AM | Plastic on the coasts is ours
The world’s largest collection of marine debris information has identified Australia’s coastal rubbish is mainly plastic from Australian sources. In a report released today, CSIRO scientist Denise Hardesty says her team surveyed sites approximately every 100 km along the Australian […]test The post Plastic on the coasts is ours appeared first on Australian Science.

September 15, 2014

4:55 PM | Embargo break by Dallas Morning News on fracking study is PNAS’s 8th this year
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) is having a rough time of it in 2014 embargo-wise. For the eighth time this year, the journal had to lift the embargo early on a study because of a break. PNAS tells us this message to reporters resulted from a Dallas Morning News story today: […]
3:30 PM | Hayabusa Science retraction made official, but behind a paywall
Science has published the retraction of a 2006 paper about an asteroid, following a report in its news pages that the study’s authors had requested the move. Here’s the paywalled — tsk, tsk — notice: In our report “X-ray fluorescence spectrometry of asteroid Itokawa by Hayabusa” (1), we analyzed the major elemental ratios of asteroid […]
3:09 PM | Plastics Scorecard v1.0 - I can't wait for v2.0
Being that I've spent my whole career working with plastics, I've had more than my fill of anti-plastic nonsense. But most of it is "harmless" statements about how bad plastic is. Statements such as "every piece of plastic ever made is still in existence" or any of a number of inane statements about "floating island of plastic in the ocean" or statements made by people thinking they are living a plastic-free life. When such statements are made by unprofessional individuals, I seldom get worked […]
1:30 PM | Scientist in Ireland notches two mysterious retractions and a correction
Sinead Miggin, a biologist at the National University of Ireland Maynooth, has withdrawn two papers from the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC) and has corrected another paper, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Here’s the opaque JBC notice for “14-3-3ϵ and 14-3-3σ inhibit Toll-like receptor (TLR)-mediated proinflammatory cytokine induction,” a paper […]
10:30 AM | Montenegro’s science minister accused of plagiarism
Sanja Vlahovic, science minister of Montenegro, copied two-thirds of a 2010 paper on tourism from previously published work by other academics, according to the national daily newspaper Vijesti. The newspaper compared her paper, “Destinations’ Competitiveness in Modern Tourism,” presented at the Tourism & Hospitality Management 2010 conference in Opatija, Croatia, to three previously published papers […]
4:00 AM | What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
By Randall Munroe Synopsis: From the creator of the wildly popular webcomic xkcd, hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask. Millions of people visit each week to read Randall […]
1:00 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews Balazs Hargittai, Magdolna Hargittai and Istvan Hargittai
Special thanks to Balazs Hargittai, Magdolna Hargittai, and Istvan Hargittai for answering 7 questions about their recently featured book – Great Minds: Reflections of 111 Top Scientists #1 – What was the impetus for Great Minds? Mostly in the […]
12:15 AM | William Gibson Reads Neuromancer, His Cyberpunk-Defining Novel
With 1984′s Neuromancer, William Gibson may not have invented cyberpunk, but he certainly crystallized it. The novel exemplifies the tradition’s mandate to bring together “high tech and low life,” or, in the words of Gibson himself, to explore what “any […]test The post William Gibson Reads Neuromancer, His Cyberpunk-Defining Novel appeared first on Australian Science.

September 14, 2014

4:00 AM | How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method
By George Polya Synopsis: A perennial bestseller by eminent mathematician G. Polya, How to Solve It will show anyone in any field how to think straight. In lucid and appealing prose, Polya reveals how the mathematical method of […]
12:15 AM | Weekly Science Picks
Here we are at the end of one more amazing week. It’s Sunday again and we are supposed to review what happened during the last 7 days. For example, have you ever wondered how night shifts could affect you? This […]test The post Weekly Science Picks appeared first on Australian Science.

September 13, 2014

2:18 PM | Weekend reads: A scientific impostor, Retraction Watch comments lead to retractions
Here at Retraction Watch, the week featured the revelations of the peer reviews of an early version of the STAP stem cell paper, and an announcement about a new partnership. Here’s what was happening elsewhere: Anoop Shankar is “a charming, bright-minded impostor who built a career on a base of lies.” An amazing story of […]
4:00 AM | Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed
By Carl Zimmer Synopsis: Body art meets popular science in this elegant, mind-blowing collection, written by renowned science writer Carl Zimmer. This fascinating book showcases hundreds of eye-catching tattoos that pay tribute to various scientific disciplines, […]
12:15 AM | Montaigne and the Double Meaning of Meditation
“There is no exercise that is either feeble or more strenuous … than that of conversing with one’s own thoughts.” “We all have the same inner life,” beloved artist Agnes Martin said in a wonderful lost interview. “The difference lies […]test The post Montaigne and the Double Meaning of Meditation appeared first on Australian Science.

September 12, 2014

2:30 PM | Wrong in the tooth: Faked data, authorship issues force retraction of dental paper
Case Reports in Dentistry has pulled a 2014 article about an oral parasitic infection (caution: not pretty) after learning that the authors were not exactly honest about their work. Here’s the abstract of the paper, “Rhinosporidiosis of the Parotid Duct”: Rhinosporidiosis is a benign chronic granulomatous infection caused by Rhinosporidiosis seeberi (R. seeberi). Rhinosporidiosis is […]
12:30 PM | A new partner for Retraction Watch: PRE (Peer Review Evaluation)
We’re very pleased to announce that we’ve partnered with PRE (Peer Review Evaluation) to improve access to information about retraction policies. In the coming months, we’ll be publishing guidelines for what we think should be included in retraction notices, and on how those notices should be publicized. As a release describing the new partnership notes: […]
4:00 AM | Nature’s Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements
By John Emsley Synopsis: What is the most common element in the universe? Can you name the noble gases? Everything we see around us is made of chemical elements, but most of us know little about […]
1:00 AM | Science Book a Day Interviews Robert Twigger
Special thanks to Robert Twigger for answering 5 questions about his recently featured book – Red Nile: The Biography of the World’s Greatest River Robert’s Homepage/Blog: Robert’s Twitter: #1 – What was the impetus for Red Nile? […]
12:15 AM | Reshaping philanthropy with major gift to ANU
Entrepreneurs Michelle Melbourne and Phillip Williamson are redefining the shape of modern philanthropy with a major new donation to the University. The couple, both ANU graduates, have given a gift in kind by donating high-technology software to help the University […]test The post Reshaping philanthropy with major gift to ANU appeared first on Australian Science.
12:00 AM | #flashbackfriday Far From The Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity
#flashbackfriday this week is from March 22, 2014. Far From The Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity was written by Andrew Solomon. He writes about the difficulties parents have raising unusual children and the difficulties they […]

September 11, 2014

1:57 PM | “Potentially groundbreaking,” “highly provocative:” Nature STAP stem cell peer reviews published
A day after we published the cover letter and peer review reports about the STAP stem cell paper rejected by Science, Science‘s news section has published the same material for the version rejected by Nature. From Science‘s news story about the document: The Nature reviewers call the manuscripts and the results they describe “very interesting,” […]
1:30 PM | Dissertation in transition: Plagiarism leads to delisting of education thesis, lost PhD
The author of a doctoral dissertation on veterans education has lost the paper — and a mention of the work in a roster of theses — because he lifted text from a previously published dissertation from a student at another institution. Here’s the notice: We, the Editor and Publisher of the Community College Journal of […]
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