Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Nobel Winner Schekman Boycotts Journals For 'Branding Tyranny'

Adam Ricketson Re:Publish or perish must go (106 comments)

On the ground, hiring decisions are made by an academic department's faculty (with oversight from deans, etc. who are themselves researchers)

about 9 months ago
top

Nobel Winner Schekman Boycotts Journals For 'Branding Tyranny'

Adam Ricketson Re:Good on him -- lets the rest of us have a shot (106 comments)

It's not an issue of early-career vs established scientists -- it's an issue of pedigreed vs. self-made scientists.

Sheckman is saying that he won't support a student's desire to submit a paper to SNC. His students will still have the benefit of being associated with a Nobel Prize winner. I see this as a sort of unilateral disarmament from someone whose influence is assured. Sheckman and his people have already been noticed, so he's letting everyone else have a chance at getting noticed too (by publishing in SNC). That may not be his exact intent, but it will be the short-term consequence if other big shots follow his lead.

about 9 months ago
top

Nobel Winner Schekman Boycotts Journals For 'Branding Tyranny'

Adam Ricketson Re:crossing fingers. (106 comments)

What field are you talking about. In Sheckman's field (basic biomedical research), startup packages tend to carry you for a few years, and the core funding mechanism is a 5 year grant (NIH R01)

about 9 months ago
top

Nobel Winner Schekman Boycotts Journals For 'Branding Tyranny'

Adam Ricketson Re:crossing fingers. (106 comments)

I can't say how familiar I am with the machinations of those particular journals, but I think most of the blame for the things that cause the issues you mention lie with the colleges and universities who put so much emphasis on publication counts and impact factors.

It's a symbiotic network of publications, promotions, and grant awards -- and those journals are one of the core components of the network. Those journals are not just passive beneficiaries of this system, they actively promote their role in the system (by publicizing their impact factor, for instance). On top of that, these journals have made some major mistakes. I could add more examples to Sheckman's list of bad publications. They are not being responsible powerholders, therefore it is urgent that we remove their power.

I think Sheckman's point is to break the link between "high profile" work and those journals, so that universities cannot use publication in those journals as a proxy for work being interesting.

about 9 months ago
top

Nobel Winner Schekman Boycotts Journals For 'Branding Tyranny'

Adam Ricketson Re:crossing fingers. (106 comments)

Commercial interests have nothing to do with this (at least, they are far removed).

Most biology research is funded by the federal government, and grant funding rates have gotten very low (meaning that it is very competitive and reviewers are looking for shortcuts).

Likewise, the big research universities (the most prestigious jobs) are non-profit, or even state run... and they evaluate their faculty in large part on their ability to get grant funding.

about 9 months ago
top

Satanists Propose Monument At Oklahoma State Capitol Next To Ten Commandments

Adam Ricketson what does Satan look like? (1251 comments)

If they put up a statue of Satan, how will we distinguish it from the statues of politicians?

about 9 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: DIY Computational Neuroscience?

Adam Ricketson join/start a club for amateurs (90 comments)

As a professional evolutionary biologist, my advice is to approach this as a hobby and don't pretend that it is anything else. Look for other hobbyists and discuss your projects with them (while learning whatever you can from professionals), and just focus on whatever you find interesting. Do not try to compete with the professionals; you probably don't even want to copy them, except when they have introduced a novel approach to a problem that can be taken in many directions.

You will not have access to many of the resources that professionals have access to -- hardware, proprietary software, and good datasets, and most of all, time. If you try to follow the cutting edge, you will find that it is advancing more quickly than you can possibly keep up with (if this is not a full time job). Don't get bogged down in the details of a project, and don't worry if your work is necessarily realistic. Try to stick with more theoretical issues, where you can complete a project in a reasonable span a time and might possibly develop a line of investigation that has been ignored by the professional community.

Read the high-profile, general interest journals (Science, Nature). That's where you will find the novel, simplistic (and hopefully, groundbreaking) models. You may also find announcements of high quality datasets. The more specialized journals tend to have publications focusing on optimizing one detail or another. These are essential for science, but there is no way that an amateur will be able to keep up with this or implement models that are this detailed.

If you're not careful, you'll spend most of your time struggling with the idiosyncratic formatting of various datasets.

about 9 months ago
top

FDA Tells Google-Backed 23andMe To Halt DNA Test Service

Adam Ricketson Patients should doublecheck this information (371 comments)

Given the nature of this data, patients should doublecheck it before including it in any medical or lifestyle decision. This is common sense and I would recommend it regardless of the FDA's actions here. However, as long as patients CAN doublecheck their genetic test results, they can evaluate the reliability of service providers like 23andMe (in contrast to the above claims that Joe-drunk-off-my-ass is necessarily a dupe).

By "the nature of this data", I mean a few things:
1) It does not change over our life, so you should be able to get reproducible results even if you repeat the test 10 years from now (assuming that you are not a chimera).
2) It is extremely easy for DNA samples to get contaminated. I've seen it ruin experiments, even when the purification is being done by experts. I really doubt that a home test kit can reliable keep the sample clean.

So, if you are having genetic testing, have it done twice and check that the results match. Use an independently collected sample. As long as you are confirming the integrity of the sample, confirm the integrity of the testing company too by sending the sample to another company (yes, I know there currently is not another commercial company doing this, but there are always medical labs; most likely, the "at home" testing should be the validation of the clinical testing).

With regards to the interpretation, get a second opinion from an expert.

about 9 months ago
top

Geeks For Monarchy: The Rise of the Neoreactionaries

Adam Ricketson Re:First sandwich (730 comments)

Hitler was a shrimp. I want Putin. Or Schwartenager.

about 9 months ago
top

Mathematicians Team Up To Close the Prime Gap

Adam Ricketson Re:Nice work (194 comments)

And the physics. Never forget about the physics.

about 9 months ago
top

Bitcoin (Probably) Isn't Broken

Adam Ricketson Re:You don't cut the branch you sit on. (78 comments)

"Once existence of such cartel is known, the value of bitcoin would plummet right to the bottom."

What if that's what the "cheater" wants.

Could this be used as an attack by some outside group (a government?) that wants to control or disrupt the Bitcoin system?

If I'm reading this right, they could drive all of the "free market" miners out of business. At which point, I'm not sure what they would do with this power. Could they commit Bitcoin fraud? Could they just refuse to validate any transactions and cause the system to collapse?

about 10 months ago
top

Online Journalism Is Becoming a Billionaires' Plaything (Again)

Adam Ricketson Re:Corporate Democracy (143 comments)

The wealthy have always owned the state... starting with Washington, Adams, and Jefferson (and the King before them). The state was created by and for the wealthy so that they could control the rest of the population (whether they be slaves or rednecks). The expansion of the franchise has only produced a superficial change -- the core dynamic has remained unchanged. The state is a system that enables a small fraction of the population to control the rest.

about 10 months ago
top

Online Journalism Is Becoming a Billionaires' Plaything (Again)

Adam Ricketson Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (143 comments)

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review follows exactly this model. It was revived by Richard Mellon Scaife (a dual trust-fund baby who also bankrolled the character assassination of President Bill Clinton) as a conservative alternative to the Post-Gazette. According to Scaife's divorce records, he continued to dump tons of money into this well after the newspaper had captured a sizable market. I think (and hope) that everyone in Pittsburgh is fully aware that the only reason this newspaper exists is to spout conservative propaganda.

It also has/had a good comics section.

about 10 months ago
top

Universal Flu Vaccine "Blueprint" Discovered

Adam Ricketson Nature publishes crap fairly often (100 comments)

FYI, Nature has been known to publish absolute crap... stuff that should have never gotten past peer review.

I know nothing about this particular topic, but I want to warn anyone who thinks that "published in Nature" means "reliable". Actually, none of the "latest research" should be considered reliable, but I think that Nature is one of the worst high-profile journals.

about a year ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Setting Up Non-Obnoxious Outdoor Lighting?

Adam Ricketson Re:You really have to ask? (445 comments)

As many commenters have pointed out, motion sensors are far from sufficient and sometimes make things worse.

about a year ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Setting Up Non-Obnoxious Outdoor Lighting?

Adam Ricketson Re:You are just rude (445 comments)

1) Light was here when I moved in
2) The room is her kitchen -- not a place I normally expect light to be a problem.

about a year ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Setting Up Non-Obnoxious Outdoor Lighting?

Adam Ricketson Re:There's little point (445 comments)

>light pollution levels will never improve until someone gets the process started.

I'd put more faith in cultural change and creating a market for thoughtful lighting than in going directly to the government for a solution. Since when did the government start listening to me?

about a year ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Setting Up Non-Obnoxious Outdoor Lighting?

Adam Ricketson Re:But why? (445 comments)

Thanks for the details on this. I had thought about red lights but was unaware of anyone actually using it. It's good to know that it works satisfactorily.

about a year ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Setting Up Non-Obnoxious Outdoor Lighting?

Adam Ricketson Re:But why? (445 comments)

I'm actually a geneticist. My understanding is that these plants are in the earliest stage of development.

about a year ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Setting Up Non-Obnoxious Outdoor Lighting?

Adam Ricketson Re:But why? (445 comments)

Well said.

about a year ago

Submissions

Adam Ricketson hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

Adam Ricketson has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>