19 Dec / 2019

Scientist, Heal Thyself

first_img(Visited 292 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 People who play “King’s X” in the science lab had better be aware of their limitations and vulnerabilities.Science can be viewed as an organized way to seek knowledge about natural phenomena. It involves observing, publishing and review. But science is a big tent, granting undue prestige to some questionable fields, and granting undeserved reputation to individuals and institutions unaware of their biases and blind spots. Most importantly, science’s ideals cannot be met without character qualities like honesty, integrity, and allegiance to the truth, because every paper, every article, and every database must pass through the fingers of fallible human beings. If science were a mechanical method to crank out knowledge, there wouldn’t need to be continual chastisements and admonitions coming from within its own institutions, like these recent examples. Look at the temptations to sin in scientific communities:Dirty MoneyMore Scientists, Institutions with Links to Jeffrey Epstein (The Scientist). Ivory tower elites had better not be too quick to point the finger. In this article, reporter Catherine Offord points back: “Researchers continued to meet and accept funding from the wealthy donor even after he was convicted of sex crimes in 2008.” How many secular media reporters have covered this scandal? Talk about dirty money! Scientists are not immune from temptation. Do they get a “King’s X” from accusation because they wear the “Trust Me: I’m a Scientist” shirt?A number of scientists and research institutions continued to maintain links with convicted sex offender and financier Jeffrey Epstein after he was sentenced to prison in 2008, BuzzFeed News reported yesterday (August 26). While some of the payments and meetings he had with members of the research community were already public knowledge, others were identified by the news site through public records requests.HypocrisyPeer reviewers need a code of conduct too (Nature). Here’s a piece on the theme, “Who watches the watchers?” Linda Beaumont gets angry at the very peer reviewers who, in her experience, need some review on their behavior by watcher-watchers. She has witnessed that the reality is not the ideal it is made up to be.Learning to accept criticism is part of surviving the fierce competition in research. But an invitation to review the work of a peer, usually anonymously, is not a licence to patronize, intimidate or otherwise act in a way that would be unprofessional in the workplace. Such reviews are unnecessarily discouraging, particularly to an early-career researcher with limited experience of the system.SelfishnessWhy I said no to peer review this summer (Nature). A senior scientist and veteran reviewer, Jennifer Rohn, explains why she no longer feels a “moral obligation” to review every paper coming across her desk, especially when she is on vacation. “Moral obligation”? There’s the M-word again. Her reasons provide a glimpse into ulterior motives in the peer review system. They are not always pure. When she was younger, she explains, she felt obligated to take the requests out of a sense of reciprocity: her reviews would help her own reputation, or lubricate grant applications: “having this paper accepted and published quickly would surely help our next bid with a major funder.” That doesn’t sound like pure love of the truth. Duty is a quality that can be sacrificed for expediency. To the degree that’s how she feels, how trustworthy will her reviews be if the funder might not like the conclusions?In theory, we all have a duty to keep the wheels of peer review spinning. There is an unspoken pact of reciprocity in our tight-knit research community. Science has long operated like this: the expectation is that for every paper of mine being poked and prodded at by peers, I’m spending a roughly equal amount of time inspecting work by others. And because I know it’s frustrating to wait for a decision on a paper, why would I want to irritate a colleague by causing delays?PrideHundreds of extreme self-citing scientists revealed in new database (Nature). Scientists are vulnerable to another deadly sin: pride. In this article, Van Noorden and Chawla find a bit of a Good Old Boys Club going on in academia, where insiders pat each others’ backs to pad their reputations. Getting cited is supposed to be a measure of the value of research. In many cases, it is more a measure of how well insiders know how to play the rigged game.The world’s most-cited researchers, according to newly released data, are a curiously eclectic bunch. Nobel laureates and eminent polymaths rub shoulders with less familiar names, such as Sundarapandian Vaidyanathan from Chennai in India. What leaps out about Vaidyanathan and hundreds of other researchers is that many of the citations to their work come from their own papers, or from those of their co-authors.Blindness to BiasGeneric language in scientific communication (PNAS). This is a meta-paper: a paper about papers. Four psychologists examine the kind of language psychologists use in their research, apparently painfully aware of the scandals in the “soft sciences” of psychology and psychiatry. Sure enough, they find unexpected sources of bias in the very language psychologists use. Whether intentional or not, words can obfuscate rather than illuminate. This problem is not limited to psychology. How many scientists in all fields consider this blind spot?Scientific communication poses a challenge: To clearly highlight key conclusions and implications while fully acknowledging the limitations of the evidence. Although these goals are in principle compatible, the goal of conveying complex and variable data may compete with reporting results in a digestible form that fits (increasingly) limited publication formats. As a result, authors’ choices may favor clarity over complexity. For example, generic language (e.g., “Introverts and extraverts require different learning environments”) may mislead by implying general, timeless conclusions while glossing over exceptions and variability. Using generic language is especially problematic if authors overgeneralize from small or unrepresentative samples (e.g., exclusively Western, middle-class). We present 4 studies examining the use and implications of generic language in psychology research articles…. We found that generics were ubiquitously used to convey results (89% of articles included at least 1 generic), despite that most articles made no mention of sample demographics. … We highlight potential unintended consequences of language choice in scientific communication, as well as what these choices reveal about how scientists think about their data.Misplaced TrustModelling hubris may lead to “trans-science”, a practice which lends itself to the language and formalism of science but where science cannot provide answers.A short comment on statistical versus mathematical modelling (Nature Communications). Much of science relies on models. The best of models, however, are only simulations of reality. Often they leave out factors that could be consequential. “While the crisis of statistics has made it to the headlines, that of mathematical modelling hasn’t,” this article begins. “Something can be learned comparing the two, and looking at other instances of production of numbers. Sociology of quantification and post-normal science can help.” Post-normal science? Is that like last year’s Word of the Year, “Post-Truth”?Andrea Saltelli reveals a hidden crisis where ghosts of “methodological abuse” and “wicked incentives” that have haunted statistics are making apparitions in the more-trusted field of mathematical models:While statistical and mathematical modelling share important features, they don’t seem to share the same sense of crisis. Statisticians appear mired in an academic and mediatic debate where even the concept of significance appears challenged, while more sedate tones prevail in the various communities of mathematical modelling. This is perhaps because, unlike statistics, mathematical modelling is not a discipline. It cannot discuss possible fixes in disciplinary fora under the supervision of recognised leaders. It cannot issue authoritative statements of concern from relevant institutions such as e.g., the American Statistical Association or the columns of Nature….Yet if statistics is coming to terms with methodological abuse and wicked incentives, it appears legitimate to ask if something of the sort might be happening in the multiverse of mathematical modelling.She points out a truism: “All model-knowing is conditional on assumptions.” If statistical models can be misleading, why not mathematical models, which also rely on assumptions? Need examples? Her next sentence should be put into textbooks:Modelling hubris may lead to “trans-science”, a practice which lends itself to the language and formalism of science but where science cannot provide answers. Models may be used as a convenient tool of displacement – from what happens in reality to what happens in the model. The merging of algorithms with big data blurs many existing distinctions among different instances of quantification, leading to the question “what qualities are specific to rankings, or indicators, or models, or algorithms?” Thus the problems just highlighted are likely to apply to all of these instances, as shown by the recent alarm about unethical use of algorithms, the disruptive use of artificial intelligence exemplified by Facebook, or the well documented problems with the abuse of metrics, which is now reflected in an increasing militancy against statistical and metrical abuses.DishonestyCivic honesty around the globe (Science). Here is a curious paper. Four economists from America and Switzerland decided to run the scientific method on honesty. They basically found that people were more apt to return wallets that had more money in them. That’s an interesting thing to know, but wait for the commentary (below).Civic honesty is essential to social capital and economic development but is often in conflict with material self-interest. We examine the trade-off between honesty and self-interest using field experiments in 355 cities spanning 40 countries around the globe. In these experiments, we turned in more than 17,000 lost wallets containing varying amounts of money at public and private institutions and measured whether recipients contacted the owners to return the wallets. In virtually all countries, citizens were more likely to return wallets that contained more money. Neither nonexperts nor professional economists were able to predict this result. Additional data suggest that our main findings can be explained by a combination of altruistic concerns and an aversion to viewing oneself as a thief, both of which increase with the material benefits of dishonesty.Their work was published in Science, “Financial temptation increases civic honesty.”It’s an interesting “result,” to be sure, and may well be true. We have no particular reason to doubt it. But notice that to trust this paper, and the analysis by Shaul Shalvi quoted above, you have to assume the researchers are honest! What if they were not? Oh, but it was peer reviewed. But what if the reviewers were in on the scam? Who watches the watchers? One can certainly imagine ulterior motives for the research: prestige for oneself or one’s institution, necessity (“publish or perish”), or influence by funders or stakeholders desiring a certain outcome. The point is that without honesty and integrity, there is no science at all.Chuck-in-the-Box pops up in unexpected places.Careful readers of this last paper will notice several citations to the “evolution of altruism” and other such Darwinist mumbo-jumbo in the references. To the extent the authors believe that stuff, one could assume they wrote this paper for their own self-interest. If they were truly consistent, all their behaviors stem from the pursuit of personal fitness, not truth.Now, if they believe in the Ten Commandments and strive to follow them, that might be a valid foundation for trust. But even then, if their methods or assumptions are flawed, they might only be right by mistake.last_img read more

first_imgThe lead changed numerous times during the final round as Kingston, England’s Simon Dyson and three Scandanavians, with similar sounding names – Denmark’s Anders and Søren Hanson, and Sweden’s Peter Hanson – vied for the title. Further down the leaderboard, South Africa’s Hennie Otto finished strongly with a four-under-par 68 to end the tournament on four-under 284. With victory came a cheque of €320 000 for Kingston – worth approximately R3.49-million rand. His first win on the Tour came on home soil in 2008, at the South African Open. The win didn’t come easily for Kingston, who led by two shots with two to play. However, a three-putt on the 17th, and a birdie by Anders Hansen left the pair tied for the lead on 13-under-par 275 after rounds of 69 and 67 respectively. Importantly, it also vaulted Kingston from 116th place on the Race to Dubai (European Order of Merit) standings to 46th. Incredibly, Kingston didn’t know that he would have a place at the Mercedes-Benz Championship until only a few weeks before the tournament. He explained: “I spoke to the lady who does my travel arrangements and she asked what I was doing. I said I wasn’t playing and she replied: ‘What do you mean? You’re in’. Race to Dubai standings At 43 years of age, Kingston is the oldest winner on the European Tour this season. Bernhard Langer holds the Mercedes-Benz Championships record at 44 years old. “I didn’t know at that stage. One minute you don’t even think you are playing, and the next you win it! Unexpected wins“It’s like the South African Open. I was injured a couple of days beforehand, and didn’t think I could play and I went on to win that. Two wins, and both of them unexpected.” 15 September 2009 At the end of the season, the top 60 players on the European Tour rankings will contest the Dubai World Championships which boast a massive prize fund of $10-million. The top 15 finishers in that event will share the money. He didn’t have to wait long to clinch the title as, on the first hole of the fourth playoff in the tournament’s history, Hansen failed to hole a shot from a bunker that he needed to force the playoff to a second hole. Three players finished within a shot of Kingston and Hansen on 276: Simon Dyson closed with a 70, Søren Hansen matched Dyson’s 70, and Peter Hanson closed with a 71. South Africans Last year’s Nedbank Challenge champion Henrik Stenson was next on the leaderboard, tied for sixth with Anthony Wall on 10-under-par 278. Thomas Aiken slipped to a 75, Trevor Immelman posted the same score, and Louis Oosthuizen went around in 74 as all three men finished on three-over 291. Charl Schwartzel posted a 71 and finished on one-under 287. South African golfer James Kingston had missed four cuts in succession heading into the European Tour’s Mercedes-Benz Championship at Golf Club Gut Larchenhof in Cologne, Germany. He found form when it mattered, though, lifting the title on Sunday for his first overseas European Tour victory. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

first_imgTags:#AOL#Google#news#NYT#web#Yahoo A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… sarah perezcenter_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Yesterday’s phishing attack in which several thousand Hotmail username and password combinations were leaked to the web now appears to be just the beginning of a massive phishing attack affecting users of multiple webmail services including Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Comcast, and Earthlink. The original list was posted anonymously on pastebin.com, a site generally used by developers sharing code snippets. Again, that site recently saw the addition 20,000 more login details from other webmail service providers, indicating what may the largest scale phishing attack to date.The Hotmail Attack In yesterday’s attack, the list of comprised Hotmail accounts were limited to those where the usernames started with the letter “A” or “B.” However, that seemed to imply that the posted portion might actually be a part of a bigger list containing even more login/password combinations. At the time, a Microsoft spokesperson said that the company determined “this was not a breach of internal Microsoft data and initiated our standard process of working to help customers regain control of their accounts.” Instead, claimed the spokesperson, those users whose credentials were revealed were likely to be victims of an online phishing attack where a third-party website was involved.Phishing attacks are typically carried out via email messages where the attacker tricks the recipient into revealing their username and password by pretending to be some sort of trustworthy entity such as the user’s bank, IT administrator, a popular website, or an online service. In the case of the stolen Hotmail passwords, it’s possible that the attacker sent emails which claimed to be from the end user’s email provider. If the user then followed the link contained within the malicious email, they would have ended up not on the actual email provider’s site, but on a third-party site whose sole purpose was to capture their username and password when entered.Beyond Hotmail: More Webmail Providers Affected According to a story in today’s BBC News, the most recent list of compromised accounts, which includes login credentials for Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Earthlink, and Comcast users, contains some accounts that appear to be old, unused, or fake. However, many others listed are, in fact, genuine. There’s no way to be sure at this point that the new list is a part of the same phishing attack as yesterday’s or if it’s a new and separate scam. The website where the accounts were posted – pastebin.com – is now “down for maintenance.” Visitors to the site today will receive a message that reads:Pastebin.com is getting an unprecedented amount of traffic due to a news story in which some leaked Hotmail passwords have been pasted on this sitePastebin.com was intended as a tool to aid software developers, not for distributing this sort of material. Filters have been put in place to prevent reoccurrence, but the current traffic level is unsustainable.Pastebin.com is just a fun side project for me, and today it’s not fun. It will remain offline all day while I make some further modificationsPaul DixonRegardless of whether or not you think your account was compromised, today would be a good day to change the password on whichever webmail service you currently use. Better safe than sorry! Related Posts last_img read more

first_imgThe annual High School Certificate Examination-2019, to be conducted by the State Board of Secondary Examination, will begin from February 22 next year. Board president Jahan Ara Begum on Friday said that the Matriculation examinations for all the streams will continue till March 8. Practical examinations will be held between February 11 and February 16, Ms. Begum said.She added that examinations equivalent to Matriculation in the State such as Madhyama Exams for Sanskrit students and State Open School Certificate Examinations (for drop-outs) will be held during the same period. Over six lakh students will appear for the HSC exams next year, sources said, adding that examinations would be held on the scheduled dates between 9 a.m. and 11.30 a.m.last_img read more

first_imgNikki Valdez rushes self to ER due to respiratory tract infection “Please help me, please, please,” screamed the 32-year-old in scenes so distressing that television cameras panned away from the stricken player.Cirstea said her friend’s knee was “out… and in a very weird position”.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“I freaked out. I have never seen such an injury before, the knee was really in a bad position. It was like something you see only in the movies,” said Cirstea.“I tried to comfort her but I panicked. I felt useless. All she kept saying was ‘Sorana, help me, help me.” Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena She questioned why it took the medical services so long to reach a court which is just a stone’s throw away from the famed Centre Court.‘Everyone froze’“I was screaming at the umpire. I told them to bring a stretcher because everyone froze, nobody reacted,” said Cirstea who said only she, her physio and Justin Mattek-Sands initially raced to the player’s assistance.“She went into shock and it took so long for the medical team to arrive. It felt like forever.“What if it was a heart attack? You should look at the video and time how long it took. I was there 10 to 15 minutes and the stretcher had still not arrived.”Safarova had to go and play her second round match just minutes after witnessing her close friend’s turmoil.She lost 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-3 to Shelby Rogers but said that was irrelevant.“It’s been a tough day, just terrible what’s happened. I am so sad for Bethanie,” said Safarova who had been hoping to partner Mattek-Sands to the Wimbledon doubles title and complete the non-calendar Grand Slam.“I have talked to Justin. She’s having more tests but we don’t know how long she will be in hospital.“I will see when I can visit her. I will be there when she needs me.” Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Horn ready for rematch Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend LATEST STORIEScenter_img On Thursday, Alison Riske and Kristina Mladenovic had wanted to stop playing on Court 18 with the defeated Frenchwoman claiming there was a hole on the baseline.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Bethanie Mattek-Sands clings on her knee after hurting it during a Wimbledon match. SCREENGRAB FROM ESPN TWITTER VIDEOAmerica’s Bethanie Mattek-Sands suffered a horror knee injury at Wimbledon on Thursday which left her screaming and crying in pain in the middle of the court.The 32-year-old collapsed to the ground after damaging her right knee as she approached the net in the first game of the deciding set against Romania’s Sorana Cirstea on Court 17.ADVERTISEMENT Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend The All England club defended its medical teams.“The first response to Court 17 was within one minute, by a qualified ambulance technician,” they said in a statement.“The player was kept on court while pain relief was given.“The player was then transferred directly to an ambulance and taken under emergency conditions to a hospital.”Messages of support poured in for Mattek-Sands, well known on the tour for her flamboyant fashion sense and friendly, easy-going nature.“I love you @BMATTEK  you are the biggest fighter I know and you will come back stronger than ever,” tweeted India’s Sania Mirza, her former doubles partner.Olympic champion Monica Puig tweeted: “Stay strong @BMATTEK … we love you so much.”Wimbledon courts are no stranger to injury controversies.In 2013, Victoria Azarenka fell heavily, hurting her ankle and blamed the state of the courts.Maria Sharapova said the surface on Court Two where she lost to Michelle Larcher de Brito was “dangerous” after she fell a number of times. “I wish I could have done more. You wouldn’t wish that on your worst enemy.”Mattek-Sands’s husband Justin tried to console his wife before medics arrived, while Cirstea was distraught and in tears.After lying prone on the ground for around 20 minutes, Mattek-Sands was eventually stretchered away and taken to a west London hospital where she was said to have suffered “an acute knee injury”.Mattek-Sands’s doubles partner, Lucie Safarova, with whom she shares the world number one ranking as well as four Grand Slam titles, also arrived at the scene in tears.Cirstea, who had dropped the first set 4-6 but took the second 7-6 (7/4), was declared the winner of the second round match.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

first_imgCayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Injured while kissing daughter, Jason Day gets a lot better Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next George finished second in the league with 28.0 points per game this season, and he led the league with 2.21 steals per contest. He shoots 39 percent from 3-point range and is the team’s No. 3 rebounder.George hit the game-winning 3-pointer against Houston on Tuesday, but he aggravated a previous injury during the game and was in too much pain to play in the regular-season finale Wednesday at Milwaukee.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsGeorge also missed games on Feb. 28, March 2 and March 3 with soreness in the right shoulder. He has had problems with his left shoulder, too, though the issues are unrelated. Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker, left, reaches up to block a shot by Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George (13) as George shoots between Tucker and James Harden (13) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 9, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)OKLAHOMA CITY — Thunder forward Paul George could miss Sunday’s playoff opener at Portland with right shoulder soreness.Thunder coach Billy Donovan said Friday the All-Star is considered day-to-day.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss MOST READ Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more