Posts Categorized: Academia

Grammar that!

Brilliant takedown of a grammar jerk in the comments at Ars Technica. User Kikjou writes: “Bacteria is plural of bacterium. Please use is correctly. The same goes for media and medium, which is not in this article but is often misused in scientific writing.” To which Ars Centurion Okton responds: In Latin maybe. And the… Read more »

Nature acquires open access publisher Frontiers

Nature, the scientific publishing behemoth, has acquired the upstart open-access publisher Frontiers. It will be interesting to see how this will shake out; will Nature publications move towards a more open access model, or will Frontiers shift to a more traditional model? Scientific publishing is big business. From the Economist article: Outsell, a consultancy, estimates… Read more »

The Myth of the Well-Rounded Scientist

Adam Ruben writes about the attitude in academia that a moment not spent in the lab is a moment wasted. My outside interest during grad school—my “Batman job,” as a grad student from Case Western Reserve University called it last month—was stand-up comedy. (I quickly learned that audiences in downtown Baltimore aren’t fans of math… Read more »

GoldieBlox: Engineering toys for girls

Debbie Sterling decided it was time to make engineering toys that appeal to girls, so she founded a new kind of toy company called GoldieBlox. Her Kickstarter campaign was fully funded in 5 days. This observation of hers struck me: How do you get girls to like a construction toys? It all came down to… Read more »

Getting your paper rejected may lead to it having a higher scientific impact

Philip Ball reporting for Nature News on a new study about the scientific impact of papers that are initially rejected: Just had your paper rejected? Don’t worry — that might boost its ultimate citation tally. An excavation of scientific papers’ usually hidden prepublication trajectories from journal to journal has found that papers published after having… Read more »

Quantum Optics Researchers win 2012 Nobel Prize

David Wineland And Serge Haroche

From the Nobel Prize Committee: The Nobel Prize in Physics 2012 was awarded jointly to Serge Haroche and David J. Wineland “for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems” This is exciting news for people, like myself, who work in the field of quantum optics and quantum information. Both David… Read more »

Carleton horse trades academic freedom for $15 million dollars

Some great reporting by Bruce Cheadle on the $15 million dollar donation that Carleton University recently accepted for its school of political management–the single largest donation in school history. The donation comes with some serious strings attached: Carleton quietly released the donor agreement on the Friday afternoon before Canada Day after stonewalling The Canadian Press… Read more »

The Quantum Dance

My TEDxWaterloo talk is out! With the help of a magician, a live band, and nearly 500 dancers from around the world, I explain how quantum entanglement can be used to build super fast computers. For more information on how the talk was put together check out the Project Q website. Each part of the… Read more »