Social media is generally discouraged in science today. A recent article, "I'm a serious academic, not a professional Instagrammer" castigated scholars with active online social lives. Most advisors won't ask you to "tweet out our paper" or "write a blog post about our findings" and it's likely that you'd close Twitter or Reddit if your colleague or advisor walked by. Some conferences have taken it so far as to enforce a "no tweeting" policy. But social networking is here to stay and will likely become even more integrated into our lives and research.
Einstein published in 1916 a paper containing the prediction of the existence of gravitational waves. It has just one author (A.E. himself) and consists of a few pages of text and equations . Fast forward exactly 100 years, the LIGO collaboration announced in a paper that they observed what Einstein had predicted. The paper has more than 1000 co-authors and it condenses, in just a few pages of text, equations and figures, an enormous amount of technical information .
A variety of research demonstrates that humans learn and communicate best when more than one processing system (e.g. visual, auditory, touch) is used . And, related research also shows that, no matter how technical the material, most humans also retain and process information best when they can put a narrative "story" to it. So, when considering the future of scholarly communication, we should be careful not to do blithely away with the linear narrative format that articles and books have followed for centuries: instead, we should enrich it.
A variety of research demonstrates that humans learn and communicate best when more than one processing system is used . Authorea - a leading collaboration platform to write, share and openly research in realtime - allows people to author manuscripts and include rich media, such as data sets, software, source code and videos. The media-rich, data-driven capabilities Authorea make it the perfect platform to create and disseminate a new generation of research articles, which are natively web-based, open, and reproducible.
What does being a scientist mean to you?To me, science is about thinking rationally, solving problems and enjoying learning new things about the universe. People who are not professional scientists can also be scientists. This is the idea behind "citizen science" projects: https://www.zooniverse.org. You, too, can be a scientist, even if it’s only for an hour at a time! Can you summarize the main focus of your research and what drew you to that field of study/work?I use numerical simulations to model how stars like our sun formed. When I was a physics graduate student I was interested in working on some kind of computational modeling. It turns out there are a lot of really interesting complex problems in astrophysics that you can only study with large computers. The study of star formation has a lot of different physics in it: gravity, magnetic fields, turbulence, and radiation. These interact in nonlinear and sometimes unexpected ways, which make star formation a fun thing to model. I also use the simulations to make cool movie
Einstein published in 1916 the paper containing the prediction of the existence of gravitational waves. It has just one author (A.E. himself) and consists of a few pages of text and equations . Fast forward exactly 100 years, the LIGO collaboration announced in a paper that they observed what Einstein had predicted. The paper has more than 1000 co-authors and it condenses, in just a few pages of text, equations and figures, an enormous amount of technical information . THE EINSTEIN AND LIGO PAPERS THAT, RESPECTIVELY, PREDICTED AND OBSERVED GRAVITATIONAL WAVES ARE VERY SIMILAR IN FORMAT. SO MUCH HAS CHANGED IN 100 YEARS OF SCIENCE. SO LITTLE HAS CHANGED IN 100 YEARS OF SCIENTIFIC PUBLISHING. The complexity of the LIGO experiment is astounding, as well as the details of what scientists needed to do to reach this milestone. Measuring a change in length equivalent to 1/1000 the diameter of a proton is not an easy endeavor. And yet, the sheer technological and intellectual progress that we witnessed in the last century, with the rise of the internet and large scale computing, is not reflected in the methods we use to write up our science. Little has changed since the time of Einstein. Actually not much has changed since the time of Galileo either! Galileo is one of the founding fathers of the scientific method and one of the first people to ever publish a scientific paper in 1610. That’s 400+ years of scientific advancement and we’re still disseminating papers in paper format (or PDF, which is, really, just paper). Why has scientific publishing changed so little? Scientific papers represent the de-facto currency of academia. Scholars need to publish in journals to get tenure, and in turn publishers have become the “banks” of the academic world. But the paper of the future should encapsulate all the exciting technological progress we have made. It should be interactive, multilayered and contain all the data and code required for the science described to be carefully reproduced. The LIGO group, together with some Open Science advocates, prepared and shared an amazing interactive document where everyone can play with the real data and pipeline used by the scientists to reach their final conclusions. However, this was not part of the original publication, the reason being that the format of the published article does not allow for such integration. We created Authorea to address specifically this challenge. Authorea lives in the cloud and is meant to allow large collaborations to write science and easily integrate data, code and all the material needed to reproduce (and discuss) results. Authorea can allow the long-awaited leap that will move the scientific paper in the 21st century.
Do you have a question, problem, idea, bug report or feedback about your Authorea experience? To provide better and faster support for all our users, we recently added a real time chat feature. Go to any document (yes, this one included) and just look for the help chat icon (the speech bubble in the lower right corner), click on it and start a conversation with one of our experts. Ask them anything, they solve problems!
A BIG DISCOVERY On 14 September 2015 at 4:50:45 AM Eastern standard time, the LIGO experiment detected for the first time the passage of gravitational waves. Scientists saw a very specific pattern of stretching and compression of space-time called a “chirp”. The detection was done independently at the two locations of the experiment, one in Hanford (Washington) and the other one in Livingstone (Louisiana). This amazing discovery has occurred almost exactly 100 years after Albert Einstein published his General Theory of Relativy , and represents the last verification of this beautiful theory of gravity. How did the waves look like? Glassy and double-overhead!
IN A NUTSHELL: Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space time produced by violent events, like merging together two black holes or the explosion of a massive star. Unlike light (electromagnetic waves) gravitational waves are not absorbed or altered by intervening material, so they are very clean proxies of the physical process that produced them. They are expected to travel at the speed of light and, if detected, they could give precious information about the cataclysmic processes that originated them and the very nature of gravity. That’s why the direct detection of gravitational waves is such an important endeavor. Definitely worthy of a Nobel prize in physics.
San Francisco, CA – On view at Crown Point Press is an exhibition of etchings by scientists and mathematicians, September 4 - October 27, 2015. We came across this set of beautiful etchings on Artsy depicting mathematical equations. We decided to reproduce them on Authorea, using our equation editor and some LaTeX. Here’s the result.
É stato dimostrato per la prima volta che é possibile determinare la presenza di intensi campi magnetici nelle regioni interne di stelle evolute. Questo puó essere fatto grazie all’asterosismologia, una disciplina simile alla sismologia ma applicata ai corpi celesti. L’asterosismologia sfrutta la presenza di onde che si propagano attraverso oggetti astronomici come le stelle, per determinarne le proprietá interne. Questo é analogo a un’ecografia, in cui si usano onde sonore per ottenere immagini di parti altrimenti invisibili del corpo umano. Le regioni esterne delle giganti rosse, stelle piú anziane del sole e con un raggio maggiore, sono caratterizzate da movimenti convettivi turbolenti che causano onde sonore. Questo é simile al rumore prodotto dall’acqua che bolle in una pentola. Queste onde si propagano all’interno della stella e a loro volta generano un altro tipo di onde (le onde di gravitá, da non confondersi con le onde gravitazionali). La forza responsabile per il moto oscillatorio delle onde di gravitá é la stessa responsabile per il galleggiamento dei corpi nell’acqua. Infatti le onde del mare sono un tipo particolare di onde di gravitá. In pratica quello che succede é che le onde sonore si propagano negli stati esterni della stella, che ’suona’ come un gigantesco strumento musicale. Nelle giganti rosse l’energia associata con queste onde sonore riesce a far oscillare anche gli strati piú profondi della stella, appunto sotto forma di onde di gravitá che si propagano fin nel nucleo stellare. Questa specie di interferenza tra i due tipi di onde richiede che un pó dell’energia presente nei moti oscillatori acustici che caratterizzano gli strati esterni, venga trasferita ai moti oscillatori che avvengono nel nucle della stella sotto forma di onde di gravitá. Se peró nel nucleo sono presenti dei campi magnetici, la situazione puó cambiare. Questo avviene se i campi magnetici sono abbastanza intensi da alterare la propagazione delle onde di gravitá. Il campo magnetico in questo caso puó essere immaginato come un grosso elastico che intrappola il gas stellare. Un’onda di gravitá, come un’onda del mare, prova a creare uno spostamento del fluido (in questo caso il gas) a cui peró si oppone la tensione dell’elastico. In questa situazione la propagazione delle onde viene alterata fino a indurre una specie di intrappolamento. Questo effetto é stato battezzato “Effetto serra magnetico”. Quando le onde di gravitá sono intrappolate dal campo magnetico, l’energia che avevano ottenuto a scapito delle oscillazioni acustiche degli strati esterni viene formalmente persa. Qusto si ripercuote in una diminuzione dell’ampiezza delle oscillazioni visibile alla superficie della stella. Questa diminuzione dell’ampiezza delle oscillazioni é stata in effetti osservata dal telescopio spaziale Kepler in un gruppo di giganti rosse. Kepler é in grado di misurare variazioni piccolissime della luminositá di una stella (una parte in un milione). Perció é possibile porre dei limiti o addirittura misurare il campo magnetico interno per alcune di queste stelle. Il risultato é sensazionale: Alcune di queste stelle posseggono campi magnetici intensissimi nei loro nuclei, milioni di volte piú intensi del campo associato a un tipico magnete da frigorifero. Questo rappresenta un importantissimo passo avanti nella comprensione delle stelle, poiché questi campi magnetici hanno un ruolo fondamentale per l’evoluzione stellare e le proprietá degli stadi finali della vita di una stella. Per esempio alcune delle esplosioni piú luminose nell’universo (i lampi di raggi gamma) potrebbero essere associate con la morte di stelle con massa 10 o piú volte maggiore del sole, che hanno mantenuto un forte campo magnetico nel loro nucleo.
OPEN SCIENCE “Open science commonly refers to efforts to make the output of PUBLICLY FUNDED RESEARCH MORE WIDELY ACCESSIBLE in digital format to the scientific community, the business sector, or society more generally” writes the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in its newly released study “Making Open Science a Reality”. In the digital age the role of tools like Authorea is to increase the efficiency of research as well of its diffusion. The benefits of open science identified by the OECD are multiple: 1. Reducing duplication costs in collecting, creating, transferring and reusing data and scientific material; allowing more research from the same data; and multiplying opportunities for domestic and global participation in the research process. 2. The greater scrutiny offered by open science allows a more accurate verification of research results. 3. Increased access to research results (in the forms of both publications and data) can foster spillovers not only to scientific systems but also innovation systems more broadly. (Firms and individuals may use and reuse scientific outputs to produce new products and services.) 4. Open science also allows the closer involvement and participation of citizens.
This is a layman summary of “Local Radiation Hydrodynamic Simulations of Massive Star Envelopes at The Iron Opacity Peak” from Yan-Fei Jiang (姜燕飞), Matteo Cantiello , Lars Bildsten, Eliot Quataert and Omer Blaes. The full article can be downloaded from the arXiv. This layman summary is part of the Public Friendly Open Science initiative.