Last Thursday, September 22nd, we held our 5th New York open science meetup (#opensciencenyc). Science journalists, Columbia faculty members, and enthusiasts from our open science meetup group came out to hear Dr. Stuart Firestein talk about ignorance in scientific research and why it is necessary and valuable (yes, you read that right).
CERN's 2008 Large Hadron Collider is not just the world's largest and most powerful particle collider but also the largest single machine and most complex experimental facility. Here, physicists are able to test fundamental physics theories by smashing particles with extremely high energies. On 8 October 2013 the Nobel prize in physics was awarded jointly to François Englert and Peter Higgs "for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider."
The Hubble image of the Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635) is the official image celebrating the 26th anniversary of Hubble's launch into Earth orbit's. Since 1990 Hubble has been capturing awe-inspiring images of the Universe. Floating about 350 miles above the Earth, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is able to take high-resolution images free of the image-distortion that occurs due to atmospheric turbulence. Hubble performs a full orbit around the Earth approximately every 95 minutes, and since its launch has completed 1.2 million observations. Among its many accomplishments, HST helped scientists determine the rate of expansion of the Universe.
Thomas Edison has an impressive 2,332 worldwide patents. Some of his well-known inventions include the phonograph, motion pictures, and the magnetic iron ore separator. After the success of his first major invention, the quadruplex telegraph, Edison wanted to build his own laboratory so that he could continue to innovate. In 1875, he purchased around 34 acres in Raritan Township, NJ and built the "Invention Factory". By Spring 1876, the Invention Factory consisted of a main laboratory, ancillary buildings, a carpenters’ shop, carbon shed, and blacksmith shop. His first breakthrough at the Invention Factory, the phonograph, produced the first voice recording (“Mary Had a Little Lamb”) and earned Edison the title, “The Wizard of Menlo Park”.
Authorea is on a mission to build the best research document editor and publishing platform ever made. We believe that the best way to accelerate scientific discovery is to give full control of document creation and distribution to the researcher, and that the best way to do that is to build a web-based editor that enables researchers to collaborate and disseminate their work seamlessly.Authorea, like many research projects, started with a question: Why is the research writing process so slow? We started with the rough notion that the internet age was failing to deliver optimal tools for things like collaborative writing and submitting works to publishers. We refined this core idea and launched Authorea two years ago.Since then, we've devoted tens of thousands of hours to understand how to build software that makes it easier for researchers to do groundbreaking work. At the beginning of this year, we started building our new editor -- Authorea Beta -- the editor that will bring Authorea to the mainstream to benefit researchers in every discipline.Today, we're happy to share with you Authorea Beta. Writing research online has tremendous potential for collaboration, dissemination, and discovery. We're here to bring writing online to researchers and we'll be with you every step.
Peer review is arguably necessary for effective communication amongst researchers. Authors, editors, and the public rely on peer review to ensure a first measure of trust in scientific communication. While peer review is considered to be integral in scholarly communication by most, its shortcomings are becoming evident. Former editor of JAMA and NEJM Drummond Rennie once said, "if peer review was a drug it would never be allowed onto the market." Is this true? Does peer review, as it is done today, cause more harm than good?
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
Are you comparing Google Docs vs Word vs Authorea?Choosing the right word processor for your documents is very important. While Google Docs and Authorea are similar in some ways, Google Docs is a great tool for writing general purpose drafts whereas Authorea is more appropriate if you are writing a scholarly manuscript, a student essay, a math heavy manuscript, a technical blog post, or a data-driven document. We listed here a few key comparison points that show how Google Docs and Word are different from Authorea.