NiemanLab: Coronavirus responses highlight how humans are hardwired to dismiss facts that don’t fit their worldview

NiemanLab: Coronavirus responses highlight how humans are hardwired to dismiss facts that don’t fit their worldview. “Americans increasingly exist in highly polarized, informationally insulated ideological communities occupying their own information universes. Within segments of the political blogosphere, global warming is dismissed as either a hoax or so uncertain as to be unworthy of response. Within other geographic or online communities, the science of vaccine safety, fluoridated drinking water, and genetically modified foods is distorted or ignored. There is a marked gap in expressed concern over the coronavirus depending on political party affiliation, apparently based in part on partisan disagreements over factual issues like the effectiveness of social distancing or the actual COVID-19 death rate.”

Phys .org: Scientists introduce rating system to assess quality of evidence for policy

Phys .org: Scientists introduce rating system to assess quality of evidence for policy. “Outlined in Nature Behavioral & Social Sciences, the Theoretical, Empirical, Applicable, and Replicable Impact (THEARI) system ranks evidence in five tiers: (1) theoretical (argument or possible explanation stated), (2) empirical (concept described but not utilized), (3) applicable (concept has been used to elicit effect), (4) replicable (effect has been repeated independently), (5) impact (effect has been appropriately replicated in practice with measurable value in real world). Unlike other evidence ranking systems used in medicine or technology, THEARI applies broadly across disciplines.”

From Africa to the World: Connecting African innovators and ideas to industry (EurekAlert)

EurekAlert: From Africa to the World: Connecting African innovators and ideas to industry. “The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) today announced the launch of an innovative platform for African innovators to connect with partners who can provide funding, help them scale-up and commercialize their innovations or promote their uptake in policy. The Grand Challenges Africa Innovation Network GCAiN “will provide innovators with the resources they need to succeed. This includes mentors, potential new markets and funding,” said Dr Moses Alobo, Grand Challenges Africa (GC Africa) Programme Manager.”

EurekAlert: Can artificial intelligence lead scientific discoveries?

EurekAlert: Can artificial intelligence lead scientific discoveries?. “Can machines be agents with the capacity for autonomous action? Can they be creative and produce something genuinely new? Philosopher Professor Thomas Müller from the University of Konstanz and physicist Professor Hans Briegel from the University of Innsbruck receive a total of 825,000 euros over four years from the Volkswagen Foundation through the funding initiative ‘Off the Beaten Track’ to explore the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in basic research.”

MIT News: A Ticketmaster for science seminars

MIT News: A Ticketmaster for science seminars . “The Covid-19 pandemic has put a pause on seminars hosted physically on university campuses. But in mid-March, a small team of MIT mathematicians began to notice that institutions around the world were finding ways to continue hosting seminars, online. To virtually attend these talks, however, required hearing about them through word of mouth or digging through the webpages of individual departments or organizers. Enter researchseminars.org, a website the MIT team formally launched this week, that serves as a sort of crowdsourced Ticketmaster for science talks. Instead of featuring upcoming shows and concerts, the new site lists more than 1,000 free, upcoming seminars hosted online by more than 115 institutions around the world.”

Caltech: 10-Minute Talks Give Everyone a Chance to Explore Caltech

Caltech: 10-Minute Talks Give Everyone a Chance to Explore Caltech. “The talks, part of Explore Caltech, are targeted to a general audience, and recent discussions have focused on topics including 3-D printing, cosmology, climatological history, and the science of glaciers in Disney’s Frozen 2. Explore Caltech was launched in 2018 as Science for March, an event initiated by Caltech postdoctoral scholars seeking to share their passion for STEM with the local community. Scientists from all of Caltech’s six academic divisions and JPL participated, bringing the joy of discovery to the more than 2,000 members of the local community in attendance.”

Caltech: Introducing the Caltech Science Exchange

Caltech: Introducing the Caltech Science Exchange. “Through the Caltech Science Exchange, the Institute aims to help visitors make sense of scientific issues that capture public interest and attention, but often are the subject of confusion or controversy. The site currently features multimedia content explaining the science behind COVID-19 and other viral threats. New topics, including voting and elections, sustainability, earthquakes, and genetics, will be added in the months ahead.”

Phys .org: Women are getting less research done than men during this coronavirus pandemic

Phys .org: Women are getting less research done than men during this coronavirus pandemic. “Before COVID-19, I used to spend a lot of time feeling like the Cat in The Cat in the Hat. I was holding a cup, the milk, the cake and a little toy ship, while bouncing up and down on a ball. I am a tenured professor and a scientist. I have a lab, grants and grad students. I write academic articles and I teach, and I’m in the midst of writing a book. I am also a mom. So, I cook, clean and nurture.”

PLOS Blogs: Tips on Using Science Twitter During COVID-19

PLOS Blogs: Tips on Using Science Twitter During COVID-19. “In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, many scientists have taken to social media platforms, particularly Twitter. Social media can facilitate research collaboration, generate ideas, clarify misinformation, and further understanding. Here are some of the ways that science is happening on Twitter, including strategies to extend the reach of ideas or ask others for help. While most of these examples address the urgent pandemic, they will work in ordinary times as well.”

T74: From Coding and Origami for Robots to Electrical Circuits and Animation, 9 Online Sources that Bring Hands-On Technical Learning Home

T74: From Coding and Origami for Robots to Electrical Circuits and Animation, 9 Online Sources that Bring Hands-On Technical Learning Home. “There’s a YouTube crash course on how to build bots for WhatsApp messaging, and entire websites devoted to student coding, and from learning about how origami can make a difference when building robots to helping kids craft animations. Here’s a list of suggested starting points, all meant to give a glimpse of what is available while showing a depth of variety.”

University of Kansas: $2.5m Grant Will Support Online Tool That Helps Students Grasp Science Concepts

University of Kansas: $2.5m Grant Will Support Online Tool That Helps Students Grasp Science Concepts. “Researchers at the University of Kansas and CAST, a nonprofit and founders of the universal design for learning framework, have won a grant to improve a tool that has proven effective at helping students, especially those with disabilities, grasp science concepts by making it more teacher-friendly and sustainable to use in classrooms.”

Wolfram Blog: 15 Ways Wolfram|Alpha Can Help with Your Classes

Wolfram Blog: 15 Ways Wolfram|Alpha Can Help with Your Classes. “Thinking back on those late-night study sessions, I would have saved a lot of time if I had properly used Wolfram|Alpha as a study tool. Because I was a biology major, many of the areas in which I most frequently sought information were related to scientific fields such as chemistry, but Wolfram|Alpha can be a valuable resource in so many more areas. Here are 15 applications of Wolfram|Alpha in topics beyond mathematics. I hope you will find these to be useful both inside and outside the classroom!”

Phys .org: How a ‘no raw data, no science’ outlook can resolve the reproducibility crisis in science

Phys .org: How a ‘no raw data, no science’ outlook can resolve the reproducibility crisis in science. “When we look for reliable sources of information, we turn to studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. But in some cases, researchers find it difficult to reproduce the results of certain studies, and often their findings turn out to be different from the original ones—even when the same methods and procedures are used—thereby making the study unreliable. This discrepancy is called a ‘reproducibility crisis’—or the inability of scientific findings to be replicated by other researchers.”

Medical XPress: Science communicators get access to real data for 3-D modelling

Medical XPress: Science communicators get access to real data for 3-D modelling. “Free, open-source software created by a U of T Mississauga professor is giving science communicators access to real data for science illustrations and animations. NeuronBuild 1.8 is now available for immediate download from GitHub.com. This latest version includes bug fixes and new features.”

New York Times: They Wanted Research Funding, So They Entered the Lottery

New York Times: They Wanted Research Funding, So They Entered the Lottery. “Since 2013, the New Zealand council has dedicated around 2 percent of its annual funding expenditure to what it calls explorer grants, asking applicants to submit proposals they think are ‘transformative, innovative, exploratory or unconventional, and have potential for major impact.’ Such lotteries have been used in other countries, and some have the goal of increasing the diversity of grant recipients, as well as assisting researchers in earlier stages of their career who might struggle to find funding.”