Where we make our last stand

Where we make our last stand

Today is the last day of January. The first month of 2017 comes to an end with a dark outcome that left me sorrowful. I will not talk about any political moves or news here, as this post is not intended to recap what we are seeing in the media.

The only thing I want to remind you, is what I mentioned in some other post lately (Do you Change the Ideas or the Way of Thinking?). Our role as Graduate Students is quite important, as we help to drive the mankind development from each one of our areas. It doesn’t matter if you are developing a new alloy, creating a new vaccine or studying an ancient text. Every single one of these works matters, as they are focused on improving our living conditions and/or our understanding of the past, present and future.

Last stand

Photo by Luis Villegas. Bayfront park Hamilton, Ontario. 

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Who is leading the chase? – The dynamics of research fields

dynamicsAs a researcher, every time you enter a new research field or start to work on a new problem you need to review the knowledge that is out there already and find out about what is currently being done in that field. A great part of getting to know what is actually out there is usually done with some sort of literature review or survey. Sometimes, a literature review is a formal part of the first year of grad school and is completed in the form of a write-up.

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Science freedom: a British proposal

Elsevier parody poster. From thecostofknowledge.com

A crack may finally be appearing in one of the most serious remaining barriers to equality in the developed world.

Although much has lately been made of the divisions in our societies resulting from inequalities in wealth and social status, we largely ignore perhaps the most serious of all divisions: fundamental access to our knowledge about the world and its inhabitants.

The CBC reported today that the British government has announced it will make all government-funded research available for free by 2014, a move that is being speculatively seen as prefacing a similar EU-wide initiative. (more…)

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