Nationalising Science And Research Works About As Well As Nationalising Anything Else

Another reading of this paper is simply “Mariana Mazzucato is wrong” but then we knew that anyway. As Tyler Cowen points out:

…we suggest that this division of innovative labor has not, perhaps, lived up to its promise. The translation of scientific knowledge generated in universities to productivity enhancing technical progress has proved to be more difficult to accomplish in practice than expected. Spinoffs, startups, and university licensing offices have not fully filled the gap left by the decline of the corporate lab.

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Sir Paul Nurse Seems Ignorant Of Basic Science

Sure, fighting words aimed at a Nobel Laureate from someone who’s not going to get close to finishing the first chapter of a chemistry book. But then that’s rather the point here, Feynman’s one. That outside their own area of expertise even the finest scientists are just as dumb as the rest of us. So it is with Sir Paul Nurse and his whining about EU science funds. This is economics, a subject Sir Paul is clearly clueless about.…

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Anne Widdicombe’s Right – We Want A Scientific Answer To Being Gay

She’s right in what she actually said but also she’s right in the far more basic question too. We would like a scientific answer to being gay, to the very existence of gayness. It’s one of those puzzles that it exists.

Nope, this is not to say that gay people shouldn’t exist, nor that their rights are any lesser – or greater – than those of any other of God’s Own Special Little Snowflakes, each and every other human being.…

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Actual Real Science, How Does A Year In Space Age A Twin – Or A Year On Earth

Something from the Conversation. Nasa has identical twins, both of whom were astronauts. One of them spent a year up at the ISS. So, what’s the effect upon the body’s ageing process of that year in space? How does it differ from a year down here?

Actually, rather a fun piece. Proper job science as Jethro would say:

Does a year in space make you older or younger?

Daily life aboard the International Space Station moves fast.…

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Do You Know More Science Than The Average American? Take The Test

Sure, obviously, the answer is yes. But how much more? The discussion of the results is here. The test is here.

And to the real point of this:

Average score: 6.7 correct answers of out 11 (61% correct), which is very interesting (concerning?) given that the quiz is really pretty easy. Publik skools? Average Score for Men: 7.4 (67.3%) Average Score for Women: 6.0 (54.5%) Average Score for Whites: 7.6 (69.1%) Average Score for Hispanics: 5.1

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Science Works Just Like The Economy – Large Means Innovation, Small Means Invention

It might seem a little odd that large teams in science mean development while small teams lead to disruption and invention. Large teams have more brains, larger budgets, so we’d expect them to be able to create the big changes. Yet that’s not how it works as this new paper in Nature points out.

On the other hand when we look at the economy we find that large teams – large organisations, large companies – don’t do much invention, that disruption and new stuff.…

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They’ve Not Defied 19th Century Physics About Magnetism, They’ve Explored It

If you find something out by exploring the 19th century physics of magnetism you have not defied the 19th century physics of magnetism. You’ve explored, not defied. So, finding asymmetry in magnetic coupling could be something which defies 19 th century physics. Neither you – I assume – nor I – certainly – know enough about either 19th century physics or magnetism to be able to tell. Fortunately we’re both well enough equipped with logic to be able to read this story rather better than the PR flacks that wrote it:

Researchers defy 19th-century law of physics in 21st century boost for energy efficiency


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So, Off You Go And Create Your Own Nobel Prizes Then

We have a nice example of the standard left wing perniciousness here with this complaint that the Nobels have to be changed because reasons. The pernicity being that instead of doing the honourable thing – go off and create your own – the demand is that an extant part of society be coopted into the Borg and run as those who didn’t create it insist. We do rather see this all around society, don’t we? Google’s search functions must operate as the social justice warriors insist, Facebook and Twitter must not allow anyone not on message to ever say anything publicly, Nobels must be awarded for environmental sciences.…

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Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong – Another Book We’ll Not Bother Reading In Full

Apparently the imbalance in male and female numbers of top science types is such that everyone should be reading one specific book, Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong by Angela Saini. So much so that people are raising money so that free copies can be sent to schools or summat. A pity that it’s this book as it manages to get the core of the subject wrong. The modern understanding is not that women are worse at anything at all, let alone science.…

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