Category: Science

  • Whose fault is a retraction?

    Whose fault is a retraction?

    A journal called Advances in Materials Science and Engineering retracted a paper it published and issued the following notice, excerpted from Retraction Watch, December 22, 2022: Advances in Materials Science and Engineering has retracted the article titled “Monitoring of Sports Health Indicators Based on Wearable Nanobiosensors” [1]. Since publication, readers have raised concerns that the […]

  • Something more foolish than completing phase 3 trials in 1.5 months?

    Something more foolish than completing phase 3 trials in 1.5 months?

    That the Union government and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) had entered into a more intimate, but not necessarily more beneficial, relationship became evident in 2019 when then ISRO chairman K. Sivan trotted out a series of dubious claims to massage the fate of the Chandrayaan 2 mission, whose lunar surface component had obviously […]

  • The identity of scientific papers

    The identity of scientific papers

    This prompt arose in response to Stuart Ritchie’s response to a suggestion in an editorial “first published last year but currently getting some attention on Twitter” – that scientists should write their scientific papers as if they were telling a story, with a beginning, middle and end. The act of storytelling produces something entertaining by […]

  • Science’s humankind shield

    “Science benefits all of humanity,” they say.

  • A ‘quantum consciousness’ absurdity at IIT Mandi

    A ‘quantum consciousness’ absurdity at IIT Mandi

    As you go downward, inward, smaller and smaller, you get more vast conscious experience. This is the idea in Indian knowledge systems. At the bottom of it, or the very base of it, at the source, is Brahman. My point is that this is actually very consistent with what we’re learning about how consciousness may […]

  • The ideologues cometh for the IITs

    The ideologues cometh for the IITs

    In July 2019, when the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched its Chandrayaan 2 mission, the spiritual guru Jaggi Vasudev was present in the control centre, along with other dignitaries, getting a close view of the launch from a balcony. After the launch, he was seen taking photographs with the scientists in the room. Many […]

  • The biopolitics of Covaxin

    The biopolitics of Covaxin

    In a new investigation, STAT has reported fresh problems with Covaxin’s approval process in India, including the phase 2 trial dropping its placebo arm in favour of one preordained to make Covaxin look good and Bharat Biotech – the maker – commencing phase 3 trials based on results from animal studies. I’m also filing the report […]

  • Neuromorphic hype

    Neuromorphic hype

    We all know there’s a difference between operating an Indica Diesel car and a WDP 4 diesel locomotive. The former has two cylinders and the latter 16. But that doesn’t mean the WDP 4 simply has eight times more components as the Indica. This is what comes to my mind when I come across articles […]

  • Climate crisis first, physics crisis next

    Climate crisis first, physics crisis next

    From ‘CERN slashes experiment time next year by 20% as energy costs bite’, Physics World, October 12, 2022: To avoid blackouts over the winter, France has launched a national plan to cut energy consumption by 10%. … Mike Lamont, CERN’s director for accelerators and technology, told Physics World that as a large industrial consumer of […]

  • A Kuhnian gap between research publishing and academic success

    A Kuhnian gap between research publishing and academic success

    There is a gap in research publishing and how it relates to academic success. On the one hand, there are scientists complaining of low funds, being short-staffed, low-quality or absent equipment, disoptimal employment/tenure terms, bureaucratic incompetence and political interference. On the other, there are scientists who describe their success within academia in terms of being […]