Saturday, 19 October 2013

The Economist Examines the Self-Checking Processes of Science

In a leader, an article, a discussion and a poll, the Economist asks "Has Science Gone Wrong?"

The critiques are as follows:
  • The bias in journals and the pressure to publish novel results results in many results that do not stack up when replicated or really checked
  • Peer review is not doing its job in weeding these out
  • Replication of results is thankless, time-consuming and usually not chosen by funding agencies
  • Negative results are difficult to publish and hence this is not usually done
  • Estimations of the number of errors in published results is probably underestimated
  • Much data, methods and program code is effectively not openly shared
  • Scientists downplay rather than admit their mistakes
Although mostly concentrated on bio-medical research, the critiques have a lot of traction elsewhere in science.

A lot of interesting issues on which simulation could help understand -- given you admit when they don't work, of course ;-)

Monday, 7 October 2013

A paper exposing the world of dodgy "open access" journals

Who’s Afraid of Peer Review?
A spoof paper concocted by Science reveals little or no scrutiny at many open-access journals

Alongside very respectable open-access journals, who are committed to keeping published research open-access, are a world of journals who are little more than a vanity press, publishing anything in return for cash.  The journal "Science" has done an investigation, and found that many of these journals accepted a spoof paper they concocted.  Of course, Science, has a vested interest in stressing the virtues of the old "pay wall" model of publication, but there is no doubt that many unscrupulous "open access" journals exist (along side older "conferences" with basically the same purpose).

Friday, 4 October 2013

The official registration form for the Lorentz workshop on "Simulating the Social Processes of Science" is now open

The form for requesting registration is at:

This allows anyone to request a place at the Lorentz workshop.  For those who have already expressed an interest rest assured their registration will be accepted, for others that are interested and request registration we will probably make a decision sometime by the end of November 2013 (on those making requests up to that point).  We are committed to encourage women and young researchers to take up any extra places, and those who are developing or have developed a relevant simulation.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Associated workshop on modelling innovation, Budapest, May, 22-23 2014

A workshop at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest,Hungary, May, 22-23 2014
This workshop will bring together two communities to join forces in research on innovation policy modelling as it intersects the areas of complexity science and social simulation. Broadly speaking it aims to show how complexity models and simulation such as the Simulating Knowledge dynamics in Innovation Networks (SKIN) model can be used to improve and inform the innovation policy making process.

The workshop will focus on three key overlapping themes:
  • Modelling, understanding and managing innovation policy using the SKIN model
  • Large scale data and scalability for research and innovation policy modelling
  • SKIN between complexity science and social science: mechanisms and components
Places are limited and priority will be given to those offering presentations or posters.

Full details at:

ESSA support for 2 PhD students to attend the Lorentz workshop on "Simulating Social Processes of Science"

There are two scholarships available for ESSA members who are still PhD students to give them financial support for them to attend the Lorentz workshop on "Simulating the Social Processes of Science", that will occur 7-11 April 2014 at the Lorentz Centre in Leiden, the Netherlands.

This would cover:
  • 6 nights hotel: €77 x 6 = €462
  • 5 days lunch: €11 x 5 = €55
  • €300 (max) travel costs
Total per student = €817

To apply, please send an explanation of why you are worthy to receive this and a short CV to Bruce Edmonds <> by 24th November 2013.