Friday Fun: National Park Service Temporarily Ordered To Stop Tweeting: Reactions From Wildlife

(by John Dupuis) Jan 27 2017

This one from Samantha Bee is so funny, I don't know whether to laugh to cry.

On second thought, mostly cry. Lots and lots of crying. The only thing that will save me is singing a rousing chorus of Bruce Springsteen's Badlands in honour of the crazy wonderful park rangers at Badlands National Park. It's not hard to imagine a recent meeting going down like that famous scene from Casablanca -- "Play La Marseillaise. Play it!"

Anyways, back to Samantha Bee and National Park Service Temporarily Ordered To Stop Tweeting: Reactions From Wildlife.

Rock Squirrel, Zion National Park
“This may just seem like a ​tiny moment in the larger unfurling of Trump’s autocracy, but for those of us who live in the parks — who mate there, who forage for stems there — it is a chilling reminder that no habitat is beyond the reach of a​ determined despot.”

American Alligator, Everglades National Park
“This was a real wake-up call for me. I think we all drift into complacency. We all get so caught up with hunting muskrat and sunning ourselves on logs that we forget that what happens in Washington affects us all, maybe now more than ever.”

One response so far

The Trump War on Science: What Can the US Learn From Canada's Experience?

(by John Dupuis) Jan 25 2017

Sarah Boon's post yesterday, The War on Science: Can the US Learn From Canada?, is an excellent answer to a very popular topic on Twitter yesterday. With the Trump government seemingly determined to roll back decades of environmental protections and at the same time make sure no body in government talks about it, everyone wants to know what advice the Canadian science community might have for our cousins to the south.

Read Sarah's post to for an excellent first answer to that question.

In the four days since Trump’s inauguration, however, it has become increasingly clear that Trump is declaring war on science, and that his war will be much more widespread and insidious than we might have expected – and worse than what we saw in Canada. Canadian scientists are working with their American colleagues to archive as much online science data as possible, as there’s a very real threat that it will be removed without a trace. The Trump transition team requested a list of employees in the Energy Department who work on climate change issues – a request which was, thankfully, rejected. Trump has signed an executive order freezing hiring across all government departments, which will impact scientists. He’s also put in place a restrictive communications policy that stops federal employees – including scientists – from even talking to members of Congress (though Badlands National Park went rogue this morning, tweeting climate science facts until they were deleted. Though I have to add – they’ve now created a resistance Twitter account: @altUSNatParkSer!). The EPA has put a freeze on all grants and other funding vehicles, and the CDC has abruptly cancelled a long-planned conference on climate change and human health.

Sarah points to a number of fantastic resources for concrete strategies and actions.

I've begun my own chronology of the anti-science activities of the Trump government, with more updates and posts in the coming days and weeks.

4 responses so far

Around the Web: Saving Government Data from the Trumpocalypse

(by John Dupuis) Jan 21 2017

While I'm working on a major update to my Documenting the Donald Trump War on Science: Pre-Inauguration Edition and preparing for the first of the post-inauguration posts, I thought I'd whet everyone's appetite with a post celebrating all the various efforts to save environmental, climate and various kinds of scientific and other data from potential loss in the Trump presidential era.

The list only includes one or two items per project. Plus I'm very likely missing some. Please let me know in the comments so I can add ones that are missing.

It's worth noting that libraries and libraries are closely involved in pretty well all the projects mentioned.

I'm also including some projects that are saving data about Donald Trump, his campaign and his presidency.

The Environmental Data and Governance Initiative is coordinating many of these events.
 

Project Archiving Government Information to Protect from Trump Administration

 

Archived Information About Donald Trump

 

As mentioned above, please add any projects I've missed in the comments or send to me at dupuisj at gmail dot com.

One response so far

Best Science Books 2016: Cosmos Top Illustrated Science Books

(by John Dupuis) Jan 19 2017

As you all have no doubt noticed over the years, I love highlighting the best science books every year via the various end of year lists that newspapers, web sites, etc. publish. I've done it so far in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013,2014 and 2015.

And here we are in 2016!

As in previous years, my definition of "science books" is pretty inclusive, including books on technology, engineering, nature, the environment, science policy, public health, history & philosophy of science, geek culture and whatever else seems to be relevant in my opinion.

Today's list is Cosmos Top Illustrated Science Books.

  • Story of Life: Evolution Illustrated by Katie Scott
  • Coloring the Universe: An Insider’s Look at Making Spectacular Images of Space by Travis A. Rector, Kimberly Kowal Arcand and Megan Watzke
  • Truly, Madly, Deeply by Ali Bin Thalith
  • Historium by Richard Wilkins and Jo Nelson
  • Professor Astro Cat's Atomic Adventure by Dr Dominic Walliman and Ben Newman
  • Map Stories: The Art of Discovery by Francisca Mattéoli

And check out my previous 2016 lists here!

You can also check out my appearances on the Science for the People Gifts for Nerds podcasts for the last few years: 2014, 2015, 2016.

Many of the lists I use are sourced via the Largehearted Boy master list.

(Astute readers will notice that I kind of petered out on this project a couple of years ago and never got around to the end of year summary since then. Before losing steam, I ended up featuring dozens and dozens of lists, virtually every list I could find that had science books on it. While it was kind of cool to be so comprehensive, not to mention that it gave the summary posts a certain statistical weight, it was also way more work than I had really envisioned way back in 2008 or so when I started doing this. As a result, I'm only going to highlight particularly large or noteworthy lists this year and forgo any kind of end of year summary. Basically, all the fun but not so much of the drudgery.)

2 responses so far

Best Science Books 2016: New York Magazine Science Books We Loved This Year

(by John Dupuis) Jan 18 2017

As you all have no doubt noticed over the years, I love highlighting the best science books every year via the various end of year lists that newspapers, web sites, etc. publish. I've done it so far in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013,2014 and 2015.

And here we are in 2016!

As in previous years, my definition of "science books" is pretty inclusive, including books on technology, engineering, nature, the environment, science policy, public health, history & philosophy of science, geek culture and whatever else seems to be relevant in my opinion.

Since we're in mid-January, I'll probably only be posting two or three more lists after this one, at most. Probably one more this week and maybe a couple next week. Enjoy it while it lasts!

Today's list is New York Magazine 5 Science Books We Loved This Year.

  • The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis
  • Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach
  • Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind Over Body by Jo Marchant
  • On Trails: An Exploration by Robert Moor
  • Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets by Luke Dittrich

And check out my previous 2016 lists here!

You can also check out my appearances on the Science for the People Gifts for Nerds podcasts for the last few years: 2014, 2015, 2016.

Many of the lists I use are sourced via the Largehearted Boy master list.

(Astute readers will notice that I kind of petered out on this project a couple of years ago and never got around to the end of year summary since then. Before loosing steam, I ended up featuring dozens and dozens of lists, virtually every list I could find that had science books on it. While it was kind of cool to be so comprehensive, not to mention that it gave the summary posts a certain statistical weight, it was also way more work than I had really envisioned way back in 2008 or so when I started doing this. As a result, I'm only going to highlight particularly large or noteworthy lists this year and forgo any kind of end of year summary. Basically, all the fun but not so much of the drudgery.)

One response so far

How can publishers help academic librarians? Let's all count the ways!

(by John Dupuis) Jan 17 2017

The STM Publishing News Group is a professional news site for the publishing industry which bring together a range of science, technology and medicine publishing stakeholders with the idea that they'll be able to share news amongst themselves as well as beyond the publishing world to the broader constituency of academics and librarians and others.

You can imagine how thrilled I was to see a post with the words, "How can publishers help librarians?" in the title? I was a little disappointed to find the entire title of the post is "How can publishers help librarians? Cambridge University Press leads the way with a metadata revolution."

Nothing wrong with metadata revolutions, of course, I'm all for them. But the promise of those first few words lead me to believe that perhaps the post had some sort of loftier revolutionary purpose in mind. That somehow publishers were finally considering ways that they could be truly helpful to academic librarians as a whole, and by extension, to our constituents of students, faculty and staff at our institutions.

Sadly, since I'm not a metadata librarian, I was disappointed. (And even if I were a metadata librarian, isn't state-of-the-art metadata part of what we pay publishers for in the first place, not some sort of "revolutionary" extra?)

But that doesn't mean I can't dream big dreams. Nor does it mean that you, my faithful readers, can't dream big dreams.

The original post begins with the line, "It’s no secret that library budgets have been slashed in recent years, and the burdens of trying to do more with less are growing for librarians and information professionals." Which is certainly very true. However, not one single idea in the rest of the post has anything to do with helping librarians with their budgets. Almost as if helping us with metadata issues will distract from those other kinds of problems.

Let's see if we can't come up with some ways that publishers could help librarians with those other kinds of problems, ones to do with budgets and licenses and sustainability and openness and fairness. I have a few ideas, of course, but I'd love it if all of you could pitch in with some more in the comments.

  • So many of libraries' budget problems are due to publishers' unsustainable pricing increases. How about you help librarians by stopping those pricing practices.
  • Stop over-reacting to "predatory publishers" as a way of distracting from your own far more serious predatory pricing behaviour
  • Hey, rational and sustainable ebook licensing models. For public libraries too, please.
  • Non Disclosure Agreements are bad for libraries and librarians. Stop requiring or even suggesting them.
  • Stop playing chicken with Big Deal negotiations as a way to pit librarians and their researcher communities against each other.
  • And a big one here, why not partner and engage completely and wholeheartedly with all the various scholarly communications stakeholder groups to build a fairer and more open scholarly communications ecosystem.
  • Your answer here

What are your ideas and suggestions? Certainly this topic would be a good one for an upcoming Society for Scholarly Publishing meeting.

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Music Mondays: La La Land saves Jazz! Or not! Or maybe jazz saves La La Land?

(by John Dupuis) Jan 16 2017

The newish hit movie La La Land is creating quite the tempest in a teapot in the jazz world these days, and even a few ripples of jazz-related commentary out side of it. The prospects for an awards bonanza are quite strong, starting with the recent Golden Globes and perhaps continuing to the Oscars. Which would be quite the feat for a musical/romantic comedy.

Personally, I haven't seen the movie yet and possibly never will. My record for jazz flicks is inconsistent to say the least. I saw the recent Chet Baker biopic but not the Miles Davis one or even the La La Land director's previous jazzy outing, Whiplash. (Of the ones I've not seen, the Don Cheadle Miles Davis is the one I most want to catch up to.)

What I have been doing is reading an awful lot about La La Land, especially as relates to the state of modern jazz.

So I thought I'd share some of that reading. Enjoy!

One response so far

Friday Fun: Trump To Require All Science Article Peer Review Reports to End with the Word “Sad!”

(by John Dupuis) Jan 13 2017

Or "LOve!" Or "Scooped!"

One word peer review! A game you can play at home!

  • Sad!
  • Love!
  • Changes!
  • Scooped!
  • Redo!
  • Copied!
  • Not!
  • Even!
  • Wrong!
  • Cite!
  • Me!

One word peer review is going to be Huuuuugggggggeeeeee!


Trump To Require Reviewers To End All Reviews With the Word “Sad!”

Washington DC – President-Elect Mr. Donald Trump has tweeted that he will require all reviewers for all journals and grant agencies to end all reviews with the word “Sad!”

Trump tweeted that all reviewers should be required to select the wording for their reviews from an approved list of words.

The approved list of words includes “Stupid”, “Dumb”, “Weak”, “Loser”, “Politically Correct”, “Moron”, “Tough”, “Dangerous”, “Bad”, “Lightweight”, “Amazing”, “Huge”, “Tremendous”, “Terrific” and “Out of Control”.

Read the whole article! It's funny! Add your own one word peer reviews in the comments!

4 responses so far

Best Science Books 2016: Science News

(by John Dupuis) Jan 11 2017

As you all have no doubt noticed over the years, I love highlighting the best science books every year via the various end of year lists that newspapers, web sites, etc. publish. I've done it so far in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013,2014 and 2015.

And here we are in 2016!

As in previous years, my definition of "science books" is pretty inclusive, including books on technology, engineering, nature, the environment, science policy, public health, history & philosophy of science, geek culture and whatever else seems to be relevant in my opinion.

Today's list is Science News’ favorite books of 2016.

  • Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
  • The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars by Dava Sobel
  • The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee
  • Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? by Frans de Waal
  • Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens by Steve Olson
  • Seven Skeletons: The Evolution of the World's Most Famous Human Fossils by Lydia Pyne
  • What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves by Benjamin K. Bergen

And check out my previous 2016 lists here!

You can also check out my appearances on the Science for the People Gifts for Nerds podcasts for the last few years: 2014, 2015, 2016.

Many of the lists I use are sourced via the Largehearted Boy master list.

(Astute readers will notice that I kind of petered out on this project a couple of years ago and never got around to the end of year summary since then. Before loosing steam, I ended up featuring dozens and dozens of lists, virtually every list I could find that had science books on it. While it was kind of cool to be so comprehensive, not to mention that it gave the summary posts a certain statistical weight, it was also way more work than I had really envisioned way back in 2008 or so when I started doing this. As a result, I'm only going to highlight particularly large or noteworthy lists this year and forgo any kind of end of year summary. Basically, all the fun but not so much of the drudgery.)

No responses yet

Best Science Books 2016: WIRED

(by John Dupuis) Jan 09 2017

As you all have no doubt noticed over the years, I love highlighting the best science books every year via the various end of year lists that newspapers, web sites, etc. publish. I've done it so far in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013,2014 and 2015.

And here we are in 2016!

As in previous years, my definition of "science books" is pretty inclusive, including books on technology, engineering, nature, the environment, science policy, public health, history & philosophy of science, geek culture and whatever else seems to be relevant in my opinion.

Today's list is WIRED’s Required Science Reading From 2016.

  • Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets by Luke Dittrich
  • I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong
  • Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O’Neil
  • Water is for Fighting Over: and Other Myths about Water in the West by John Fleck
  • The Wasp That Brainwashed The Caterpillar: Evolution's Most Unbelievable Solutions to Life's Biggest Problems by Matt Simon

And check out my previous 2016 lists here!

You can also check out my appearances on the Science for the People Gifts for Nerds podcasts for the last few years: 2014, 2015, 2016.

Many of the lists I use are sourced via the Largehearted Boy master list.

(Astute readers will notice that I kind of petered out on this project a couple of years ago and never got around to the end of year summary since then. Before loosing steam, I ended up featuring dozens and dozens of lists, virtually every list I could find that had science books on it. While it was kind of cool to be so comprehensive, not to mention that it gave the summary posts a certain statistical weight, it was also way more work than I had really envisioned way back in 2008 or so when I started doing this. As a result, I'm only going to highlight particularly large or noteworthy lists this year and forgo any kind of end of year summary. Basically, all the fun but not so much of the drudgery.)

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