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Posts tagged with "Who Discovers and Why"

  • Who Discovers and Why

    The Truth Shall Make Ye. . .Unhappy?

    Here’s an article on a topic that’s come up around here before: psychological and cognitive barriers to discovering a new drug. These include confirmation bias, poor risk assessment, an over-reliance on recent experience, etc. The tricky part is that some of these cognitive mistakes might actually be reasonable adaptations to the proble… Read More
  • Who Discovers and Why

    Scientific Discovery: Getting Older (And Less Lonely)

    The NBER (National Bureau of Economic Research) has been looking at the patterns of scientific publication and grant awards in the US, and has noticed some interesting trends. According to Inside Higher Ed, the study found (first off) that scientific publications are increasing at about 5.5% a year, and the report suggests that this might… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    India’s Research Culture

    R. A. Mashelkar of India’s National Chemical Laboratory has a provocative opinion piece in Science on the research culture of his country. And it brings up a point that I don’t think anyone could deny: that the attitudes of a society can affect (for better or worse) its ability to participate in scientific research: Nobel… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    Prediction Markets, Idea Sharing, and So On

    Everyone who works for a large organization has to wonder about the amount of expertise in it that never gets used. Someone else in the company may have had to solve the exact same problem you’re working on, and you may well never know, because there’s no way to realize it or track down a… Read More
  • Biological News

    Garage Biotech

    Freeman Dyson has written about his belief that molecular biology is becoming a field where even basement tinkerers can accomplish things. Whether we’re ready for it or not, biohacking is on its way. The number of tools available (and the amount of surplus equipment that can be bought) have him imagining a “garage biotech” future… Read More
  • Biological News

    Biology By the Numbers

    I’ve been meaning to write about this paper in PNAS for a while. The authors (from Cal Tech and the Weizmann Institute) have set up a new web site, are calling for a more quantitative take on biological questions. They say that modern techniques are starting to give up meaningful inputs, and that we’re getting… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    Munos On Big Companies and Small Ones

    So that roughly linear production of new drugs by Pfizer, as shown in yesterday’s chart, is not an anomaly. As the Bernard Munos article I’ve been talking about says: Surprisingly, nothing that companies have done in the past 60 years has affected their rates of new-drug production: whether large or small, focused on small molecules… Read More
  • The Scientific Literature

    That Didn’t Take Very Long

    Back in late September I wrote about a controversial paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It attracted comment for its way-out-there hypothesis: that caterpillars and other larvae arose through a spectacular interspecies gene transfer rather than through conventional evolutionary processes. And it may have been the last pap… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    Fifty Years of Scientific History For You

    Here’s a most interesting graph from the latest issue of Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. It’s from an article on trying to discern trends from broad-scale literature analysis, and it’s worth a separate blog post of its own (coming shortly). But after yesterday’s discussion of whether there are too many graduates in science an… Read More
  • Business and Markets

    The Best Ones Aren’t Over Here Any More?

    Here’s one to get your attention: there’s been a lot of arguing (on this blog and others) about the continual talk of shortages of scientists and engineers. That’s a little hard to take for the number of people who’ve been laid off from this industry over the last two or three years and who often… Read More