Scientists reading habits may be leveling off

scientist reading

Scholarly articles in digital forms overtook printed ones, but survey suggests increase in reading may have reached a peak.

A 35-year trend of researchers reading ever more scholarly papers seems to be leveling off. In 2012, US scientists and social scientists estimated that they read, on average, 22 scholarly articles per month (or 264 per year). That is, statistically, not different from what they reported in an identical survey last conducted in 2005. It is the first time since the reading-habit questionnaire began in 1977 that manuscript consumption has not increased.



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20% of scientists considering leaving the U.S.

Federal research funding is down.

The U.S. arguably needs its scientists more than ever, but federal research funding is way down. According to data collected by a coalition of top scientific and medical research groups, the majority are spending more time writing grants for less payoff than just three years ago. Nearly 20 percent report they’re considering more supportive climes overseas. From The Huffington Post:


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Bill Gates talks to scientists about toilets

Bill Gates speaking at the National Academy of Sciences.

Bill and Melinda Gates spoke at the National Academy of Sciences, a non-profit group that has advised the nation on important scientific matters for 150 years. The NAS has roughly 2,200 members, all scientists at the top of their respective fields. About 200 of them have Nobel prizes.



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If big data was easier to use we wouldn’t need more data scientists

Data scientists serve as the gatekeepers and mediators between the systems and the domain experts.

There are many articles today about how big data in the U.S. is suffering from a crucial shortage of data scientists.  The 2011 McKinsey & Co. survey pointed out that many organizations lack both the skilled personnel needed to mine big data for insights and the structures and incentives required to use big data to make informed decisions and act on them.




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Scientific research threatened by fraud and misconduct

Scientists, like anyone else, can be prone to bias in their bid for a place in the history books.

For several years, Dirk Smeesters had spent his career as a social psychologist at Erasmus University in Rotterdam studying how consumers behaved in different situations. He studied whether color had an effect on what consumers bought or if death-related stories in the media affected how people picked products. And whether it was better to use supermodels in cosmetics advertising than average-looking women.

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Technology will replace 80% of doctors: Vinod Khosla

 Vinod Khosla

Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems as well as a partner in a couple venture capital firms was the keynote speaker at the Health Innovation Summit hosted by Rock Health in San Francisco. He said “health care is like witchcraft and just based on tradition.”



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Big push for more scientists in the U.S. but there are too few jobs


U.S. pushes for more laboratory scientists.

Michelle Amaral planned a traditional academic science career to become a brain scientist to help cure diseases.  She planned on her PhD, university professorship and, eventually, her own lab. But three years after earning a doctorate in neuroscience, she gave up trying to find a permanent job in her field.

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