The King’s College London scientist purge: what message does it send? | Jenny Rohn | Science | theguardian.com

The King’s College London scientist purge: what message does it send? | Jenny Rohn | Science | theguardian.com.

I’m saddened to hear that this is happening at my old university, a place where I was proud of the attitude shown to research. In addition, King’s has been falling down the league tables thanks to shoddy student satisfaction and I hardly think something like this, which will drastically affect quality of teaching and even increase class sizes, is going to help that situation.

Science students, lecturers and researchers at universities like King’s stand side by side and build relationships based on excellent work and trust. The university is not showing any of these groups of people the respect they deserve and has annihilated any trust between themselves and their own scientific community.

Please show your support of the King’s staff and sign the petition here: http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/rick-trainor-stop-kcl-health-school-redundancies

 

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Facebook “mind control” isn’t new

It’s all over the news, and it’s not looking good for Facebook and the researchers behind a newly published study. In case you haven’t heard, Facebook has teamed up with a group of researchers and manipulated the emotions of almost 700,000 of you during a week in January 2012 (http://www.pnas.org/content/111/24/8788.full). The paper describes the occurrence of ‘emotional contagion’ where people exposed to more positive posts on their news feeds post more positive things themselves and vice versa for sad posts. However this shouldn’t come as a surprise. I’m not saying the results are unsurprising, I’m saying that Facebook has manipulated your newsfeed to get an emotional response, and you shouldn’t be surprised.

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The P word

Scientists both fear it and get excited goosebumps over it, but it’s not easy and it’s not quick. Publishing. Getting your work to a stage that’s ready to be seen by the masses, criticised by many and cited by whoever thinks it’s important.

 

I may only be a first year PhD student but already publishing my work is something I have to think about. It’s not like I’m even having delusions of grandeur as my boss has mentioned the P word to me many times now. I may not be first author on a (hopefully) near future paper but contributing is a massive step for me and fills me with excitement.

 

Before I started my research, I had very little knowledge of how publishing your work even worked. Now I’m a little wiser and have uncovered a dark, complicated route to getting your work seen. Here I outline a few of the things I’ve learnt…

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Sciencey stuff from a PhD student

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