science and society

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Glenn Hampson

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May 23, 2021, 2:11:54 PMMay 23
to The Open Scholarship Initiative

Hi Folks,

 

Today’s New York Times has an interesting pair of headline articles if you’re looking for extra reading. The first, “How Humanity Gave Itself Extra Life” (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/27/magazine/global-life-span.html?smid=em-share), describes some of the science-related advances that have helped double the human life span over the last century, such as vaccination, pasteurization, chlorination, transportation technology, the mass production of antibiotics, the invention of randomized controlled trials, and the establishment of health institutions like the CDC and WHO. The article’s thesis, though, is that while these breakthroughs might have been initiated by scientists, “it took the work of activists and public intellectuals and legal reformers to bring their benefits to everyday people. From this perspective, the doubling of human life span is an achievement that is closer to something like universal suffrage or the abolition of slavery: progress that required new social movements, new forms of persuasion and new kinds of public institutions to take root. And it required lifestyle changes that ran throughout all echelons of society: washing hands, quitting smoking, getting vaccinated, wearing masks during a pandemic.”

 

Segueing to the next article, the fact that people have lived longer has created a spike in global population. This spike has not been driven by a surge in fertility. Now, we’re seeing global declines in birth rates, which, if sustained, will lead to an upheaval of global social and economic models. “The change may take decades, but once it starts, decline (just like growth) spirals exponentially. With fewer births, fewer girls grow up to have children, and if they have smaller families than their parents did — which is happening in dozens of countries — the drop starts to look like a rock thrown off a cliff.” See “Long Slide Looms for World Population, With Sweeping Ramifications” at https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/22/world/global-population-shrinking.html?smid=em-share.

 

I thought these perspectives were worth sharing with you as we discuss, here and elsewhere, how to improve the value of science to society. As these articles remind us, there isn’t a straight line between science and benefit. Recognizing and developing this benefit means engaging policymakers, industry, activists, educators and beyond---which is not surprising, of course, but it’s also a process we’re still trying to get right in the scholarly communication space.

 

Best,

 

Glenn

 

 

Glenn Hampson
Executive Director
Science Communication Institute (SCI)
Program Director
Open Scholarship Initiative (OSI)

 

 

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cm...@ic.unicamp.br

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May 24, 2021, 8:40:22 AMMay 24
to Glenn Hampson, The Open Scholarship Initiative
Thank you, Glenn

In another vein, but also on the impact of science on society, this short
article discusses how non-reproducible, unreliable social sciences studies
have more impact than reliable ones (which on the other hand seem to
endure, as opposed to the former).

Openness is key to reproducibility. Does anyone here have data or reports
on how open data combats fake news and fake science?

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/05/unreliable-social-science-research-gets-more-attention-solid-studies

(the title itself is more all-encompassing than the results it presents)

Cheers

Claudia
> children, and if they have smaller families than their parents did - which
> is happening in dozens of countries - the drop starts to look like a rock
> thrown off a cliff." See "Long Slide Looms for World Population, With
> Sweeping Ramifications" at
> https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/22/world/global-population-shrinking.html?sm
> id=em-share.
>
>
>
> I thought these perspectives were worth sharing with you as we discuss,
> here
> and elsewhere, how to improve the value of science to society. As these
> articles remind us, there isn't a straight line between science and
> benefit.
> Recognizing and developing this benefit means engaging policymakers,
> industry, activists, educators and beyond---which is not surprising, of
> course, but it's also a process we're still trying to get right in the
> scholarly communication space.
>
>
>
> Best,
>
>
>
> Glenn
>
>
>
>
>
> Glenn Hampson
> Executive Director
> Science Communication Institute (SCI)
> Program Director
> Open Scholarship Initiative (OSI)
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> --
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>


David Wojick

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May 24, 2021, 9:17:01 AMMay 24
to cm...@ic.unicamp.br, Glenn Hampson, The Open Scholarship Initiative
I have long been puzzled by the call for reproducibility in SS. I would think that in most SS studies one is sampling a large population. Sampling theory says that if you then sample that population again you will almost never get the same result. This seems to make the goal of reproducibility in SS rather wrong, even impossible.

David

On May 24, 2021, at 9:40 AM, cm...@ic.unicamp.br wrote:

Thank you, Glenn
To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/osi2016-25/0e3164a69830791807bb6b31b901d776.squirrel%40webmail.ic.unicamp.br.

Glenn Hampson

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May 24, 2021, 12:03:45 PMMay 24
to cm...@ic.unicamp.br, The Open Scholarship Initiative
Hi Claudia,

Yes---thanks for sharing this article. As Brian Nosek notes in it, this finding itself still needs to be replicated, but it does dovetail with previous research that lies spread faster than truth (https://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6380/1146) --- or in this case, that really catchy research results (however true) get picked up by the media spread faster than relatively boring results that confirm previous findings, etc.

With regard to openness being the key to reproducibility, I agree with David (although for different reasons) that this isn't necessarily the case. Openness can be an important tool in our quest to improve reproducibility, but reckless open --- which is to say, for example, publishing and publicizing preprints that represent shoddy research that wasn't scrutinized by any gatekeeping mechanisms but still received lots of attention on Twitter and elsewhere ---- can also lead to more fake news and fake science.

What I've written a lot about these past few years is that our fundamental, common ground quest as an international community should be to support better research that brings more value to science and society. Many think (and many others disagree) that we make a strategic error when we treat open itself as our end goal, because open science can be bad, and closed science can be good; also, importantly, "openness" (not only across disciplines but across different open solutions) has so many variations that it's impossible to legislate one version that makes sense for everyone.

My presentation from last year to the BRISPE VI meeting is attached. In it are some references that might be useful---mostly having to do with how we might better ensure the integrity and reliability of science (of which reproducibility is a subset) via peer review and/or other gatekeeping mechanisms.

Thanks again for sharing this article---it's a provocative insight.

Best,

Glenn


Glenn Hampson
Executive Director
Science Communication Institute (SCI)
Program Director
Open Scholarship Initiative (OSI)




To view this discussion on the web visit https://groups.google.com/d/msgid/osi2016-25/0e3164a69830791807bb6b31b901d776.squirrel%40webmail.ic.unicamp.br.
BRISPE presentation-final-Hampson.pdf

Bryan Alexander

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May 24, 2021, 5:04:40 PMMay 24
to Glenn Hampson, cm...@ic.unicamp.br, The Open Scholarship Initiative
The article on population changes - the other one Glenn sent - is interesting on a few levels.

For one, it's old news to anyone who's been paying attention to contemporary demographics.  I am curious about what prompted the Times to make a splash with this one - the recent US Census?

For another, note the too-brief acknowledgement of one powerful reason for the transition: expanded education for women.



--

JJE Esposito

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May 24, 2021, 5:43:26 PMMay 24
to Bryan Alexander, Glenn Hampson, cm...@ic.unicamp.br, The Open Scholarship Initiative
Expanded education, yes, but also wealth more generally. 

Joe



--
Joseph J. Esposito
espo...@gmail.com
@josephjesposito
+Joseph Esposito

Bryan Alexander

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May 24, 2021, 6:12:52 PMMay 24
to JJE Esposito, Glenn Hampson, cm...@ic.unicamp.br, The Open Scholarship Initiative
True.  Increased wealth is what makes many of the demographic transition's conditions possible: more education; more and better health care; expanded public health; more careers for women.

JJE Esposito

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May 24, 2021, 6:19:30 PMMay 24
to Bryan Alexander, Glenn Hampson, cm...@ic.unicamp.br, The Open Scholarship Initiative
Yes, agree on all points.

Joe
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