A clash between two major figures in cognitive neuroscience came to a head yesterday, and it got a bit ugly. The dispute centers around a publicly posted peer review of a publicly posted manuscript. Although seemingly aligned with Open Science ideals, the public review prompted worries about ulterior motives and power dynamics in some researchers. In addition to being juicy drama, the events reveal that Open Science requires trust, tact, and integrity. This post summarises the things I’ve learned.
Traditional English DPhil programmes end in a viva. This is an examination by one internal and one external examiner, who critically assess the candidate and their thesis over the course of several hours. Mine was today, and I am delighted to announce that I passed! Many thanks to my wonderful …
This doesn’t need any clarification: cancer really sucks. It’s mentally and physically exhausting, even for people who catch it as a young grad student. My experience until now (described here) was very positive given the circumstances, but support for serious illnesses can be lacking at other funding institutions and universities. Students should be better protected, both during and after their treatment.
Although it sounds like a lot of effort, creating a Twitter bot is actually really easy! This tutorial, along with some simple tools, can help you create Twitter bots that respond when they see certain phrases, or that periodically post a tweet. These bots work with Markov chains, which can generate text that looks superficially good, but is actually quite nonsensical. You can make the bots read your favourite texts, and they will produce new random text in the same style!
Sigmund Freud is back! He returned in the form of a Twitter bot that replies when someone uses the hashtag #askFreud in their tweets. Not unlike the real Freud, Sigbot produces nonsensical, but real-looking text that is produced using a Markov chain. The bot can recognise and respond to specific keywords, and it can speak both German and English.
The PyGaze website was down for a few days, because it exceeded its monthly bandwidth allowance. This has been a problem for a few months now, so we’ve decided to upgrade. Our apologies for any inconvenience, and thanks for using PyGaze!
The mantis shrimp has the most incredible eyes on earth, and is a blood-thirsty killer with supersonic claws. This post summarises pop culture and scientific views on this amazing animal.