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This Week in Science 2017–10–08


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2017/10/08

“Predatory publishing is an increasing concern among scientists and the scientific community, as highlighted by three recent studies.

There are now approximately 8,000 suspected predatory journals that publish more than 400,000 articles each year.

The journals, which operate on a for-profit basis, are often publishing poorly researched and illegitimate science that could endanger scientific credibility and patients.

One study, published in September in the journal Nature,looked at more than 1,900 studies published in suspected predatory journals and found that the majority of them didn’t meet the basic information requirements to be published by a legitimate journal.”


“A retired chronobiologist, who spent much of his career investigating the internal clocks that guide our lives, was stirred from sleep in the early hours of the morning by a most welcome call. Jeffrey Hall had received the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, along with Michael Rosbash and Michael W Young.

Their research revolutionized what we know about “how plants, animals, and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronized with the Earth’s revolutions.”

Yet even Nobel prize winner and professor emeritus of biology like Dr Hall, who left science almost a decade ago, had a difficult time receiving funding during his years as a scientist. In time, he became disenchanted with the status quo of American academia and funding.”


“Every year it is an exquisite pleasure to interview a winner of the Nobel Prizes in science, and this year was no exception as we spoke with Dr. Rainer Weiss, who shared the physics prize with Dr. Kip Thorne and Dr. Barry Barish for the discovery of gravitational waves. But his most powerful message was in how modern science is a huge team effort and that eureka moments are rare.

Right from the beginning, Weiss was quick to point out that the “three guys” who won the prize are only a small part of a team of thousands of other scientists from different countries who worked over four decades to design, build and operate LIGO, that captured the elusive waves in 2015, almost exactly 100 years after Einstein predicted them.

When asked about the moment when the first waves were actually detected, he replied that there was no “moment” — that, in fact, no one, including him, believed that the signal, which had come from two huge black holes smashing into each other 1.3 billion light-years away, was actually real. There were so many other things it could have been, from noise in the equipment to noise in the environment or even the work of a clever hacker.”


“As Minister of Science, I am aware of the call for increased funding for basic research in Canada. I also know that Canadian researchers suffered deep cuts under the Harper Conservatives.

While there are no quick fixes to the damage science incurred under the previous government, we are doing our best to put science back on track.

Our two federal budgets saw billions of dollars invested in science and innovation programs. Part of that funding included the largest annual increase for our granting councils in over a decade. It also included $2 billion for new and renewed research, and learning spaces on campuses across the country.”


“Whether it’s swimming with dolphins, feeding monkeys or riding elephants, our compulsion to snap, post and share wildlife selfies is contributing to the exploitation of animals.

That’s the conclusion in a new report from World Animal Protection (formerly World Society for the Protection of Animals), which used a Canadian company’s “social listening” research to analyze hundreds of thousands of images on social media.

While not all wildlife tourism is harmful, there are examples all over the world of animals being used for profit in ways that inflict suffering on them or endanger them.”



In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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