What if conference talks were video preprints?

Conferences are about the rapid dissemination of new science to specialists in the same field. We should treat conference talks as we treat preprints, as a deliberate science dissemination process, and make video recording and proper archiving ubiquitous. Speaker-led demand Recording already happens of course, at some conferences, in a rough and ready way. My…

What are the frontiers in Open Science?

Many seem to misconstrue what ‘the frontier’ means in science, imagining a hard intellectual boundary, everything past which is unknown. I want to use a geographic frontier analogy that distinguishes the very limit (boundary) of human exploration (knowledge) from the area approaching that boundary. Frontier can mean both, but here I’m going to use it…

EvoPhylo blog

Here is the new location for my evophylo blog. Previously when I have an hour’s enthusiasm to write something, I’ve always been put off by the sheer hassle of dealing with my hosted WordPress site. It can take me an hour to log in. Its always broken. Then I try to tweet instead, which never…

Software and real carpentry

I like Software Carpentry, a non-profit organization teaching basic computing skills to researchers. But if I had one little criticism it would be that there wasn’t enough carpentry, with tenon saws, and mortising chisels, and rabbet planes. I like actual carpentry, I can’t tell you why, its a bit like asking why somebody likes cheese,…

Darwin the dropout

It annoys me slightly that almost all the pictures of Darwin circulating around on #DarwinDay are of some grey-haired old guy. Darwin made many of his important break-throughs as a young man. I mentioned ‘Darwin the dropout’ to my new class of evolution students this semester. Darwin was hassled by his dad to get a proper…

Tardigrade comparative genomics

There is now a second Tardigrade genome described in a manuscript (Koutsovoulos et al 2015), only days after the first (Boothby et al 2015– not OA). Koutsovoulos et al however strongly suggests that the widely publicised rampant horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is problematic. This alternate genome comes from Mark Blaxter’s group in Edinburgh, and has in fact…

Autonomous evolving advertising

Is it possible for advertising to evolve without human intervention? Today I was having a great coffee break discussion with Domino Joyce and James Gilbert about student classes and evolution experiments. We moved on to whether it is possible to evolve Twitter clickbait[1]? Why would you even want to? Well it might make for an interesting…

Frictionless reproducibility in phylogenomic experiments

This is a guest post by Amir Szitenberg, postdoctoral researcher in my group at the University of Hull, and main author of @ReproPhylo I find the ReproPhylo approach to experimental phylogenomics very exciting, and can see how it would lead to better, in depth understanding of phylogenomic datasets, regardless of their size. An example for this…