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Todd Suomela

How do you feel about the term 'citizen science'? | OceanSpaces - 0 views

  • The reason such a plethora of terms has proliferated is that each comes with the baggage - like how 'citizen science' might sound to an undocumented worker - of preconceived notions and affiliation with a particular structure of program. No one term has yet emerged to describe the wide spectrum of participatory science. Here at OST, we’ve decided to use the term ‘citizen science’ for a variety of reasons, most notably that it’s one of the easiest to understand and becoming one of the most popular. But we still have feelings about the term, so we’ve done a straw poll of staff members to see how they feel.
Todd Suomela

Public's Knowledge of Science and Technology | Pew Research Center for the People and t... - 3 views

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    "The public's knowledge of science and technology varies widely across a range of questions on current topics and basic scientific concepts, according to a new quiz by the Pew Research Center and Smithsonian magazine."
Todd Suomela

Sociology and History: Shapin on the Merton Thesis « Ether Wave Propaganda - 1 views

  • Shapin observed that the link Merton drew between Puritanism and seventeenth-century English science was a matter of happenstance rather than determinism. According to Merton, science requires certain “values” and “sentiments” allowing intellectual individualism, and fostering not only an interest in the transcendent, but also secular improvement. It so happened that these values and sentiments were to be found in Puritan asceticism and sense of social obligation, which thus provided a social context in which science could develop.

    Definitively, this was not to say that Puritanism provided a unique source of these values and sentiments, or that science did not have other roots. It was obviously possible for science to develop in Catholic contexts as well, despite the less hospitable value system of Catholicism. The confluence of values simply seemed to promise some insight into the growth of science in a particular time and place.

  • Robert K. Merton’s “functionalist” sociology viewed “science” as a kind of Weberian ideal type — a form of thought that is identifiable by its peculiar, philosophically-defined characteristics. Merton’s sociology of science held that this thought could also be identified with social behaviors, characterized by a set of “norms”, which made the thought possible.

    The Merton Thesis (which slightly predates Merton’s enumeration of science’s norms) holds that the rise of science in early-modern England could be linked to the social behaviors valued by the Puritanism of that milieu. This was the subject of Merton’s PhD thesis and his 1938 book Science, Technology and Society in Seventeenth-Century England.

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    Great link. Thanks
Todd Suomela

Amateur Science and the Rise of Big Science | Citizen Scientists League - 0 views

  • Several trends came together to increase the professional nature of scientific work. First was the increasing cost of scientific work and its complexity. Scientific equipment became more precise and expensive. Telescopes, like those by Herschel, became bigger and bigger. Also, the amount of knowledge one needed to gain to contribute became increasingly daunting.
  • Second, the universities changed. Pioneered by the German states, which at the beginning of the 19th century was dismissed as a scientific backwater, universities began offering focused majors which trained students in a specific discipline rather than classical education as a whole. This was pioneered by Wilhelm von Humboldt, brother of the famous scientist Alexander von Humboldt, who was the Prussian Minister of Education.
  • Germany, once united, also provided impetus to two other trends that accelerated their dominance of science and the decline of amateurs. First, was the beginning of large-scale state sponsorship of science through grants which were first facilitated through the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute (now the Max Planck Institute). This eventually supplanted prizes as the dominant large-scale source of scientific funding. Countries like France that relied on prizes began to fall behind. Second, was the intimate cooperation between industrial firms like BASF and universities.
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  • he final nail in the coffin was undoubtedly the Second World War. The massive mobilization of scientific resources needed to win and the discovery of war-winning inventions such as the atomic bomb and self-correcting bomb sight (with help from Norbert Wiener of MIT) convinced the nations of the world that the future was in large-scale funding and support of science as a continuous effort. Vannevar Bush, former president of MIT, and others pioneered the National Science Foundation and the military also invested heavily in its own research centers. Industrial labs such as those from Bell Labs, GE, Kodak, and others began dominating research as well. Interestingly, the first military investment in semiconductors coupled with research from Bell Labs led to what is now known as Silicon Valley.
thinkahol *

FreedomBox Foundation - James Vasile - YouTube - 0 views

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    Freedom Box Executive Director James Vasile speaks at the Contact Summit, hosted by Douglas Rushkoff and held at the Angel Orensanz Foundation in New York on October 20, 2011.
thinkahol *

The highest-resolution immersive visualization facility ever built | KurzweilAI - 1 views

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    in response to comments the Editor comments:
    "Good points. Main benefit is a highly interactive shared exploration/discussion/planning space (and PR value), but that same functionality, including the 1.5 Gpix display (an interactive version), could be achieved in theory with an enhanced* Oculus RIFT (http://www.kurzweilai.net/why-immersive-virtual-reality-is-the-next-generation-of-gaming-part-2 and http://www.oculusvr.com/ ) with an MMORPG architecture and Kinect/Leap control in an Oblong-type shared environment (http://www.kurzweilai.net/minority-report-arrives-with-oblong-part-ii-mind-blowing-ui) at lower cost and not restricted to one room - in fact, feasible globally via machine translation (http://www.kurzweilai.net/speech-recognition-breakthrough-for-the-spoken-translated-word) and local clones of the imagery and darknet shared DB (access to Internet2 via 100 Gbps lines would also be nice). Extra points for automated POV display based on head, eye, hand, and body-motion tracking and automated EEG-based control and double points for automated mind reading (http://www.kurzweilai.net/neuroscience-the-mind-reader) tied to an NLP/semantic web DB.

    * "Imagine an HMD with a massive field of view and more pixels than 1080p per eye, wireless PC link, built-in absolute head and hand/weapon/wand positioning, and native integration with some (if not all) of the major game engines, all for less than $1,000 USD," Palmer says. "That can happen in 2013!" (http://www.kurzweilai.net/why-immersive-virtual-reality-is-the-next-generation-of-gaming-part-2)"
thinkahol *

New web-based model for sharing research datasets could have huge benefits | KurzweilAI - 0 views

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    "New web-based model for sharing research datasets could have huge benefits
    "
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