Ian Mulvany

Hi, I'm Ian - I work on academic publishing systems. You can find out more about me at mulvany.net. I'm always interested in engaging with folk on these topics, if you have made your way here don't hesitate to reach out if there is anything you want to share, discuss, or ask for help with!
May 26, 2023

SAGE 10 year impact awards

I just noticed that SAGE are continuing to announce the 10 year impact awards - https://group.sagepub.com/press-releases/sages-10-year-impact-awards-recognize-research-with-long-term-influence. The pull quote from Ziyad covers it well “Short-term measures of research impact fail to account for the many ways in which scholarship continu...
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May 22, 2023

In our time - Persuasion

#Inourtime the title was [[title]] The tags were: [[hashtags]] episode link I know very little about the life or world of Jane Austin, so it was a delight to listen to this episode. My aim with this series of posts is to note down things that I had learnt, however as I knew so little before it would take too long to write, so I’ll keep...
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May 21, 2023

Will AIs be scared if AIs, who cares?

There is a line of thinking about AI that fears the emergence of super-powerful AI. This paper https://www.econtalk.org/tyler-cowen-on-the-risks-and-impact-of-artificial-intelligence/ says that an AI that is capable of building a super powerful AI won’t do that because it will be as scared of the negative consequences as we are. Look, ...
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May 12, 2023

things I've been reading - week 19 - 2023

Things I’ve been reading this week: • https://www.semianalysis.com/p/google-we-have-no-moat-and-neither - the cost of fine-tuning GPT-capable models is going from $100M dollars to $600!! • https://magazine.sebastianraschka.com/p/finetuning-large-language-models - a good overview of approaches on fine-tuning • https://www.lorcandempsey....
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May 8, 2023

NIH Data Science Scholarships

The NIH has a set of data science scholarships for US citizens or residents. Tyler Beck writes: "Please check out this year’s topics here: https://datascience.nih.gov/data-scholars-2023 Specifically related to LitCoin, one scholar will have the opportunity to take the output NLP systems from the LitCoin NLP Challenge and coalesce the b...
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May 6, 2023

in our time notes - Tycho Brahe

#inourtime/notes #astronomy Episode - https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001hnlf I’d give this episode a solid B. I already knew quite a bit about Brahe from my background in astrophysics. Much of my internal impression came from reading Arthur Koestler’s the sleepwalkers many years ago - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sleepwalkers-History-Ch...
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May 5, 2023

Some recent reads from around the web - week18

• Last week I attend the Dryad (Dryad) board meeting - Dryad is a not for profit that helps researchers share research data. This is a topic I’ve been thinking about for some time (a deck I presented on the topic 10 years ago - https://speakerdeck.com/ianmulvany/connecting-data-and-literature). The meeting was generously hosted by the ...
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April 29, 2023

Dryad board meeting 2023

I’ve just landed back in london after attending the dryad board meeting. I have the great privilege of being the treasurer of dryad. We worked hard for two and a half days to assess the current state of dryad and to draft sone strategic goals for the next three years. I feel folk left with the feeling of a job well done. It was a great...
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April 29, 2023

Rawls - in our time.

#inourtime/notes#blog This was another great episode of in our time about Rawls’ theory of justice. Episode link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001h4bz This is what I learnt: • he was a fully 20th century philosopher, born 1921, died 2002. For sone reason I’d always assumed that he was 19th century. • the podcast points to the deat...
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April 27, 2023

London Generative AI hackathon - some reflections

Last weekend I took part in a generative AI hackathon in london. Huge thanks to xx and Victoria Stoyanova and Sarah Drinkwater for organising it. (Sarah's writeup - https://betterprogramming.pub/how-to-run-a-generative-ai-hackathon-dc27f8d4fdd0). It was hosted by Entrepreneur First and sponsored by Amazon, the British Medical Journal, ...
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April 21, 2023

Some recent reads about how to think about large language models

I have been doing a lot of reading about large language models in the last few weeks. Here are some of the more thought provoking pieces that I’ve read. I’m pulling out quotes from these pieces, what I think is important about them, and some reflections on them. I don’t fully agree with everything in these posts, but they have all been...
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April 20, 2023

In our time - superconductivity

#inourtime/notes #blog/draft #superconductivity #physics A few weeks ago I listened to the in our time episode on superconductivity. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001hfpc It was a really enjoyable episode, though I can’t recall a lot from the episode, I did learn a few things. The phenomenon was discovered accidentally in 1911 by K...
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April 19, 2023

I have just built my first Safari Extension!

I often have a desire to copy a bunch of URLS from my current safari window, for example if I am opening tabs while at a meeting, to look at the resources that are being mentioned. I might want to capture them later in some notes. I was wondering whether there might be a way to easily grab all links that I have open in my tabs, but ins...
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March 8, 2023

The Challenger Expedition - 1872

I listened to the episode about the 1872 four-year long Challenger expedition to investigate the oceans of the earth. I’d not known much about this before listening to the episode. In 1870, Charles Wyville Thomson (right), Professor of Natural History at Edinburgh University, persuaded the Royal Society of London to ask the British Gov...
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March 7, 2023

BMJ is sponsoring an AI Hackathon in London in April

Generative AI, characterised by tools like GhatGPT and MidJourney, has been taking the internet by storm, and they raise so many interesting questions about the nature of expertise, tools to support human creativity, and how AI is going to intersect with humans in the near and long term. There is a world of a difference between reading...
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March 4, 2023

In our time - The philippics.

#inourtime/notes/greece The most recent episode of in our time that I listened to was about Demosthenes' Philippics - https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001f4ws. This is what I learnt. I’d hear about these works before but hadn’t realised that they are named after a person - Philipp of Macedon https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_II_of_...
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February 8, 2023

A note on technological disruption, unintended consequences, and poo

#blog#inourtime/notes/poo I enjoy listening to in our time ( https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qykl), a radio show touching on all things cultural and scientific. I’ve listened to many episodes, but rarely retain any information. I’m going to blog short notes on what I learn from the episodes. This post is about the great stink of 1...
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February 5, 2023

A nee way of structuring a phd

Deep science ventures opened up applications for its phd program - https://apply.workable.com/deep-science-ventures/j/58DD353058/. The idea is to embed a PhD program within a startup incubator, with a focus on transformative technologies that can help with challenges such as climate change. Their portfolio of projects is inspirational ...
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February 2, 2023

What are the hard problems in innovating in healthcare?

Someone pointed out GlassHealth to me - https://blog.glass.health/company/ - a new startup that is building tools to help doctors. Their first tool is Glass Notebook, an online notebook for doctors to track their information, inspired by tooling like Notion, and dare I say it tools like ToddlyWiki. This whole area of semi-structured do...
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January 26, 2023

usage shapes computing, computing shapes usage

Our knowledge world is in the process of a shift in affordances. The development of large language models is creating tools and assistants that will change how we interact with information. I feel sometimes that I have a seat near the window, looking out at these changes happening before my eyes, but being separated from them, as I'm n...
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January 7, 2023

A scaled way to step back from twitter.

Following a post on the topic from Nate Mattis, I realised that it’s not enough to just use twitter less. You kind of have to tell folks that you are using it less. The reason is that it’s important to how our decision effect the network, for the network to be able to sense what is happening (broadly). One way to do this is to use a bo...
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January 7, 2023

Martin Fenner has launched a science blog indexing service

Are you a science blogger? Do you blog about your science? If so martijn Fenner has just launched a new service that might be interesting for you - the rogue scholar - https://rogue-scholar.org/#features. You point it at your blog feed and it provides full text indexing, assignment of a DOI and preservation. I love this idea. The norms...
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January 5, 2023

This researcher does not exist

I'd like to introduce you to Niamh Martins: This is her research biography: “Niamh Martins is an early career researcher and professor of ecology at the University of Galway in Ireland. She received her undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Dublin, and went on to earn her master's and PhD in ecology from the University...
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January 1, 2023

My 2022 in review

year in review - 2022 climbing A good year. About 290 Boulder problems climbed in contrast to 315 in 2021, but there has been a good shift in difficulty with 73 V4s in 2022 vs 45 in 2021, and in 2022 I tried v5s about 60 times, succeeding 7 times, compared to a much lower attempt rate in 2021. In 2020 I only did 7 V4s, so this is good ...
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December 25, 2022

async code reviews kill throughput.

This video about continuous code review is excellent https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fYFruezJEDs. The main takeaway is that in order to get reasonable throughout along with retaining code quality, you need to look to techniques of cop creation (pairing or mobbing). Taking a economic systems approach to what happens with pull requests the...
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December 25, 2022

How team composition affects science.

This talk from James Evans from 2019 is a great synopsis of the findings of his group about how small disconnected teams are much more valuable for science than large tightly connected teams. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XSAlAcGwW8c&t=950s&pp=2AG2B5ACAQ%3D%3D It’s an insight that rings true - more independent investigation of reality ...
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December 21, 2022

Micro Book Review - Going Digital

Going Digital by Lyndsey Jones and Balvinder Singh Powar This is a micro-review of the the book Going Digital - what it takes for smoother transitions - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Going-Digital-Lyndsey-Jones/dp/1292375671/ref=sr_1_1?crid=21PD84V32VU1J&keywords=going+digital+book&qid=1671652221&sprefix=goi%2Caps%2C1966&sr=8-1. Overall I r...
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December 17, 2022

What trends in open science make me think about.

I was reading through this update on open science news from September (I’m on a kick to try and read through all of my open browser tabs before the end of the year) https://council.science/current/blog/open-science-round-up-september-2022/ It’s a really good update with a lot of activity happening. The general sense I get is around dis...
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December 12, 2022

Some quick reflections on week 49

Taking a moment to look back at the past week there have been a few really nice highlights. This was STM week. The Startup fair on the Tuesday was a real highlight. It was one of the best SSP events that I've been too. I'll write up some notes about some of the startups that I saw there - eventually. I missed the FutureLab meeting on t...
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December 9, 2022

a nice resource for learning how to graph things

If you ever want to get into plotting data in Python then please do check out this site - https://aeturrell.github.io/coding-for-economists/vis-common-plots.html It shows you how to create the same graph in a number of different popular graphing libraries in Python, a great resource.
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