Ian Mulvany

January 9, 2022

easy reading to make writing easy - book review - the agile comms handbook

I've just finished reading The agile comms handbooks by Giles Turnbull (https://gilest.org/index.html). It is an easy read filled with wisdom about how to make communication both genuine, and if not easy, at least not painful. I grew up in product managment in London in the early aughties, and so a lot of my experiences were formed by ...
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January 9, 2022

Brief links - 2022 week 1!

Welcome to 2022! At the end of week 1 here are some things across the web that caught my attention this week. 1. Invest in Open launched their catalog of open infrastructure services. Announcing the Catalog of Open Infrastructure Services (COIs) From their website: IOI was founded to help increase adoption and investment in the open in...
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December 30, 2021

Book review - The duty of genius.

#book/review#wittgenstein Earlier this year I finished Ray Monk’s outstanding Ludwig Wittgenstein - the duty of genius - the comprehensive biography of the philosopher. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ludwig-Wittgenstein-Genius-Ray-Monk/dp/0099883708. The below review was written at the time, and I clearly ran out of time to complete the revi...
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December 18, 2021

my climbing year in review.

2021 ended up being a good year for me, in terms of climbing, in spite of some headwinds that I had to navigate. 2020 was obviously heavily disrupted due to the lockdowns in the UK, but I signed up for the lattice home training program, and that worked really well in terms of increasing my finger strength. I wrote up my experiences of ...
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December 16, 2021

remember the reproducibility project?

This editorial came out in eLife last week - https://elifesciences.org/articles/75830, giving a overview of the completion of the reproducibility project - in which a select set of key findings in cancer biology would be reproduced, with external funding. It has taken seven years to complete. Seven years! I was at eLife when this initi...
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December 15, 2021

I have missed the conference circuit for the last few years

I've just been browsing through the agenda for Force2021 - https://force2021.sched.com. I have missed a lot of great conferences over the last few years. I managed to make ConTech live in person this year, but I missed Charleston, I missed being able to attend really any of AWS re-invent - even virtually. I don't think PIDAPALOOZA took...
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December 10, 2021

operative representation and the scholarly literature

This tweet https://twitter.com/RiederB/status/1469234889593696256?s=20 has a nice quote from this 2005 paper on the histories of computing: https://www.princeton.edu/~hos/Mahoney/articles/histories/ISR119.pdf The quote is: “But in the end, computation is about rewriting strings of symbols. The transformations themselves are strictly sy...
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December 2, 2021

what is going on with all the fake papers?

The following paper - https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1139702911https://arxiv.org/abs/2107.06751 (by the way, as an aside FU dimensions, for basically hiding the outbound link to ArXiV on your webpage (grey, no hyperlink indication, and the thing that looks like a link just links to another dimensions page - super sha...
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December 1, 2021

Is AI Magic already here for conference posters?

https://mindthegraph.com/ is an interesting service. It has a web app that allows you to create infographics based on a library of about 40,000 scientific graphics (they have created something to represent the most common concepts in science, so you plug them in to your visualisation, saving you time, and removing the need for you to p...
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December 1, 2021

I take this as a sign that the pre-print world is maturing

EU-PMC has posted some information on how it is going to display notices of withdrawals of preprints - http://blog.europepmc.org/2021/12/transparency-for-preprints.html. The metadata is carried under the "PUB_TYPE" tag (though one might argue that the state change is more to do with an action on a particularly type of publication, rath...
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November 23, 2021

A new NLP Challenge for mining biomedical literature

#NLP #future-of-knowledge #STEM #publishing There are too many papers, there are too many researchers, for any one person, group, or small network, to keep abreast of, so the future must be one where machines are doing a significant amount of the reading for us. That will require so many things, and amongst them are available high qual...
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November 16, 2021

ConteTech Live 2021 - day one - what lies in the future?

#conference/contechlive/2021/11/London "after content, the emerging world of information and intelligence" - David Worlock I am at ConTech Live - the first time that I've been to an in-person conference for the first time since the pandemic. The opening session is a peek into the future by David Warlock. It's a good session. In a nutsh...
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October 29, 2021

as employers what are our obligations to to millions of micro workers?

The following article on the guardian: (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/oct/27/big-techs-push-for-automation-hides-the-grim-reality-of-microwork) shines a light on the wage precarity of those who take on digital tasks on platforms such as Mechanical Turk. I do think that the article brings together two different kinds of...
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October 26, 2021

a new again model of scholarly publishing

This announcement from CUP crossed my radar this week - https://www.thebookseller.com/news/cups-research-directions-offers-new-journals-concept-1285697. It's really interesting, and I'm looking forward to seeing what is launched. The press release outlines the ambition of the project as such: "In contrast to the traditional, self-conta...
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October 26, 2021

technology slippery slopes

This post (https://onezero.medium.com/how-to-recognize-when-tech-is-leading-us-down-a-slippery-slope-747116da2de) by Clive Thompson (https://clivethompson.medium.com) on technology slippery slopes is an excellent read. As technologists we have a duty of care to think about the implications of the tools that we are creating, and what I ...
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September 18, 2021

eLife Reproducible Articles

I've been meaning to write about eLife's executable research articles (ERA) for some time. This (https://elifesciences.org/labs/51777514/elife-authors-relay-their-experiences-with-executable-research-articles) recent set of Q&A's with authors who have used them is a great prompt to set down some thoughts. These papers are backed by a c...
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July 15, 2021

I caught COVID - Again, after vaccination!

This post is more of a personal post, but there are a lot of interesting things to share about this topic, so I hope you will bear with me. Last Thursday, the 8th of July, I got a positive PCR test for having contracted COVID. This is after having had both jabs of the vaccine. My first vaccination was on the 13th of April and my second...
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July 2, 2021

skills needed for the future of work!

Mckinsey have just published a very readable overview of the skills we will need to foster for the future: https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/public-and-social-sector/our-insights/defining-the-skills-citizens-will-need-in-the-future-world-of-work# You can see a close up of the skills laid out here: https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/mck...
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June 30, 2021

Are we seeing the promise of AI in augmented productivity systems?

We have known for a while that machine learning is good at very targeted specific tasks. The following is one of the best presentations on the topic: https://www.cs.princeton.edu/~arvindn/talks/MIT-STS-AI-snakeoil.pdf The key conclusions in that presentation are: - AI excels at some tasks, but can’t predict social outcomes. - We must r...
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June 28, 2021

how much value can you get out of web scraping - quite a lot apparently!

I was recently pointed to the following company - H1 https://www.h1.co. Their website claims to be creating a healthier future by delivering a platform that connects stakeholders. When you look at their product video you see that what they are building is a platform that automatically builds profiles of doctors. There is an emphasis on...
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May 29, 2021

A collection of infinities.

#linklist This is a delightful overview of the Hilbert paradox. https://kottke.org/21/05/an-infinite-hotel-runs-out-of-rooms
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May 23, 2021

Book review - good to great.

Good to great - a good book, not a great one. #blog/draft #book/review #strategy This is a book review of good to great by Jim Collins. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_to_Great My one sentence review - this book is good, but not great. In this book the author looks at 11 companies that have substantially out performed the stock mark...
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May 13, 2021

The importance of diversity in science

#diversity #gender #science I read through this twitter thread just now: https://twitter.com/ChemistryKit/status/1392076489760419849?s=20 and I was struck by how it contrasted with the picture of high class research that Dominic Cummings presented to a UK Government Select Committee a few weeks back in which he effectively said that th...
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April 29, 2021

Are we still figuring out preprints?

#preprints #publishing There is a very nice set of slides from a mini conference on preprints that NISO hosted here - http://www.niso.org/events/2021/04/hot-topic-preprints My take on this is that the conversation around preprints has definitely moved on in the last number of years, from - oh my god what are these things - to -- OK, we...
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April 29, 2021

Where is "the business"?

I love this blog post: https://tinyletter.com/TomChatfield/letters/how-we-talk-about-tech “Entire world-views are at work within words. Have you ever undertaken gig employment, participated in the sharing economy or used cloud computing? Would you feel differently about doing these things if they were described as insecure temporary la...
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April 27, 2021

The Open Access button has rebranded

#open-access #cool-news The "Open Access Button" has now rebranded to https://oa.works/. Joe let me know a few days ago that this was coming up, and I'm delighted to see the new site and branding go live. They have a blog post explaining a bit about the change - https://blog.oa.works/open-access-button-is-now-oa-works/. The gist of it ...
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April 10, 2021

The code check paper is out

#peer-review #code I’ve briefly written about code check before - http://scholarly-comms-product-blog.com/2020/07/03/codecheck_-_reviewing_code_in_publications/ They now have a paper out that goes into detail about how the system works: https://f1000research.com/articles/10-253
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April 10, 2021

Innovation focus, and target states

#innovation #design #pace I liked reading this thread this morning. It’s about the difference between setting future state of a project as something new, vs describing it as a movement towards a better now, if you will. The response from Andy is good. https://twitter.com/johncutlefish/status/1380717439760048131 I have a thought and a c...
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March 26, 2021

Biden indicates a step change to research funding is on the horizon

In his press conference yesterday Biden discussed a significant increase in funding to R&D and life sciences in the US. He talked about moving to 2% of GDP (up from a current level of 0.7%) which would mean an extra $418B. He talked about how the US is being out-invested in many areas by China, and the need to effectively create the fu...
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March 18, 2021

Even Wittgenstein had a hell of a time getting published

#philosophy #publishing #genius #wittgenstein I'm working my way through "Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius" by Ray Monk, it's a great book that merges biography with philosophy. I'm fascinated by the history behind the publication of the Tractatus. It was really nearly damn impossible for Wittgenstein to get it published initial...
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