A lack of diversity across the scientific community represents a large loss of potential talent to the UK according to the chair of the Royal Society’s Equality and Diversity Network (EDAN), Professor Edward Hinds FRS. The comment comes as the Royal Society publishes a report which gives the fullest picture yet of the scientific workforce in relation to diversity.
Approximately 20 per cent of people in the UK workforce need scientific knowledge and training to do their current jobs. A picture of the UK scientific workforce, published today (7 March), sets out to analyse and understand the composition of the scientific workforce in terms of gender, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic status and background.
Professor Edward Hinds FRS, said:
“With diversity comes a mix of ideas, skills and approaches. If the UK’s scientific workforce is not diverse, we are bound to be missing out on some great talent. At a time when the UK is seeking to use its scientific capabilities to help improve lives and rebuild the economy, it is more important than ever that we ensure the best scientists can flourish.”
The arXiv, an electronic preprint scientific paper repository, receives on average 7000 submissions per month. That’s a lot of papers and text to tackle, if you’re Cornell graduate student Alexander Alemi.
Alemi is analyzing text within months of arXiv aritcles with help from three other Cornell scientists, including arXiv developer Paul Ginsparg. In the past, Ginsparg has toyed with ideas for a different arXiv that never came to fruition. After clicking on an article, for example, the site would suggest related articles and authors. In a way, Alemi hopes to resurrect this idea and eventually bring it to arXiv users. Read more…
The growing number of professional women scientists invites studies like the one conducted by Teresa Woodruff, a professor of Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering, Medical Social Sciences.
Woodruff, with an international team of six other scientists, is analyzing publication records of nearly 4,000 male and female faculty members across the U.S. From this they can identify teams of scientists, and they are the first to create a repository of gender-based science teams, Woodruff said.
“We’re very interested in understanding how team science influences quality and quantity of science,” Woodruff said. By studying different teams of scientists, Woodruff and colleagues found that teams comprised of both men and women performed better than male-only teams. Read more…
There finally is a website; Scirev.sc, that will make the scientific peer review process more transparent and will enable authors to make an informed decision about where to send their article to.
Newborns are more susceptible to infections, presumably because of their immature and inexperienced immune systems. The most common dangerous condition in newborns and infants are lower respiratory tract infections caused by viruses, especially respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). A study published on February 13th in PLOS Pathogens shows how the immune system in the lungs during early life differs from the one in older children and adults.
Ideally, newborns could be protected against RSV by vaccination, but it is known that the immune system in early life is less responsive to “conventional” vaccines. Barney Graham and colleagues, from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, are working on understanding the early immune system in order to develop effective vaccines for newborns and infants.