Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week

I’ve been on Twitter since April 2011 — nearly six years. A few weeks ago, for the first time, something I tweeted broke the thousand-retweets barrier. And I am really unhappy about it. For two reasons.

First, it’s not my own content — it’s a screen-shot of Table 1 from Edwards and Roy (2017):


And second, it’s so darned depressing.

The problem is a well-known one, and indeed one we have discussed here before: as soon as you try to measure how well people are doing, they will switch to optimising for whatever you’re measuring, rather than putting their best efforts into actually doing good work.

In fact, this phenomenon is so very well known and understood that it’s been given at least three different names by different people:

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Iceland knows how to stop teen substance abuse but the rest of the world isn’t listening

This article first appeared on Mosaic and is republished here under a Creative Commons licence. Iceland knows how to stop teen substance abuse but the rest of the world isn’t listening In Iceland, teenage smoking, drinking and drug use have been radically cut in the past 20 years. Emma Young finds out how they did… Read More

Our latest paper: Heterogeneous spatial representation by different subpopulations of neurons in the subiculum

Authors: J.R. Brotons-Mas, S. Schaffelhofer, C. Guger, S.M. O’Mara, M.V. Sanchez-Vives Highlights •Subicular units code space in a heterogeneous manner. •We found place cells, barrier-related and grid-like units. These last had spike waveforms similar to axonal recordings. •Place cells did not show firing related to physical boundaries in the baseline recordings. •Barrier-related cells fired in… Read More

Measuring living standards – GDP or not GDP

Originally posted on A Little Bit of Economics:
The need to measure a country’s economic performance, both compared to itself a year ago and compared to other countries is ever present. The most prevalent and easiest measure of economic performance at the national level is a country’s GDP (Gross domestic Product) per capita. With plenty…

A possible future for science publishing

Originally posted on In Between Manuscripts:
Because sometimes science fiction helps pave the way for science fact: Flash forward to 2018 and imagine this: ~~~~ You just finished reading an article published two weeks ago on a preprint server (spoiler alert: traditional journals have decreased in popularity). After closing the article on your favourite paper manager, you receive the…

Review: ‘The Science of Stress’ at The Royal Institution

Originally posted on Health Psych Tam:
A couple of weeks ago I attended an event at The Royal Institution in London called ‘The Science of Stress’. I probably wouldn’t have ventured to London mid-week if it hadn’t been for the fact that my supervisor Professor Julie Turner-Cobb was amongst the three experts presenting and then…

An interview with a next generation methodological freedom fighter

Originally posted on CogTales:
Meet Anne Scheel, PhD candidate at LMU Munich. She stood up and asked the author of the opinion piece on “methodological terrorism” for a statement after her keynote at the DGPS conference. Since tough questions in front of big audiences by young women are still a rare thing to encounter at…