I have an ISBN! 9780674743908 (preorder details for: Why Torture Doesn’t Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation)

My forthcoming book (Why Torture Doesn’t Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation, Harvard University Press, November 2015) now has an ISBN (9780674743908) and the book is starting to appear on searches in prepublication (see this) format. It even has a page on Amazon’s Japanese site! It is also available to pre-order via Amazon UK and Amazon USA. Amazon (.com) Amazon (.co.uk) Harvard… Read More

Cognition enhancement via drugs – “Smart and smarter drugs | Mosaic”

Embed from Getty Images Great piece on a topic we have dealt with here before – allegedly cognition-enhancing drugs. via Smart and smarter drugs | Mosaic. Author: Marek Kohn Editor: Giles Newton Copyeditor: Kirsty Strawbridge Fact checker: Lowri Daniels Illustrator: Mari Kanstad Johnsen Art director: Peta Bell “You know how they say that we can only access 20 per cent of our… Read More

Many contrarian thoughts and bullet-points about MOOCs

I present some general and largely negative points against MOOCs (wiki: ‘A massive open online course (MOOC) is an online course aimed at large-scale interactive participation and open access via the web‘) below.  Well, against the MOOC hype anyway. As a contra to what I say below: this Clay Shirky piece is fantastic on the hope for MOOCs; this piece by Shirkey gives a particular… Read More

Ninth Level Ireland » Blog Archive » THE rankings – UCD and UCC up, Trinity down, others unchanged

via Ninth Level Ireland » Blog Archive » THE rankings – UCD and UCC up, Trinity down, others unchanged. Yay! [or not as the case may be…] The new THES rankings are out. Compare them with QS or Leiden. There will be the usual tedium in the newspapers about one being especially prestigious (in some sense more than one of… Read More

Are People Overoptimistic about the Effects of Heavy Drinking? [J Risk Uncertain. 2013] – PubMed

Heavy drinkers have a sense that excessive alcohol consumption isn’t doing them much good. But, paradoxically, they believe the rapid and complex visuomotor integration required for driving is unaffected. Presumably the lack of conscious access to the non-declarative habit systems of the brain (tell me exactly how to drive a car, play a musical instrument… Read More

Maybe neuroscience needs ‘malbrain’ to complement cell biology’s ‘cancer’ in the public mind…***

Previously, I wondered why there was no hue-and-cry over the huge disinvestment in brain research over the past decade, and why, by comparison, cancer research does well.* ‘Cancer‘ is understood by the public at large, by the political establishment, by the pharmaceutical companies and a host of other stakeholders as a single-word issue of great and pressing concern to… Read More

Ninth Level Ireland » Predicting who will publish or perish as career academics

via Ninth Level Ireland » Blog Archive » Predicting who will publish or perish as career academics. [full article here] Here’s what we concluded. It doesn’t matter whether you got your PhD at glittering Harvard University or a humble regional institution like the University of Ballarat. The supposed prestige of the academic institution has almost no bearing on… Read More

Why the lack of spending on neuroscience? A comparison with cancer research spending, and a neologism (‘malbrain’).

Previously, I wondered why there is no hue and cry about the loss of research budgets for neuroscience. Comparing research spends between areas is not easy. This paper (Sobocki et al., 2006) has some data: Abstract This article is a markedly condensed summary of a longer report [Resource allocation to brain research in Europe (RABRE), part 2] that… Read More

Why no public hue and cry over neuroscience disinvestment? Does nobody care about brain diseases and brain disorders?

The past few years have seen astonishing disinvestment by the pharmaceutical industry in neuroscience research. There have been closures announced of whole research divisions by virtually all the major pharmaceutical companies. They are ceasing research in neuroscience because of its complexity, cost, and their current lack of capacity to deliver a pipeline of meaningful market… Read More

Terrorism, Torture and Memory: Royal Irish Academy | About | Science Series

[My book ‘Why Torture Doesn’t Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation’ (Harvard UP) can be preordered from Amazon (.com) – more details at end of post] Royal Irish Academy | About | Science Series via Royal Irish Academy | About | Science Series. This links to a podcast of an unusual interdisciplinary evening, featuring a neuroscientist (me), a political scientist (Richard… Read More