Cutting edge Open Science

lecture hall by yusunkwon
Best. Freshmen. Evar.:
[Via Unqualified Offerings]

By Thoreau

I decided to give my freshmen a taste of real physics. I offered extra credit to anybody who could give me a useful critique of my grant proposal. Amazingly enough, two of my students actually rose to the occasion. Although they couldn’t really dissect the science, they could tell that I wasn’t really explaining why this would be significant for the field, and they told me what I’d need to say to convince them of the significance. (I guess some people just can’t appreciate the inherent AWESOMENESS of simulating a new technique for optical nanolithography and identifying the necessary molecular parameters.) They earned themselves some extra credit points for the upcoming midterm. Prior to this these students flew under my radar, but if this grant gets funded, they’ll be the first ones that I consider for research assistantships.

I don’t know many researchers who would do this but Thoreau accomplished something very useful. Not only were several deficiencies in the grant identified but the students may have lined up some nice work for themselves. A nice win-win situation.

I think the extra-credit idea is a nice approach. Anyone who can make it through a government grant (which can range well over 60 or so pages) should get some credit just for making it through. The students were able to identify holes even without understanding the exact protocols.

I wonder if this could be applied further down the system – during the grant review process. Not have students critique but find a way to open up the review process to a wider group of people?

I know from comments reviewers have given my grants that sometimes they really did not read what was written, since the text directly contradicted their comments. I have had comments from two reviewers that directly contradicted each other.

Now, these days, very few grants are awarded the first time they are submitted. So being able to answer comments is important. But what if the comments themselves are useless? Perhaps using a more Long Tail approach would help.

Obviously there are barriers to overcome (e.g. proprietary information) but I wonder?

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Moving email to Web 2.0

purple by corazón girl
Examples of re-purposing email:
[Via Library clips]

In a past post I talked about Re-purposing email, and after that I was going to give some examples, but I got sidetracked on what blogs an enterprise would have when it would come to communications, see Enterprise blog channels for communications.

If these examples seem universal, then perhaps we can start a”Re-purposing email wiki” I’m sure Luis Suarez would agree.

Emails are not just about communications, sometimes they are about collanoration, tasks, sharing tips, etc…

This post is not just focusing on communication type blog posts, in fact it’s not focusing on blogs at all. It’s going through example emails and proposing how that email could be re-purposed.

What I have done is listed the email under the social tool it could of been delivered in.

Some very good examples of what type of emails can be moved to other spots using Web 2.0 approaches. This not only makes the information much more accessible but also helps lessen email overload.

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