Tuesday, July 15, 2014


  1. Mary Beard in CHE: What's So Funny? A neat overview of the history of theories of laughter. I like this line: "Confronted with the product of centuries of analysis and investigation, one is [tempted] to suggest that it is not so much laughter that defines the human species, as Aristotle is supposed to have claimed, but rather the drive to debate and theorize laughter."

  2. Here's a big one fit for the Annals of Research Misconduct: SAGE is retracting 60 articles published in their Journal of Vibration and Control [Update: The scandal has now forced the resignation of Taiwan's Education Minister]. Reason? A peer review ring:

    While investigating the JVC papers submitted and reviewed by Peter Chen, it was discovered that the author had created various aliases on SAGE Track, providing different email addresses to set up more than one account. Consequently, SAGE scrutinised further the co-authors of and reviewers selected for Peter Chen’s papers, these names appeared to form part of a peer review ring. The investigation also revealed that on at least one occasion, the author Peter Chen reviewed his own paper under one of the aliases he had created.

  3. The Philosophers Mail: How we end up marrying the wrong people:

    ... Given that marrying the wrong person is about the single easiest and also costliest mistake any of us can make (and one which places an enormous burden on the state, employers and the next generation), it is extraordinary, and almost criminal, that the issue of marrying intelligently is not more systematically addressed at a national and personal level, as road safety or smoking are.

    It’s all the sadder because in truth, the reasons why people make the wrong choices are easy to lay out and unsurprising in their structure. [...]

  4. The Economist: The Digital Degree. "The staid higher-education business is about to experience a welcome earthquake."


  1. 123 said...

    Here's some retraction news from India: