A scientist is a person trying to understand more by asking interesting questions
Practice (Nov 13, 2013)
How can scientists think in very special ways and remain similar to the people around them?
SSL (Sep 07, 2013)
Have governments locked away their lock-breaking technologies as carefully as the Stuxnet worm?
Shifts (Aug 11, 2013)
Are we Europeans preparing our children for the demographic shifts during their (our) lifetimes?
Education (Aug 02, 2013)
How can we teach kids to cope with an absence of consensus among (good) people who all know they're right?
ID (Jun 16, 2013)
How will (and do) millions of new Gmail users respond to their preferred login names already taken?
Efficiency (Jun 16, 2013)
How can we have the best research output per unit investment (e.g., per USD)?
Reprogramming (May 16, 2013)
Will the conversion of "human skin cells into embryonic stem cells" make the new Star Trek outdated immediately?
Money (Mar 25, 2013)
What other tool is trusted to be able to quantify and repackage claims as universally as money can?
Innovation (Feb 12, 2013)
Can our ageing societies endure the permanently high risk of failure that is an obligatory component of innovation?
Responsibility (Jan 28, 2013)
Do you sometimes feel as if you were an airplane that is a lot bigger than your own human physical size?
Brutal (Jan 27, 2013)
Do adults consume action movies just like cartoons and fairy tales? (often equally brutal)
Bets (Nov 13, 2012)
Are all our decisions not more than intelligent betting?
Cheating (Oct 29, 2012)
Why and how do "all the people" follow the rules and at the same time not follow the rules?
Statistics (Aug 9, 2012)
Would you discuss one special data point from a huge data set without detailed statistical significance tests?
Open (Jul 17, 2012)
EU commission backs open-access science publishing. Will this transform the social webs of scientists?
Derailed? (Jul 09, 2012)
Why do many of us feel that the financial sector, the heart of the economy, is detaching itself from the economy?
Research (Jun 20, 2012)
Is "research" a short name for helping (challenging and entertaining) projects find their way through clouds?
Motivation (Jun 01, 2012)
A 10min video (animated, really fun) on competency+autonomy+purpose. Heard parts of it from Uri Alon before.
Backpack (May 27, 2012)
"What's in your backpack?" ... to find your answer watch this very nice movie: Up in the Air (with George Clooney).
Memory (May 22, 2012)
Is fast+broad+fun memory equal to very creatively+diversely+entertainingly labeling and connecting information?
Success (Apr 07, 2012)
Young scientists about success: curiosity, talent, perseverance, contribution, contacts, balance, timing, ... ?
Contribution (Mar 07, 2012)
Is the main challenge now for China to assemble her own technology(ies)? Can you contribute?
Sugar (Mar 05, 2012)
"Societal control of sugar essential to ease public health burden" (video) -- Will this work in the US?
Debt (Feb 22, 2012)
Short animated video at The Guardian (UK): "The Greek debt crisis: it's, like, totally over". Really?
Bi(?)furcation (Jan, 2012)
There seem to be several very different, but equally likely scenarios on the 1yr time horizon. How to reduce losses?
Programming (Dec, 2011)
Do your personality and programming style affect which programming language you prefer for a task?
Review (Aug, 2011)
Would grant application decisions benefit from a peer review process: 1st review → revision → 2nd review → decision?
Technology (Jun, 2011)
After opinions from Bill Joy, Ray Kurzweil and Freeman Dyson the next step seems to be not only to construct and operate further tiny units, but also to match these new technologies with our bodies & societies.
Transition (Nov, 2010)
Are our societies & ecosystem becoming less stable? Have similar transitions happened before?
Evolution (Oct, 2010)
Are we (humans) now a major driving force of evolution, including our own? What is our responsibility?
Turmoil (Jul, 2010)
What did our grandparents do that allows us now to continue having children, jobs and a good breakfast?
Environment (Jun, 2010)
Is conservation biology conserving ancient cobwebs or preserving the middle classes (you and me) worldwide?
Balance (Apr 02, 2013)
How do find your balance between making and managing?
Optimization (Sep 28, 2012)
Doing science is increasingly determined by resources. What can a specific amount of resources most efficiently be used for?
Market (Aug 16, 2012)
How to build a consensus (e.g., price of an item, fiscal plans of a country) from many distant opinions?
Practice (Jul 18, 2012)
How do people switch frequently and efficiently between focused vision, broad vision, and many others?
Data (Jun 09, 2012)
Is the financial sector (the heart of economy) detaching itself from the economy? How about cloud IT?
Convergence (Apr 26, 2012)
20min TED talk on the (i) great divergence between the West and others and (ii) the current convergence.
Pattern (May 24, 2012)
Is there a "Google History Pattern Search"? Which pattern are we entering now?
References (Jun 08, 2012)
Zotero and Google Drive (iCloud, etc) are a great combination, but why is there no Zotero "add-on" for Chrome/Safari?
In English, magyarul.
Freedom (Apr 03, 2012)
... is a resource similar to food without a fridge. Every day create it and use it.
Open minds (May, 2010)
... can absorb more of and contribute more to our common non-material goods. Secular and religious alike.
RAM (May 19, 2012)
Why do 300M programs use >2G RAM on an SGE cluster? This is a pain, slows down my work by 5-10x.
Scientist (Feb, 2012)
You have to be at the same time the strongest advocate of your project(s) and the strongest disbeliever.
Big (Nov, 2010)
Small nations have a strong competitive edge in adapting to big ones. It's a survival skill.
Union (Mar 22, 2012)
United States of Europe? Or not? A few British comments below this blog item.
Some may object to this by saying that we are playing G**. But note that he/she/it "created man in his own image" and "saw that it was good". So the similarity of humans to the Creator means that creation by humans can be also good.
Privacy (Sep 24, 2012)
Knowing the amount of data circulated about you by organizations, can you influence that data?
Running (Jul 20, 2012)
Did all of our early human ancestors really run a lot?
Science (Jul 21, 2012)
What does the word "science" mean for you? Maybe "organized scepticism"?
Slowdown (Jan 31, 2013)
For the Eurozone avoiding sharp decisions seems to work. Maybe for the US too?
Reputation (Feb 07, 2013)
What combination of punishment or reduced reputation can achieve adherence to the rules most efficiently?
Reputation (Feb 07, 2013)
Can punishment or reduced reputation achieve adherence to the rules more efficiently?
Perception (May 13, 2013)
How to experimentally quantify the influence of prior experience on the interpretation of something unexpected?
Ask Jan 10, 2011
- Customer (me): "Vitamin C, please."
- Pharmacist: "The original BigName or OtherBigName?"
- C: "What do they cost?"
- P: "From BigName 1250 HUF, from OtherBigName 1000 HUF."
- C: "OtherBigName please. Thanks. Oh, these are 1000mg pills. What dosage do you recommend?"
- P: "Usually 200mg is fine."
- C: "Do you have 200mg pills? How many are in a box?"
- P: "Yes, one moment. 20 pills, 200mg from OtherBigName 400 HUF."
- C: "Do you have SmallName?"
- P: "Yes. 30 pills, 200mg from SmallName 250 HUF."
- C: "Do these two have the same effect, over many hours?"
- P: "Yes."
Magic (Jan 14, 2013)
Do at least the Wizards know what financial magic is happening right now?
Creation and Evolution Nov 18, 2010
Two quotes from T. Dobzhansky:  "Creation is not an event that happened in 4004 BC; it is a process that began some 10 billion years ago and is still under way."  "It is a blunder to mistake the Holy Scriptures for elementary textbooks of astronomy, geology, biology, and anthropology."
China November 16, 2010
According to this book either (a) China keeps moving and eating others or (b) she bursts. Currently, one of the major alternatives, (liberal) capitalism, looks ill (more than a flu). Luckily, China is not the first large power that we (in Hungary) will (have to, smile) adapt to: Turks, Habsburgs, ...
Evolution now September 15, 2010
Western cultures tend to focus on winning. South/East Asian cultures used to appreciate balance more strongly than they do now. We (humans) are now the major driving force of evolution.
Resources will be reallocated July 02, 2010
How can you prepare for an increasing number of large conflicts and crises? Financial, agricultural, technological, military, health care, political. Can we learn something from our grandparents' lives?
The next paragraph is not about my family. It's a template that is meant to represent a generation. You may want to insert names, events and photos from your family.
My father's father (b. 1899) was enlisted in two world wars, participated in the 1919/20 revolution (civil war?), was forced into the "TSZ" (kolkhoz-like enforced agricultural unit, turn of '40s-'50s), and saw a revolution (1956) ... etc. I heard that during the war (1917?) in Italy one day someone spotted his feet (not moving) protruding from below a heap of stones. I asked my father whether grandfather ever talked about the wars and killing people. My father said no. And while he was away what happened in his country ... so many lives. His first wife died after a (nowadays routine) operation in the '20s. Then he moved. My father's mother (b. 1913) often played with me when I was 4 and 5. She told me (laughing, really) that when the Russians (Soviet army) came in (during the 2nd war) once a soldier chased her around her kitchen table with a knife. I knew that many of her 10 siblings did not grow up and I learned later that her first fiance died of tuberculosis a few months before their wedding ... etc. When I was 3 a rooster in their backyard attacked me. Grandma prepared that rooster for lunch the same day.
Again, this is not the story of my family. This is the story of many families in our grandparents' generation. What did they do that allows their families now, in our generation, to continue having children, jobs and a good breakfast?
Where do you live? June 15, 2010
Your home is changing. Oh, rapidly. Just watch. Not the city, bigger. Meet the facts. The Earth is changing. You say: Not where I live. You're right. But you have to pay more for this... You're wrong. More. No. Even more. Conservation biology is not about conserving ancient cobwebs. It's about wealth, including your money. And life. Invest (a little of) your time into learning about the facts.
The greatest show on Earth June 01, 2010
First I didn't understand why we need yet another book on evolution. But then I saw this page.
I think that collective experience about the world can have many forms. Some of these types (forms) can be easily quantified while others not so easily. But it makes me unhappy when I see an attempt to quantify less quantifiable forms of collective knowledge. Several of these forms are widely accepted (by humans!) to represent the entire truth (about everything). However, surprisingly, (again) human individuals feel the need to add something even to this complete truth. They claim that this piece of collective wisdom is scientific. But science is just a part of the whole. Why would you want to add a piece of the whole to the whole? As a contrast, we, scientists, do say honestly that we are human and science is not the whole truth.
I know also various religious people, including a priest, whom I found honest and humble. Interestingly, this priest, a member of an order, specializes in biology ... maybe because biology is really a miracle! On a different note, being honest means that you are not protected by "knowing it all". You have more reason to fear and doubt. But being exposed to fears and doubts has an advantage. It helps you appreciate how precious happiness is.
Vocabulary (Mar 7, 2012)
What does the word "debt" mean?
Academia (Apr 02, 2012)
Francis McCormick: "You have to be absolutely committed and dedicated to it to have a real chance of becoming an independent, successful investigator." ... I would add to this that balance is also part of the job description.
nice! most of them i don't agree with or am not interested by, but some of these opinions are pretty cool. and in general it stimulates us to think more critically about our own careers, eh?
i like falko buschke's comments, and annelene dahl's, and erin currie's at the end. thoughts about the importance of failure, the generality of 'scientist' to anyone who uses scientific tools and saying something intelligible despite the growing quantity of data for nearly everything...
I don't know .. it is a question with many different possible answers
really. The answers in the article range a good breath of them. There
are many aspects that ring true like the business, collaboration and
communication aspects of it. You could say that a successful scientist
is one that gets to do research at all. That is all I want, to be able
to continue doing what I like.
Valóban hasonló gyorsasággal változik a tudományos közeg is mint általában a "hétköznapi" környezet, és nincs mese, ehhez a tudósoknak is alkalmazkodni kell. A siker kritériumait mindig az adott környezet diktálja, szerintem pl. tudományáganként (és országonként) is van egy speciális mikrokörnyezet ami meghatározza, hogy ki mennyire sikeres.
Economy (Apr 11, 2012)
Euro countries are urged to fix their overspending by even more spending. Sounds interesting.
Balance (Feb 27, 2013)
Can you maintain the very delicate balance between a lot of listening(reading) and a lot of doing(speaking)?
Goods (Apr 12, 2012)
In 2030 how will we exchange goods: education, information, personal & healthcare, contacts, lodging, food, clothes?
Government (Aug 13, 2013)
The Roman Empire had several forms of government. Are there analogies with the current North Atlantic Bloc?
US (Oct 14, 2013)
Debt ceiling and Obamacare: Do you expect one big solution or a longer series of changes?