Interesting things I’ve been reading/watching/listening to recently:
📖 What we’ve learned from #ExpertDebate – Wellcome’s Director Jeremy Farrar reflects on the issues that mistrust of expertise raises for researchers. He warns us to beware double meanings when talking science: these 5 words have different meanings in the context of science vs everyday usage: theory, significant, risk, determine, predict.
📽 The closing keynote of UKSG Conference 2017: Post-Truth: the role of publishers and librarians by Charlotte Roueché, Professor Emeritus of Digital Hellenic Studies at King’s College London (and here is her ORCID record). In a post-truth era where fake news proliferates, she asks us “What are you doing to preserve truth and honest thinking?” We are all researchers, and it’s not good enough to say it’s not our problem. She emphasises the importance of linked open data, and highlights 5-star Open Data – how to make your data open, re-usable, and linked (includes examples, and costs/benefits for each level).
📖 Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of Flags by Tim Marshall. I learned a lot from Tim’s previous book, Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics, so I had high expectations! I devoured Worth Dying For and will soon re-read it to make sure I can remember as many as possible of Tim’s observations and anecdotes. He has a dry sense of humour too!
📽 … While awaiting the arrival of the copy you’ve ordered, watch this video of Tim speaking about The Power and Politics of Flags (public lecture at LSE).
👂 I’m really enjoying the current BBC World Service series 50 Things That Made The Modern Economy. Wondering how the development of air-conditioning might be linked to Ronald Reagan winning the 1980 US Presidential Election? Listen to the episode on air-conditioning and then catch up with all the others. Each episode is only 9 minutes long, and all of them will give you something to think about.
📖 How We Got “Please” and “Thank You” – Why the line between politeness and bossiness is a linguistic mirage (and the idea of the tacit calculus of debt).
On which matter, thanks for reading 🙂