The Calutron Girls were a group of young women, mostly high school graduates who joined the World War II efforts in Oak Ridge, Tennessee in 1945.
Although they were not allowed to know at the time, they were monitoring dials and watching meters for a calutron, a mass spectrometer that separates uranium isotopes. The enriched uranium was used to make the first atomic bomb.
Calutron Girls were trained and employed at the Y-12 National Security Complex. Wartime labor shortages forced the Tennessee Eastman Corporation to hire women to work at the Y-12 plant.
According to Gladys Owens, one of the few Calutron Girls, a manager at the facility once told them: "We can train you how to do what is needed, but cannot tell you what you are doing. I can only tell you that if our enemies beat us to it, God have mercy on us!"
FUTON bias (acronym for "full text on the Net") is a tendency of scholars to cite academic journals with open access—that is, journals that make their full text available on the Internet without charge—in preference to toll-access publications. Scholars in some fields can more easily discover and access articles whose full text is available online, which increases authors' likelihood of reading and citing these articles, an issue that was first raised and has been mainly studied in connection with medical research. In the context of evidence-based medicine, articles in expensive journals that do not provide open access (OA) may be "priced out of evidence", giving a greater weight to FUTON publications. FUTON bias may increase the impact factor of open-access journals relative to journals without open access.
One study concluded that authors in medical fields "concentrate on research published in journals that are available as full text on the internet, and ignore relevant studies that are not available in full text, thus introducing an element of bias into their search result". Authors of another study conclude that "the OA advantage is a quality advantage, rather than a quality bias", that authors make a "self-selection toward using and citing the more citable articles—once OA self-archiving has made them accessible", and that open access "itself will not make an unusable (hence uncitable) paper more used and cited".
The related no abstract available bias is a scholar's tendency to cite journal articles that have an abstract available online more readily than articles that do not—this affects articles' citation count similarly to FUTON bias.
- "FUTON bias" | 2013-05-28 | 13 Upvotes 2 Comments
A human-based computation game or game with a purpose (GWAP) is a human-based computation technique of outsourcing steps within a computational process to humans in an entertaining way (gamification).
Luis von Ahn first proposed the idea of "human algorithm games", or games with a purpose (GWAPs), in order to harness human time and energy for addressing problems that computers cannot yet tackle on their own. He believes that human intellect is an important resource and contribution to the enhancement of computer processing and human computer interaction. He argues that games constitute a general mechanism for using brainpower to solve open computational problems. In this technique, human brains are compared to processors in a distributed system, each performing a small task of a massive computation. However, humans require an incentive to become part of a collective computation. Online games are used as a means to encourage participation in the process.
The tasks presented in these games are usually trivial for humans, but difficult for computers. These tasks include labeling images, transcribing ancient texts, common sense or human experience based activities, and more. Human-based computation games motivate people through entertainment rather than an interest in solving computation problems. This makes GWAPs more appealing to a larger audience. GWAPs can be used to help build the semantic web, annotate and classify collected data, crowdsource general knowledge, and improving other general computer processes. GWAPs have a vast range of applications in variety of areas such as security, computer vision, Internet accessibility, adult content filtering, and Internet search. In applications such as these, games with a purpose have lowered the cost of annotating data and increased the level of human participation.
- "Human-based computation games" | 2015-11-26 | 20 Upvotes 1 Comments
Historians and sociologists have remarked the occurrence, in science, of "multiple independent discovery". Robert K. Merton defined such "multiples" as instances in which similar discoveries are made by scientists working independently of each other. "Sometimes," writes Merton, "the discoveries are simultaneous or almost so; sometimes a scientist will make a new discovery which, unknown to him, somebody else has made years before."
Commonly cited examples of multiple independent discovery are the 17th-century independent formulation of calculus by Isaac Newton, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and others, described by A. Rupert Hall; the 18th-century discovery of oxygen by Carl Wilhelm Scheele, Joseph Priestley, Antoine Lavoisier and others; and the theory of the evolution of species, independently advanced in the 19th century by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace.
Multiple independent discovery, however, is not limited to such famous historic instances. Merton believed that it is multiple discoveries, rather than unique ones, that represent the common pattern in science.
Merton contrasted a "multiple" with a "singleton"—a discovery that has been made uniquely by a single scientist or group of scientists working together.
A distinction is drawn between a discovery and an invention, as discussed for example by Bolesław Prus. However, discoveries and inventions are inextricably related, in that discoveries lead to inventions, and inventions facilitate discoveries; and since the same phenomenon of multiplicity occurs in relation to both discoveries and inventions, this article lists both multiple discoveries and multiple inventions.
This is a list of fictional stories that, when written, were set in the future, but the future they predicted is now present or past. The list excludes works that were alternate histories, which were composed after the dates they depict, alternative futures, as depicted in time travel fiction, as well as any works that make no predictions of the future, such as those focusing solely on the future lives of specific fictional characters, or works which, despite their claimed dates, are contemporary in all but name. Entries referencing the current year may be added if their month and day were not specified or have already occurred.
- "List of stories set in a future now past" | 2019-02-06 | 186 Upvotes 140 Comments
This is a list of topics that have, at one point or another in their history, been characterized as pseudoscience by academics or researchers. Detailed discussion of these topics may be found on their main pages. These characterizations were made in the context of educating the public about questionable or potentially fraudulent or dangerous claims and practices—efforts to define the nature of science, or humorous parodies of poor scientific reasoning.
Criticism of pseudoscience, generally by the scientific community or skeptical organizations, involves critiques of the logical, methodological, or rhetorical bases of the topic in question. Though some of the listed topics continue to be investigated scientifically, others were only subject to scientific research in the past, and today are considered refuted but resurrected in a pseudoscientific fashion. Other ideas presented here are entirely non-scientific, but have in one way or another impinged on scientific domains or practices.
Many adherents or practitioners of the topics listed here dispute their characterization as pseudoscience. Each section here summarizes the alleged pseudoscientific aspects of that topic.
Some of the major unsolved problems in physics are theoretical, meaning that existing theories seem incapable of explaining a certain observed phenomenon or experimental result. The others are experimental, meaning that there is a difficulty in creating an experiment to test a proposed theory or investigate a phenomenon in greater detail.
There are still some deficiencies in the Standard Model of physics, such as the origin of mass, the strong CP problem, neutrino mass, matter–antimatter asymmetry, and the nature of dark matter and dark energy. Another problem lies within the mathematical framework of the Standard Model itself—the Standard Model is inconsistent with that of general relativity, to the point that one or both theories break down under certain conditions (for example within known spacetime singularities like the Big Bang and the centers of black holes beyond the event horizon).
Lumpers and splitters are opposing factions in any discipline that has to place individual examples into rigorously defined categories. The lumper–splitter problem occurs when there is the desire to create classifications and assign examples to them, for example schools of literature, biological taxa and so on. A "lumper" is an individual who takes a gestalt view of a definition, and assigns examples broadly, assuming that differences are not as important as signature similarities. A "splitter" is an individual who takes precise definitions, and creates new categories to classify samples that differ in key ways.
- "Lumpers and Splitters" | 2015-12-29 | 25 Upvotes 7 Comments
The replication crisis (or replicability crisis or reproducibility crisis) is, as of 2020, an ongoing methodological crisis in which it has been found that many scientific studies are difficult or impossible to replicate or reproduce. The replication crisis affects the social sciences and medicine most severely. The crisis has long-standing roots; the phrase was coined in the early 2010s as part of a growing awareness of the problem. The replication crisis represents an important body of research in the field of metascience.
Because the reproducibility of experimental results is an essential part of the scientific method, the inability to replicate the studies of others has potentially grave consequences for many fields of science in which significant theories are grounded on unreproducible experimental work. The replication crisis has been particularly widely discussed in the field of psychology and in medicine, where a number of efforts have been made to re-investigate classic results, to determine both the reliability of the results, and, if found to be unreliable, the reasons for the failure of replication.
- "Replication Crisis" | 2020-02-08 | 24 Upvotes 2 Comments
Scientism is the promotion of science as the best or only objective means by which society should determine normative and epistemological values. The term scientism is generally used critically, implying a cosmetic application of science in unwarranted situations considered not amenable to application of the scientific method or similar scientific standards.
- "Scientism" | 2012-09-20 | 19 Upvotes 19 Comments