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Here's a much-overdue introduction!

I am a science writer by training and profession, working at since Sep 2010 and communicating everything to do with .

Since Jan 2014, I've also been pursuing a PhD in , from UWE Bristol (remote, part-time -- a hell of a combination that I do not wish upon anyone).

I love learning (about) programming.

When I can spare the time, I also attend training and play for the CERN Cricket Club.

No free view? No review! Join us in our boycott of closed-access journals. #NoFreeViewNoReview

Life, Geneva 

Today marks nine years since I moved to !

Too bad not a single day counts towards applying for Swiss residency when my contract ends exactly a year from now.



Sick today and not at $DAYJOB, so wondering if I should work on my thesis instead.

I should probably just recover first, but you know… I could be writing / staring-at-my-computer.

Searching for a website 

A few days ago, I saw a link here for a website (and some sites inspired by it?) designed as an experiment, allowing anyone to SSH into a space and edit their HTML homepage as they wanted. There were some lovely pages there.

I can't seem to find the page anymore and it's not in my browser history / bookmarks.

Does anyone have any clue what I'm talking about?

Ramanujan number, Wikipedia, decolonise science 

@RaoOfPhysics I once got pissed off at an ignorant and superficial sentence in a Wikipedia page. Figuring that I could never triumph over a policynik who insisted "that statement has a reference", I wrote an essay about how bad it was and eventually got it published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society.

Anyone else dislike being really good at something specific?

I’m really good at proof-reading.

I hate that I am.

It means I get asked to proof-read documents before we send them for printing, when my primary skill (and interest) is science writing.

Versatility at work comes at a price.

Ramanujan number, Wikipedia, decolonise science 

Don’t get me wrong, I love Wikipedia and I know it is supposed to curate primary sources, not be one.

But when most (UK-based!) primary sources lump Hardy’s name with Ramanujan’s, what can you do?


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Ramanujan number, Wikipedia, decolonise science 

What a surprise, a Wikipedia Administrator undid my edit, asking me to “just Google it”.

And of course this person’s a white European man.

Someone asked in the Talk page in 2018:

“Why is 1729 named Hardy-Ramanujan and not Ramanujan-Hardy? Ramanujan should have top billing - he did the work here. Hardy did nothing other than relate an anecdote. Did Hardy get his name first because he is the white guy?”

Silence followed.

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Ramanujan number, Wikipedia, decolonise science 

The Wikipedia entry for “1729 (number)” referred to it as the “Hardy-Ramanujan number”, but since all Hardy contributed was taking a taxi that coincidentally had that as its number and it was Ramanujan who pointed out why it was special, I changed the entry to remove Hardy’s name.

Decolonise science, friends.

Personal Wiki, ADHD, forgetfulness 

Inspired by @kensanata, and because – despite having a very good memory for obscure facts and random incidents from my past – many of the things I learn / need to remember fall out of my brain (yay ), I decided to store notes in a personal .

Does anyone else here do the same, and do you have any advice for me?

(Although mine is publicly readable, it's not publicly editable, as I don’t have the necessary skills to run such a service.)

Postdoc job advert, citizen science, Paris 

Hey, scholars! If anyone’s looking for a position to study , the CRI in Paris has a two-year position open.

Also a great opportunity to work with my wonderful friend, @gedankenstuecke!


Strong language; Academic exploitation 

Academic work is work

If you have a research assistant working for you and they are not getting paid

With money

This month (actual money that can be used for rent),

You. Fucked. Up.

Even if they're students

Even if they get authorship

Even if it's "going to be great for their career"

There's no such thing as "unpaid academic work," it's just exploitation

Deficit model, science communication 

@RaoOfPhysics ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Lots of concepts and neologisms are created to make tendencies and phenomena that are otherwise unexamined available for critique. I see a lot of synchrony with deficit model critiques and wider late 20th century reformations of pedagogy (Friere's banking model of education, for example).

Basically, I think it's a useful analytic, not necessarily a broad empirical claim.

Deficit model, science communication 

Anyone else familiar with the feel it has elements that make it seem like a straw-man argument?

Its origin is unclear, its (original?) position seems without basis in the literature. Feels a bit like it was created to serve an agenda.

Not sure I’m making much sense, but this post goes into some detail (see the comments below it too):

Recommendations for the March 2020 #JournalClub 

Hello scholars! If you would like to suggest a paper for the 2020 March , please:

* Send me the DOI :doi:
* Of a paper you want us all to read together :blobpats:
* That can be got online for free :OpenAccess: :scihub:
* From outside your area of specialty (so non-experts can participate too) 🌈
* One suggestion will be chosen randomly at the end of the month 🎲
* And pinned to my profile 📰
* So DM me your recommendations!

I’m rather enjoying re-reading “Science in society: re-evaluating the deficit model of public attitudes” (Sturgis and Allum, 2004, – not :OpenAccess:, probably available on :scihub: if you’re interested), but their choice of archaic/uncommon vocabulary makes me reach for the iPad’s built-in dictionary more than once. Examples include:

➡️ concomitantly
➡️ coterminous
➡️ procrustean
➡️ incommensurable

I’m happy to expand my vocabulary but frustrated at the same time!

Unrelated: Caved in following positive comments from @bgcarlisle and ordered a reMarkable tablet. Now waiting impatiently for it to arrive.


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Achintya Rao • ಅಚಿಂತ್ಯ ರಾವ's choices:

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