Follow-up on the Discussions about Knowledge for Knowledge’s Sake
I’ve been enjoying the discussion around Patek’s recent video argument for knowledge for knowledge’s sake in several forums. I thought I’d summarize my arguments here. To me it looks all pretty straightforward. From a principled stance, as to funding research, it is the funder’s prerogative who to fund. Often, grant proposals (funding requests) exceed available […]
The Downside of the “Knowledge for Knowledge’s Sake” Argument
On the PBS Newshour Duke University biologist Sheila Patek just made a passionate plea for “why knowledge for the pure sake of knowing is good enough to justify scientific research” using her own research into mantis shrimp as an example. While I support public funding for basic research, Patek makes a convoluted and ultimately harmful […]
O RLY? LaTeX Beautiful Typesetting
Too (professionally) funny not to share it.
Why You Should Not Cite Research Work on Wikipedia That is Not Freely Available
I recommend that Wikipedia articles do not reference research papers that are not freely available, just like research papers should not cite research work that is not freely available. Anyone who cites non-open-access, non-free research bases their work and argument on materials not accessible to the vast majority of people on this planet. By doing […]
What Makes a Great “Grand Challenge”?
Ten years ago DARPA, the US defense research agency, first organized the DARPA Grand Challenge. The challenge was to build a car that could drive 150 miles through the Mohave desert autonomously. The key is the car’s autonomy: No human brain was to steer it and make decisions, it was computers and other technology all […]
Internal vs. External Validity of Research Funding
So far, most of my research funding has been from industry. Sometimes, I have to defend myself against colleagues who argue that their public funding is somehow superior to my industry funding. This is only a sentiment; they have not been able to give any particular reason for their position. I disagree with this assessment, […]