Information Science

This past Tuesday I gave a talk as part of the York University Department of Science & Technology Studies‘ STS Seminar Series. Not surprisingly, my talk was centred on the work I’ve done as a chronicler of Canadian science policy issues. The title and abstract of my talk are: Evidence vs. Ideology: The Canadian Conservative…

Life’s Blueprint

A new book will make you stop and think about the relationship between the microscopic world and the one we pass by every day. Life’s Blueprint – The Science and Art of Embryo Creation; Benny Shilo, Yale University Press, 174 pages. When a stem cell divides, one daughter maintains the stem cell fate while the…

It has been a year since I last updated my chronological listing of the Harper Conservative government’s war on science. The newly updated master list is here, where you can also read more about this project in general. The previous update from October 2013 is here. Some preliminary metrics about the impact of that original…

I find the whole idea of a “sharing economy” where people barter and exchange and free up excess capacity in their own lives and situations to make others’ lives a little easier and cheaper an interesting notion. And worthwhile. After all broadly speaking the open access and open source movements do partake of this same…

Science Online Died. Why?

Science Online was an amazing annual unconference that started a few years back and grew and became part of the reshaping of public communication about science. This year, the people running the conference started out with the plan to move the conference to a new venue, Atlanta, and last week abruptly announced that the conference…

So what do I mean by Big Deals. In the world of academic libraries, a Big Deal is when we subscribe to the electronic versions of all (or almost all) of a journal publisher’s offerings. Usually for it to qualify as a Big Deal, the publisher in question is going to be one of the…

I used Google N-gram Viewer to inspect the occurrence of the word “Ebola” in the Google-indexed literature. A few instances of Ebola came up earlier than the disease being known, so I figured they were references to the place name in Zaire/Congo, after which the disease is named. And that was in fact the case.…

Yes, I cook. Yes, I use recipe blogs. Yes, I might alter the recipes I see based on what I have on hand or what various personal and familial preferences come into play. In fact, I love recipe blogs, I really really do. Simply Recipes is probably my favourite. The reality, of course, is that…

I’m always interested in the present and future of libraries and higher education. There’s a steady stream of reports from various organizations that are broadly relevant to the (mostly academic) library biz but they can be tough to keep track of. I thought I’d aggregate some of those here. Of course I’ve very likely missed…

This is one scary book. Never mind The Exorcist or Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s The Strain trilogy, this is the real thing. And that’s because unlike those authors’ fevered dreams of gods and devils and vampires and plagues, the nightmare that all of our governments are spying on is really real. And we…