There is a strong trend toward publishing scientific findings in open access journals, where the results are then freely available for other scientists or decision-makers rather than locked behind paywalls. Yet, there is no oversight of these journals, so “predatory publishing” has become a problem. A newly launched tool developed in part by UW researchers shows that open-access journals’ fees do not correlate particularly strongly with their influence, as measured by a citation-based index. Check out the visualization tool, and other resources available from Eigenfactor.org, which is based out of the UW Biology department.
Dr. Robert T. Paine, pre-eminent UW ecologist who developed the concept of the keystone species, was one himself, with a powerful effect on the field of ecology that has extended far beyond his own impressive work. Check out this story about the Paine “lineage” and how it has facilitated key perspectives on ecology, academia, and the role of science in policymaking.
This weekend’s Seattle Times featured an op-ed by Howard Frumkin, Dean of the School of Public Health. Frumkin explores the links between environmental hazards, human health, and global warming, and what we can do to quell the rising tolls on properties, economies, and lives. Read up.
Recent work by UW researchers shows that noise in some Puget Sound shipping channels regularly meets or exceeds levels the federal government suggests may be harmful to marine life. Read more here.
Despite being among the insect world’s most picky eaters, moths are able to enjoy a pollinator’s buffet of flowers because of two distinct “channels” in their brains. Researchers from University of Washington and University of Arizona are studying how this works; learn more here!
Physicists at University of Washington have devised a new experiment to test if the universe is a computer. Um… what? You read that correctly. A philosophical thought experiment has long held that it is more likely than not that we’re living inside a machine. But how can we test that? Read more here!
Last week, researchers published a possible identification of the earliest known dinosaur—a creature no bigger than a Labrador retriever that lived about 243 million years ago. UW’s Sterling Nesbitt is the lead author on this work. Learn more here!