Covalent Data, first impressions

Covalent Data is a tool to search over research topics. It seems to have the following features: Is a DB of grants, papers, people and institutions. claims to use machine learning to tie these entities together. search results don’t seem to have a way to be exported, so for example though the grant awards results do list the amount of each grant, to get a total amount against a search term, you would need to do the work of extracting each data point manually. ... (more)

Something broke in a Jekyll upgrade (a.k.a, sometimes I hate software)

This is a short story about software, some of the things I hate about it, my lack of knowledge of ruby, and a desire to own my own words. For various reasons I’m working on a brand new machine, I decided that I want to start posting to my own blog again (as well as cross posting to Medium, because fuck it, why not). That involved dusting down my Jekyll site and seeing if I could get it to work again. ... (more)

I’m voting IN, and you should too

Well, here we are, two days out from the referendum. I’m voting IN, but that’s not the main point of this post. The fact that we are having this referendum at all, the fact that it is going to be so close, the fact that it has unleashed a wave of ill informed anger across the divide, all of these things have made me worry and despair a little about the state of politics in Britain. ... (more)

Goodbye eLife!

# Goodbye eLife! So after nearly four and a half years I am moving on from eLife. I’ve had an amazing time, worked with some amazing people, and we have gotten a few really nice things done. First off, we are hiring a replacement for my role, this is an amazing opportunity to effect real change in scholarly publishing. eLife has just announced follow on funding of £25M to sustain us through to 2022. ... (more)

A(peeling) Peer Review, a proposal.

eLife’s peer review process is really good. One of the key attributes of this is that reviewers are not blind to one another, and they have to consult with one another. This largely removes the third reviewer problem. We also publish the decision letters and the author responses to the decision letter. Reviewers have the option of revealing themselves to authors. As with most review systms our reviewers know who the authors are. ... (more)

data science vs statistics talk at the RSS

Tonight I attend a debate held at the Royal Statistics Society. It was en entertaining, and wide ranging discussion with a great panel, and fairly intelligent questions from the floor. Two fun facts: One of the founding members of the society was Charles Babbage The society is located within spitting distance of the grave of William Thomas Bayes So, here are the notes, rough and ready, and I missed a lot in my note taking, but I hope I get a flavour of the discussion across. ... (more)

aws london summit notes

Amazon Web Summit London 2015 ## Keynote There were about three thousand people at the summit. I chatted to a few people throughout the day. Their experience with AWS ranged from moderate use through to just being at the evaluation stage. The keynote highlighted AWS’s approach of wanting to put the customer in control, and to remove all unnecessary work from the customer in terms of managing IT. AWS has grown enormously, they are estimated to have five times the compute power on hand than all other cloud providers combined. ... (more)

RIP Terry Pratchett

I must have been fourteen, fifteen years old, I was passing through a train station in Northern Ireland and I picked up a copy of Mort, from that point on I was hooked. How could it not speak to me, a gangly awkward teenager, trying to find my way in the world. I devoured the books as they came out, within a few more years I had a healthy stack. ... (more)

Some thoughts about product management

I moved into digital product management in 2007. I had no formal training, and for much of the last eight years I’ve been learning on the job. There are a huge number of resources out there, great lectures, books, conferences, blog posts. In this short post I just want to reflect a bit on what I’ve learned on this topic through direct personal experience. I continue to learn, and my thinking continues to evolve, so this post is more of a look back, than a look to the future. ... (more)

Wittgenstein and Physics, Cross College Oxford one day seminar

(image via peternijenhuis) Last year I attended a one day seminar on Wittgenstein and Physics. It was held at Cross College Oxford and was the first in a planned series of talks on the history and philosophy of science. It’s been a long time since I’ve done physics seriously, and longer still since I took classes on the history and philosophy of science, so I attended very much in the mode of the interested outsider. ... (more)