TS Picks: December 1, 2014

Data-sharing confusion; neuroprosthetics attract regulatory attention; postdocs on the “Future of Research”

Dec 1, 2014
Tracy Vence


Selections from The Scientist’s reading list:

  • Open-access publisher PLOS announced new data-sharing rules in February, conjuring confusion for authors publishing in its journals. By March PLOS had clarified its policies, but according to a Nature News report published last week (November 26), “not everyone is complying with the publisher’s pioneering open-data mandate.” Some of the PLOS authors who responded to Nature’s requests for comment “said that they wanted to hold back their data for future studies, or did not want to share the raw data unless they knew future users’ intent.”
  • Earlier this year, a group of Boston-based postdocs held a two-day meeting to discuss the “Future of Research” and the roles of early-career researchers in the life science enterprise. In an F1000 Research paper published today (December 1), Harvard Medical School’s Jessica Polka and her colleagues recap the meeting. “As future leaders, junior scientists are uniquely poised to shape the culture and practice of science,” the authors wrote. (See Polka’s opinion piece for The Scientist, published September 18.)
  • Robotic limb advances are attracting serious attention from the FDA,” Nature News reported last week (November 26). (See “Neuroprosthetics,” The Scientist November 2014).
  • Nobel Laureate James Watson, credited for the co-discovery of the structure of DNA, is auctioning off his prestigious prize, Live Science reported. In an opinion piece for The Guardian, Nature’s Adam Rutherford recounted Watson’s infamous past remarks on race, among other things. “It turns out that just like DNA, people are messy, complex and sometimes full of hideous errors,” Rutherford wrote. Francis Crick’s Nobel Prize—shared with Watson and Maurice Wilkins—sold for $2 million last year.