Nobel loot, Chinese plagiarism and human consciousnessby Anjana Ahuja / December 15, 2010 / Leave a comment
Published in January 2011 issue of Prospect Magazine
Paul Nurse will be settling in as the new president of the Royal Society, having taken up the post in December. The 61-year-old Nobel laureate, formerly president of the Rockefeller University in New York, replaces Martin Rees, who had served his five-year term. But Nurse, whose research focuses on the genetics of cell division, won’t be unpacking his bags at once: in January, he also takes over at the UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation, a new health sciences hub in London. Expect a colourful reign: he spent some of his Nobel loot on a motorbike and has spoken of the need for a scientific “elite.”
China’s 5,000 scientific journals have fallen foul of the country’s press regulators. From the beginning of 2011, “weak” journals will be “terminated.” Despite the criteria for this being unclear, many Chinese scholars actually support the sentiment: they complain that homegrown publications are stuffed with inconsequential, often plagiarised, papers. A number of Chinese journals are now opting to publish in English to achieve a wider global reach; some, like the Shanghai-based Cell Research, are also partnering with outside companies, like the Nature Publishing Group, to raise their impact.
Thinking of 2011 as the year to unveil the new you? Ponder the old one first on 16th January, when psychoanalysts Robin Anderson and Elizabeth Bradley will discuss what gives us a sense of self at the Science Museum’s Dana Centre. The event ties in with its exhibition “Psychoanalysis: The Unconscious in Everyday Life,” and is part of the London Short Film Festival. As a five-hour feast of celluloid-based introspection, it might well pose its own challenge to human consciousness.