Curious about life, society and the way we all interact and communicate.

A brief tale of early professionalisation of science, and the importance of power in allyship

Princess Dashkova’s noble Vorontsov family’s coat of arms. “Semper immota fides” roughly means “an always immutable faith” in Latin. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

This is the final part of a six-part series on the establishment of the modern scientific academy. With each part of the series, we discuss different topics pertaining to the ethics of research. The present post introduces us to the first woman* to head a scientific institute. …

A brief history of the Académie des Sciences’ “Comptes Rendus” and moving ancient publications online

Colbert Presenting the Members of the Royal Academy of Sciences to Louis XIV in 1667. Many white men in fancy clothes and big wigs stand and sit about. The new observatory appears far in the background.
Establishment of the French Academy of Sciences and of Paris Observatory. Painting by Henri Testelin. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

This is the fifth of a six-part series on the establishment of the modern scientific academy. With each part of the series, we will discuss different topics pertaining to the ethics of research. The present post provides an illustration of some tensions that can emerge between science institutes and the…

The early days of the world’s oldest academic journal, featuring the Elzévier family, Leibniz and Locke

This is the fourth of a six-part series on the establishment of the modern scientific academy. With each part of the series, we will discuss different topics pertaining to the ethics of research. The present post touches on the practices of printers and pirates in the early days of the…

On interdisciplinarity in academic publications and some policy changes of Philosophical Transactions

The first page of the first edition of Philosophical Transactions. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

This is the third of a six-part series on the establishment of the modern scientific academy. With each part of the series, we will discuss different topics pertaining to the ethics of research. The present post touches on the interdisciplinarity of academic journals, and proposes four stages for the analysis…

A brief look into the role of governments in establishing some of Europe’s oldest science institutes

A portion of the frontispiece of the Leopoldina’s scientific journal Miscellanea Curiosa. The Miscellanea Curiosa have been published since 1670. The motto “nunquam otiosus” means “never idle.”

This is the second of a six-part series on the establishment of the modern scientific academy. With each part of the series, we will discuss different topics pertaining to the ethics of research. The present post touches on the role of government on the functioning of scientific institutes. …

Setting some of the foundations for a response.

Intertwining ropes
Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay

This is a quick attempt at setting out the basics to the respond to the question Do we need research ethics committees? Three points should be noted at the start:

  1. The question is closed-ended: it allows only for a yes-or-no answer, but such a simple response carries the nuances entailed…

Thoughts and Theory

Epistemic Humility and Standpoint Theory for doing data science better

Colourful bokeh — a myriad if blurry and colourful dots, almost like data. If only we knew what they represented!
Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Data science is, basically, the science of data. It seeks to generate actionable knowledge about the world by studying data. By “actionable knowledge”, I mean knowledge that can be drawn on by other researchers and policymakers to continue advancing how society interacts with the world and understands itself. Therefore, I…

Ismael Kherroubi Garcia

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