Author Archives: Victoria Stodden

Coronavirus diaries – Champaign edition

Illinois locked down relatively early, when a statewide order was issued starting March 21, 2020. Like every lockdown we no longer went to work, restaurants or bars, or visited friends. So after a period of reclusiveness I started going on … Continue reading

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Open trusted coronavirus data must be a national priority: Hospitals, release your data directly on your website to comply with HHS

We need to collect, organize, and publicly release trusted data on coronavirus. This now falls unexpectedly on our hospitals. This July 10 Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) memo charges hospitals with reporting coronavirus data as follows: If Hospitals … Continue reading

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Why Distinguishing Experiential and Inferential Computational Knowledge is Important

Scientific communities are grappling with assessing knowledge derived from computational processes: interpretability of machine learning models; generalizability of data science claims; verifiability of computational science. There are two broad categories of “knowing” at play here that distinguish approaches to understanding … Continue reading

Posted in Machine Learning, Reproducible Research, Scientific Method | Leave a comment

Fascinating People: Jason Kohn

Jason Kohn is a documentary maker and director, interviewed most recently by Pure Nonfiction for his more recent release Love Means Zero, about the superstar tennis coach Nick Bollettieri . The first half of the interview is Kohn’s origin … Continue reading

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Paul Meier: Still Saving Millions of Lives

You may never have heard of Paul Meier, but perhaps I can convince you he is one of the 2oth century’s greatest heroes. As I write from my “shelter in place” from the violent COVID-19 pandemic, I’m seeing news stories … Continue reading

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Back to blogging?

This blog’s been on hold while I prepared for and (successfully) went through the tenure process. I’d like to start posting again, and I’m shocked that the break has been almost six years..

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My input for the OSTP RFI on reproducibility

Until Sept 23 2014, the US Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Whitehouse was accepting comments on their “Strategy for American Innovation.” My submitted comments on one part of that RFI, section 11 follow: “11) Given recent evidence … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Intellectual Property, Law, Open Data, Open Science, OSTP, Reproducible Research, Scientific Method | 2 Comments

Mistakes by Piketty are OK (even good?)

In an email conversation I tried to make some points about the criticism Piketty has come under for apparently having mistakes in his data. I think the concerns are real but misplaced. Here’s why: There was a point made in … Continue reading

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Changes in the Research Process Must Come From the Scientific Community, not Federal Regulation

I wrote this piece as an invited policy article for a major journal but they declined to publish it. It’s still very much a draft and they made some suggestions, but since realistically I won’t be able to get back … Continue reading

Posted in Intellectual Property, Law, Open Data, Open Science, OSTP, Reproducible Research | 5 Comments

Peanut allergic reaction

I’ve used this blog for my professional interests thinking that my personal life just isn’t all that interesting. I still don’t think my personal life is of broad interest, but I’m going to describe what happened to me after an … Continue reading

Posted in anaphylaxis, health, personal | 2 Comments

What the Reinhart & Rogoff Debacle Really Shows: Verifying Empirical Results Needs to be Routine

There’s been an enormous amount of buzz since a study was released this week questioning the methodology in a published paper. The paper under fire is Reinhart and Rogoff’s “Growth in a Time of Debt” and the firing is being … Continue reading

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Data access going the way of journal article access? Insist on open data

The discussion around open access to published scientific results, the Open Access movement, is well known. The primary cause of the current situation — journal publishers owning copyright on journal articles and therefore charging for access — stems from authors … Continue reading

Posted in Intellectual Property, Law, Open Data, Open Science, Reproducible Research, Scientific Method | 6 Comments

Getting Beyond Marketing: Scan and Tell

I love this idea: It’s an Android app that allows you to scan a product’s barcode and it will tell you whether the company that makes the product supports the Stop Online Piracy Act. What’s really happening here is … Continue reading

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Disrupt science: But not how you’d think

Two recent articles call for an openness revolution in science: one on GigaOM and the other in the Wall Street Journal. But they’ve got it all wrong. These folks are missing that the process of scientific discovery is not, at … Continue reading

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Don’t expect computer scientists to be on top of every use that’s found for computers, including scientific investigation

Computational scientists need to understand and assert their computational needs, and see that they are met. I just read this excellent interview with Donald Knuth, inventor of TeX and the concept of literature literate programming, as well as author of … Continue reading

Posted in Open Science, Reproducible Research, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

The nature of science in 2051

Right now scientific questions are chosen for study in a largely autocratic way. Typically grants for research on particular questions come from federal funding agencies, and scientists competitively apply with the money going to the chosen researcher via a peer … Continue reading

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Regulatory steps toward open science and reproducibility: we need a science cloud

This past January Obama signed the America COMPETES Re-authorization Act. It contains two interesting sections that advance the notions of open data and the federal role in supporting online access to scientific archives: 103 and 104, which read in part: … Continue reading

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Generalize and register research hypotheses before analysis

Stanley Young is Director of Bioinformatics at the National Institute for Statistical Sciences, and gave a talk in 2009 on problems in modern scientific research. For example: 1 in 20 NIH-funded studies actually replicates; closed data and opacity; model selection … Continue reading

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Smart disclosure of gov data

Imagine a cell phone database that includes terms of service, prices, fees, rates, different calling plans, quality of services, coverage maps etc. – “smart disclosure,” as the term is being used in federal government circles, means how to make data … Continue reading

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Open Gov and the VA

Peter Levin is CTO of the Dept of Veteran’s Affairs and has a take on open gov tailored to his department: He’s restructuring the IT infrastructure within the VA to facilitate access. For example, the VA just processed their first … Continue reading

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Open Gov Summit: Aneesh Chopra

I’m here at the National Archives attending the Open Government Research and Development Summit, organized by the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Whitehouse. It’s a series of panel discussions to address questions about the impact and future … Continue reading

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A case study in the need for open data and code: Forensic Bioinformatics

Here’s a vid of Keith Baggerly explaining his famous case study of why we need code and data to be made openly available in computational science: This is the work that resulted in the termination of clinical trials at … Continue reading

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Open peer review of science: a possibility

The Nature journal Molecular Systems Biology published an editorial “From Bench to Website” explaining their move to a transparent system of peer review. Anonymous referee reports, editorial decisions, and author responses are published alongside the final published paper. When this … Continue reading

Posted in Open Science, Peer Review, Reproducible Research, Technology | 3 Comments

Chris Wiggins: Science is social

I had the pleasure of watching my friend and professor of applied physics and applied math Chris Wiggins give an excellent short talk at NYC’s social media week at Google. The video is available here: Chris makes the often … Continue reading

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Science and Video: a roadmap

Once again I find myself in the position of having collected slides from talks, and having audio from the sessions. I need a simple way to pin these together so they form a coherent narrative and I need a common … Continue reading

Posted in Conferences, Open Science, Talks, Technology | 10 Comments

My Symposium at the AAAS Annual Meeting: The Digitization of Science

Yesterday I held a symposium at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington DC, called “The Digitization of Science: Reproducibility and Interdisciplinary Knowledge Transfer,” that was intended to bring attention to how massive computation is changing the practice of science, particularly … Continue reading

Posted in Conferences, Intellectual Property, Law, Open Science, Reproducible Research, Scientific Method, Software, Statistics, Talks, Technology | Leave a comment

Letter Re Software and Scientific Publications – Nature

Mark Gerstein and I penned a reaction to two pieces published in Nature News last October, “Publish your computer code: it is good enough,” by Nick Barnes and “Computational Science…. Error” by Zeeya Merali. Nature declined to publish our note … Continue reading

Posted in Open Science, Reproducible Research, Scientific Method, Software, Technology | 8 Comments

Startups Awash in Data: Quantitative Thinkers Needed

We know unix logs everything, which makes web-based data collection easy, in fact almost difficult not to do. As a result internet startups often find themselves gathering enormous amounts of data, for example site use patterns, click-streams, user demographics and … Continue reading

Posted in Software, Startups, Statistics, Technology | 3 Comments