Author Archives: ianjbw

Climate Change Quiz – Explorathon 21

What is the Climate Change Quiz?

This quiz is for students aged 10-12 and is intended as an informal assessment to evaluate knowledge/learning as part of a climate change unit.  The quiz is most fun if social distancing allows for teams, but individual students can play as well.

How does it work?

There are 25 questions divided into five rounds, which should take about 60 minutes to complete and discuss.  Each round can be played separately over several classes if time is a factor (this may also be a good option to jump start individual lessons in your unit).  The first four rounds consist of six questions each, and the single question in Round Five is intended to introduce students to COP 26 and/or the Paris Agreement.  

There are additional resources in the slide notes for further information and activities for specific topics, and a printable answering sheet is included.

S2HF: Symposium for a sustainable Human Future – 28th September 2021

What is S2HF?

Can technology end our reliance on unsustainable fossil fuels? How can we ensure a stable global economy for food production and supply? How will our ageing population affect society? What impacts, good or bad, will robots and AI have on our future lifestyles?

CISMA would like to present S2HF: Symposium for a Sustainable Human Future. In this event, we aim to bring some of the most pressing societal and environmental challenges to light, and to discuss potential solutions to those challenges. We will be addressing four topics: Long-term Models for Global Food Security, Sustainable Energy Harvesting, Future Demands of an Ageing Society, and the Impact of AI and Robots on our Lifestyle.

Who is coming to S2HF?

Long-term Models for Global Food Security

Prof Marian Scott
University of Glasgow

Prof Geoff Simm
University of Edinburgh


Sustainable Energy Harvesting

Mr Greg Jackson
CEO & Founder of Octopus Energy

Dr Aristides Kiprakis
University of Edinburgh

Future Demands of an Ageing Society

Prof Sarah Harper
University of Oxford

Prof Ian Underwood
University of Edinburgh

Impact of AI and Robots on our Lifestyle

Dr Adam Stokes
University of Edinburgh
Mr Sherin Mathew
CEO and Founder of AI Tech North

With our speakers’ bright minds leading us towards new solutions, the future of humanity is not entirely uncertain. What is certain, however, is CISMA’s excitement to be present for the inception of these ideas, and that you will be there to witness them with us. The Symposium for a Sustainable Human Future will consist of open panel discussions between the speakers, followed by Q&A sessions. 

The full-day symposium will be held on Tuesday 28th September 2021, at the Royal College of Physicians (Edinburgh). S2HF is a hybrid event: Tickets are available for in-person attendance and online streaming for those who want to attend virtually – both options free of cost! Registration can be found here.

How to Detect Bullshit

Dr Elisabeth Bik

How to detect BS in scientific papers 

Even after peer-review and publication, science papers could still contain undetected errors or even fraudulent data. In addition, authors might have undisclosed conflicts of interest, false affiliations, or hidden agendas. If not addressed post-publication, papers containing incorrect or even falsified data could lead to wasted time and money spent by other researchers trying to reproduce those results. In this talk, I will show several examples of research papers containing problematic and fraudulent data, fake affiliations, predatory journals, and paper mill productions.

Dr Elisabeth Bik is a science integrity consultant who specializes in finding image duplications in scientific papers. After receiving her PhD in Microbiology at Utrecht University in The Netherlands, she worked 15 years at the Stanford University School of Medicine and two years at two microbiome startup companies, after which she left her job to become a science integrity volunteer and occasional consultant. She has reported over 4,000 papers for issues with image duplication or other concerns. Her work has been featured in Nature, Science, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Le Monde, and The Times (UK). In April 2021 she was awarded the Peter Wildy Prize by the UK Microbiology Society for her contributions in science communication.

Dr Stuart Ritchie

Correcting bad scientific research

There are few more thankless tasks than trying to correct bad research. Although we all hope that the scientific literature is an as-objective-as-possible record of research, and that it contains built-in mechanisms for self-correction, we all know that (a) research can still be suffused with biases, careless errors – and worse; and (b) it often takes an absurd amount of time for that self-correction process to work. In this talk, I’ll discuss some of the attempts I’ve made over the years to correct objective errors in scientific papers, discuss my varying degrees of success, and describe the–often quite dispiriting–lessons I’ve learned. 

Dr Stuart Ritchie graduated with a PhD in Psychology from the University of Edinburgh in 2014 and has held a Lecturer position at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London since 2018. His research primarily focuses on the development of cognitive abilities and the causes and consequences of cognitive differences between individuals. He is the author of ‘Intelligence: All That Matters’ (2016) and ‘Science Fictions: How Fraud, Bias, Negligence, and Hype Undermine the Search for Truth’ (2020) and was awarded the 2015 Rising Star award from the Association for Psychological Science.

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