A rant about Lufthansa

Apologies, a rant is required. I just swore at someone on the phone, which is quite a rare occurrence. Read on to see why, if you dare. Lufthansa is by far the worst airline I have ever had the misfortune to deal with (I haven’t flown on anything really unsafe, of course, but have flown […]

Predicting the 2015 Canadian election

The Canadian general election will be held on 19 October. The most basic prediction method uses the full district (“riding”) vote information from the last election (in 2011), the current poll estimate for national level support for each party, and a model of changes in district votes. There are two main models used in predicting […]

Election 2014: scorecards

I believe that systematic use of scorecards (report cards) by NGOs is helpful for voters. I haven’t found many used in the NZ context. By simple Google searches and personal knowledge I have found the following. Maybe more will come this week. Action Station has 3 scorecards created using AskAway, which itself looks useful. Fisheries […]

Election 2014: research funding

This election, increasingly annoyed by the research funding situation, I decided to become (almost) a single-issue voter, and concentrate on what parties want to do to improve NZ’s chronic underfunding of science and research. My feeling after many election campaigns is that New Zealand just doesn’t value these things as much as other countries. However […]

Election 2014: ethical standards

Media coverage of the election campaign so far has been dominated by allegations and revelations of unsavoury behaviour by various politicians and hangers-on. The recent revelations by Nicky Hager  were shocking to me. I don’t believe that “everyone is doing it”, as some commentators and political actors claim; the sooner the people involved are flushed […]

Election 2014: overview

NZ has a general election scheduled for 20 September 2014. While voting in an election is a very small part of democratic participation, it is undeniably important. I have spent substantial research time studying voting methods in general, and have submitted to the Electoral Commission review of MMP in 2012. The shelving of the Commission’s […]

National Statement of Science Investment

Yesterday Minister Steven Joyce released the  NSSI and called for submissions (deadline 22 August). One useful feature is that it explains the current system. It has become clear that huge changes have been made to the science funding system in the last few years. There have been some very worrying developments, such as the removal […]

Recommended reading for academics

Tim Gowers has collected data on subscription prices using Freedom of Information requests in UK. Zen Faulkes on post-publication review via social media Kevin Smith on why we need more transparency in peer review A reminder by Siva Vaidhyanathan of why many of us chose an academic career