Bomblebees – TNT, Blue, Science Bots

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This episode is TNT (it’s dynamite) and it’s blue (da ba dee)! We got an email from a spinach that brought us to learn more about the material sciences of plants and we talk about lots of blue facts! Also: science bots! 

Check out the new episode of the plant book club! And while you’re there, also go and check out Flora-L Design!

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Our opening and closing music is Caravana by Phillip Gross

Until next time!

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2 thoughts on “Bomblebees – TNT, Blue, Science Bots”

  1. To be fair to the reviewing process – the paper is attempting to *communicate* the research. The medium is language so a reviewer needs to be able to access the research.

    The solution we (as thesis supervisors) came up with was to have one supervisor review the work (paper chapter etc) for language ONLY, then the other then reviews for content once the language is sorted. BUT this takes an enormous amount of work on the part of the supervisors, and is an iterative process.

    And, as an thesis examiner, I have many examples of the research being hard to access because of bad editing on the part of the supervisors.

    As a reviewer, much work is submitted with little/not enough language editing…

    1. Yes, it is not an easy problem to solve. The point of the linked article is especially the prejudice that makes people look for English mistakes and then attack the authors based on some minor issues. As we also said on the show, the article specifically mentions that they had a good manuscript that one of the reviewers attacked only for language and the other didn’t even mention the language and corrected the science and suggested for publishing.

      But other than that: yes, language can be a barrier for review, and it might make sense to point that out. At the same time, this reinforces the gate keeping that’s already happening way too often. I see it the other way round, in Germany, when in some contexts German language is required for some documentation, presentation or abstract and if the language is not perfect, some German scientists will simply ignore all the science behind it – and that’s highly problematic. So while we need to figure out ways to allow for understandable language in scientific work, we also need to make sure that the system is not discriminating against non-professional English speakers. It is not easy to do.

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