It’s Time to Change the Way We Discover Research

Science and the Web

On May 1, I submitted an application for a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellowhip. Started by Mark Shuttleworth in 2001, the Shuttleworth Foundation has enabled many amazing open knowledge initatives, including  ContentMine (Peter Murray-Rust) and (Dan Whaley). The foundation has expressed the following vision:

“We would like to live in an open knowledge society
with limitless possibilities for all.” (Shuttleworth Foundation)

This vision aligns strongly with my own goal to enable everyone in society to benefit from scientific knowledge. My belief is that if we turn discovery from a closed, solitary activity into an open and collaborative one, we can bring the fruits of the open content revolution to everyone. To make this change possible, I want to create Open Knowledge Maps: a large-scale, collaborative system of open, interactive and interlinked knowledge maps for every research topic, every field and every discipline. For all  details, please see my application…

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Sexual harassment at international ICT events: a call for action

Tim Unwin's Blog

I have become increasingly saddened and dismayed in recent years at the level of sexual harassment, and what I see as inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour by a surprising number of men at international ICT conferences and exhibitions.  This ranges from generally loutish actions by some groups of young men, to what can only be called predatory behaviour by older and more senior figures in the sector.  Until the last couple of years, I had thought that such behaviour had largely disappeared, but from what I have witnessed myself, from what I have heard from women in the sector, and from what I have read, it is clear that action needs to be taken urgently by all those in the sector, and particularly those who are organising conferences and events.

ITU maleThe ICT industry has for far too long been dominated by men, much to its disadvantage, and it is good that…

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Prospective Quinoa Cultivation in Ranchi

Quinoa in a field at Ranchi, Jharkhand

Three years after the year 2013 was declared as the Year of Quinoa, a woman farmer in a village adjacent to the Birsa Munda Airport in Ranchi, called Hundru village had harvested about 50 kg of quinoa grain from a small plot of land. She had tried to cultivate quinoa a high nutrient value crop in December 2015 on her farm land and got success. On invitation, we visited her farm and to us she had informed us that, except farm yard manure she had not applied any other external inputs and is happy with the produce she got. Now she is exploring the possibility of marketing the grain and approached us. When the organic labelled quinoa produce is available at Rs. 500 per 500 g packet, she is not able to fix up the price of her product but would like to sell it at half of the price. More than marketing of the product, she would like to go to seed production and make it available to her fellow farmers in the next season. Seeing her enthusiasm, we decided to support in marketing her produce using the social media and other websites. The interested persons who may wish to buy the produce may contact us. The information available on the internet says that overnight soaking and through rinsing with running water would remove the water soluble saponins and can be cooked like rice but with prior popping in a pan with little oil. There are a good number of recipes available on the internet for a good tasty nutrient quinoa preparation. Let’s explore the exotic nutrient food in Ranchi.

Agripreneurs: The emerging role models

Shakti Young farmer and agripreneur, Shakti Dev

India has a huge research and extension infrastructure for agricultural development. Yet, over 59% of the farm households in India received no assistance from either government or private agricultural extension services during 2013 (NSSO Survey 70th round 2013: Situation Assessment Survey of Agricultural Households in India). Of the 40.6% households who received extension assistance, only 11% of the services came from physical government machinery- i.e. extension agents, Krishi Vigyan Kendras and agricultural universities. More farmers depended on other progressive farmers (20%), media including radio, TV, newspaper (19.6%) and private commercial agents (7.4%).

The public extension system is unable to reach many farmers in India; it is estimated that 17% of farmers get their information from other farmers and 13% from input dealers. Over 90% of the small scale farmers continue to remain detached from new technologies and guidance…

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