Thursday, 9 June 2016
In brief: The role of geometallurgy in the mining industry; Bad science by Royal approval; All scientific papers to be free by 2020; Recent comments
The role of geometallurgy in the mining industry
The AusIMM's International Geometallurgy Conference (GeoMet 2016) takes place in a couple of weeks' time. MEI will be represented in Perth by Process Mineralogy '17 consultant Dr. Megan Becker, of the University of Cape Town and she will be reporting on the conference for the blog.
To set the scene, Dr. Louisa O'Connor, of the Western Australian School of Mines has answered some common questions about geometallurgy and its place in the mining industry, in the AusIMM Bulletin (April 2016) and Dr. Gavin Mudd, keynote speaker at GeoMet 2016 and Dr. Simon Jowitt explain why geometallurgy is crucial to the sustainability of the mining industry (May 2016).
Bad science by Royal Approval
Most scientists would probably agree that on top of many lists of bad science would be homeopathy, although the Bodmin Institute has shown that it has potential in froth flotation.
What is particularly frightening is that Prince Charles, the heir to the UK throne, and a well known spokesman and expert on climate change and genetically modified crops, has informed the world that he uses homeopathic medicine on his farms to counter the adverse affects of antibiotics. As The Times reported (15 May) Charles let slip this little nugget of lunacy just two days after a report from the American Chemical Society concluded that homeopathy was about as useful and effective as his brother, Prince Andrew.
And in an open letter to Prince Charles, Prof. Mark Lorch gently explains why His Highness is talking nonsense as usual. This letter is published in SciTechConnect, published by Elsevier. Ironically Elsevier, a highly respected publisher of high quality journals such a The Lancet and Minerals Engineering, also, and quite bafflingly, publishes the journal Homeopathy, with "peer-reviewed articles that will appeal to a multi-disciplinary audience".
All scientific papers to be free by 2020 under EU proposals
And while on the subject of journals a recent article in the Guardian newspaper reports that all publicly funded scientific papers published in Europe could be made free to access by 2020, under a “life-changing” reform ordered by the European Union’s science chief, Carlos Moedas.
The move would mean that publications of the results of research supported by public and public-private funds would be freely available to and reusable by anyone. It could affect the paid-for subscription model used by many scientific journals; at present the results of some publicly funded research are not accessible to people outside universities and similar institutions without one-off payments, such as to Elsevier's ScienceDirect, which means that many teachers, doctors, entrepreneurs and others do not have access to the latest scientific insights. In the UK, funding bodies generally require that researchers publish under open access terms, with open access publishing fees paid from the researcher’s grant.
Let's have your views on this.
There have been comments on the following posts since the last alert (Thursday 2nd June).