research

research related stuff

We have a retarded patent office

Everyone should browse the Egyptian Patent Office website. It is a goldmine.

In a few minutes I found out some extremely retarded entries. In an exceptionally bad site.

Honey treats everything:

HONEY KILLS THE BACTERIA THAT CAUSE CHOLERA TYPHOID BACILLARY DYSENTRY AND DIPHTHERIA AND THE FUNGUS WHICH CAUSE TINEA PEDIS AND CAN BE USED IN TREATMENT OF THESE DISEASES. link

A multipurpose time machine:

MULTI-PURPOSE TIME CONTROLE MACHINE.

link

Reproduction of masculinities

Why would anyone pay 37.24 USD plus tax for a paper published in 1998 about four men chatting about the 'one-eyed trouser snake' and big boobs around several pints of beers. Here is a intriguing piece from the abstract:

... examining the reproduction of masculinities in the context of a group of four young men interacting under the influence of alcohol.

Reproduction of masculinities ?

The network effect as a business model for ROC

First, some of you already know what is ROC. I wrote about it here. In a few words it is a volunteer driven undergraduate medical research course that aims to help medical students learn proper scientific research skills and qualify as research assistants.

As we are in desperate need for proper funding. I think we need to come up with a sort of "business model". Although we don't aim any profits. We aim to be very valuable. So after surfing the wide web. The network effect is probably the most appropriate. The wikipedia article heavily inspired what is written below to the extent that it could be considered a derivative work.

ROC phase IIIa

Finished phase IIIa of the Research Orientation Course. It was a fascinating experience as usual. This time we had Shawky Galal, Youmna Tareef El-Kholy presenting and discussing with us Thomas Kuhn and Karl Popper's philosophy of science. In an earlier session we watched Ordinary Fascism by Mikhael Romm and discussed it with Mrs. Arab Lotfy. Those sessions made the course very special.

Other sessions were about scientific reasoning, data management, tabular and graphical presentation of data and statistical analysis. Unfortunately we were going to have sessions about critical appraisal of scientific papers and ethics in medical research but things did not go as scheduled. Those two sessions will be added to phase IIIb together with several sessions about management.

The state of Fabraka

I found this editorial on SciDev about the state of science and research in Egypt. The first half of the article is a little bit optimistic but if you read on, this is probably one of the few articles that clearly outlines the obstacles facing science here. I took some notes and listed them:

  • Lack of funds (poor equipment and diminished journal subscriptions)
  • Low political priority
  • Academic quarrels
  • Research as a ladder for higher academic positions
  • Bureaucracy
  • Lack of science journalism
  • Language

I would add Plagiarism and recycling papers to the list.

However the article dismisses any lack of brain power. I agree with that, but I would add that there would have been more brains. If education was any good.

ROCing the boat

Image of ROC Logo

Last year I attended the first phase of an intensive training course called Research Orientation Course (ROC). It provides training for medical students on scientific methods and research.

I learned a lot from this course.

I think we, medical students, are being taught in a negative way which is based on rote learning only. This results in conformist physicians who lack any understanding of the history and philosophy of medical science. And know nothing about why and how science works. Students are oblivious to the fact that what they have learned is not dogma, and medical sciences will be updated, changed and revised in the future, infinite number of times.

All of this results in graduates who will have to overcome lots of hard coded mental sets to be able to upgrade their knowledge and skills. ROC emphasizes on the importance of logic, inquiry, rationality, reasoning and scientific methods in our field.