• Must we decolonise #Open_Access? Perspectives from Francophone Africa

    A long read featuring the recent work of Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou and Florence Piron, on how a truly open and inclusive ‘Open Access’ movement must include those at the periphery

    I recently watched the recording of the fantastic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion session at OpenCon, and I was struck by the general theme of how ‘openness’ isn’t necessarily the force for equality that we perhaps think it is, and how issues of power, exploitation, and hierarchy means that it should be understood differently according to the context in which it is applied. In the session, Denisse Albornoz used the expression of ‘situated openness’ to describe how our Northern conception of openness should not be forced on anyone or any group – it needs to be understood first in individual contexts of historical injustices and post-colonial power structures.

    What stood out for me most in this session, however, (because it related most to my work) was Cameroonian Thomas Mboa’s presentation, which talked about the ‘neo-colonial face of open access’. The presentation employed some very striking critical terms such as ‘cognitive injustice’ and ‘epistemic alienation’ to Open Access.

    I’ve always known that the Open Access movement was far from perfect, but at least it’s moving global science publishing in the right direction, right? Can working towards free access and sharing of research really be ‘neo-colonial’ and lead to ‘alienation’ for users of research in the Global South? And if this really is the case, how can we ‘decolonise’ open access?

    Thomas didn’t get much time to expand on some of the themes he presented, so I got in contact to see if he had covered these ideas elsewhere, and fortunately he has, through his participation in ‘Projet SOHA’ . This is a research-action project that’s been working on open science, empowerment and cognitive justice in French-speaking Africa and Haiti from 2015-17. He provided me with links to four publications written in French by himself and his colleagues from the project – Florence Piron (Université Laval, Quebec, Canada), Antonin Benoît Diouf (Senegal), and Marie Sophie Dibounje Madiba (Cameroon), and many others.

    These articles are a goldmine of provocative ideas and perspectives on Open Access from the Global South, which should challenge all of us in the English-speaking academic publishing community. Therefore, I decided to share some excerpts and extended quotes from these articles below, in amongst some general comments from my (admittedly limited) experience of working with researchers in the Global South.

    The quotes are taken from the following book and articles, which I recommend reading in full (these are easily translatable using the free tool Google Translate Web, which correctly translated around 95% of the text).

    Chapter 2 – ‘Les injustices cognitives en Afrique subsaharienne : réflexions sur les causes et les moyens de lutte’ – Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou (2016), in Piron, Dibounje Madiba et Regulus 2016 (below)
    Justice cognitive, libre accès et savoirs locaux – Collective book edited by Florence Piron, Marie Sophie Dibounje Madiba and Samuel Regulus (2016) (CC-BY)
    Qui sait ? Le libre accès en Afrique et en Haïti – Florence Piron (2017) (CC-BY) (Soon to be published in English in Forthcoming Open Divide. Critical Studies of Open Access (Herb & Schöpfel ed), Litwinbooks
    Le libre accès vu d’Afrique francophone subsaharienne – Florence Piron, Antonin Benoît Diouf, Marie Sophie Dibounje Madiba, Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou, Zoé Aubierge Ouangré, Djossè Roméo Tessy, Hamissou Rhissa Achaffert, Anderson Pierre and Zakari Lire (2017) (CC-BY-NC-SA)
    Une autre science est possible. Récit d’une utopie concrète dans la Francophonie (le projet SOHA) – Revue Possibles, 2016 (CC-BY)

    Piron et al’s (2017) article starts with a stinging critique of those of us in our Northern scholarly publishing community cliques, and our never-ending open access debates over technicalities:

    “… there are many debates in this community, including on the place of open licenses in open access (is an article really in open access if it is not freely reusable in addition to being freely accessible?), on the legitimacy of the fees charged to authors by certain journals choosing open access, on the quality and evaluation of open access journals, on the very format of the journal as the main vehicle for the dissemination of scientific articles or on the type of documents to be included in institutional or thematic open archives (only peer-reviewed articles or any document related to scientific work?).

    Viewed from Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa, these debates may seem very strange, if not incomprehensible. Above all, they appear very localized: they are debates of rich countries, of countries of the North, where basic questions such as the regular payment of a reasonable salary to academics, the existence of public funding for research, access to the web, electricity, well-stocked libraries and comfortable and safe workplaces have long been settled.” Piron et al. (2017)

    … and their critique gets more and more scathing from here for the Open Access movement. OA advocates – tighten your seatbelts – you are not going to find this a comfortable ride.

    “… a conception of open access that is limited to the legal and technical questions of the accessibility of science without thinking about the relationship between center and periphery can become a source of epistemic alienation and neocolonialism in the South”. Piron et al. (2017)

    “Is open access the solution to the documented shortcomings of these African universities and, in doing so, a crucial means of getting scientific research off the ground? I would like to show that this is not the case, and to suggest that open access can instead become a neo-colonial tool by reinforcing the cognitive injustices that prevent African researchers from fully deploying their research capacities in the service of the community and sustainable local development of their country.” Piron (2017)

    Ouch. To understand these concepts of ‘cognitive injustice’ and ‘epistemic alienation’, it helps to understand this ‘world system’ and the power relationship between the centre and the periphery. This is based on Wallerstein’s (1996) model, which Thomas featured in his OpenCon slides:

    “… a world-system whose market unit is the scientific publication circulating between many instances of high economic value, including universities, research centers, science policies, journals and an oligopoly of for-profit scientific publishers (Larivière, Haustein, and Mongeon, 2015).” Piron et al. (2017)

    “… we believe that science, far from being universal, has been historically globalized. Inspiring us, like Keim (2010) and a few others (Polanco, 1990), from Wallerstein’s (1996) theory, we consider that it constitutes a world-system whose market unit is the scientific publication. Produced mainly in the North, this merchandise obeys standards and practices that are defined by the ‘center’ of the system, namely the main commercial scientific publishers (Larivière, Haustein, & Mongeon, 2015), and their university partners are the US and British universities dominating the so-called world rankings. The semi-periphery is constituted by all the other countries of the North or emerging from the South which revolve around this center, adopting the English language in science and conforming to the model LMD (license, master, doctorate) imposed since the Bologna process to all the universities of the world with the aim of “normalizing” and standardizing the functioning of this world-system. The periphery then refers to all the countries that are excluded from this system, which produce no or very few scientific publications or whose research work is invisible, but to whom the LMD model has also been imposed (Charlier, Croché, & Ndoye 2009, Hountondji 2001)”. Piron et al. (2017)

    So, the continuing bias and global focus towards the powerful ‘center’ of the world-system leads to the epistemic alienation of those on the periphery, manifesting in a ‘spiritual colonisation’:

    “… this attitude that drives us to want to think about local problems with Western perspective is a colonial legacy to which many African citizens hang like a ball.” Mboa (2016).

    So where does Open Access fit in with this world-system?

    “… if open access is to facilitate and accelerate the access of scientists from the South to Northern science without looking into the visibility of knowledge of the South, it helps to redouble their alienation epistemic without contributing to their emancipation. Indeed, by making the work of the center of the world-system of science even more accessible, open access maximizes their impact on the periphery and reinforces their use as a theoretical reference or as a normative model, to the detriment of local epistemologies.” Piron et al. (2017)

    Rethinking Northern perspectives

    This should be an eye-opening analysis for those of us who assumed that access to research knowledge in the North could only be a good thing for the South. Perhaps we need to examine the arrogance behind our narrow worldview, and consider more deeply the power at the heart of such a one-way knowledge exchange. Many of us might find this difficult, as:

    “The idea that open access may have the effects of neocolonialism is incomprehensible to people blind to epistemological diversity, who reduce the proclaimed universalism of Western science to the impoverished model of the standards imposed by the Web of Science model. For these people, the invisibility of a publication in their numerical reference space (located in the center of the world-system) is equivalent to its non-existence. The idea that valid and relevant knowledge can exist in another form and independently of the world-system that fascinates them is unthinkable.” Piron et al. (2017)

    Having spent a little time at scholarly publishing events in the Global North, I can attest that the mindset described above is common. There are kind thoughts (and a few breadcrumbs thrown in the form of grants and fellowships) towards those on the periphery, but it is very much in the mindset of helping those from the Global South ‘catch up’. Our mindset is very much as Piron describes here:

    “If one sticks to the positivist view that “science” is universal – even if its “essence” is symbolized by the American magazine Science – then indeed African science, that is to say in Africa, is late, and we need to help it develop so that it looks more and more like the North”. Piron (2017)

    And whilst in the North we may have a lot of respect for different cultural perspectives, genuine reciprocal exchanges of research knowledge are rare. We are supremely confident that our highly-developed scientific publishing model deserves to be at the centre of our system. This can lead to selective blindness about the rigorousness of our science and our indexed journals, in spite of the steady drip drip drip of reports of biased peer review, data fraud and other ethical violations in ‘high-impact’ Northern journals, exposed in places like retraction watch.

    North/South research collaborations are rarely equitable – southern partners often complain of being used as data-gatherers rather than intellectual equals and partners in research projects, even when the research is being carried out in their own country.

    “These [Northern] partners inevitably guide the problems and the methodological and epistemological choices of African researchers towards the only model they know and value, the one born at the center of the world-system of science – without questioning whether this model is relevant to Africa and its challenges”. Piron et al (2017).

    These issues of inequity in collaborative relationships and publication practices seem inextricably linked, which is not surprising when the ultimate end goal of research is publishing papers in Northern journals, rather than actually solving Southern development challenges.

    “In this context, open access may appear as a neocolonial tool, as it facilitates access by Southern researchers to Northern science without ensuring reciprocity. In doing so, it redoubles the epistemic alienation of these researchers instead of contributing to the emancipation of the knowledge created in the universities of the South by releasing them from their extraversion. Indeed, by making the work produced in the center of the world-system even more accessible, free access maximizes their impact on the periphery and reinforces their use as a theoretical reference or as a normative model, to the detriment of local epistemologies, which generates situations absurd as, for example, the use of a theoretical framework related to wage labor in the Paris region to analyze the work of women in northern Mali” Piron (2017)

    “The resulting consequences are, in particular, the teachers of the Southern countries who quote and read only writers from the North and impose them on their students and the libraries of our universities who do everything to subscribe to Western scholarly journals while they do not deal with our problems. (Mboa Nkoudou, 2016 )”

    This is also a striking example:

    “It is very sad to note that geographers in Ouagadougou are more familiar with European work on the Sahel than those at the Higher Institute of Sahel in Maroua, Cameroon.” Piron (2017)

    The lack of equity in research knowledge exchange and collaboration is also caused by another one-way North to South flow: funding. Research in the South is often dependent on foreign funding. Big Northern donors and funders therefore set the standards and agendas in research, and in how the entire research funding system works. Southern partners rarely get to set the agenda, and researchers rarely get to develop the research questions that guide the research. They have to learn to jump through administrative hoops to become credible in the eyes of the Northern donor (for more information see ‘Who drives research in developing countries?‘).

    Southern institutions are also compelled, via league tables such as the World Unviersity Rankings, to play the same game as institutions in the North. Institutions are ranked against each other according to criteria set in the North, one of which is citations (of course, only citations between journals in the Web of Science or Scopus, which is overwhelmingly Northern). And so to stay ‘competitive’, Southern institutions need their researchers to publish in Northern journals with Northern language and agendas.
    Northern agendas and local innovation

    Whilst it is tempting to think that the issues and criticism described above is mostly a problem for the social sciences and humanities, there are also real issues in the ‘hard’ sciences – perhaps not so much in their epistemological foundations – but in very practical issues of Northern research agendas. For example, Northern research, being based in Europe and the US, is overwhelmingly biased towards white people, in diversity of leadership, diversity of researchers, and most importantly in the whiteness of clinical trial subjects. This is problematic because different ethnic populations have different genetic makeups and differences due to geography, that mean they respond differently to treatments (see here, here and here). Are African and Asian researchers informed of this when they read research from so-called ‘international’ journals?

    Furthermore, these Northern agendas can also mean that research focuses on drugs, equipment and treatments that are simply not suitable for developing country contexts. I was reminded of a discussion comment recently made by a Pakistani surgeon on the Northern bias of systematic reviews:

    “There is a definite bias in this approach as almost all of the guidelines and systematic reviews are based on the research carried out in high income countries and the findings and the recommendations have little relevance to the patients, health care system and many a time serve no purpose to the millions of patients based in low resourced countries. e.g. I routinely used Phenol blocks for spasticity management for my patients which were abandoned two decades ago in the West. Results are great, and the patients can afford this Rs 200 phenol instead of Rs 15,000 Botox vial. But, unfortunately, I am unable to locate a single systematic review on the efficacy of phenol as all published research in the last decade was only on the use of Botox in the management of spasticity.” Farooq Rathore (HIFA mailing list, 2016).

    Similarly, I’ve read research papers from the South that report on innovative approaches to medical treatments and other problems that utilise lower-cost equipment and methodologies (in fact, as is argued here, research in low-resource environments can often be more efficient and innovative, containing many lessons we, in the North, could learn from). This point is also made by Piron et al:

    “… the production of technical and social innovations is rich in Sub-Saharan French-speaking Africa, as evidenced by the high number of articles on this subject in the Sci-Dev magazine, specializing in science for development, or in the ecofin site, an economic information agency turned towards Africa. But these are mostly local innovations that mobilize local resources and often recycled materials to, for example, introduce electricity into a village, better irrigate fields or offer lighting after sunset. The aim of these innovations is to contribute to local development and not to the development of international markets, unlike innovations designed in the North which, while targeting the countries of the South, remain highly marketable – just think of milk powder or GMO seeds. The issue of open access to scientific publications is a very secondary issue for local innovators in such a context”. (Piron et al. 2016)

    These examples of innovation aside, there are many cases where the ‘epistemic alienation’ described above leads to ‘the exclusion or contempt of local knowledge’ (Mboa, 2016), even amongst researchers in the global South.

    “In fact, Western culture abundantly relayed in the media and textbooks is shown to be superior to other cultures. This situation is pushing Africans to multiply their efforts to reach the ideal of life of the “white”. This situation seems to block their ability to think locally, or even to be reactive. Thus, faced with a given situation specific to the African context, many are those who first draw on the resources of Western thinking to propose elements of answers.” Mboa (2016)

    Free and open access as ‘showcasing products’

    The Research4Life (R4L) programme also comes in for criticism from Piron et al. which will come as a shock to Northern publishing people who often use the ‘… but they’ve got Research4Life’ line when faced with evidence of global research inequalities.

    “… while pretending to charitably provide university libraries in the Global South with free access to pre-defined packages of paid journals from the North, this program, set up by for-profit scientific publishers, maintains the dependence of these libraries, limits their understanding of the true network of open access publications and, above all, improves the market for the products sold by these publishers.” Piron et al (2017)

    “… this program encourages the continued reliance of these libraries on an external program, designed in the North and showcasing Northern products, while it may disappear as soon as this philanthropic desire is exhausted or as soon as trading partners will not find any more benefits.”

    Whilst I still think R4L is a great initiative (I know many researchers in the Global South who are very appreciative of the programme), it’s difficult to disagree with the conclusion that:

    ‘… this program mainly improves the opportunities of Northern publishers without contributing to the sustainable empowerment of university libraries in the South … this charity seems very hypocritical, let alone arbitrary, since it can stop at any time.” Piron (2017)

    Of course, the same could be said of Article Processing Charge (APC) waivers for developing country authors. Waivers are currently offered by the majority of journals from the big publishers (provided according to the same HINARI list of countries provided by Research4Life), although sometimes you have to dig deep into the terms and conditions pages to find them. Waivers are good for publishers to showcase their corporate social responsibility and provide diversity of authorship. However, they are unsustainable – this charity is unlikely to last forever, especially as they rely on the pool of Southern authors being relatively limited. It should also be noted that developing countries with the most active, growing researcher communities such as Nigeria, South Africa and India do not qualify for either R4L access or APC waivers.

    Speaking of APCs, something I observe regularly amongst Southern researchers is a confusion over the ‘Gold’ OA author-pays model, and this too is noted:

    “In northern countries, many researchers, especially in STEM (Björk and Solomon, 2012) [ 7 ], believe (wrongly) that open access now means “publication fees charged to authors” … this commercial innovation appears to be paying off, as these costs appear to be natural to researchers.” Piron (2017)

    This also appears to be paying off in the Global South – authors seem resigned to pay some kind of charge to publish, and it is common to have to point out to authors that over two-thirds of OA journals and 99% of subscription journals do not charge to publish (although, the rise of ‘predatory’ journals may have magnified this misunderstanding that pay-to-publish is the norm).

    It may be tempting to think of these inequalities as an unfortunate historical accident, and that our attempts to help the Global South ‘catch up’ are just a little clumsy and patronising. However, Piron argues that this is no mere accident, but the result of colonial exploitation that still resonates in existing power structures today:

    “Open access is then easily seen as a means of catching up, at least filling gaps in libraries and often outdated teaching […] Africa is considered as lagging behind the modern world, which would explain its underdevelopment, to summarize this sadly hegemonic conception of north-south relations. By charity, Northern countries then feel obliged to help, which feeds the entire industry surrounding development aid [….] this model of delay, violently imposed by the West on the rest of the world through colonization, has been used to justify the economic and cognitive exploitation (Connell, 2014) of colonized continents without which modernity could not have prospered.” Piron (2017)

    To build the path or take the path?

    Of course, the authors do admit that access to Northern research has a role to play in the Global South, provided the access is situated in local contexts:

    “… African science should be an African knowledge, rooted in African contexts, that uses African epistemologies to answer African questions, while also using other knowledge from all over the world, including Western ones, if they are relevant locally.” Piron (2017)

    However, the practical reality of Open Access for Southern researchers is often overstated. There is a crucial distinction between making content ‘open’ and providing the means to access that content. As Piron et al. 2017 say:

    “To put a publication in open access: is it, to build the path (technical or legal) that leads to it, or is it to make it possible for people to take this path? This distinction is crucial to understand the difference in meaning of open access between the center and the periphery of the world-system of science, although only an awareness of the conditions of scientific research in the Southern countries makes it possible to visualize it, to perceive it.”

    This crucial difference between availability and accessibility has also been explained by Anne Powell on Scholarly Kitchen. There are many complex barriers to ‘free’ and ‘open’ content actually being accessed and used. The most obvious of these barriers is internet connectivity, but librarian training, language and digital literacy also feature significantly:

    “Finding relevant open access articles on the web requires digital skills that, as we have seen, are rare among Haitian and African students for whom the web sometimes comes via Facebook … Remember that it is almost always when they arrive at university that these students first touch a computer. The catching up is fast, but many reflexes acquired since the primary school in the countries of the North must be developed before even being able to imagine that there are open access scientific texts on the web to make up for the lack of documents in the libraries. In the words of the Haitian student Anderson Pierre, “a large part of the students do not know the existence of these resources or do not have the digital skills to access and exploit them in order to advance their research project”. Piron (2017)

    Barriers to local knowledge exchange

    Unfortunately, this is made even more difficult by resistance and misunderstanding of the internet and digital tools from senior leadership in Africa:

    “Social representations of the web, science and copyright also come into play, especially among older academics, a phenomenon that undermines the appropriation of digital technologies at the basis of open access in universities.” Piron et al. (2017)

    “To this idea that knowledge resides only in printed books is added a representation of the web which also has an impact on the local resistance to open access: our fieldwork has allowed us to understand that, for many African senior academics, the web is incompatible with science because it contains only documents or sites that are of low quality, frivolous or entertaining. These people infer that science in open access on the web is of lower quality than printed science and are very surprised when they learn that most of the journals of the world-system of science exist only in dematerialized format. … Unfortunately, these resistances slow down the digitization and the web dissemination of African scientific works, perpetuating these absurd situations where the researchers of the same field in neighboring universities do not know what each other is doing”. Piron et al. (2017)

    This complaint about in-country communication from researchers in the South can be common, but there are signs that open access can make a difference – as an example, in Sri Lanka, I’ve spoken to researchers who say that communicating research findings within the country has always been a problem, but the online portal Sri Lanka Journals Online (currently 77 open access Sri Lankan journals) has started to improve this situation. This project was many years in the making, and has involved training journal editors and librarians in loading online content and improving editorial practices for open access. The same, of course, could be said for African Journals Online, which has potential to facilitate sharing on a larger scale.

    Arguably, some forms of institutional resistance to openness in the Global South have a neocolonial influence – universities have largely borrowed and even intensified the Northern ‘publish or perish’ mantra which focuses the academic rewards system almost entirely on journal publications, often in northern-indexed journals, rather than on impact on real world development.

    “The system of higher education and research in force in many African countries remains a remnant of colonization, perpetuated by the reproduction, year after year, of the same ideals and principles. This reproduction is assured not by the old colonizers but by our own political leaders who are perpetuating a system structured according to a classical partitioning that slows down any possible communication between researchers within the country or with the outside world, even worse between the university and the immediate environment. For the ruling class, the changes taking place in the world and the society’s needs seem to have no direct link to the university.” Mboa (2016)

    Mboa calls this partitioning between researchers and outsiders as “a tight border between society and science”:

    “African researchers are so attached to the ideal of neutrality of science and concern of its ‘purity’ that they consider contacts with ordinary citizens as ‘risks’ or threats and that they prefer to evolve in their ‘ivory tower’. On the other hand, ordinary citizens feel so diminished compared to researchers that to talk to them about their eventual involvement in research is a taboo subject …” Mboa (2016)

    Uncolonising openness

    So what is the answer to all these problems? Is it in building the skills of researchers and institutions or a complete change of philosophy?

    “The colonial origin of African science (Mvé-Ondo, 2005) is certainly no stranger to this present subjugation of African science to northern research projects, nor to its tendency to imitate Western science without effort. Contextualization, particularly in the quasi-colonial structuring of sub-Saharan African universities (Fredua-Kwarteng, 2015) and in maintaining the use of a colonial language in university education. Considering this institutionalized epistemic alienation as yet another cognitive injustice, Mvé-Ondo wonders “how to move from a westernization of science to a truly shared science” (p.49) and calls for “epistemological mutation”, “rebirth”, modernizing “African science at the crossroads of local knowledge and northern science – perhaps echoing the call of Fanon (1962/2002) for a “new thinking” in the Third World countries, detached from European model, decolonized.” Piron et al. (2017)

    For this to happen, open access must be about more than just access – but something much more holistic and equitable:

    “Can decentralized, decolonised open access then contribute to creating more cognitive justice in global scientific production? Our answer is clear: yes, provided that it is not limited to the question of access for scientific and non-scientific readers to scientific publications. It must include the concern for origin, creation, local publishing and the desire to ensure equity between the accessibility of the publications of the center of the world system and that of knowledge from the periphery. It thus proposes to replace the normative universalism of globalized science with an inclusive universalism, open to the ecology of knowledges and capable of building an authentic knowledge commons (Gruson-Daniel, 2015; Le Crosnier, 2015), hospitable for the knowledge of the North and the South”. Piron et al. (2017)

    Mboa sees the solution to this multifaceted problem in ‘open science’:

    “[Cognitive injustice comes via] … endogenous causes (citizens and African leaders) and by exogenous causes (capitalism, colonization, the West). The knowledge of these causes allowed me to propose ways to prevent our downfall. Among these means, I convened open science as a tool available to our leaders and citizens for advancing cognitive justice. For although the causes are endogenous and exogenous, I believe that a wound heals from the inside outwards.” Mboa (2016).

    Mboa explains how open science approaches can overcome some of these problems in this book chapter, but here he provides a short summary of the advantages of open science for African research:

    “It’s a science that rejects the ivory tower and the separation between scientists and the rest of the population of the country. In short, it’s a science released from control by a universal capitalist standard, by hierarchical authority and by pre-established scientific classes. From this perspective, open science offers the following advantages:

    it brings science closer to society;
    it promotes fair and sustainable development;
    it allows the expression of minority and / or marginalized groups, as well as their knowledge;
    it promotes original, local and useful research in the country;
    it facilitates access to a variety of scientific and technical information;
    it is abundant, recent and up to date;
    it develops digital skills;
    it facilitates collaborative work;
    it gives a better visibility to research work.

    By aiming to benefit from these advantages, researchers and African students fight cognitive injustice. For this, open access science relies on open access, free licenses, free computing, and citizen science.” Mboa (2016).

    But in order for open science to succeed, digital literacy must be rapidly improved to empower students and researchers in the South:

    “Promoting inclusive access therefore requires engaging at the same time in a decolonial critique of the relationship between the center and the periphery and urging universities in the South to develop the digital literacy of their student or teacher members.” Piron et al. (2017)

    It also requires improving production of scientific works (‘grey’ literature, as well as peer-reviewed papers) in the South for a two-way North/South conversation:

    “Then, we propose to rethink the usual definition of open access to add the mandate to enhance the visibility of scientific work produced in universities in the South and thus contribute to greater cognitive justice in global scientific production.” Piron (2017)

    And providing open access needs to be understood in context:

    “… if we integrate the concern for the enhancement of the knowledge produced in the periphery and the awareness of all that hinders the creation of this knowledge, then open access can become a tool of cognitive justice at the service of the construction of an inclusive universalism peculiar to a just open science.” Piron, Diouf, Madiba (2017)

    In summary then, we need to rethink the way that the global North seeks to support the South – a realignment of this relationship from mere access to empowerment through sustainable capacity building:

    “Africa’s scientific development aid, if it is needed, should therefore be oriented much less towards immediate access to Northern publications and more to local development of tools and the strengthening of the digital skills of academics and librarians. These tools and skills would enable them not only to take advantage of open access databases, but also to digitize and put open access local scientific works in open archives, journals or research centers.” Piron (2017)

    So what next?

    Even if you disagree with many the above ideas, I hope that this has provided many of you with some food for thought. Open Access must surely be about more than just knowledge flow from North to South (or, for that matter the academy to the public, or well-funded researchers to poorly funded researchers). Those on the periphery must also be given a significant voice and a place at the table. For this to happen, many researchers (and their equivalents outside academia) need training and support in digital skills; some institutional barriers also need to be removed or overcome; and of course a few cherished, long-held ideas must be seriously challenged.

    “These injustices denote anything that diminishes the capacity of academics in these countries to deploy the full potential of their intellectual talents, their knowledge and their capacity for scientific research to serve their country’s sustainable local development”. Piron et al., (2016).

    What do you think…?
    #édition_scientifique #OA #open_access #Afrique #Afrique_francophone #décolonisation #post-colonialisme

  • ICC submission calls for prosecution of EU over migrant deaths

    Member states should face punitive action over deaths in Mediterranean, say lawyers.

    The EU and member states should be prosecuted for the deaths of thousands of migrants who drowned in the Mediterranean fleeing Libya, according to a detailed legal submission to the international criminal court (ICC).

    The 245-page document calls for punitive action over the EU’s deterrence-based migration policy after 2014, which allegedly “intended to sacrifice the lives of migrants in distress at sea, with the sole objective of dissuading others in similar situation from seeking safe haven in Europe”.

    The indictment is aimed at the EU and the member states that played a prominent role in the refugee crisis: Italy, Germany and France.

    The stark accusation, that officials and politicians knowingly created the “world’s deadliest migration route” resulting in more than 12,000 people losing their lives, is made by experienced international lawyers.

    The two main authors of the submission are Juan Branco, who formerly worked at the ICC as well as at France’s foreign affairs ministry, and Omer Shatz, an Israeli lawyer who teaches at Sciences Po university in Paris.
    Most refugees in Libyan detention centres at risk – UN
    Read more

    The allegation of “crimes against humanity” draws partially on internal papers from Frontex, the EU organisation charged with protecting the EU’s external borders, which, the lawyers say, warned that moving from the successful Italian rescue policy of Mare Nostrum could result in a “higher number of fatalities”.

    The submission states that: “In order to stem migration flows from Libya at all costs … and in lieu of operating safe rescue and disembarkation as the law commands, the EU is orchestrating a policy of forced transfer to concentration camps-like detention facilities [in Libya] where atrocious crimes are committed.”

    The switch from Mare Nostrum to a new policy from 2014, known as Triton (named after the Greek messenger god of the sea), is identified as a crucial moment “establishing undisputed mens rea [mental intention] for the alleged offences”.

    It is claimed that the evidence in the dossier establishes criminal liability within the jurisdiction of the ICC for “causing the death of thousands of human beings per year, the refoulement [forcible return] of tens of thousands migrants attempting to flee Libya and the subsequent commission of murder, deportation, imprisonment, enslavement, torture, rape, persecution and other inhuman acts against them”.

    The Triton policy introduced the “most lethal and organised attack against civilian population the ICC had jurisdiction over in its entire history,” the legal document asserts. “European Union and Member States’ officials had foreknowledge and full awareness of the lethal consequences of their conduct.”

    The submission does not single out individual politicians or officials for specific responsibility but does quote diplomatic cables and comments from national leaders, including Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron.

    The office of the prosecutor at the ICC is already investigating crimes in Libya but the main focus has been on the Libyan civil war, which erupted in 2011 and led to the removal of Muammar Gaddafi. Fatou Bensouda, the ICC prosecutor, has, however, already mentioned inquiries into “alleged crimes against migrants transiting through Libya”.

    The Mare Nostrum search and rescue policy launched in October 2013, the submission says, was “in many ways hugely successful, rescuing 150,810 migrants over a 364-day period”.

    Criticism of the policy began in mid-2014 on the grounds, it is said, that it was not having a sufficient humanitarian impact and that there was a desire to move from assistance at sea to assistance on land.

    “EU officials sought to end Mare Nostrum to allegedly reduce the number of crossings and deaths,” the lawyers maintain. “However, these reasons should not be considered valid as the crossings were not reduced. And the death toll was 30-fold higher.”

    The subsequent policy, Triton, only covered an “area up to 30 nautical miles from the Italian coastline of Lampedusa, leaving around 40 nautical miles of key distress area off the coast of Libya uncovered,” the submission states. It also deployed fewer vessels.

    It is alleged EU officials “did not shy away from acknowledging that Triton was an inadequate replacement for Mare Nostrum”. An internal Frontex report from 28 August 2014, quoted by the lawyers, acknowledged that “the withdrawal of naval assets from the area, if not properly planned and announced well in advance – would likely result in a higher number of fatalities.”

    The first mass drownings cited came on 22 January and 8 February 2015, which resulted in 365 deaths nearer to the Libyan coast. It is alleged that in one case, 29 of the deaths occurred from hypothermia during the 12-hour-long transport back to the Italian island of Lampedusa. During the “black week” of 12 to 18 April 2015, the submission says, two successive shipwrecks led to the deaths of 1,200 migrants.

    As well as drownings, the forced return of an estimated 40,000 refugees allegedly left them at risk of “executions, torture and other systematic rights abuses” in militia-controlled camps in Libya.

    “European Union officials were fully aware of the treatment of the migrants by the Libyan Coastguard and the fact that migrants would be taken ... to an unsafe port in Libya, where they would face immediate detention in the detention centers, a form of unlawful imprisonment in which murder, sexual assault, torture and other crimes were known by the European Union agents and officials to be common,” the submission states.

    Overall, EU migration policies caused the deaths of “thousands civilians per year in the past five years and produced about 40,000 victims of crimes within the jurisdiction of the court in the past three years”, the report states.

    The submission will be handed in to the ICC on Monday 3 June.

    An EU spokesperson said the union could not comment on “non-existing” legal actions but added: “Our priority has always been and will continue to be protecting lives and ensuring humane and dignified treatment of everyone throughout the migratory routes. It’s a task where no single actor can ensure decisive change alone.

    “All our action is based on international and European law. The European Union dialogue with Libyan authorities focuses on the respect for human rights of migrants and refugees, on promoting the work of UNHCR and IOM on the ground, and on pushing for the development of alternatives to detention, such as the setting up of safe spaces, to end the systematic and arbitrary detention system of migrants and refugees in Libya.

    “Search and Rescue operations in the Mediterranean need to follow international law, and responsibility depends on where they take place. EU operations cannot enter Libya waters, they operate in international waters. SAR operations in Libyan territorial waters are Libyan responsibility.”

    The spokesperson added that the EU has “pushed Libyan authorities to put in place mechanisms improving the treatment of the migrants rescued by the Libyan Coast Guard.”
    #justice #décès #CPI #mourir_en_mer #CPI #cour_pénale_internationale

    ping @reka @isskein @karine4

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur les sauvetages en Méditerranée :

    • L’Union Européenne devra-t-elle un jour répondre de « crimes contre l’Humanité » devant la Cour Pénale Internationale ?

      #Crimes_contre_l'humanité, et #responsabilité dans la mort de 14 000 migrants en 5 années : voilà ce dont il est question dans cette enquête menée par plusieurs avocats internationaux spécialisés dans les Droits de l’homme, déposée aujourd’hui à la CPI de la Haye, et qui pourrait donc donner lieu à des #poursuites contre des responsables actuels des institutions européennes.

      La démarche fait l’objet d’articles coordonnés ce matin aussi bien dans le Spiegel Allemand (, The Washington Post aux Etats-Unis (, El Pais en Espagne (, The Guardian en Grande-Bretagne, et le Monde, cet après-midi en France... bref, ce qui se fait de plus retentissant dans la presse mondiale.

      Les auteurs de ce #plaidoyer, parmi lesquels on retrouve le français #Juan_Branco ou l’israélien #Omer_Shatz, affirment que Bruxelles, Paris, Berlin et Rome ont pris des décisions qui ont mené directement, et en connaissance de cause, à la mort de milliers de personnes. En #Méditerrannée, bien sûr, mais aussi en #Libye, où la politique migratoire concertée des 28 est accusée d’avoir « cautionné l’existence de centres de détention, de lieux de tortures, et d’une politique de la terreur, du viol et de l’esclavagisme généralisé » contre ceux qui traversaient la Libye pour tenter ensuite de rejoindre l’Europe.

      Aucun dirigeant européen n’est directement nommé par ce réquisitoire, mais le rapport des avocats cite des discours entre autres d’#Emmanuel_Macron, d’#Angela_Merkel. Il évoque aussi, selon The Guardian, des alertes qui auraient été clairement formulées, en interne par l’agence #Frontex en particulier, sur le fait que le changement de politique européenne en 2014 en Méditerranée « allait conduire à une augmentation des décès en mer ». C’est ce qui s’est passé : 2014, c’est l’année-bascule, celle où le plan Mare Nostrum qui consistait à organiser les secours en mer autour de l’Italie, a été remplacé par ce partenariat UE-Libye qui, selon les auteurs de l’enquête, a ouvert la voix aux exactions que l’on sait, et qui ont été documentées par Der Spiegel dans son reportage publié début mai, et titré « Libye : l’enfer sur terre ».

      A présent, dit Juan Branco dans The Washington Post (et dans ce style qui lui vaut tant d’ennemis en France), c’est aux procureurs de la CPI de dire « s’ils oseront ou non » remonter aux sommet des responsabilités européennes. J’en terminerai pour ma part sur les doutes de cet expert en droit européen cité par El Pais et qui « ne prédit pas un grand succès devant la Cour » à cette action.

      #UE #Europe #EU #droits_humains

    • Submission to ICC condemns EU for ‘crimes against humanity’

      EU Commission migration spokesperson Natasha Bertaud gave an official statement regarding a recently submitted 245-page document to the International Criminal Court by human rights lawyers Juan Branco and Omer Shatz on June 3, 2019. The case claimed the EU and its member states should face punitive action for Libyan migrant deaths in the Mediterranean. The EU says these deaths are not a result of EU camps, rather the dangerous and cruel routes on which smugglers take immigrants. Bertaud said the EU’s track record on saving lives “has been our top priority, and we have been working relentlessly to this end.” Bertaud said an increase in EU operations in the Mediterranean have resulted in a decrease in deaths in the past 4 years. The accusation claims that EU member states created the “world’s deadliest migration route,” which has led to more than 12,000 migrant deaths since its inception. Branco and Shatz wrote that the forcible return of migrants to Libyan camps and the “subsequent commission of murder, deportation, imprisonment, enslavement, torture, rape, persecution and other inhuman acts against them,” are the grounds for this indictment. Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron were named specifically as those knowingly supporting these refugee camps, which the lawyers explicitly condemned in their report. The EU intends to maintain its presence on the Libyan coast and aims to create safer alternatives to detention centers.

    • Migration in the Mediterranean: why it’s time to put European leaders on trial

      In June this year two lawyers filed a complaint at the International Criminal Court (ICC) naming European Union member states’ migration policies in the Mediterranean as crimes against humanity.

      The court’s Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, must decide whether she wants to open a preliminary investigation into the criminality of Europe’s treatment of migrants.

      The challenge against the EU’s Mediterranean migrant policy is set out in a 245-page document prepared by Juan Branco and Omer Shatz, two lawyer-activists working and teaching in Paris. They argue that EU migration policy is founded in deterrence and that drowned migrants are a deliberate element of this policy. The international law that they allege has been violated – crimes against humanity – applies to state policies practiced even outside of armed conflict.

      Doctrinally and juridically, the ICC can proceed. The question that remains is political: can and should the ICC come after its founders on their own turf?

      There are two reasons why the answer is emphatically yes. First, the complaint addresses what has become a rights impasse in the EU. By taking on an area stymying other supranational courts, the ICC can fulfil its role as a judicial institution of last resort. Second, by turning its sights on its founders (and funders), the ICC can redress the charges of neocolonialism in and around Africa that have dogged it for the past decade.
      ICC legitimacy

      The ICC is the world’s first permanent international criminal court. Founded in 2002, it currently has 122 member states.

      So far, it has only prosecuted Africans. This has led to persistent critiques that it is a neocolonial institution that “only chases Africans” and only tries rebels. In turn, this has led to pushback against the court from powerful actors like the African Union, which urges its members to leave the court.

      The first departure from the court occurred in 2017, when Burundi left. The Philippines followed suit in March of this year. Both countries are currently under investigation by the ICC for state sponsored atrocities. South Africa threatened withdrawal, but this seems to have blown over.

      In this climate, many cheered the news of the ICC Prosecutor’s 2017 request to investigate crimes committed in Afghanistan. As a member of the ICC, Afghanistan is within the ICC’s jurisdiction. The investigation included atrocities committed by the Taliban and foreign military forces active in Afghanistan, including members of the US armed forces.

      The US, which is not a member of the ICC, violently opposes any possibility that its military personnel might be caught up in ICC charges. In April 2019 the ICC announced that a pre-trial chamber had shut down the investigation because US opposition made ICC action impossible.

      Court watchers reacted with frustration and disgust.
      EU migration

      An estimated 30,000 migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean in the past three decades. International attention was drawn to their plight during the migration surge of 2015, when the image of 3-year-old Alan Kurdi face-down on a Turkish beach circulated the globe. More than one million people entered Europe that year. This led the EU and its member states to close land and sea borders in the east by erecting fences and completing a Euro 3 billion deal with Turkey to keep migrants there. NATO ships were posted in the Aegean to catch and return migrants.

      Migrant-saving projects, such as the Italian Mare Nostrum programme that collected 150,000 migrants in 2013-2014, were replaced by border guarding projects. Political pressure designed to reduce the number of migrants who made it to European shores led to the revocation and non-renewal of licenses for boats registered to NGOs whose purpose was to rescue migrants at sea. This has led to the current situation, where there is only one boat patrolling the Mediterranean.

      The EU has handed search and rescue duties over to the Libyan coast guard, which has been accused repeatedly of atrocities against migrants. European countries now negotiate Mediterranean migrant reception on a case-by-case basis.
      A rights impasse

      International and supranational law applies to migrants, but so far it has inadequately protected them. The law of the sea mandates that ships collect people in need. A series of refusals to allow ships to disembark collected migrants has imperilled this international doctrine.

      In the EU, the Court of Justice oversees migration and refugee policies. Such oversight now includes a two-year-old deal with Libya that some claim is tantamount to “sentencing migrants to death.”

      For its part, the European Court of Human Rights has established itself as “no friend to migrants.” Although the court’s 2012 decision in Hirsi was celebrated for a progressive stance regarding the rights of migrants at sea, it is unclear how expansively that ruling applies.

      European courts are being invoked and making rulings, yet the journey for migrants has only grown more desperate and deadly over the past few years. Existing European mechanisms, policies, and international rights commitments are not producing change.

      In this rights impasse, the introduction of a new legal paradigm is essential.
      Fulfilling its role

      A foundational element of ICC procedure is complementarity. This holds that the court only intervenes when states cannot or will not act on their own.

      Complementarity has played an unexpectedly central role in the cases before the ICC to date, as African states have self-referred defendants claiming that they do not have the resources to try them themselves. This has greatly contributed to the ICC’s political failure in Africa, as rights-abusing governments have handed over political adversaries to the ICC for prosecution in bad faith, enjoying the benefits of a domestic political sphere relieved of these adversaries while simultaneously complaining of ICC meddling in domestic affairs.

      This isn’t how complementarity was supposed to work.

      The present rights impasse in the EU regarding migration showcases what complementarity was intended to do – granting sovereign states primacy over law enforcement and stepping in only when states both violate humanitarian law and refuse to act. The past decade of deadly migration coupled with a deliberately wastrel refugee policy in Europe qualifies as just such a situation.

      Would-be migrants don’t vote and cannot garner political representation in the EU. This leaves only human rights norms, and the international commitments in which they are enshrined, to protect them. These norms are not being enforced, in part because questions of citizenship and border security have remained largely the domain of sovereign states. Those policies are resulting in an ongoing crime against humanity.

      The ICC may be the only institution capable of breaking the current impasse by threatening to bring Europe’s leaders to criminal account. This is the work of last resort for which international criminal law is designed. The ICC should embrace the progressive ideals that drove its construction, and engage.

  • Rapid #permafrost thaw unrecognized threat to landscape, global warming researcher warns — ScienceDaily

    Le dégel rapide du #pergélisol est une menace non reconnue pour le paysage

    Les scientifiques étudient depuis longtemps comment le dégel progressif du pergélisol survenant pendant des décennies sur des centimètres de sol de surface influera sur le rejet de carbone dans l’atmosphère. Mais Turetsky et une équipe internationale de chercheurs envisagent quelque chose de très différent : l’effondrement rapide du pergélisol qui peut transformer le paysage en quelques mois seulement par le biais d’affaissements, d’inondations et de glissements de terrain.

    Le pergélisol fond si rapidement dans l’#Arctique que les scientifiques perdent leur équipement)


  • Edith Heard ou la révolution épigénétique
    Laure Cailloce, Le Journal du CNRS, le 19 février 2019

    L’épigénétique suscite beaucoup de fantasmes. Les notions de réversibilité et d’héritabilité, notamment, donnent lieu à bon nombre d’interprétations. Les marques épigénétiques pourraient être influencées par notre environnement – l’alimentation, l’air que nous respirons, le stress que nous subissons – et être transmissibles à nos enfants et à nos petits-enfants… Quelle est votre position de chercheuse sur cette question ?

    E. H. : J’imagine que vous faites référence à cette étude conduite par des épidémiologistes sur les conséquences de la famine vécue aux Pays-Bas durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Les enfants, et peut-être les petits-enfants, des femmes enceintes qui, à l’époque, avaient passé plusieurs semaines à ingérer quelques centaines de calories par jour seulement, auraient aujourd’hui des problèmes de santé liés à un métabolisme dysfonctionnel. La faute, selon cette étude, à des changements intervenus dans les modifications épigénétiques du fait de la malnutrition, qui auraient été transmis aux enfants, puis aux petits-enfants de ces femmes dénutries.

    Autre exemple : certaines personnes vont jusqu’à affirmer que le stress subi par les survivants de la Shoah se serait transmis aux générations suivantes via les marques épigénétiques. Mais il n’y a à ce jour aucune preuve solide de cela au niveau de la biologie moléculaire. Et l’on sait tous que le comportemental, la façon dont on tisse des liens avec nos descendants, est un puissant vecteur de transmission. Tous ces fantasmes autour de l’épigénétique sont à la fois stimulants pour les chercheurs, car ils montrent l’intérêt de la société pour nos travaux, et handicapants, car ils induisent des attentes auxquelles nous ne pouvons pas toujours répondre et qui pourraient créer de la frustration par rapport à notre discipline. Aujourd’hui, la science en est toujours à établir les bases moléculaires de l’épigénétique. C’est du 100 % fondamental.

    Vous êtes mondialement connue pour vos travaux sur l’inactivation du chromosome X. Pouvez-vous nous expliquer de quoi il s’agit ?

    E. H. : Comme vous le savez, les mammifères femelles portent deux chromosomes X, hérités de chacun de leurs parents, tandis que les mâles ont un chromosome Y hérité de leur père et un chromosome X hérité de leur mère. Problème : le Y porte très peu de gènes, une centaine à peine qui sont importants pour les caractères sexués masculins, et le X plus d’un millier ! Pour compenser ce déséquilibre entre mâles et femelles, un processus de désactivation de l’un des deux chromosomes X s’est donc mis en place chez les femelles. C’est un programme 100 % épigénétique qui éteint un chromosome entier !

    #CNRS #Science #Recherche #Génétique #Epigénétique #héritabilité #chromosome_X #femelle #mâle #mère #père #féminin #masculin

  • Femmes en recherche au Québec : où en sommes-nous ?
    Fanny Eugène, ACFAS, le 8 février 2019

    Les femmes, les Autochtones et les personnes racisées sont encore sous-représentés au sein du corps professoral des universités et des collèges canadiens, les femmes racisées formant le groupe où cette sous-représentation est la plus marquée. De plus, bien que les femmes soient plus présentes qu’il y a dix ans, elles demeurent fortement minoritaires dans le secteur des sciences naturelles, des technologies, de l’ingénierie et des mathématiques (STIM). Cette sous-représentation ne se limite pas aux carrières dans l’enseignement supérieur : les femmes occupent seulement 23% de tous les emplois en STIM au Canada. Cette situation n’a que très peu évolué au cours des deux dernières décennies, en raison notamment de la faible proportion des femmes parmi la relève étudiante dans ces domaines.

    #Femmes #Science #Discriminations #Sexisme #Recherche #Université #Canada #Québec

  • #Maintien_de_l'ordre en France : le criminologue Alain Bauer dénonce un #armement inadapté utilisé par des policiers non formés

    Pour le criminologue, il faut aussi revoir le lanceur de balles de défense (LBD). « L’ancien ’Flash-Ball’ tirait à environ 160 km/h, avec un diamètre plus grand que l’actuel LBD qui tire lui à 330 km/h et dont le projectile a la circonférence d’un oeil, comme si ça avait été fait exprès. Il y a donc à revoir cet armement », a-t-il assuré.Si des manifestants ont été gravement blessés, c’est aussi en raison du manque de #formation d’une partie des policiers mobilisés lors de ces manifestations, selon Alain Bauer. « Ces armes sont utilisées par des gens qui ne sont ni formés, ni entraînés, ni en capacité de les utiliser dans de bonnes conditions », dénonce-t-il.

    • « Ces armes sont utilisées par des gens qui ne sont ni formés, ni entraînés, ni en capacité de les utiliser dans de bonnes conditions »

      J’ai un peu de mal avec ce concept, celui des armes dites non léthales qui si elles étaient utilisées convenablement ne feraient de mal à personne, c’est un peu comme ces chasseurs qui vous expliquent que ce qu’ils aiment dans le chasse c’est le côté marche dans la nature.

    • Elles ne sont pas non-létales pour Alain Bauer comme il est dit dans l’article un peu plus loin :

      Si ces armes de défense constituent, selon le spécialiste, un progrès « par rapport au sabre, au 357 magnum ou au riot gun [arme anti-émeute américaine] qui avaient été inventés pour les émeutes », elles induisent une forme de « désinhibition » chez les policiers qui les utilisent. « On assiste à une sur-utilisation de ces armes, comme si elles étaient non létales, ce qui n’est pas vrai ! Elles sont juste moins létales. »

      D’ailleurs, le terme « #arme_à_létalité_réduite » est préféré par le ministère de la défense ou des ONG comme Amnesty International :[1].pdf


    • Je cherchais une réponse au billet de @af_sobocinski et j’ai pas mieux que celle de @aude_v résumé en 2 lignes.
      L’omnipotence de ce professeur en criminologie (sic) est plus crédible par sa fréquentation des plateaux télé que par ses expertises. Pour en juger il suffit de taper son blaze dans la barre de recherche de seenthis.

      My name is...

      Bauer, Alain Bauer, a pu accompagner à sa manière la dérive sécuritaire au PS. Membre du parti depuis l’âge de 15 ans, adhérent de l’UNEF et de la MNEF, proche de Manuel Valls, il cumule ses fonctions de conseiller du prince sarkozyste avec des amitiés soutenues auprès de Christophe Caresche, autre entrepreneur de sécurité socialiste très impliqué dans le plan Mille Caméras de la ville de Paris. Criminologue de formation, Bauer a effectué un stage des plus formateurs dans les années 1990 à la Science Application International Corporation, une société militaire privée qui a ses entrées au Pentagone. Gourmand de nature, il a su manger aux râteliers du public comme du privé, avec sa propre boîte (AB Associates, dont il quitte la direction en juillet 2010) qui prodigue du conseil en sécurité auprès de nombreuses collectivités locales. Cet ancien rocardien, devenu président de l’Observatoire national de la délinquance créé sur mesure par Sarko, a enseigné ses préceptes du tout-répressif dans une myriade d’écoles de flics et de magistrats jusqu’en Chine.

      Il a coécrit plusieurs bouquins avec Xavier Raufer, triste plumitif (euphémisme) qui a fait ses classes au sein de l’ultra-droite des années 1960-1970. En 2002, dans La Guerre ne fait que commencer, par exemple, les deux loustics développent des théories lumineuses au sujet des banlieues : « À partir de ces zones de non-droit inaccessibles aux forces de l’ordre et grouillant d’armes de guerre, assurer la logistique d’un réseau terroriste est stricto sensu un jeu d’enfant ». Alain Bauer, qui a écrit une vingtaine de livres sur la criminalité est aussi président de la commission nationale de la vidéosurveillance (oups ! de la « vidéoprotection »). Il a été honoré en 2003 d’un « Big Brother Award » par l’association Privacy International pour l’ensemble de son œuvre. En février 2010, ce grand défenseur de la liberté avait remis officiellement une légion d’honneur à son confrère criminologue chinois, l’honorable monsieur He Bingsong, fervent défenseur de la peine de mort…

      et Alain Bauer chez Article11

      sur wikipedia

  • Aurions-nous tout faux au sujet de la #dépression ? - ★ ZINZIN ZINE ★

    Annotations :

    L’exception du deuil semblait avoir créé une faille dans l’affirmation voulant que les causes de la dépression seraient déjà scellées dans votre crâne. Cela laissait entendre qu’il existait des causes dans l’environnement extérieur, et qu’elles devaient être appréhendées et résolues dans cet environnement. Ce fut un débat que la #psychiatrie traditionnelle (à quelques exceptions près) ne voulu pas avoir. Donc, iels répondirent d’une manière simple – en réduisant petit à petit l’exception du deuil. À chaque nouvelle édition du manuel, iels réduisirent la période de deuil permise avant d’être étiqueté·e comme souffrant de maladie mentale – jusqu’à ce qu’elle ne soit plus que de quelques mois et pour ensuite finir par disparaître complètement. (...)

    #travail #médicaments #Science

    • Mais alors, que ce passe-t-il réellement ? Lorsque j’ai interviewé des spécialistes des sciences sociales du monde entier – de São Paulo à Sydney, en passant par Los Angeles et Londres – j’ai commencé à entrevoir un tableau inattendu. Nous savons tou·tes que chaque être humain·e a des besoins physiques de base : en nourriture, en eau, en logement, en air pur. Il s’avère que, de la même manière, tou·tes les humain·es ont certains besoins psychologiques fondamentaux. Nous avons besoin de sentir que nous avons une place dans le monde. Nous avons besoin de nous sentir valorisé·es. Nous avons besoin de sentir que nous sommes bon·nes à quelque chose. Nous avons besoin de nous sentir securisé·es vis-à-vis de l’avenir. Et de plus en plus d’éléments montrent que notre culture ne répond pas à ces besoins psychologiques pour beaucoup de gens, probablement la plupart. J’ai appris que, de manières très différentes, nous avons fini par être déconnecté·es des choses dont nous avons vraiment besoin, et cette profonde déconnexion est le moteur de cette épidémie de dépression et d’anxiété qui nous entoure.

    • Il s’avère que si vous n’avez aucun contrôle sur votre travail, vous êtes beaucoup plus susceptible de devenir stressé·e – et surtout, déprimé·e. Les humain·es ont un besoin inné de sentir que ce qu’iels font, au jour le jour, est significatif. Lorsque vous êtes contrôlé·e, vous ne pouvez pas créer un sens à votre travail.

    • Il y a certes des facteurs sociaux et de travail dans de nombreux cas de dépressions, mais en faire l’explication centrale et la solution évidente qui va marcher pour tou·tes, c’est se foutre de la gueule du monde.

  • Des abeilles et des hommes
    Laure Cailloce, Le Journal du CNRS, le 21 janvier 2019

    Difficile en revanche d’affirmer avec certitude où et quand les hommes ont commencé à pratiquer l’apiculture au moyen de ruches domestiques, en plus de la collecte du miel issu des ruches sauvages… « À l’âge du bronze, soit à partir de 2000 avant notre ère en Europe de l’Ouest, on va fabriquer énormément d’objets en bronze avec la technique dite à la “cire perdue”, qui nécessite une grande quantité de cire. Cette intensification a probablement nécessité l’exploitation de ruches domestiques », avance Martine Regert. C’est en tout cas en Égypte que l’on retrouve, dès 2400 avant notre ère, les premières représentations de ruches domestiques, dans le temple solaire d’Abou Gorab. Les ruches qui y sont figurées sont des cylindres en céramique, une technique très employée en Égypte, puis sur tout le pourtour méditerranéen : en Grèce, dès le Ve siècle avant notre ère, ou encore en Espagne dès le 3e siècle.

    #CNRS #Science #Histoire #Préhistoire #Moyen_Age #abeilles #ruches #apiculture #miel

    Ajouter à la compilation #archéologie :

  • Avec la réforme de la justice, « les justiciables aisés auront une justice à leur service, les classes populaires en seront exclues »

    Des algorithmes remplaçant les juges pour trancher des litiges mineurs ; des procès à distance, et déshumanisés, via la visioconférence ; des gardes à vue décidées par des policiers sans accord écrit d’un juge ; des plateformes numériques privées pour régler à l’amiable des litiges ; un accès à la justice trop onéreux pour les classes populaires… Science-fiction ? Aucunement : il s’agit de la réforme de la justice portée par la Garde des Sceaux Nicole Belloubet et discutée à l’Assemblée nationale. Sa « justice du 21ème siècle » commence à ressembler à un cauchemar pour l’égalité des droits et la démocratie. Le Syndicat des avocats de France, comme de nombreux acteurs du monde judiciaire, est vent debout contre ce projet. Basta ! s’est entretenu avec sa présidente, Laurence Roques.

    Basta ! : Vous accusez le projet de loi (...)

  • #métaliste de liens sur des projets qui visent à intégrer les #réfugiés dans les universités

    En général, sur l’accès aux études universitaires des réfugiés :

    Les Hautes écoles face à l’accueil des réfugiés, dans le #monde :

    Refugees Welcome Map
    #cartographie #visualisation


    Universities are failing refugees. They must do more to prevent a ’lost generation’ :

    #études_universitaires #université #asile #migrations #intégration_professionnelle #éducation #accès_aux_études #solidarité #universités-refuge

  • Avec la réforme, « les justiciables aisés auront une #Justice à leur service, les #Classes_populaires en seront exclues »

    Des algorithmes remplaçant les juges pour trancher des litiges mineurs ; des procès à distance, et déshumanisés, via la visioconférence ; des garde-à-vues décidées par des policiers sans accord écrit d’un juge ; des plateformes numériques privées pour régler à l’amiable des litiges ; un accès à la justice trop onéreux pour les classes populaires… Science-fiction ? Aucunement : il s’agit de la réforme de la justice portée par la Garde des Sceaux Nicole Belloubet et discutée à l’Assemblée nationale. Sa « justice (...)


    / #Entretiens, Classes populaires, #Inégalités, Justice, A la une, #Services_publics

    • Les principales dispositions litigieuses du projet

      1/ L’expérimentation de la cour criminelle départementale : vers la suppression de la cour d’Assises
      Les infractions punies de moins de 20 ans de réclusion criminelle ne seront plus jugées par les cours d’Assises. Dans ces affaires considérées comme des « sous-crimes », il n’y aura ni jurés citoyens, ni reprise de l’intégralité de l’instruction à l’audience. Il est pourtant primordial d’associer les citoyens à la justice rendue en leur nom.

      2/ L’extension du juge unique
      Désormais près de 170 nouveaux délits seront jugés par UN SEUL juge devant le tribunal correctionnel. Le principe du juge unique sera étendu aux procédures d’appel, faisant de la collégialité l’exception. Le président de la Chambre de l’instruction pourra statuer seul, au prétexte que la solution lui semble s’imposer.

      3/ Une généralisation des mesures d’enquête attentatoires aux libertés
Multiplication des recours aux mesures coercitives, généralisation des écoutes téléphoniques, interceptions de correspondances et techniques de géolocalisation en enquête préliminaire, allongement des durées de sonorisation et d’IMSI catcher, extension des techniques spéciales d’enquête à l’ensemble des crimes.

      4/ Suppression de la présentation au procureur pour la prolongation de la garde à vue

      5/ Restriction du droit des parties civiles
Il faudra désormais attendre 6 mois - au lieu de 3 mois - après le dépôt de plainte pour se constituer partie civile, au risque de s’exposer à une prescription et déperdition des preuves.

      6/ Possibilité d’imposer la visio-conférence pour la prolongation de la détention provisoire
      Désormais, les prévenus n’auront même plus le droit d’être présents à leurs audiences pour la prolongation de leur détention. Les avocats devront choisir entre être aux côtés de leurs clients ou être présents physiquement au tribunal.

      7/ Restriction des aménagements de peines
      Alors que l’emprisonnement de courte durée augmente le risque de récidive, le gouvernement supprime les aménagements ab initio pour les peines d’emprisonnement entre 1 et 2 ans et réduit les aménagements ultérieurs.

      8/ Embrouille de dernière minute sur la justice des mineurs
      Le gouvernement a fait voter un amendement autorisant une réforme par ordonnance contournant ainsi un débat démocratique au sein des assemblées.

      Les paramètres requis sont manquants ou erronés. 

      1/ Suppression des juridictions de proximité
      Au programme : suppression des tribunaux d’instance (traitant des affaires de logement, des litiges de moins de 10 000 € notamment les prêts, les élections professionnelles, les tutelles, etc.), centralisation de certaines matières au sein des TGI et Cours d’appel pour vider et supprimer progressivement d’autres juridictions.

      2/ Dématérialisation des procédures
      Le recours à la conciliation et à la médiation sera rendu obligatoire à peine d’irrecevabilité pour les « petits litiges », avec une certification de plateformes en ligne. Ce sont autant de frais supplémentaires pour les justiciables.
Les « petits litiges » pourront également être dématérialisés imposant aux justiciables de renoncer à une audience, pour un délai de traitement prétendument plus rapide.
      Tant pis si le dossier s’avère plus complexe ensuite.
Le contentieux des injonctions de payer sera dématérialisé, c’est-à-dire sans audience, et confié à une juridiction composée de 6 magistrats pour 500 000 injonctions de payer. Soit 6 minutes à consacrer par dossier pour vérifier l’absence de clause abusive, le respect des obligations d’information vis-à-vis des « petits » justiciables n’arrivant plus à payer. Un énorme cadeau aux organismes de crédit et sociétés de recouvrement.

      3/ La Caisse des allocations familiales, juge et partie
      Le projet supprime, à titre expérimental, l’intervention du juge pour la révision des pensions alimentaires, en confiant ce pouvoir à la CAF. Or, c’est précisément la CAF qui paie quand le débiteur refuse ou est dans l’impossibilité de le faire. De belles sources d’économies en perspective sur le dos des droits des justiciables.

      4/ L’avocat obligatoire pour les élections professionnelles et en appel en matière de sécurité sociale
      Sans moyens supplémentaires, ce sont autant de justiciables qui, pour des petits litiges seront privés de l’accès au juge.

      L’appel des jugements de sécurité sociale suivra la procédure de droit commun (dite Magendie), avec des délais absurdes multipliant les caducités et irrecevabilités au détriment des justiciables qui vont devoir payer un timbre fiscal de 225€.

  • Le Burkina teste les moustiques mutants pour mater le palu
    Célian Macé, Libération, le 18 novembre 2018

    Gene drives could end malaria. And they just escaped a UN ban.
    Dylan Matthews, Vox, le 7 décembre 2018

    Méfiance... les occidentaux utilisent l’Afrique comme terrain d’expérimentation... Voir par exemple :

    Forcer les gènes et l’Afrique Enquête sur le forçage génétique des moustiques
    Zahra Moloo, Jef Klak, le 26 septembre 2018

    et autres liens sur ce post

    #Science #Afrique #Burkina_Faso #Colonialisme #Malaria #Moustiques #OGM #Paludisme #Génétique

  • Top #ios & iPhone #mobile App Development Companies

    Looking for iOS/iPhone development company? It must be not that easy as you expected. I searched for the information from a couple of well-known websites. Have a look at the list of Top iPhone and iOS App Development Companies given below.1. ScienceSoft (USA, Finland, Belarus)Company size: 500–1000 employees | Year founded: 1989ScienceSoft develops web, mobile, and desktop applications. The company has been delivering software solutions for enterprise and middle-market customers across multiple target industries. Also, ScienceSoft partnered with Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Magento, ServiceNow, Episerver and more tech leaders to ensure that our clients will benefit from steady reliability and originality across solutions. ScienceSoft featured on The Silicon Review listing among 10 Fastest (...)

    #mobile-app-development #ios-app-development #ios-development-company

  • Violences sexuelles : dans l’enseignement supérieur et la recherche aussi, #SupToo !
    Lettre ouverte d’une centaine d’universitaires français.e.s, Médiapart, le 6 décembre 2018

    Pour aller avec, un blog BD de plusieurs professeures (en Science) qui dénoncent le sexisme dont elles font régulièrement l’objet dans leur métier (elles peuvent aussi mettre en image les sales histoires qui VONT sont arrivées) :

    Did this really happen ?

    #Femmes #Science #Sexisme #Violences_sexuelles #Université #BD

  • #Burkina : controverse autour de #moustiques #OGM contre le #paludisme

    Le Collectif citoyen pour l’agro-écologie, regroupant une soixantaine d’organisations, est radicalement contre le projet, estimant que « le risque zéro n’existe pas, surtout avec des manipulations génétiques ».

    « Le lâcher des moustiques génétiquement modifiés comporte un risque de catastrophe #sanitaire effroyable. La modification du #génome d’une espèce vivante peut entraîner un changement de comportement de cette espèce. La #technologie à laquelle #TargetMalaria veut in fine arriver est un forçage #génétique qui va amener les moustiques à disséminer un trait de caractère qui va descendre et contaminer toute la descendance de l’espèce ».

  • Matrimoine littéraire de #Science-Fiction – Eva D Serves

    Cet article vise à promouvoir le #matrimoine littéraire dans le genre de la science fiction. Il est écrit en collaboration avec Gabylc (de la chaine youtube Des Livres et des Loutres) et sera mis à jour au fil du temps.

    NB : Les descriptions biographiques et les synopsis de #livres sont tirés de Babelio et de Wikipédia (ce qui est amené à changer)

  • On a beaucoup parlé du Prix Nobel de Physique cette année, puisqu’il a été décerné à un Français, mais aussi à une Canadienne (de 60 ans, dans une petite université, qui n’est pas prof titulaire et qui n’avait pas de page wikipedia la semaine dernière. Ce n’est pas pour la diminuer que je dis ça mais au contraire pour montrer que malgré sa valeur, elle n’a pas obtenu les titres et les honneurs auxquels « on » a en général droit, surtout si « on » est un homme).

    On a moins parlé du Prix Nobel de Chimie 2018, décerné à une américaine, un américain et un britannique. Pourtant, l’américain en question, George P. Smith, de l’université du Missouri, est un membre de Jewish Voice for Peace, de Mid-Missourians for Justice in Palestine, et de Missouri Right to Boycott, régulièrement dénoncé par le lobby sioniste américain pour son soutien de la cause palestinienne et de la campagne BDS ! Il a écrit des articles dans Mondoweiss, participé à des manifestations, organisé des conférences et des protestations sur le campus, au moins depuis 2012 :

    Columbia, MO, mobilizes against Israeli assault on Gaza
    George Smith, Mondoweiss, le 28 novembre 2012

    Voilà comment il se décrit sur le site de Mondoweiss :

    I’m a retired biology professor and a member of Mid-Missourians for Justice in Palestine as well as Jewish Voice For Peace. I’m not religious or Jewish by birth. But my wife is Jewish and our sons are bar-mitzvahed, and I’m very engaged with Jewish culture and politics.

    Il a donné, en avril de cette année, alors qu’il est à la retraite, des cours dans son université sur l’occupation en Palestine. Il a aussi publié un article dans la Columbia Tribune :

    Gaza, then and now
    George Smith, Columbia Tribune, le 16 avril 2018

    Voici comment il y décrit le mouvement BDS :

    Palestinian civil society’s call for the global community of conscience to ostracize Israeli businesses and institutions until Israel repudiates Dayan’s abhorrent syllogism and the Palestinian people, including the exiles, achieve full equality with Jews in their shared homeland.

    #Palestine #BDS #Boycott_universitaire #Prix_Nobel #Science #Chimie #George_Smith

  • Forcer les gènes et l’Afrique
    Enquête sur le forçage génétique des moustiques

    Par Zahra Moloo

    Traduction par Amandine Semat
    Texte original : « The hubris of western science » paru dans Africa is a Country, 1er août 2018 (version légèrement modifiée pour Jef Klak avec l’auteure).

    La lutte contre le paludisme va d’échec en échec ces dernières années ; en 2016, il a tué près d’un demi-million de personnes. Pour y remédier, des laboratoires et fondations internationales financées par des géants de l’industrie vont tester une nouvelle méthode : le forçage génétique. L’idée est de modifier génétiquement les moustiques vecteurs de la maladie, pour en propager quelques milliers dans l’environnement. Les gênes dont ils sont porteurs sont censés éradiquer des populations entières d’insectes en quelques générations. Si ces moustiques sont fabriqués dans les éprouvettes du Royaume Uni, c’est au Burkina Faso, au Mali ou au Kenya qu’ils seront relâchés. Or, tout comme pour les autres OGM, les conséquences sur la flore et la faune sont impossibles à prévoir. Le fantasme d’une technoscience occidentale toute puissante continue sa fuite en avant, sous couvert de santé publique. Au détriment des populations autochtones, de leurs capacités de décision et de leurs savoirs, systématiquement occultés.

  • Enseigner... la catastrophe (2/2)

    Voir la première partie (.../...) On va revenir sur tout ça, mais comme tu parles de la célèbre « baisse du niveau », il faut que je te relance dessus... Pour toi, c’est une réalité... D’abord c’est difficile à évaluer concrètement de mon seul point de vue, par manque d’éléments de comparaison puisque je n’enseigne régulièrement que depuis dix ans et dans des milieux très différents, public / privé, collège / lycée, zones REP / beaux quartiers,… Bon, il y a des choses qui sautent aux yeux partout : par (...)


    / #Lieux_Communs, #Écologie, #Progressisme, #Science, #Entretien, #Éducation, #Immigration, #Démographie, #Multiculturalisme, (...)


  • Une moustiquaire de nouvelle génération pour l’Afrique - SciDev.Net Afrique Sub-Saharienne

    “Si nous avions étendu notre essai à l’ensemble du Burkina Faso, nous aurions réduit le nombre de cas de paludisme de 1,2 million.”
    Steve Lindsay - Université de Durham
    #paludisme #Afrique_Sub_Saharienne #moustiquaire #moustique #épidémie

  • Ca a l’air intéressant, je lirai ca plus tard...

    Procrastination : c’est la taille (de l’amygdale) qui compte
    Pierre Ropert, France Culture, le 29 aout 2018

    Selon des chercheurs allemands, notre capacité à la procrastination dépend beaucoup de la taille de l’amygdale, une zone du cerveau impliquée dans notre capacité à la prise de décision.

    Non, les plus procrastinateurs d’entre nous ne sont pas ceux qui ont le plus gros poil dans la main, mais la plus grosse amygdale dans le cerveau, à en croire une équipe de chercheurs allemands. Dans une étude publiée dans la revue Psychological Science, intitulée The Structural and Functional Signature of Action Control, les scientifiques racontent comment ils ont cherché à comprendre si la procrastination peut trouver une explication anatomique, et non pas uniquement psychologique.

    Pour ce faire, les chercheurs ont soumis 264 volontaires à une IRM, après leur avoir fait remplir un questionnaire sur leur tendance à remettre ou non les choses au lendemain. Les scientifiques se sont attardés sur l’amygdale et le cortex cingulaire, deux zones du cerveaux liées à la prise de décision. Ils ont ainsi constaté que non seulement l’amygdale était plus grosse chez les personnes les plus "paresseuses", mais également que, chez elles, les connexions entre les deux zones étaient moins importantes.

    Or l’amygdale a pour rôle de nous prévenir des conséquences négatives de nos actions, quand le cortex cingulaire, lui, utilise les données envoyées par l’amygdale pour choisir les actions à accomplir. Il "priorise" ainsi certaines actions sur les autres, ainsi que les émotions ressenties. En d’autres termes : si certaines personnes ont tendance à procrastiner, c’est parce que leur amygdale, plus développée, leur fait voir avant tout les conséquences négatives de leurs actions. Et si la connexion entre le cortex cingulaire et l’amygdale est plus faible, alors il devient plus difficile de choisir quelles actions réaliser.

    Heureusement, si avoir une amygdale plus importante ou un cortex cingulaire un peu moins connecté tiennent du péché capital, la paresse n’est plus si mal vue. Ainsi, une étude de la Florida Gulf Coast University stipule que les personnes ayant un QI élevé sont plus paresseuses que les autres, alors qu’une autre étude menée par le professeur Eisuke Hasegawa montrait que les éléments considérés comme paresseux sont nécessaires à la société.

    En février 2018, l’émission "Une histoire particulière" consacrait deux documentaires à la procrastination. Dans l’épisode "Cherchons F/H paresseux pour un poste de directeur", la psychologue Gwenaëlle Hamelin, spécialiste du stress au travail et du burn out, expliquait ainsi que "faire moins est une stratégie gagnante". Et Bill Gates l’affirmait lui-même : "Je choisis une personne paresseuse pour un travail difficile, car une personne paresseuse va trouver un moyen facile de le faire."

    Déjà en 2012, dans l’émission La Grande Table, il était question de l’ouvrage du philosophe américain John Perry, La Procrastination : l’art de reporter au lendemain, où il développait un plaidoyer en faveur de la procrastination structurée, un "défaut" susceptible de transformer son récipiendaire en foudre de guerre. Le philosophe Mathieu Potte-Bonneville voyait dans ce livre "une tentative de déculpabilisation de la procrastination" : "John Perry se prétend procrastinateur, et essaie de voir comment il est possible de s’en servir. Il explique qu’explorer sa propre procrastination lui a permis de retrouver l’estime de lui-même et l’estime des autres. La procrastination, c’est aussi une expérience profondément désespérante, un dégoût de soi, un revers noir de la satisfaction du travail bien fait, et le livre constitue à cet égard une tentative de déculpabilisation. Il s’agit de montrer que le procrastinateur est extraordinairement actif contrairement à ce qu’il croit, car pour ne pas faire ce qu’il a à faire, eh bien il fait tout un ensemble d’autres choses. John Perry produit une méthode de procrastination structurée, qui permet de classer les corvées par ordre d’importance, et de se consacrer aux tâches les moins importantes pour éviter de s’occuper des plus urgentes. Ce livre ne se veut pas profond, il n’est pas question d’une recherche des causes. On l’affirme comme un fait, un peu comme la différence entre gaucher et droitier. Le moralisme se pose une question que résume Ovide : « Je vois le meilleur, je l’approuve, et je fais le pire ». Le procrastinateur est celui qui sait que ça n’est pas bien de procrastiner, d’ailleurs il n’en est pas heureux, mais il n’arrive pas à faire autrement. On peut l’expliquer par l’environnement dans lequel nous sommes pris et qui nous dit qu’il faut impérativement se réaliser et prendre des initiatives. Aujourd’hui, on a une épidémie de dépressions liée à ce que l’injonction dans le monde du travail est : soyez proactif. Plutôt que de sombrer dans la dépression, on développe une activité frénétique, dont on peut se demander si elle est du côté de la productivité ou de l’improductivité. Plus que l’absentéisme, le présentéisme en entreprise est un gros problème car les gens sont là mais font autre chose que ce qu’ils devraient faire. Si la philosophie permet d’échapper à la procrastination, la littérature permet d’en explorer les affres et l’expérience. C’est Marcel Proust qui en parle le premier : La recherche du temps perdu, qu’est-ce que c’est sinon l’immense odyssée de quelqu’un qui n’a pas vécu ce qu’il avait à vivre, et qui ne peut le vivre qu’en décidant de l’écrire ?"

    Articles cités:

    The physical sacrifice of thinking: Investigating the relationship between thinking and physical activity in everyday life
    Todd McElroy, David L Dickinson, Nathan Stroh, and Christopher A Dickinson
    Journal of Health Psychology 21:1750-1757 (2015)

    Lazy workers are necessary for long-term sustainability in insect societies
    Eisuke Hasegawa, Yasunori Ishii, Koichiro Tada, Kazuya Kobayashi & Jin Yoshimura
    Scientific Reports 6:20846 (2016)

    The Structural and Functional Signature of Action Control
    Caroline Schlüter, Christoph Fraenz, Marlies Pinnow, Patrick Friedrich, Onur Güntürkün, and Erhan Genç
    Psychological Science, in press (2018)

    #Procrastination #Paresse #Science #Psychologie vs. #Anatomie #Amygdale

  • Fish tales : Combating #fake_science in popular media - ScienceDirect

    Ocean & Coastal Management
    Volume 115, October 2015, Pages 88-91
    (article accessible)

    What role should scientist play in correcting bad science, fake science, and pseudoscience presented in popular media? Here, we present a case study based on fake documentaries and discuss effective social media strategies for scientists who want to engage with the public on issues of bad science, pseudoscience, and fake science. We identify two tracks that scientists can use to maximize the broad dissemination of corrective and educational content: that of an audience builder or an expert resource. Finally, we suggests that scientists familiarize themselves with common sources of misinformation within their field, so that they can be better able to respond quickly when factually inaccurate content begins to spread.

    Deux citations en exergue :

    1. Introduction
    A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.
    ∼Almost certainly not Mark Twain.

    Falsehood will fly, as it were, on the wings of the wind, and carry its tales to every corner of the earth; whilst truth lags behind; her steps, though sure, are slow and solemn, and she has neither vigour nor activity enough to pursue and overtake her enemy.
    ∼Thomas Francklin, Sermons on Various Subjects, 1787

    Et les cas pratiques étudiés (et contrés) : la preuve de l’existence des sirènes et d’un complot gouvernemental pour la masquer suivie de la preuve de la survie d’un mégalodon (requin géant - jusqu’à 20 mètres, le plus grand prédateur marin, disparu au Miocène…)

    2. Mermaids and megalodons: the rise and fall of the fake discovery documentary
    In May, 2012, Animal Planet, a Discovery Communications property, released Mermaids: The Body Found. The fictitious documentary, which presents the case that mermaids are not only real, but that there is an active government conspiracy to hide their existence, aired with a minimal post-credit disclaimer and was proceeded by heavy promotional material suggesting that the program evidence-based. To project credibility, Mermaids featured actual government organizations, particularly the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), implicating real scientists in a fake conspiracy. NOAA experienced a backlash from this production and issued a statement distancing itself from the show (NOAA, 2012). Several NOAA scientists reported being verbally accosted as a result of their perceived complicity in the “mermaid conspiracy” (personal communications to Shiffman and Thaler).

    Mermaids: The Body Found launched a new generation of fake documentaries, produced with the trappings of educational programming, including high production value, stunning visuals, and compelling narration. Since then, Discovery Communications’ networks have aired a follow-up to the initial fake mermaid documentary, which went on to become Animal Planet’s highest grossing show (ABC News, 2013), as well as two that promote the claim that the extinct Carcharocles megalodon (Pimiento and Clements, 2014) is extant and predating on humans. These fake documentaries followed a very particular style, weaving real science, natural history, and current events with fabricated images, CGI video, and interviews with actors playing experts, witnesses, and government officials. In each case, the fake documentaries created conflict by inserting real government agencies into the narrative as antagonists, and implicated working scientists in fictional conspiracies.

  • Exploring museum collections online: Some background reading*lSMymVAifKTVawvD%2E

    John Stack
    Digital Director of the Science Museum Group
    Jan 23
    Exploring museum collections online: Some background reading

    In 2017 the Science Museum Group relaunched its online collection website. The website consolidated a number of existing websites publishing digitised collection material — organised by subject or area of collection — into a single presence.

    Over 282,000 objects and archival records were published and over 27,000 of these were illustrated with at least one image.

    This represents about 6% of the object collection (estimated to total 406,000 objects) and only a tiny fraction of the archival collection (estimated to be around 7 million items).

    #musées #collections_en_ligne #open_sources #archives_en_ligne

  • OCW Course Index | MIT OpenCourseWare | Free Online Course Materials

    tous les cours du MIT en accès libre :

    Aeronautics and Astronautics
    Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation
    Biological Engineering
    Brain and Cognitive Sciences
    Chemical Engineering
    Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Comparative Media Studies/Writing
    Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
    Edgerton Center
    Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
    Engineering Systems Division
    Experimental Study Group
    Global Studies and Languages
    Health Sciences and Technology
    Linguistics and Philosophy
    Materials Science and Engineering
    Mechanical Engineering
    Media Arts and Sciences
    Music and Theater Arts
    Nuclear Science and Engineering
    Political Science
    Science, Technology, and Society
    Sloan School of Management
    Supplemental Resources
    Urban Studies and Planning
    Women’s and Gender Studies
    Writing and Humanistic Studies

    #recherche #enseignement #mooc via @maliciarogue