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Japan’s cabinet just approved a strategy that aims to keep sensitive research and technologies linked to national security from leaving the country. The strategy, meant to protect research in fields such as quantum computing, artificial intelligence and semiconductor manufacturing, proposes that research funds be withheld from Japanese institutions that receive but do not declare money from foreign governments. The development follows crack-downs by US science agencies on researchers who do not disclose foreign ties, mainly with China.
Features & opinion
The Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile is geared up to collect 20 terabytes per night as part of its 10-year Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST), once it becomes operational in 2022. Instead of setting up a computing infrastructure that would cost many millions, astronomers are putting their massive data sets into the cloud. The move opens up opportunities for research at smaller institutions. “I could set up a notebook in South Africa to run on the LSST Science Platform that had all the same tools as if I was in Princeton,” says project manager William O’Mullane. “All I’d need is a web browser.”
Experimental psychologist Dorothy Bishop uses simulated data to teach her students how we can be led astray by our cognitive biases and faulty intuition. Sampling simulated data reveals how easy it is to find false results that seem statistically significant, and how small sample sizes can scupper an otherwise well-designed experiment.
Ecologist Fernando Maestre thought his good work–life balance before the pandemic made him less vulnerable to having poor mental health. But “I was wrong,” he says. After he was diagnosed with anxiety, he reassessed his approach to work, life and parenting to restore his health. His six-point plan includes postponing all non-essential work, setting up a schedule, reducing exposure to news and social media, focusing on the positive, exercising more and trying to live in the moment.
Image of the week
What should you do if you stumble across a camera trap in the woods? Leave it undisturbed, of course — and, optionally, strike a glamorous pose.
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With contributions by David Cyranoski