Archive for legalisation of abortion

March 8 March

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , on March 7, 2020 by xi'an

rage [50] versus courage [48]…

Posted in pictures with tags , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2018 by xi'an

Nature tidbits

Posted in Books, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 18, 2018 by xi'an

In the Nature issue of July 19 that I read in the plane to Singapore, there was a whole lot of interesting entries, from various calls expressing deep concern about the anti-scientific stance of the Trump administration, like cutting funds for environmental regulation and restricting freedom of communication (ETA) or naming a non-scientist at the head of NASA and other agencies, or again restricting the protection of species, to a testimony of an Argentinian biologist in front of a congressional committee about the legalisation of abortion (which failed at the level of the Agentinian senate later this month), to a DNA-like version of neural network, to Louis Chen from NUS being mentioned in a career article about the importance of planning well in advance one’s retirement to preserve academia links and manage a new position or even career. Which is what happened to Louis as he stayed head of NUS after the mandatory retirement age and is now emeritus and still engaged into research. (The article made me wonder however how the cases therein had be selected.) It is actually most revealing to see how different countries approach the question of retirements of academics: in France, for instance, one is essentially forced to retire and, while there exist emeritus positions, it is extremely difficult to find funding.

“Louis Chen was technically meant to retire in 2005. The mathematician at the National University of Singapore was turning 65, the university’s official retirement age. But he was only five years into his tenure as director of the university’s new Institute for Mathematical Sciences, and the university wanted him to stay on. So he remained for seven more years, stepping down in 2012. Over the next 18 months, he travelled and had knee surgery, before returning in summer 2014 to teach graduate courses for a year.”

And [yet] another piece on the biases of AIs. Reproducing earlier papers discussed here, with one obvious reason being that the learning corpus is not representative of the whole population, maybe survey sampling should become compulsory in machine learning training degrees. And yet another piece on why protectionism is (also) bad for the environment.


Posted in Kids with tags , , , , , , , , on May 24, 2018 by xi'an

Merci, Simone! [in Strasbourg]

Posted in pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 6, 2018 by xi'an

I posted this picture on the ‘Og last June, when I went to Rouen. At the time Simone Veil had just passed away and I wanted to recall her single-handed fight for making abortion legal in France… I received last week an email I first took for a spam, email from a curator of the European Parliament, in Strasbourg (where Simone Veil was for a while a European deputy and its President, its first female President), preparing a permanent exhibit in her memory and wishing to use my picture in the exhibit, to illustrate another perspective on her, away from official and family photographs. Completely unexpected, but I obviously gave immediately my agreement.