Tragic deaths in science: Ludwig Boltzmann — a mind in disorder

Can a life be summed up by 𝑆=𝛋∙log𝑊? The equation is the slightly geeky inscription on the tombstone of Ludwig Boltzmann, Austrian physicist and pioneer of statistical mechanics.

The formula shows the relation between entropy and the probability of possible thermodynamic states of matter. It includes the constant 𝛋, later termed Boltzmann constant.

How can a lifetime’s achievement so fundamental (including a constant named after you for mathematical eternity) end in the tragic suicide of the name-bearer during a holiday in Italy?

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Fashion advice from a true intellectual

Whatever you think about the year 2017, it's safe to say it was not the year of intellectuals. So it's comforting to know that there are still a few intellectuals out there.

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5 Science-Based (Adult) Coloring Books

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably noticed that coloring is “in” again. You can find adult coloring books at nearly every book and gift shop. Skeptics might be wondering what all the fuss is about… after all, didn’t we leave this hobby behind in elementary school for a reason?

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The Shortest Papers Ever Published

This blog post is about short papers. It seems out of place writing a long introduction.

If you ever wondered about the shortest papers ever published, or you just want to take the unique opportunity to read several papers in full within one minute, this post is for you.

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Walking through a Digital Memorial: the #pdftribute PDFs

Aaron Swartz was a vocal proponent of a free and open Internet and a staunch believer in open access. His Guerilla Open Access Manifesto, written in 2008, is just as powerful and relevant to the world of academic publishing today as it was 6 years ago.

A little over a year ago, the Internet began mourning the loss of this well-loved entrepreneur and pioneer. Tech-savvy academics were shocked by Aaron’s death; some were upset at the handling of his legal case while others called on universities to respond by doubling down on open access to the scientific literature. Meanwhile, the news media were left struggling to explain just what JSTOR was and why Aaron was potentially facing years in prison for downloading a bunch of PDFs.

And then, academics joined together worldwide in a small act of defiant tribute.

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