ENVIRONMETRICS AUSTRALIA
Statistical Solutions to Environmental Problems

News & Updates

Adelaide Coastal Waters Study - South Australia's illegitimate child.
December 15, 2016 
It's almost a decade since the completion of the Adelaide Coastal Waters Study. Project Director, Prof. David Fox shares some insights into how the study and the final report were managed.

Vale Brian White
21 October, 2016 
One of the country's best mathematics educators recently passed away.

Time to shut down tabloid journals and Academic Doping
19 August, 2016 
The academic and research communities are being swamped under a tsunami of junk journal invitations promising rapid publication in their "prestigious" publications.

Ten Simple Rules
June 21, 2016 


Statistics may be everywhere, but they aren't always understood, calculated, or communicated effectively. After a suggestion from the ASA, a group of leading statisticians penned "Ten Simple Rules for Effective Statistical Practice"  to help researchers avoid pitfalls of misrepresenting data or formulating hypotheses based on faulty statistical reasoning.


Joe Gani on CSIRO
June 10, 2016 
Professor Joe Gani was a distinguished mathematical statistician and was Chief of CSIRO's Division of Mathematics and Statistics between 1974 and 1981. In a 2008 interview he reflected upon his CSIRO years. What's extraordinary is how very little has changed with respect to CSIRO's penchant for change!

As we've long been advocating - it's time this endless, unproductive cycle of deconstruction and reconstruction ceased (or at least had a longer return period).

If you think all the current rhetoric about CSIRO needing to become more relevant, more commercially focused and 'customer' driven is new, reflect for a moment on Professor Gani's experience more than 40 years ago.

Climate Science on the Skids
May 30 2016 
CSIRO CEO, Dr. Larry Marshall makes another extraordinary claim.

New paper published
May 25, 2016 
Professors David Fox (Environmetrics Australia / University of Melbourne) and Wayne Landis (Western Washington University) respond to renewed calls to retain the NOEC in ecotoxicology.

Larry Marshall - Same dog, different leg action
April 11, 2016 
Although CSIRO has a new CEO in Larry Marshall, the 'innovation' rhetoric and restructuring is not. You'd think that with the passage of 10 years, the organisation (indeed any organisation) would be reaping the benifits of structural change. Regrettably, CSIRO never got off the slash and burn treadmill.

CSIRO suffers the bends after Deep Dive
April 08, 2016 
CSIRO in the spot-light again - for all the wrong reasons (again)

Hey Larry - it's not either / or
February 12, 2016 
CSIRO's boss, Larry Marshall takes the axe to climate research

Statisticians and (eco)Toxicologists Unite!
January 5, 2016 
As debates about the legitimacy of NOECs and NOELs continue unabated, we believe it's well and truly time to establish a sub-discipline of Statistical (eco)toxicology.

Revised ANZECC Guidelines officially released!
22 December, 2015 
It's been a long process, but the Revised ANZECC Water Quality Guidelines for Toxicants has been officially released.


22-12-2015 

SETAC Australasia - Nelson NZ
27 August, 2015 
"Toxicant guideline values for the protection of aquatic ecosystems -  an improved derivation method and overview of priority toxicants."

Rick van Dam, Graeme Batley, Michael Warne Jenny Stauber, David Fox, Chris Hickey,  John Chapman

Is data scientist sexiest job of the century?
19 April, 2015 
A few years ago, The Harvard Business Review hailed the burgeoning role

of data scientist  "The sexiest job of the 21st century" . With big
data technology driving the change, how does the new role stack up?




Social 'Science' - Science No More!
18 March, 2015 
This is not a bad dream - the journal Basic and Applied Social Psychology has banned the use of statistical inference!

CSIRO and the Gutting of Wisdom
21 December, 2014 
Read Bridie Smith's story about the impact of funding cuts to the CSIRO.

Hello 2015. Goodby Linkedin
January 2, 2015 
Have you stopped to think about the actual value YOU derive from having a Linkedin account?

Statistical Janitorial Services
December 31, 2014 
We've written about BIG data before and while some reckon it's sexy, you better roll up your sleeves because you'll invariably need to do a lot of 'janitorial' (a.k.a. shit) work first!

The problems of very small n
December 4, 2014 
Professors Murray Aitkin and David Fox are invited speakers at the Australian Applied Statistics Conference (AASC) 2014.

BIG data is watching you
November 6, 2014 
Ron Sandland recently wrote about the new phenomenon of 'big data' - weighing up the benefits and concerns. Terry Speed reflected on the same issue in a talk earlier this year in Gothenburg, Sweeden noting that this is nothing new to statisticians. So what's all the fuss about?
Here's another take on the 'big data' bandwagon.

New Method for Water Quality Guideline Calculations
Sep 15, 2014 
The ANZECC (2000) Guidelines are currently being reviewed.

The Explosive Growth of R
Sept 3, 2014 
Have no doubts - R reigns supreme!!

R - the Wikepedia of statistical software?
August 20, 2014 
The R computing environment is feature-rich, incredibly powerful, and best of all - free! But to what extent can we trust user-contributed packages?

Let there be light!
May 22, 2014 
New Industry Standard for managing seagrasses during dredging projects.

Statistical Accreditation
May 20, 2014 
Make sure you're dealing with someone who knows their stuff!

Job losses at CSIRO bigger than expected
May 15, 2014 
Confirmed in a message yesterday from CSIRO Chief Executive, Megan Clark:

Australian Science takes a hit
May 15, 2014 
Joe Hockey's budget has not been kind to science

Information-gap decision theory creates a gap in ecological applications and then fills it
May 14, 2014 
You may not of heard of Info Gap Decision Theory (IGDT) but don't worry, not many people have.

Probability Weighted Indicies for Improved Ecosystem Report Card Scoring
May 09, 2014 
A new way for calculating an environmental index is described in an upcoming paper "Probability Weighted Indices for improved ecosystem report card scoring" has been published in Environmetrics. Click here.


New Report on Ecosystem Report Cards
April 4, 2014 
'Report Cards' and their associated scoring techniques are widely used to convey a measure of overall ecosystem health to a wide audience. However, as with most things, developing, testing and validating these metrics is not straightforward.

Revision of Australian Water Quality Guidelines
March 27, 2014 
The long-awaited review of the ANZECC/ARMCANZ (2000) Water Quality Guidelines is now well under way!

Turbidity Monitoring clouded by dubious science
February 17, 2014 
Regulators and industry around the country are using a potentially flawed method to set environmental limits on water column turbidity.

Breaking down the team barrier
21 January, 2014 
New research suggests that team effectiveness may actually benefit from tension and hostility.

Mathematics of Planet Earth
May 30, 2013 
Local and international experts come together to discuss how mathematical and related scientific disciplines can be utilised to better understand the world around us.

Canadian Environmental Science and Regulation under threat
12 April 2013 
The Canadian Federal Government is making drastic reductions in the reach and capabilities of its environmental science departments.  Read Peter Wells's Marine Pollution Bulletin article.

High Impact
15 March 2013 
The peer-reviewed journal "Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management" (IEAM) lists Fox (2012) as one of its most accessed articles in 2012.

New Predictive Capability for Dredging projects
29 November 2012 
Environmetrics Australia has developed a unique water column turbidity and benthic light forecasting system.


Archive

Time to shut down tabloid journals and Academic Doping
19 August, 2016 

The academic and research communities are being swamped under a tsunami of junk journal invitations promising rapid publication in their "prestigious" publications.


If you're a university academic or work in a research organisation, or even if you've ever published a paper, you're probably waking up each morning to an in-box full of crap emails from equally crap 'publishers' and 'conference organisers' inviting you to contribute your most valuable works in a field in which you have absolutely no experience. Such is the state of this scourge currently inflicting the R&D community. Flowery, waffling language bordering on the incredulous is a hallmark of these time-wasters. Take for example the following which was waiting for me when I woke up this morning:

"Your research work blissfully compels us to invite you to the conference to make the same a perfect dais where exchange and exploration of knowledge can take place".

Are you serious?! "Blissfully compels us ... to make the same a perfect dais" - WTF!!!  What are these clowns thinking?

Maybe I'm just getting old and grumpy - after all, a swift click of the delete button and they're gone! Perhaps, but the number of these inane communications is getting to the stage where my in-box is groaning under the weight of a mountain of merde. And like others, I spend far too much time sorting the crap from the legitimate - a task made more difficult by the predatory use of 'journal' titles sounding very similar to decent ones. Yes, you can set up filters and click unsubscribe but that takes time, it's imperfect and, clicking 'unsubscribe' actually lets the sender know they've got a 'live' email address.

The other phenomenon that appears to be gaining some traction is the blatant 'theft' of academic titles - particularly "Dr.". By way of example, I recently went (for the first time) to an osteopath seeking some relief from chronic back pain. While in the waiting room, I scanned the business cards of the staff at the centre and noticed everyone held the title of "Dr.". During the course of our meet and greet, I asked my osteopath if she had a medical degree or a PhD. She looked at me in surprise and said "neither, why do you ask?". I said I noticed it was on her business card at the front desk. She said that was news to her, but being new at the clinic she put it down to management's decision to embrace the decision of the Osteopathy Board of Australia (OBA) to call themselves 'Dr.'. Wow - how easy is that? Don't bother about putting in all the hard yards at a respected University to earn the right to use the title 'Dr.' - just award it to yourself!! According to the OBA's Communique, the use of 'Dr.' "is a courtesy title".  How does that work? Where's the courtesy in that?  and how is that more courteous than Mr., Mrs., or Ms.?

This is a blatant fraud designed to achieve one outcome and that's the creation of an impression that someone is more qualified than what they are.

This would be farcical if it wasn't so serious. It's not just that as the holder of a PhD and other hard-earned professional accreditations, I find this self-serving, dishonest, and highly offensive. It is the academic and professional equivalent of sports doping and should be eliminated!

                                   Dr. (not self-awarded) David R. Fox

                                    P.Stat. (American Statistical Association)
                                    C.Stat. (Royal Statistical Society, London)
                                    C.Sci. (Science Council, UK).

UPDATE January 23 2017
Jeffrey Beall's website at UCD that monitored predatory open access journals has been mysteriously taken down without explanation. Read The Conversation's article about this whole sham industry here and listen to an ABC podcast here.

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