Mendeley celebrates Ada Lovelace Day: Get your free poster!

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Today is Ada Lovelace Day! Today we, along with the rest of the world, honor the world’s first computer programmer, Ada Lovelace. It is a day to recognize and celebrate the achievements of women in STEM fields.

For today only (Tuesday, 11 October), we are giving away a limited edition of our Women in STEM poster, by artist and scientist Claudia Stocker. Email mendeley-community@mendeley.com and we will mail you the poster, anywhere* in the world. Please include your full name, mailing address, and phone number in the email, otherwise we can not send your poster. Entries accepted until the end of day (which is actually 11:00 GMT on 12 October, to accommodate the whole globe!)

We’re participating online, with short videos highlighting women in STEM careers who work with us at Mendeley, in hopes of being role models to encourage more girls to go into STEM careers. Follow our Twitter and Facebook and see what others are sharing under #ALD16.

Liked our short videos and want to see more? Check out our more in-depth Women in STEM series on YouTube:

 

*We will do our best to send it to your country. Occasionally, we have issues with customs in certain countries.

Win a pair of tickets to Ada Lovelace Day Live in London!

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU!

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We’re happy and proud to sponsor and contribute to Ada Lovelace Day, held annually on 11 October. Mendeley is sponsoring the Ada Lovelace Day Live!, an annual celebration of the achievements of women in STEM. Ada Lovelace was the world’s first computer programmer, and a perfect figurehead to represent women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics field.

The event features an inspiring line up of seven women from across the UK STEM world — design engineer Yewande Akinola, planetary physicist Dr Sheila Kanani, science writer Dr Kat Arney, developer Jenny Duckett, mathematician Dr Sara Santos, computational biologist Dr Bissan Al-Lazikani, and climate scientist Dr Anna Jones — each of whom will be giving a ten minute talk about their work. The evening is being compèred by the fabulous Helen Keen.

Mendeley is offering two pairs of tickets to attend this incredible event*, held this year at the IET, Savoy Place, in London at 6:30p.m. on Tuesday 11 October. This contest is now closed. Two names will be drawn at random. Want to make sure you secure your place or need more tickets? Tickets are £20 general entry and £5 concessions, and are available from Eventbrite.

We will also be participating in the worldwide celebrations by interviewing and highlighting women in STEM careers here at Mendeley! Follow our Twitter and Facebook this week and next for new contests, interesting facts and links, and brief interviews. Get a headstart with our Women in STEM series on YouTube:

 

*Prize is for event entry only. Contest winners are responsible for their own transportation and stay in London.

Ask science anything with #MendeleyWall @ New Scientist Live 22-25th September

If I could ask science anything…

Mendeley is inviting attendees of New Scientist Live to ask our community, and the wider scientific world, all their deep burning questions about science! Mendeley’s mission is to help researchers showcase their work to the world and this is a great opportunity to connect researchers and experts with the general public.

We’ll be collecting people’s questions through the medium of a message wall and Tweeting questions to our 15,000 followers using #MendeleyWall during the whole New Scientist Live event (22th – 25th September).

We’re at stand number 1224 near the Brains & Body demonstration area, so if you are attending come and say hi!

Besides the Great Mendeley Wall, our stand will feature hands-on science and technology activities. All the activities follow our Mendeley Hack Day idea in that they are reproducible and accessible to DIY.

Learn how to build a smartphone microscope, see and feel microscopic objects made tangible by our 3D printer, try some coding projects, and learn more about Citizen Science and how you can get involved with research!

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We invite you, to use us as conduit for connecting with the New Scientist Live audience (an expected 25,000 attendees) by helping answer #MendeleyWall questions via Twitter, and hopefully inspiring people to walk away with a newly-ignited passion for science. We’ll be aligning topics with the New Scientist Live core themes, so expect questions on Earth, Cosmos, Technology, and Brain & Body.

To find out more about the #MendeleyWall and how you can get involved please feel free to reach out to jonathan.beyer@mendeley.com to discuss, please keep an eye on #MendeleyWall during the show and jump in if you see a question that you can answer!

Or if you have any questions you’d like answered comment down below.

There are still discount tickets available for the event here.

Follow us on social media to keep up to date
https://twitter.com/mendeley_com
https://www.facebook.com/mendeley

Save up to £9 on New Scientist Live tickets!

New Scientist Live – the UK’s biggest festival of ideas and inspiration, launches this September and Mendeley will be joining in the fun with some special activities on the show floor!!!

New Scientist Live is 22 – 25 September 2016, at ExCeL London.

The inaugural New Scientist Live event, courtesy of the team behind the world’s most popular science weekly, is a four-day festival of ideas and discovery taking place at ExCeL London.

Rooted in the biggest, best and most provocative science that touches all areas of human life, the show will feature over 100 exhibitors, 120 speakers (inc. Tim Peake & Dara O Briain), 5 theatres and 4 immersive zones covering Brain & Body, Technology, Earth and The Cosmos to showcase how science, technology and engineering drive our economy, shape our culture and improve our lives.

You’ll be able to find us at stand 1224 in the Brain & Body zone, full details of what Mendeley’s activities on the day will be announced soon!

For further information and the timetable of the talks taking place visit www.newscientistlive.com.

Book your place now and save

As a friend of Mendeley, you can get an exclusive discounted rate on tickets*

Book £40 VIP tickets (giving you guaranteed access to the Main Stage talks) on Thursday or Friday of the event – a saving of £5 per ticket

Or, book standard admission tickets on Thursday or Friday at the show for just £20 – saving £9 per ticket on the door rate

Tickets for Saturday or Sunday at the show are just £22.50 – saving £6.50 per ticket on the door rate

To book, quote MEND16 on the booking page at www.newscientistlive.com or call 0844 581 1295

Children 12 and under go free when accompanied by an adult

*transaction fee applies, must be booked by midnight 21/9/16

Why do we need Energy Storage in Buildings?

aKdV8MM-Pint Of Science 2016 begins tonight (23/05)! To get you excited Andreas Georgakarakos (@andrewGRK) kindly previewed his forthcoming talk “Why do we need Energy Storage in Buildings?” at The Doctor’s Orders, Sheffield on the 24/05. Check out our other preview pieces too!

Andreas is a Mechanical & Environmental Engineer, PhD Researcher at Energy Storage CDT, University of Sheffield.

The Energy Trilemma (security of supply, low-carbon production and affordability) is driving a trend toward electrification of the UK energy market. The increasing proportion of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) will result in stochastic supply whilst electrification of demand requires a more certain supply. Hence supply is less assured but growth of demand requires a greater level of assurance. The role of the Smart Grid is therefore to balance these competing requirements. Systems theory suggests that by aligning all sub-systems to common goals the overall system gains.

Therefore, Smart Grids need to interact with edge systems such as buildings. Non-domestic buildings have great potential to be utilised by the Smart Grid in managing energy demand. The functional characteristics of a building designed to work as a sub-system within a wider smart grid to achieve the overall goal of addressing the energy trilemma are:

  • The extent that the building can change its energy demand following a request;
  • How the extent varies as a function of the notification period;
  • How this varies with the external climate and internal loads.

There are expected to be financial incentives for buildings to respond to Smart Grid events over different time periods. This will necessitate the design of buildings that are financially optimised to work cooperatively within a Smart Grid ecosystem. Buildings will benefit from the ability to modify their energy use in response to Smart Grid events. It is anticipated that a Smart Grid Optimised Building (SGOB) will have particular characteristics relating to its energy storage (electrical and thermal) differs significantly from low carbon or low energy buildings.

RESThe definitions of the capability of buildings to alter their demand in line with the wider Smart Grid goals would allow Buildings to enter the energy market as a storage vector. Furthermore, the approach to quantifying SGOB in light of dynamic pricing should increase the clarity surrounding the role of energy storage technologies through development of the understanding of their economic value in relation to the temporal aspect of energy storage to the function and goals of Smart Grids.

This project will explore the hypothesis that the storage characteristics of buildings will play a crucial role in ensuring that they function as an effective sub-system a Smart Grid environment. It will seek to define at what scale, using what technology and distributed in what manner should storage be located in buildings and how is this influenced by the evolutionary state of the wider smart grid.

Currently, there are no universally accepted definitions for the different classifications of buildings. For example, while there is an increasing literature concerning smart buildings, there is no justified definition of what a smart building. Most approaches support that smart buildings integrate intelligence, enterprise, control and materials & construction as an entire building system, with adaptability, not reactivity, in order to meet the drivers for building progression: energy and efficiency, longevity and comfort”. Similarly, a proper definition for SGOBs has yet to be established.

Tickets for Pint Of Science talks are selling fast, so get over to through their official website to grab some.

Mendeley is extremely excited to be partnering with Pint of Science for the second year running! This year, we are sponsoring “Atoms to Galaxies” events across the UK, and Mendeley API & Mendeley Data are co-sponsoring “Tech Me Out” events. Last year was a massive success, and we feel passionate about the Pint of Science mission to bring research to the public, and give a chance for academics to present their work. We hope to help grow the event so more people can hear about the vast and amazing research happening in our galaxy — and beyond.

Pint of Spiders… With Robots

One week away until we lift our glasses to science!

vcXeot7HTo continue our series of Pint Of Science 2016 previews we spoke to Michelle Reeve (@michelleareeve) about her forthcoming talk “Pint of Spiders… with robots” at The Rugby Tavern, London on the 23/05. Although it might initially sound like the stuff of nightmares it is in fact extremely important research and we cannot wait to hear the whole talk next week!

Michelle was born and bred on the east coast of Norfolk, UK, and now lives in London after moving there to study for her undergraduate degree: BSc BioVeterinary Sciences at the Royal Veterinary College.

When we think of robots, often the first image to spring to mind is that of a humanoid. Perhaps made of metal, slightly clunky but able to move around more or less like a human. The first robots were indeed like this, and this stereotype has been emphasised by numerous film and literature depictions of robots both before and since. As technology has advanced, robots have become sleeker, more efficient, more specialist, and much more varied.

One of the ways in which we have improved legged robots is by turning to nature. Animals can move elegantly and efficiently over obstacles and difficult terrain with ease. They have benefitted from millions of years of evolution, so that today, they are brilliantly well-adapted to moving around within their environments. Increasingly, research teams comprised of roboticists, engineers and biologists come together, with the dual goal of learning how a particular animal or group of animals move, and using this knowledge to create an efficient, ‘bioinspired’ robot.

Despite this, our legged robots are still far from perfect. They are still are often unsteady, clumsy and energy-hungry. If they are damaged, a human needs to fix them. Depending on the purpose of the robot, this can be okay; if a research robot gets broken and needs a quick fix, nobody minds But if the robot is designed to enter dangerous places, you really don’t want to be sending an engineer in with it.

WolfSpiderLego_MARAnd this is where my research comes in. I’m the biologist in this interdisciplinary team, and I work on spider movement. Why spiders? Well, they can do exactly what we’d like our robots to do: when they damage themselves, they can just carry on. Spiders can actually self-amputate their legs, through a natural defence process known as autotomy. This can happen as a result of fighting during mating, being attacked by a predator, or even getting stuck in a problematic moult. Juveniles can often grow the leg back during their next moult cycle, but adults just have to live with it. And they cope remarkably well!

My work on the biomechanics of spider locomotion hopes to tease out some of the secrets of exactly how they move with missing legs. I’m looking at wolf spiders, a native UK species which run fast overground, just as we’d like our robots to be able to do. By filming them with a high speed camera, I study their movement over flat surfaces and rough terrain. In particular, I look at how the individual legs pair up or group together – and how this changes when a leg is lost. This data can suggest how the spider gait is controlled, and from this we can design a bioinspired control system for a new or existing legged robot.

This type of adaptive, bioinspired control system could have real benefit to robotics, and to people. Robots typically house a suite of sensors, and these could report if a leg were to become damaged, or broken off completely. This would cause the control system to change to the ‘optimal’ gait for a missing leg, as inspired by the spider. Of course, this is a very simplified description of how it would work, but the positive impact remains. Robots like this could enter dangerous territory, coping with damage without needing humans around to fix it. They could be mounted with cameras to search for survivors alongside the emergency services, or used in the armed forces to sweep enemy territory for threats before in sending soldiers. So, by studying the movements of the humble spider, we can begin to develop bioinspired legged robots could save human lives.

Tickets for Pint Of Science talks are selling fast, so get over to through their official website to grab some.

Mendeley is extremely excited to be partnering with Pint of Science for the second year running! This year, we are sponsoring “Atoms to Galaxies” events across the UK, and Mendeley API & Mendeley Data are co-sponsoring “Tech Me Out” events. Last year was a massive success, and we feel passionate about the Pint of Science mission to bring research to the public, and give a chance for academics to present their work. We hope to help grow the event so more people can hear about the vast and amazing research happening in our galaxy — and beyond. 

Pint Of Science preview – The “magic” of money: Welcome to the story of finance

Pint Of Science is back and only 2 weeks away!

Mendeley is extremely excited to be partnering with Pint of Science for the second year running! This year, we are sponsoring “Atoms to Galaxies” events across the UK. Last year was a massive success, and we feel passionate about the Pint of Science mission to bring research to the public, and give a chance for academics to present their work. We hope to help grow the event so more people can hear about the vast and amazing research happening in our galaxy — and beyond.

And also we’re pleased to announce Mendeley API & Mendeley Data are co-sponsoring “Tech Me Out” events across the UK!

As an introduction to the great talks on offer we’re going to be previewing some of the most interesting here on the Mendeley Blog.

First up Dr Tom van Laer (@tvanlaer), Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Sir John Cass Business School is showcasing his talk “The “magic” of money: Welcome to the story of finance” at the Castle, EC1 London on Tuesday 24th May.

uIaM19Q_.jpgA fancy term for persuasion by stories is narrative persuasion. The phenomenon of transportation, or mentally entering a narrative, plays a crucial role in narrative persuasion.

Here’s why: People find stories entertaining for two reasons. First, they imagine the events the main character experiences. Second, they feel for the character. In 1993, professor Richard Gerrig of Yale University published research in which he observed that people who find reading novels entertaining are changed by their reading experience, after they finish reading, such that readers who become engrossed in the story tend to accept the story as true, as well as the beliefs and behaviours that the characters exhibit as good. If people do not lose themselves in the story (meaning they are not transported), they respond negatively to the story or the characters and dismiss the narrative as nonsense.

To exert such effects, transportation first requires that people process stories. These stories can be conveyed by various media, including novels and movies, such as Harry Potter, soap operas, and social media. Second, people get transported through two main components: empathy for the main character and imagery of the events. Empathy implies for instance that people develop positive feelings toward Harry experience a connection with Harry’s values and fate. Imagery means for instance that people generate vivid images of the battle between Voldemort and Harry, such that they feel as though they are experiencing the battle themselves. Third, when transported, people lose track of reality in a physiological sense. The effect of transportation is narrative persuasion.

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After the global financial crisis set in, many people posted stories about how their bankers did not pay enough attention to them. In such a story, the customer is the main character and the banker is the bad guy. Naturally, bankers are not easily transported into such a story. Instead, their first reaction is to dispute the story and claim to indeed be oriented towards the client. I wondered whether it might be possible to help bankers become transported by focusing their attention in the story on the customer interest. You can redirect people’s focus by priming them with words. I took a dozen words, including compassion, compassion, moved, soft-hearted, sympathy, tender, and warm, and asked a group of bankers of a large financial institution to find these words in a word search puzzle. Next, the bankers were presented with a story about a negative experience of a bank client, along with the question of who was at fault. While bankers without the word search puzzle laid the blame and responsibility above all with the client, after the word search puzzle, bankers tended to see themselves as more at fault. So you can transport people in a relatively simple manner. From my research, it appears that although bankers are the bad guys in many stories, you can even transport them.

Tickets for Pint Of Science talks can be purchased through their official website.