The Disco-(nnected) Brain

Welcome to The Disco-(nnected) Brain, a blog to dance around diverse topics in circles and probably arrive nowhere.

I do research in the fields of complex networks, brain connectivity and other related topics such as graph theory or dynamical systems. As a scientist I write and publish my share of academic papers. However, I frequently have the impression that the classical pathway to debate through papers in academic journals is incomplete; slow and too stiff at times. Academic papers are – and should be – trustworthy informed reports, yes. But truth is, academic papers are also opinionated monologues and I usually find it hard to see actual debates flowing out. To me, the journal-paper-based scientific debate often feels more like a multilogue between deaf speakers.

I believe that as scientists we also need other – more informal – playgrounds for debate since the resolution of many issues requires a flexible and a dynamic exchange of views. Specially whenever divergent opinions meet on concepts, theories or methodological procedures. There is nothing wrong about being wrong. There is nothing wrong about being incomplete and opinionated. As long as this happens in an open and honest manner within the proper environment, and as part of a much needed exchange. And more importantly, if that exchange is a chance to reach well-informed conclusions about confusing matters and also to – why not – stablishing standard procedures and methodologies for issues that seem to perpetuate in the literature, floating around forever.

Therefore, I welcome you again to The Disco-(nnected) Brain, a blog for fellow researchers to share their personal views and experiences on topics related to our daily work and life as scientists. A place to highlight anything you believe deserves a special mention without escaping the so much needed controversies. Yes please, let’s do more of those! In an informal manner – but with some manners – and preferably spiced with some sense of humour too.

You can collaborate in the blog by leaving comments to the posts or by writing your own posts. If you wish to publish a post, please let me know! Blog posts should cover, for example but not restricted to:

  • Complex networks and graph theory.
  • Brain connectivity.
  • Data analysis.
  • Neuroimaging (interpretation and analysis)
  • Computational neuroscience and modeling.
  • (!) Tutorials.
  • (!) Clarification of typically confusing or controversial matters.
  • (!) “Good” vs “bad” practices.
  • Taking side in controversial issues.
  • And … of course … our daily life and struggles in academia.

Have fun!

Gorka Zamora-López

1 thought on “The Disco-(nnected) Brain

  1. I feel that the issue is due to the current reward model: the system rewards individual papers (somewhat irrespective of good or bad, a paper is a paper, like a house, good or bad), but does not reward exchange, discussion, and debate. Part of the reason could be that it is hard to build a measure for exchange activities (even though the measure for recognizing papers is bad, but operation-wise, it is workable). So, for the majority (I think) of scientists who take doing science as a job to make living, they would go for papers, not spending time on exchanges..

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