Solar Panels Could Be the Best Fad Ever

Read the full story in Wired.

Installing an array on your roof is environmental exhibitionism—and it’s contagious.

Patterns of retractions from 1981-2020 : Does a fraud lead to another fraud?

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Misconduct accounts for the majority of retracted scientific publications and this database reveals the disturbing trend in science~\citep{fang2012misconduct, brainard2018massive}. The objective of the study is to find the association among the authors’ collaboration, the number of retracted papers, the number of retracted citations, journal impact factor, and research areas. We present a detailed analysis of 12231 research papers indexed by Web of Science (WoS) as retracted publications from 1981-2020. The study demonstrates the collaboration patterns of retracted publications where 61.5% of authors have only one and 24.6% have two retracted papers; however, 2% of authors have more than 10 retracted papers. To study the impact of citing retracted papers, we investigated the retracted papers with citations. The study reveals that 55.2% of retracted papers have been cited at least once, where 25.4% of papers are such papers where at least one citation turned out to be a retraction. This shows the impact of scientific misconduct or fraud on new research. The number of retractions is independent of the journal impact factor and as compared to high impact papers, low impact papers are attracting more citations. We also investigate the citations received by retracted papers published in higher as well as lower impact factor journals. 1/4th of the papers are retracted citations that cited the retracted papers; however, there is no significant relationship exists between the higher impact or lower impact journals with retractions or citations. Finally, how the average team size and average retracted citations vary among different research areas are studied. The study provides an insight that how a fraud leads to another fraud in the scientific world. Also, the rising trend of citations of retracted papers is a serious concern.

High-tech fixes for the food system could have unintended consequences

Read the full story from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture.

Protein derived from organic waste to feed livestock could decrease demand for soybean meal. This could lead to less deforestation caused by soy farming. But decreased production of soybean, which is also used to produce oil for food products, could increase demand for palm oil. This could clear more forests for oil palm plantations.

This is just one example of how innovations to fix our food systems could backfire. In a new analysis in The Lancet Planetary Health, a team of scientists builds on recent research that discusses how new technology is needed to improve human health and the wellbeing of the planet.

2021 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment

SEJournal looks ahead to key issues in the coming year with this 2021 Journalists’ Guide to Energy & Environment special report. The report will be formally launched Jan. 27, 2021 at an annual roundtable organized by the Society of Environmental Journalists, hosted virtually by National Geographic Society, and co-sponsored by the Wilson Center.​ Check out the guide’s various Backgrounders, TipSheets and WatchDog reports, and watch for updates to come, including additional reports, an overview analysis and live event coverage.

A new mandate highlights costs, benefits of making all scientific articles free to read

Read the full story in Science.

In 2018, a group of mostly European funders sent shock waves through the world of scientific publishing by proposing an unprecedented rule: The scientists they funded would be required to make journal articles developed with their support immediately free to read when published.

The new requirement, which takes effect starting this month, seeks to upend decades of tradition in scientific publishing, whereby scientists publish their research in journals for free and publishers make money by charging universities and other institutions for subscriptions. Advocates of the new scheme, called Plan S (the “S” stands for the intended “shock” to the status quo), hope to destroy subscription paywalls and speed scientific progress by allowing findings to be shared more freely. It’s part of a larger shift in scientific communication that began more than 20 years ago and has recently picked up steam.

Ways to look after yourself and others in 2021

Read the full story in Nature.

As the world hopes for swift roll-outs of COVID-19 vaccines in 2021, researchers’ ambitions are likely to still be constrained by the continuing pandemic and its effects. Amid shifting career priorities, Nature asked scientists for their advice to colleagues and what they plan to start, limit or keep doing.

Establishing a solar module recycling system in India

Read the full story in PV Magazine.

Ankit Kapasi and Kishore Ganesan from SOFIES India are working on the Solar Waste Action Plan (SWAP) project in India, which is looking to investigate both the technical and economic feasibility of a PV module recycling system in the country. The pilot has been funded by Signify Foundation and Doen Foundation. The team at Sofies is working closely with technology partner Poseidon Solar and established the first PV recycling pilot plant in September 2020. The duo spoke to pv magazine India about their plant’s techno-commercial feasibility and the Indian eco-system’s readiness for PV module recycling.

GM ushers in electric era with ambitious brand refresh, inclusive marketing campaign

Read the full story at Marketing Dive.

An “Everybody In” platform features figures like Malcolm Gladwell and comes as the automaker plans to invest $27 billion in EVs through 2025.

Adaptation of HVAC Systems to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19 in Buildings

Vranay F, Pirsel L, Kacik R, Vranayova Z. (2020). “Adaptation of HVAC Systems to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19 in Buildings.” Sustainability 12(23), 9992.

Abstract: In 2020, all the world has been confronted with COVID-19. Bringing people together in buildings is proving to be a risk factor that we have to deal with. Although the greatest attention is paid to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, there are a number of other pathogens (viruses, bacteria, fungi, etc.) that can be transmitted through the air. These pathogens are sensitive to UV-C radiation. UV-C fluorescent lamps have been developed with technical parameters that are adapted to HVAC operating conditions. By using germicidal sources to disinfect the transported air, more than 90% of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, more than 97% of Influenza A virus, and 100% of Legionella pneumophila can be inactivated. The use of UV-C emitters for air disinfection allows the use of circulation and recuperation. Total balance of energy and CO2 emissions by variants and energies used, including humidification were performed for Slovak conditions. The operation of germicidal sources during the heating period in selected cities in our example would represent only 0.45% of the difference in heat demand and 0.42% of the difference in energy demand between operation according to recommendations and operation with germicidal sources. It is therefore an effective means of ensuring health safety and energy efficiency for the future