White House launches low-carbon construction initiative

Read the full story in Construction Dive.

The White House announced Tuesday it will establish a “Buy Clean” task force to focus on the production and purchase of low-carbon materials made in the U.S. for use in federal construction projects. The move comes after a December executive order meant to make the federal government more sustainable. 

The task force will identify materials to consider and prioritize in federally funded projects, increase emission transparency through supplier reporting and incentives and launch pilot programs to boost federal procurement of clean construction materials. These include products with lower embodied emissions and pollutants across their lifecycle, including each stage of the manufacturing process, according to the release.

The administration claims that the new policies will create more jobs and boost the country’s competitiveness in the global market, according to the release.

ResearchGate responsible for illegal content on its site, German court rules

Read the full story in Chemistry World.

The popular academic social networking site ResearchGate is appealing a 31 January ruling by a district court in Munich, Germany, which ruled that the site is responsible for scholarly papers infringing copyright that were uploaded to its website. 

Webinar: Climate change is front and center. Learn from three experts about the effects it’s having, and how communities can prepare.

Feb 23, 2022 3 pm CST
Register here.

Join three climate science leaders for a webinar exploring the impact that global warming is having on North America, from its mountains and glaciers to its cities and people. What is climate change doing to snow, ice and water supplies? How is it raising the risks of wildfires and severe storms? How can communities become more resilient to climate change and recover from disasters in ways that protect everyone, particularly low-income residents?

Becky Bolinger, Ph.D., is the Assistant State Climatologist at Colorado Climate Center at Colorado State University Department of Atmospheric Science. Her research focuses on climate variability, climate extremes and drought. She has written for The Conversation on the “new normal” seen in temperature data.

Twila Moon, Ph.D., is the Deputy Lead Scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, part of the University of Colorado Boulder’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. She specializes in the connections among ice, climate, ocean and ecosystem, and in particular the Greenland Ice Sheet and the Arctic. Her research has been published in high-impact journals such as Science and Nature, and she has testified before the U.S. Congress and is a lead editor for the annual NOAA Arctic Report Card.

Shannon Van Zandt, Ph.D., is the Professor and Executive Associate Dean in the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University. Her scholarship is at the intersection of affordable housing with disaster impacts, resilience and recovery, with particular interest in how residential land use patterns exacerbate or mitigate exposure to natural hazards, specifically flooding. She is an author of the 2020 book Engaged Research for Community Resilience to Climate Change.

Twitter may affect how journal articles are consumed by public

Read the full story at Healio.

Twitter could potentially affect how journal articles are viewed, read and shared among academic professionals, an expert said at Retina 2022.

According to Sunir J. Garg, MD, FACS, co-director of retina research at Wills Eye Hospital, there are nearly 400 million users on Twitter, with about half of them active daily.

Garg’s discussion focused on journal articles shared on Twitter and how they make an impact on audiences, news outlets and those who benefit from public data. To calculate this impact factor, Garg said data from the past 2 years are used to calculate the impact for the current year. For example, for 2020, the number of total journal articles from 2018 and 2019 would be added, and that number would be divided by the number of citations included in those articles from the past 2 years.

Covid origin conspiracies and other bogus research predatory scientific journals peddle

Read the full story from NBC News.

Greedy traditional publishers have profited from publicly funded science while restricting access to their content. Now a new model has come along — with a new problem.

MIT Press reveals open monograph model

Read the full story at Research Information.

The MIT Press Open Monograph Model: Direct to Open, a white paper published by Chain Bridge Group and the MIT Press, describes a collective model for supporting the open dissemination of scholarly monographs. The report examines the context for designing the framework and explains the logic behind the model’s design.

Kombucha cultures make excellent sustainable water filters, study finds

Read the full story at Ars Technica.

The refreshing kombucha tea that’s all the rage these days among certain global demographics might also hold the key to affordable, environmentally sustainable living membranes for water filtration, according to a recent paper published in the American Chemical Society journal ACS ES&T Water. Experiments by researchers at Montana Technological University (MTU) and Arizona State University (ASU) showed that membranes grown from kombucha cultures were better at preventing the formation of biofilms—a significant challenge in water filtration—than current commercial membranes.

Old-fashioned, inefficient light bulbs live on at the nation’s dollar stores

Read the full story in the New York Times.

A Trump administration weakening of climate rules has kept incandescent bulbs on store shelves, and research shows they’re concentrated in shops serving poorer areas.

This startup is turning nonrecyclable plastic into building blocks fit for construction

Read the full story at Fast Company.

After years of R&D, startup ByFusion is processing 450 tons of plastic a year—with the goal of reaching 100 million tons by 2030.

Shipping container boutique hotel planned for Haughville neighborhood

Read the full story from Indianapolis Business Journal.

An Indianapolis company is building a boutique hotel using repurposed shipping containers to accommodate guests seeking unusual experiences in the heart of the city.