Tag Archives: ireland

10 things we know more about than the level of serviced land

We don’t know how much serviced land, land ready for housing, there is. The last annual data series end in 2012, with a survey (in a different format) from 2014.. But we do know more recent data on the following 10 things, none of which , I would argue, are more important than solving the housing crisis.

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How did that prediction pan out, Gerry?

The old joke, and maybe not so funny, is that economic forecasting is there to make astrology seem accurate. To economic forecasting we might consider adding the dire premonitions of ISAG Gerry Killeen, who is a world class expert in malaria (bacterial, insect borne) not covid (viral, aerosol) .

https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/arid-40255088.html was a prediction on 31-March, a month ago.

“Can we afford to reopen schools where we are right now? I would say no,” Mr Killeen said.“There is no good reason to believe that it won’t put us back into exponential growth. There’s no logical reason; it doesn’t add up.” 

Hmmm.. On that day (per the FT tracker we had 11 cases per 100k ; a month later we have 1 case per 100k , 7 day average. There ws exponential growth, downwards.

Then we had this https://extra.ie/2020/06/08/news/irish-news/dr-gerry-killeen-accelerated-reopeningHe said Ireland is ‘inevitably’ going to be hit with a second Covid-19 wave, which could bring 1,000 deaths a day unless it is stopped.” That was 8 June 2020. “‘I can guarantee that if you follow the plan as New scheduled, even for the five phases, I can guarantee you a second wave, 100% – not 99%, 100%.”

We did get a second wave. But it was 7m later and, thankfully, we didnt get 1000 deaths a day. Despite it being guaranteed.

I get it. When the media come calling to an academic its flattering. There is a temptation to answer regardless. And the more compelling a soundbite, the more they call. Add to that “if it bleeds it leads” and you have a perfect trap. I know. I have been that soldier.

That said, one howlingly wrong prediction is one thing. Happens. Two? Hmm. Time to think about what one’s interactions are with the media.

Where are the top 2% of scientists? And who are the Irish amongst them?

Of course, that presupposes that we can identify them! A group of researchers at Stanford have made a recent attempt to do just that. The paper is available, unpaywalled, here. They produce a composite indicator to rank authors. So where are the leading authors? Unsurprisingly, the USA, UK and Germany come out tops. But Ireland does respectably well. We have 547 authors out of the 158k; thats well above our global population weight.

CountryNumber
usa68016
gbr15001
deu8792
can7225
jpn6316
aus5441
chn5272
fra5048
ita4008
nld3350
che2546
swe2546
esp2290
isr1630
dnk1495
ind1492
bel1413
kor1350
twn1151
fin1037
aut962
nor947
hkg878
nzl803
sgp756
pol726
rus709
grc648
tur614
bra600
irl547
zaf536
irn433
prt385
cze335
sau321
mex291
hun282
egy219
arg171
mys163
tha136
chl127
are114
svn114
rou100

Not surprisingly these Irish are concentrated in the universities, as can be seen below where we show all institutes more than 10 members. The remaining numbers are mainly affiliated with either hospitals or with industry/company research centers.

InstituteNumber
Trinity College Dublin113
University College Dublin109
University College Cork56
National University of Ireland Galway52
University of Limerick33
Dublin City University21
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI)20
Maynooth University16
Tyndall National Institute at National University of Ireland, Cork10

Finally and not surprising, the fields of interest of these top scientists are concentrated in STEM. This is however a bit of a red herring as citation patters vary widely across fields and disciplines, and citation counts will always be lower for Arts and humanities than STEM. Nonetheless, it is interesting to see

General & Internal Medicine30
Dairy & Animal Science25
Artificial Intelligence & Image Processing21
Microbiology20
Food Science16
Neurology & Neurosurgery15
Applied Physics15
Energy15
Networking & Telecommunications14
Analytical Chemistry14
Psychiatry13
Optoelectronics & Photonics12
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology12
Biomedical Engineering11
Surgery11
Biotechnology10
Immunology10

Finally the top 20 fields in Ireland, caveated above, show marked differences to the global top 20

Ireland top 20Global top 20
General & Internal MedicineNeurology & Neurosurgery
Dairy & Animal ScienceApplied Physics
Artificial Intelligence & Image ProcessingOncology & Carcinogenesis
MicrobiologyArtificial Intelligence & Image Processing
EnergyEnergy
Neurology & NeurosurgeryBiochemistry & Molecular Biology
Food ScienceMaterials
Applied PhysicsCardiovascular System & Hematology
Networking & TelecommunicationsNetworking & Telecommunications
Analytical ChemistryDevelopmental Biology
Optoelectronics & PhotonicsMicrobiology
PsychiatryImmunology
Biochemistry & Molecular BiologyPlant Biology & Botany
SurgeryNuclear & Particle Physics
Biomedical EngineeringOrganic Chemistry
ImmunologyEndocrinology & Metabolism
BiotechnologyChemical Physics
Oncology & CarcinogenesisGeneral & Internal Medicine
Organic ChemistryOptoelectronics & Photonics
NursingMechanical Engineering & Transports

Covid Second Wave – this time is different…mostly

So below we see the 7 day moving averages of daily new cases, deaths, hospitalisations and admissions to ICU. These are expressed as a % of the first wave peak.

Clearly this time is very differnet, thankfully. But, at a national level the response to a clearly very different situation is exactly the same.

Why is this time different, so far? A younger population is getting the disease, we are catching much more of it than in Spring so the case level is closer to true incidence, we have a culture of hand and respitatory hygine, travel in and around the county even absent lockdowns and so on is reduced, we know better how to treat the sick etc etc.

But the national policy response is the same – lock down, blame and scold the population, use the police as a threat; we dont have nuance we have a policy of …well I dont know what the policy is to be honest. Do you?

Living in a gelotopoicracy

The absolute rolling clown show that is the travel “green list” shows very clearly that when it comes to how to navigate Ireland out of the pandemic induced mess, there is no plan. There is no plan for a plan. We live in a gelotopoicracy. Actually that is unfair, as when the clowns come out in the ring they have a well worked out routine, rather than winging it all the time forever. We have a governing body which has no plan. They don’t even pretend to have one. Having spent the crucial months of the pandemic selfindulging in a lanigan’s ball of peolitical kabuki the system now is asleep at the wheel, literally in some cases.

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a-Fisking we will go: Hugh Bennet Brexit Central version

Apparently Hugh is trained in Cognitive Anthropology. From his musings in BrexitCentral he never did any fieldwork in Northern Ireland. Its touchingly naive but ultimately bonkers stuff. Let us begin

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