Like you, I’m exhausted from the political assault on science and education in the United States. But please, stay with me for this little bit, at least when you can find the energy.
With the internet currently atwitter about a new paper in the upstart journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, I have a couple specific thoughts that I’d like to share that go beyond whatever character limit twitter is using nowadays.
The term “backwards design” is often applied to curriculum design. If you want your students to learn a particular thing, you start with identifying what that outcome should look like at the end of the semester. Then you design your class backwards from that outcome, to make sure your students have a way to get there.
I think we should be talking more about backwards design when when it comes to statistics and the design of experimental and observational research.
Journalists call the key passage of each story a “nut graf.” Shouldn’t we have a “nut fig” for each experiment, and know what the axes and statistical tests will be before we run an experiment?
9 myths holding you back from stellar slides. Not as clickbaity as it sounds.
The moment after students graduate, many resources and opportunities become unavailable. This is a problem.
If you have a science degree, does it matter if your diploma says BA or BS? Nope.
People have been saying “blogging is dead” consistently for the past decade. Yet, fellow readers, here we are, on this blog. Individual blogs retire, yet academic blogs are thriving as much as ever. Blogs have evolved.
When the clock is going TICK TICK TICK, it can be hard to think clearly, because you’re anxious about the clock.
Math anxiety is well understood, and no small part of this comes from the pressure of timed tests. Ultimately, some people take tests faster than other people. I would hope that you want your tests to measure how much students have learned, not their ability to take tests under pressure. If this is the case, then everybody taking the test needs to feel that they have adequate time.
Well, all right, maybe identity crisis is a little overly dramatic.
However, I have been mulling over my science identity for a while now even if I’m not confused about what kind of science I want to be doing. It often comes up when you need to apply for grants or have that brief introduction at a conference and the like. But for me building that departmental webpage is a real act of defining who you are and what you do.
Ada Lovelace Day lands on Tuesday, 10 October. Here’s a post to honor Mary Talbot. She was a pioneer whose contributions were undervalued in her time, and that condition has persisted to our own time. Here’s a small attempt to rectify that situation.
We’re co-authors on a new paper on “Bringing ecology blogging into the scientific fold: measuring reach and impact of science community blogs”. Of course we encourage you to go ahead and read the paper, because it doesn’t just have our perspectives but is the work of a collection of great bloggers. You can read what our coauthors make of our new paper, too: Manu Saunders of Ecology is Not a Dirty Word, Jeff Ollerton’s Biodiversity Blog, Meg Duffy from Dynamic Ecology, Simon Leather’s Don’t Forget the Roundabouts, Stephen Heard’s Scientist Sees Squirrel, and Margaret Kosmala’s Ec0l0gy B1ts.
If you don’t get to read the publication, our main take home is that there is a large group of people who do read science community blogs, and the influence of these blogs is larger than many realize.
I know a lot of scientists who got their start from an REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) program. One summer as an REU has the potential to be transformational.
Advancing science in the US (and elsewhere) requires us to fund undergraduate research, and ensure that undergraduate researchers have thoughtful and attentive mentorship. We already spend a lot of money on training students – and I’d like to make sure that these efforts have the biggest bang for the buck. We are focused on broadening representation, but we haven’t seen the changes we need. Can we make REU programs* more effective?
This is the best explainer ever about social class in universities. Please read and share, especially with the graduate admissions committee.
Last week, I was at a workshop and a fellow participant made an observation that really caught our attention. They explained:
In universities, faculty usually have three types of duties: “scholarship,” “teaching,” and “service.” In their national lab, the job doesn’t include service. Instead, all of the stuff that we would call service, they call “leadership.”
Service is a bad thing. Leadership is a good thing. But what is the difference between university service and university leadership? Maybe if we called it “leadership” instead of “service,” it might be perceived as something more valuable and worthwhile.
At moment, at least for me, a cranial lightbulb turned on.
I’ve seen people talk past one another when discussing undergraduate research. This is usually because each person in the conversation has a radically different notion about what constitutes undergraduate research.
Can you pick the bees out of this lineup? No really, can you?
The NSF-DEB blog has a post about the new guidelines for graduate fellowships, which have a deadline next month.
President Trump’s War on Science. This is an important comprehensive editorial from the Editorial Board of the New York Times.
You’re reading Small Pond Science right now — but a lot of our colleagues don’t read anything resembling a blog. So, for them, I’ve just published a short peer-reviewed paper about how this site addresses a common theme: how to promote equity and inclusion, especially for students in minority-serving institutions.
Think of it as a blog post, but with a lot of useful references in peer-reviewed journals and with the bright and shiny veneer of legitimacy from journal that’s been in print for more than a century. And hopefully fewer typos.
Students might not be aware of the time horizons of applications for opportunities. Oftentimes, these things need more advance planning than expected.
Here I suggest timelines for undergraduates doing research and applying to grad school, particularly within the United States. Please make sure that students working with you are aware of these deadlines.
Applying to graduate school
You should be deep into grad school applications at the start of the Fall, one year before you plan to start grad school.