Friday Recommended Reads #16


Wouldn’t you like to see the cutest darn photos of collembolans? I thought you might.

Students have abandoned professional correspondence when writing their professors. That is old news. The new news is that now you have a clear explanation to give your students to save yourself the trouble: Here are the reasons that students need to write professionally to their professors.

Two of the best programs on radio are This American Life and Radiolab. They have their distinct aesthetics, and the Radiolab guys came on the scene well after Ira Glass created This American Life and reinvigorated how we tell, and listen to, stories. I’ve wondered how they feel about one another: as colleagues, competitors or both? Here’s the answer: Ira Glass wrote a gorgeous paean to Radiolab, explaining in minute detail exactly how good these guys are and how their show works.

What are the characteristics and behaviors of someone who can be successful in the sciences? This post at Dynamic Ecology makes a really good case for the ability to get stuff done at every stage in the research & publication process.

When we talk about women leaving science because of gender inequity, we tend to focus on students and early-career scientists. But the unjust crap women have to deal with doesn’t stop as they advance in their careers. We can hear about it from this heartfelt and detailed story from a high-achieving senior scientist, Jenny Martin, who had slightly more senior idiots in her path. There are a few comments that are also well worth reading.

What it’s like to be the first person in your family to go to college. A good account in the pages of The Atlantic.

NIH has a well-documented problem with racial biases in funding rates. Here is an intriguing idea: maybe the lower level of diversity in those who are funded by NIH might reflect a lower diversity in the topics of proposals. Maybe scientists from the underfunded groups are interested in different stuff that the NIH panels don’t want to fund?

Weeks ago, there was a joint post organized by Hope Jahren from some of us who blog with our real-life identity. (To clarify, the names on our blogs are the same names that we use at work, on our CVs and papers, and with people in our lives. Call the name on my birth certificate a pseudonym if you wish.) I mentioned this in my own post about it, but I really want to point to it again because I really liked it: the post by tressiemc on using one’s own name in blogging. One memorable line: “The penalty for raising hell is not the same for everyone.”

Feel free to add more links in the comments.

For leads, thanks to Karen James and Jane Zelikova.