Friday recommended reads #20

  • There’s a paradox or a conundrum or dilemma in reckoning with rapid climate change that we are causing by dumping so much CO2 back into the atmosphere. How do we personally approach the magnitude of the crisis, and what do we say to others about it? Hope Jahren nails it. Bravo.
  • Jeremia Ory wrote a couple posts with some really interesting stats about the NIH R15 grants, traditionally the mechanism by which faculty at small teaching institutions have been funded. This is the first one and this is the second one. I thought both were really interesting and I’m not even in an NIH field.
  • Here’s a provocative interview with Philip Roth, the great American novelist, in the New York Times. He decided to stop writing novels last year, and since that time, has re-read all of his 31 novels. He has some really good insights into his own life, our country, and what it means to be a member of our species.
  •  When your course deals with sensitive topics, do you put a trigger warning in your syllabus to prepare students? This week, there were two insightful pieces on this topic, first by Tressie Cottom and the other was by Good Enough Professor. They might not say what you expect them to.
  • There has been continued discussion this week about the asymmetries in credit for the use of previously published data. The comments on Monday’s post were interesting. To date, the best thing I’ve read was this post on Simply Statisticsincluding the following paragraph:

I’m completely sympathetic to data generators who spend a huge amount of time creating a data set and are worried they may be scooped on later papers. This is a place where the culture of credit hasn’t caught up with the culture of science. If you write a grant and generate an amazing data set that 50 different people use – you should absolutely get major credit for that in your next grant. However, you probably shouldn’t get authorship unless you intellectually contributed to the next phase of the analysis.

For links, thanks to Stelio Chatzimanolis, Dorit Eliyahu, and Barrett Klein.

4 thoughts on “Friday recommended reads #20

    • And in the span of a couple hours, you find the link, scour the new site, and write a substantial and useful post about it!

      • All sorts of magical things happen when I have a stack of grading I should be plowing through!
        :-) (If only it was as much fun to grade papers as it is to write about grading papers….)

  1. I’m glad to see some pieces responding (with different perspectives) to that TNR article on trigger warnings (which I disliked, particularly for characterizing people with PTSD who appreciate trigger warnings as delicate special-snowflake-wannabes with “the most fragile personal sensitivities”).

    Are colleges using trigger warnings/content warnings/content notes the right way? Maybe not. Until the TNR piece I wasn’t aware that this was a trend. Is it generally possible to misuse them? Of course. What do I think of the recent Wellesley sculpture incident? I’m open to persuasion that I’m wrong, but student reaction seemed a little over the top.

    Fortunately, the day to day business of my field is unlikely to be triggering to me. But if I were in a history class and we were watching a video that showed, say, the police riot at the 1968 Chicago DNC, I would appreciate the prof mentioning beforehand that the video had police violence in it so that I could emotionally prepare myself. If caught entirely off guard, it’s pretty likely that I would bolt from the room having a panic attack (it has happened before watching videos in non-academic settings, multiple times, including this past weekend, and a friend had it happen in a classroom setting last year). Is it that much of a bother to, at the start of class, mention any major triggers that are likely to come up that day?

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