- One Woman’s Life in Science. This came out almost twenty years ago in the Sigma Xi magazine, but it reads as if could have been written yesterday.
- “Student course evaluations are often misused statistically and shed little light on the quality of teaching, two scholars at the University of California at Berkeley argue in the draft of a new paper.”
- The Royal Society awarded 43 fellowships this year. Two of them went to women. At the application stage, shortlist stage, interview stage, and award stage, the proportion of women kept dropping. This is enraging.
- Here’s a “Rate my Professors” style site for journals, where authors and would-be-authors can gripe about their experience with the editorial process. I only looked at it for a moment. It looks pretty dumb to me.
- I was rather surprised to see the distribution of the weekly consumption rates of alcoholic beverages in the US, broken into deciles.
- Catherine Hulshof started a new faculty position in Puerto Rico, and shared some interesting thoughts about the initial ups and downs of the experience.
- Melissa Wilson-Sayers shared a summary of advice for new faculty from tenured faculty from a workshop at her new job at ASU. I think this is a helluva list, as good as it gets in the advice-for-new-faculty genre.
The question I am compelled to ask, then, is this: why should it take an actual miracle for any bright, motivated, hard-working young person from one of the wealthiest nations in the world to have access to a quality education?
Make no mistake: the luck that befell me was a miracle. A miracle—not a success story. A success story would be if every bright young person from a disadvantaged background had a patron like mine. Better yet: a success story would be for such patronage to be unnecessary.
- How did I size that last link up as a 40-minute read? The handy-dandy read-o-meter.
- “How much are you willing to give up to work in a museum? How much did you give up to work in a museum? I’m not talking about quality of life issues like relocating to a new city, having to explain over and over again, at parties, what a ‘registrar’ is, or spending the day in a windowless cubicle tucked in next to collections storage. I’m talking about cold hard cash.”
- Alex Wild explains exactly how hard it is to make a living as a photographer because the business requires a never-ending fight against copyright violators. You know, violators like “I Fuck*ng Love Science.”
- A paper just came out in Science this week, telling us that previous demographic projections were wrong, and that we will not have a midcentury population peak, but we’ll just get more and more people on this planet as the century progresses.
- A while ago, I shared with you this amazing short biographic film about A.R. Wallace done with paper puppetry. The same folks are at it again with the story of Leeuwenhoek and it’s an enchanting 6 minutes.
- Another charming movie about another pioneer of microscopy, this one 4.5 minutes long, about the art of building art with diatoms.
- Why Poor Students Struggle. from the New York Times.
- This woman who was born without a cerebellum seems to be doing mostly fine. They just figured it out, and she’s 24 years old.
- Here’s a paper that just came out in PNAS that shows that “elite” labs — those with super-prestigious PIs that have gotten big awards — are even less likely to hire women than their slightly less elite colleagues, who also don’t hire enough women. Here’s an analysis that suggests that focusing on change in the “elite” labs will be the most effective way of creating change in the whole system. It’s got simulations and models and stuff like that.
- A couple meta-internetty things of interest. What actually happens after you pay five bucks for a few thousand fake twitter followers? And, for those who are blogging or are interested about the how/why/what of it, here is a set of spot-on observations from a long-term blogger about what to expect and how to go about it. I’m still a relatively newbie (at it 1.5 years now) but these 15 lessons from 15 years of blogging resonate with me and are an interesting read even if you’re not interested in that kind of things.
- There is a student-led protest at Colgate University (in upstate New York) to advocate for a more inclusive and tolerant atmosphere on campus. A steady string of bias-related incidents have inspired the to take over the admissions office and demand real action from the school. So far, admin seems to be responsive. Here’s a short take on it from Colgate alum (I regret linking to the Huffington Post, but that’s where it is). But will it work out? The same damn thing happened 13 years ago, so change obviously isn’t coming quickly to this campus.
At the heart of Green’s exploration is a powerfully simple idea: that teaching is not some mystical talent but a set of best practices that can be codified and learned through extensive hands-on coaching, self-scrutiny, and collaboration. Yet her account suggests that implementing this vision may entail a bigger transformation than she quite realizes.
- Professors on Food Stamps: The shocking story of academia in 2014.
- I’m on the editorial board for Biotropica, and though papers are published in English, we publish second abstracts in the native language of the place where the work was conducted. Even when the language is Melanesian pidgin.
- On Theory in Ecology. Or, essentially: “Theory. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” That’s not an actual quote from this paper, though.
For some links, thanks to Kate Clancy, Jenny Morber, Bjørn Østman, and Timothee Poisot.