Recommended Reads #47


Gain a rare look into the brain trust at Nature to understand how they pick manuscripts for review.

Quiz: North Korean Slogan or TED Talk Sound Bite?

One journal bans null hypothesis significance testing. That’s right, they’ve banned the P value.

A look back on the time when a columnist for Parade magazine (the celebrity rag that comes with the Sunday paper) understood and explained math and probability better than university professors, who were proud to trumpet their own ignorance: “Maybe women look at math problems differently than men.”

We don’t need more STEM majors. We need more STEM majors with liberal arts training.

There are probably a number of reasons that have contributed to the decline in field biology. These include the rise of molecular biology, the loss of staff competent and comfortable in the field, and the general decline in children getting outdoor experience. However, a key factor has to be that the skills involved have been distinctly unappreciated. In fact, we would argue that, in educational circles, this lack of appreciation goes much deeper. Educationalists have been guilty of formalising a gross undervaluing of the complexities involved in field biology. This has occurred through a naive adherence to an incredibly damaging dogma that has influenced so much of modern educational practice. Ironically, the dogma that has been so detrimental to field taxonomy is known as Bloom’s taxonomy.

This piece of writing has really made the rounds, but for good reason, so if you haven’t read this, now is the time to click through. Oliver Sacks discovered that he has terminal cancer, and this is his reflection on this discovery.

Shut Up & Write Tuesdays, a virtual writing workshop for academic folk.

Who is to blame for poor science communication?

How do you recruit new students into your lab?

Yet another gorgeous animation from the folks who brought you the stunning one about Alfred Russell Wallace. This is one is about Alfred Wegener.

Across disciplines, we find that faculty hiring follows a common and steeply hierarchical structure that reflects profound social inequality. Furthermore, doctoral prestige alone better predicts ultimate placement than a U.S. News & World Report rank, women generally place worse than men, and increased institutional prestige leads to increased faculty production, better faculty placement, and a more influential position within the discipline.

In praise of slow science.

The evolution catechism.

The first rule for teaching ecology: “Get them outside; early and often”.

Current university courses on ecology often fail to persuade students that ecological science provides important tools for environmental problem solving. We propose problem-based learning to improve the understanding of ecological science and its usefulness for real-world environmental issues that professionals in careers as diverse as engineering, public health, architecture, social sciences, or management will address.

A Century After Being Cast into the River Thames, a Celebrated Typeface Reemerges.


For links, thanks to Allison Chapman, Lee Dyer, Karen Kapheim, and Steven Whitfield.


2 thoughts on “Recommended Reads #47

  1. That Loretta Jackson-Hayes piece on liberal arts scientists nails it; great find.

    That social psychology journal isn’t just banning p-values. They’re banning all inferential statistics. Any attempt to make inferences from sample to population. My comments are in the Dynamic Ecology linkfest post today, and Andrew Gelman has comments on his blog. It looks like the entire internet emailed Andrew to ask his thoughts! If nothing else, that journal sure did a masterful job of trolling…

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