Recommended reads #49


Why is so much of our discussion of higher ed driven by elite institutions?

Why has bioinformatics education failed?

The five biases pushing women out of STEM. One item that seems to be missing from the list is, “partners that don’t do an equivalent share of parenting.”

About a week ago, I came across a posting for a job that would be possibly the best fit ever for my skill set and interests with their needs. Huge genomic data acquisition efforts, with plenty of technological support, room for growth in a variety of new instrumentation and experimental directions – these are things that make me happy. You really couldn’t construct a more perfect “dream job”, and I’m one of a pretty small number of people that could even do it.

The catch – it’s in a state that is currently considering a “religious freedom” bill, and forecasts suggest that it will be one of the last 15 or so states to pass marriage equality. A year or two ago, it would have been really hard to pass up jobs in marriage inequality states. Today, I have options… I can choose dignity now.

How I discovered 30 new species of flies in Los Angeles“. (And this is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg.)

To explore potential drivers of underrepresentation [in natural resource careers], we used a life-cycle analysis to review 55 scholarly articles to identify barriers and supports influencing career choices (i.e., personal, contextual, self-efficacy, outcome expectations) across 4 age groups…Exposure to nature was the most cited contextual barrier for all groups.

Here is a hell of a piece of writing in The New Yorker about what it’s like to be an adjunct and the effects of adjunct instructors on the lives of our students.

An open source, citizen-sciency library-centered project to figure out the relationship between heart rate and longevity. We know the story for mammals, but what about other vertebrates? This project needs data sleuths! This looks like it’d be good for a project for intro and non-majors bio courses.

A brief and brave piece about tenure denial, by Rev. Dr. Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder with tips about what to do if you find yourself in this kind of situation. (Also, here’s an earlier thing of mine with more specific recommendations.)

“I have a Bachelor’s and Master’s in mathematics, all with a 4.0, and numerous published papers in major mathematical journals. I am a mathematical researcher in my spare time, continuing to do research in the areas of numerical linear algebra, multigrid methods, spectral graph theory and machine learning.” [And he plays for the NFL.]

For those keeping score in the battle over the role of inclusive fitness in the evolution of eusociality, here’s the latest round published a few days ago, in which the authors use the math of Nowak et al to rebut Nowak et al. I haven’t invested the time to give it a direct evaluation.

How awesome is it that there in an annual award of the American Library Association called the “Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity.”?!

These are real requirements for a real job, not something made up by The Onion. I think that my favorite is the last one. [Leads and/or follows as circumstances require.] Combined with the other requirements, they are essentially saying, “we want the perfect faculty member, who knows what to do in all situations and, in the event that we decide that they are not doing the right things, knows that they were wrong and quickly starts doing what we say to do instead.”

If you work for your US university’s branch campus in Abu Dhabi, don’t say anything the UAE government doesn’t like, because they might not let you go back to work once you leave.

NSF is finally implementing publication access policies like the NIH has had for quite a while. Papers resulting from NSF support will have to be publicly available (without a paywall) one year after initial publication. That’s a good start.

Here is a sublime story about how entomologists tracked down a woman who published a single, wonderful, paper in 1968 on the biology of a group of beetles in their expertise.

Well, isn’t this an intriguing tweet?

You’d think UC President Janet Napolitano would have learned to be less coarse and more politic while dismissing student demonstrators.

It looks like pretty much every Irish scientist out there has signed a public letter to their government, published in The Irish Times, about the need for funding basic research in the sciences.

Test scores in my visual-communication course have gone up since I gave laptops the boot a year ago. Now I coach students on how to take notes longhand to help those who have not used that muscle much, because I am convinced that while laptops have a lot of good uses in the classroom, note taking is not one of them.

Here are some data showing how “speaking a second may change how you see the world.”

Here’s a cool shop when you’re buying a present for a girl: A mighty girl. (I have nothing to do with these folks, they didn’t pay me or anything, it just looks like a cool shop.)