Recommended reads #72


This student adds a woman in science to Wikipedia every time she’s harassed online. This keeps her busy.

Time management is the key to happiness: “Organization saves time mostly because it averts crises.” I think this is not an overstatement.

A grading rubric for job talks at small liberal arts colleges. This meshes with my experience pretty well.

Persistent sexual harassment is a primary reason leave STEM.

NIH’s program for Bridges to the Doctorate has lots of cash for R1 institutions but doesn’t provide a mechanism to support the “partner” institutions that are training the students on the other side of the bridge, which is the side that really needs buttressing.

Teaching as a graduate student is a good thing.

Seminar series and colloquia in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology rarely have adequate representation of women, and underrepresented minorities are even more underrepresented. DiversifyEEB is a list in which scientists self-register to demonstrate their availability for such opportunities. Please, register yourself! If you’re at a teaching institution, I think it’s even more important that you throw your hat into the ring. Researchers at teaching institutions often do groundbreaking research and give amazing talks. But we aren’t invited that often to give seminars, because inviting someone outside a research university rarely fits the motives of the hosts. But for those universities that actually do want to host at woman or URM scientist outside the R1 milieu how do they know who to invite? Put your name on this list, that’s how they’ll know. I know of at least one organization that’s made use of this list, and when you’re inviting folks, I imagine it will be useful to you too. Their twitter handle is @DiversifyEEB. Keep in mind that by adding your name to the list, you are committing to absolutely nothing.

Are you an ecologist starting out in a teaching-focused institution and want to use your courses to build datasets that can be part of a bigger collaborative network? Check out EREN, the Ecological Research as Education Network. (Using class projects as publishable research doesn’t work for me, but it can for some. Good comments in this old post of mine on the topic.)

Venus Williams is going back to Indian Wells, and she explains why. This is a powerful read.

The American Statistical Association issued a statement on p-values. That kind of sounds like an Onion headline, like “The Dairy Farmers Association takes a position on milk.” They’ve developed six principles, which should be self-evident to people who understand statistics. But really, a lot of people who use statistics don’t understand statistics. Number two is, “P-values do not measure the probability that the studied hypothesis is true, or the probability that the data were produced by random chance alone.” I’ve caught myself saying this rather recently, but there are some key caveats and assumptions that go into this that are rarely if ever met.

Cut from the Tenure Track. As more and more small private institutions go belly up, unethical stuff like this will inevitably be happening. Sweet Briar College, when heading down this road, did it with great concern for their employees. But that’s not necessarily the norm.

Learn how the black Ghostbuster got downgraded from a major role as a former major in the Air Force to an afterthought-sidekick. The street-smart subway worker in the reboot 30 years later doesn’t look like an improvement. Ghostbusters can update the gender roles but they couldn’t deal with the ethnic inequities? That’s some weak sauce.

EO Wilson’s newest book is telling us to put aside half of the planet for conservation. Here’s a review of the book that looks at it from a variety of thoughtful angles.

The Chancellor at UC Davis makes $425k per year. But that’s not enough for her, she accepted almost half a million dollars to be on the board of megapublisher Wiley. Which has huge contracts with UC Davis. No conflict of interest there, no not at all, no siree! Yeah, this is the same chancellor who stood idly by while her security forces were pepper spraying the peaceful, immobile and non-retaliatory student protestors a few years back.

Not log ago, UC Berkeley’s history of hiding and abetting a record of sexual harassment by astronomer Geoff Marcy’s came to light thanks to the bravery of the astronomy community. This week, journalists of the UC Berkeley campus paper have shown how the the Dean of the UC Berkeley Law School was found by a campus panel to have sexually harassed his own executive assistant, and there are complaints from a lot of other people too. The Provost of Berkeley had the authority to dismiss him because of this finding but chose to not take this action because he thought “It would ruin the Dean’s career.” Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me. What were the consequences, you might wonder? How about forfeiting 10% of his salary for one year, and having to apologize. Keep in mind that the 10% that he gave up is roughly equivalent to the annual salary of his assistant who he harassed. Is that 10% going to his victims? Berkeley has shown it is happy to hide the actions of more than one serial sexual harasser. What are the odds that the total number is just two. What other sexual harassers is Berkeley hiding while permitting them to continue to supervise students and staff members?

Why do colleges still use grades?

5 ways to create a more inclusive classroom for LGTBQ students: “Unless it is explicitly stated in your classroom, LGTBQ students will most often assume a classroom is at best silencing and at worst outright hostile to them. Therefore just ignoring it is an actual choice – a powerful and negative choice.”

“For those who truly want to disrupt publishing, here is how to go about it: Forget OA mandates for published material.”

Students who learn about famous scientists’ struggles do better in school.

3 writing mistakes. This is from Joshua Schimel – I use his Writing Science book in my graduate writing seminar this semester and find it uncommonly useful.

The New York Times does a writeup on evolving perspectives on the control of invasive species. Some people don’t like it.

A field test for identifying appropriate sexual partners in academia.

Should professors be fired for damaging a college’s reputation?

Chemistry must be respected! Some spectacular work from animator and entomophile Eric Keller:

Have a great weekend.

3 thoughts on “Recommended reads #72

  1. Terry,

    The link for Eric Keller is missing. Keep up the great work!


    Kelley Dawdy Adjunct Professor | Science, Mathematics, & Technology Department | CSU Dominguez Hills | Board Member | Friends of Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve | Artemisia Newsletter Editor | California Native Plant Society – South Coast Chapter | 310-709-2642

Leave a Reply