Recommended reads #101


When you study arctic glaciers that are rapidly melting away, and your samples at the Ice Core Archive melt away because of a freezer malfunction at your university.

A Neural Networks Approach to Predicting How Things Might Have Turned Out Had I Mustered the Nerve to Ask Barry Cottonfield to the Junior Prom Back in 1997

File this under, “No shit, sherlock”: A study finds that women do more departmental service than men, and that this harms career progression.

Put this in the same file: Gender diversity leads to better science

Are penises dowsing rods for fossils?

The Groper

The ANOVA: a blog on education. This is really spectacular. I love this. It is superb. I would overwhelm you with more superlatives, but maybe it would annoy you. I hope he keeps this up. When you have at least fifteen minutes, head on over, and read some of his posts. I recommend starting with “Why selection bias is the most powerful force in education.”

How subtle class cues can backfire on your resume: “We found that, in contrast to our national lore that it is individual effort and ability—not family lineage—that matters for getting good jobs, elite employers discriminate strongly based on social class, favoring applicants from higher-class backgrounds. But our research uncovered a surprising — and disturbing — twist: coming from an advantaged social background helps only men.”

Word for word, a perfect example of how we treat women seeking power

The Careers section of Nature decided to publish an advice column that might be, perhaps, the most hideous thing ever.

Meanwhile, the Careers editor of Nature writes:

So what’s the answer [to sexual harassment]? No one really knows, at least not yet. But at least there is thought and open discussion around this poisonous, noxious issue.

Is this just me, or is this the most counterproductive and useless thing to say about about our epidemic of sexual misconduct in science that has been going on since science has been a thing? We know what needs to be done: Men need to stop harassing. Institutions need to hold perpetrators of sexual misconduct accountable for their actions and not be allowed to continue in any supervisory capacity. When harassment happens, individuals in authority must listen to the targets of harassment, take prompt and effective action, and protect individuals that are at risk from individuals with a history of harassment. That’s more of an answer than, “Huh, I dunno, but isn’t it nice we have an open discussion?” We can research the crap out of this problem — and of course more research and conversation is critical — but change can happen tomorrow once institutions take actions that we know will work, when they stop being cowards. By saying that we don’t know how to fix the problem, that provide cover for the administrators who are culpable for allowing perpetrators to continue to commit misdeeds in our midst.

In light of the events involving the University of Louisiana Monroe, the Center for the Future of Museums discusses the ongoing crises created by orphaned collections.

Just wait until I get tenure.

The March for Science does not have a diversity problem.”

More competence, less excellence.

This story about a family newspaper that earned the Pulitzer Prize is spectacular. May it inspire you.

Forming impressions of facial attractiveness is mandatory.

The story of the unraveling facts related to academic misconduct that exposed a well-known laboratory in the small town of Ithaca, New York.

It’s not so hard to move away from hypothesis testing and toward a Bayesian approach of “embracing variation and accepting uncertainty.”

When states are in financial distress, that’s when they have the greatest need to invest in their universities, but that’s when they disinvest because they don’t have the cash.

Why aren’t students talking to us? 

Diversity initiatives just make things worse.

This is cool, a citizen science project to track mosquitoes, by making audio recordings of the animals on our phones, used to identify species.

“Letting the right ones in: obstacles in graduate admissions

Here’s a wonderful story about a mathematician who did something exceptional that people did not expect of him. And how his amazing work was overlooked for a good long while because he ended up publishing it in a predatory pseudojournal, just because it involved less hassle on his part.

Our newest Supreme Court justice (who occupies a stolen seat) is an overt plagiarist, in case you hadn’t heard.

Francis Collins: “Based on the time I’ve been at NIH, which is now 24 years, people should not be in a place of being too panicked about the ups and downs… We’ve had lots of ups and downs, and we ultimately seem to come through them pretty well.” Um.

Father Greg Boyle, a beautiful person who leads Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, explains how he can’t “save” gang members.

Behavioral ecology and sociobiology in post-truth society

The deficit model is harming your students.

We’ve got a big problem with math anxiety, that gets in the way of education. Here’s how to fix this problem, says a bay-area researcher.

The power of touch.

A review of Social Media for Academics, in the San Francisco Review of Books.

Michael Cox resigned from the EPA after 25 years of service. This is the letter that he wrote to Administrator Pruitt. lets you know what that command line means.

The AAUP provides a new report on the economic status of the professoriate.

In Canada, the Naylor Report provided a big set of recommendations for overhauling how scientific research is funded. Among other things, it recommends shifting priorities more towards basic research and away from well-funded prestige facilities.

Why. Expertise. Matters.

An open letter to teachers about the Heartland Institute mailings

PhD candidates at UC Berkeley who are members of underrepresented minorities are less likely to submit manuscripts for publication than their non-URM peers. This tracks a prior finding how about how students report whether advisors are likely to respect their ideas and support their professional development.

UC Berkeley was warned about its star professor years before sexual harassment lawsuit.

This story about a family newspaper that earned the Pulitzer Prize is spectacular. May it inspire you.

Cambridge Analytica has classified your thoughts and opinions on a variety of axes, and this is used for microtargeting by political candidates. Here’s how to get your data from them.

Against student shaming. And, how do we frame students, when we talk about them in an educational context? Are they potential culprits?

I loved my grandmother. But she was a Nazi.

Have you notice that this list is more bodacious than normal? That’s because it’s got three weeks worth! I missed last week!? How kind of y’all for not pointing this out. Have a nice weekend!

2 thoughts on “Recommended reads #101

  1. I think Francis Collins has been wise to adopt a non-alarmist persona in public discourse regarding Trump. You will notice that he is one of the only very high-level govt scientists who has not been fired or replaced by this administration, and that’s a good thing for both him and us. I wouldn’t want another Pruitt in charge; we need someone sane to tamp down or at least offset the insanity of Trump and his DHHS lackey Tom Price.

Leave a Reply