When reviewers know the identity of authors, it turns out that famous names, prestigious universities, and top companies are far more likely to have their papers accepted. This effect was measured in an experiment, and it’s astounding. This is the new paper I will point folks to when they say that single blind or “open” review is more fair. It just isn’t.
A profile of the few people remaining in the US who depend on iron lungs to stay alive, a window into the history of manufacturing, medicine, and our failed social safety net.
By Scientists For Science — The Scientific Society Publisher Alliance. Scientific societies are designed to represent the interests of our own communities, and this new organization is designed to promote society journals.
I only learned about the SSPA moments after submitting this piece to the Chronicle of Higher Education, which I wrote with Andy Suarez, about the importance of supporting society journals. I’m particularly proud of this piece of writing and advocacy, and I think that the folks running academic societies are equipped to find pragmatic solutions for scientific publishing.
The New York Times published a story on the heritability of professions. It includes a search box where you can enter a job category, and it’ll tell you likely that your parents had the same job. What it says about science jobs — and some fields more than others — shows how we need to get better.
This story on sampling error and operator bias is really interesting (and troubling). It turns out that drug-sniffing dogs are far, far more likely to say that there are drugs present when they pick up on unconsciously signaled cues from their handler if they suspect a higher chance that the drugs are there.
I don’t want to go too meta in linking to a blog post about a blog post about blogging, but this short entry from John Hawks raises an important point to think about how discussion about blogs work nowadays. Blogs are bigger than ever, but discussion about what you find on blogs has shifted to social media, including on Facebook where the authors don’t even know about the discussion. Which is definitely a shift from the way things used to be.
A short and moving piece from a graduate student about the challenges of being an undocumented scientist.
A justifiably flattering NYT profile of dipterist Erica McAlister, and a review of her new book The Secret Life of Flies.
A beautifully created explanation of the science of the National Petroleum Reserve, lesser known buddy to the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve.
Why John Urschel chose math over football. This narrative contrasts with earlier accounts. Having looked back at earlier articles, despite the content of this piece, I am left unsure about the role that brain injuries played in his decision. This article says it was secondary at most, but on the other hand, there are plenty of direct quotes from him, but not about this specific central issue. I’ve seen enough agenda-driven journalism (and the title of this piece suggests as much) that might misrepresent the subject of the piece being interviewed. Was this the case here? I honestly don’t know.
Training programs and reporting systems won’t end harassment. Promoting more women will.
The Nationalist’s Delusion. This is a well-considered look into history and the heads of Trump supporters. Since we can’t really just crouch into a hole and ignore all of this horribleness, this is one piece that helps provide some understanding.
Computational redistricting. The paper isn’t peer reviewed yet and evaluating it is not in my realm, but the interactive site showing redistricting is pretty cool.
Have a nice weekend!