Recommended reads #133


A legal arbitrator decided that Ryerson University (in Canada) is not allowed to use Student Evaluations of Teaching in tenure and promotion cases because they can be “downright biased and unreliable.” Here is the document itself.

A guide to managing grief while in grad school

Years ago, in social settings, I’ve stopped telling people I’m a professor, because they just ask, “What do you teach?” Which boggles me, because that’s such a poor encapsulation of what we do. (I mean, I’m not teaching at all, next semester, but I’m still a professor.) Here’s an excellent piece about this.

What is the Fields Medal supposed to be about?

Most academic books aren’t written to be read—they’re written to be “broken.” That should change.”

We should reward scientists for communicating with the public.

So many people brought this preprint to my attention, purporting that less-prestigious institutions use NIH funding more effectively. Which, yeah, I mean, duh. But I wasn’t linking to it because I have no idea what this paper will actually look like after peer review is done and it comes to press. And I’m not familiar enough with NIH funding stuff to size up the paper myself (and my editing/reviewing plate is overfull anyway). But since it’s getting reported in the media, well, okay, here’s a story about it. Could someone let me know, if the paper ends up in a journal, how it changed after the review process? This could be a fun guest post if anybody is up to it.

Here’s a refereed conference paper about gender and peer review in economics. It’s downright shocking to see how much longer it takes for women to get decisions on their papers.

Here’s a google doc with a list of biology and biomedical departments that have dropped the GRE for graduate admissions. (Word on the street is that there might be a list for funded MS programs in biology in the works?)

How much do you know about the tick that makes you stop eating meat? This is a really informative piece:

What do students really get out of REUs?” Here’s a student perspective to keep in mind as you’re thinking about running a program that serves the target audience effectively.

Erica Henry approached one of the members of her advisory committee with a question: “What happens if one of your study species goes extinct during your dissertation?

Active learning has become a buzzword — and why this matters.

How to make a life from scratch.

Here’s a story about folks who followed Daniel Inoa’s progress through his first year of college.


A review of ant emojis

How a Rant Against Short Shorts Overturned the ‘Good Ol’ Turtle Boy Club’”

Your science conference should have a code of conduct. (The one I’m heading off to in a week does not have a code of conduct yet. I hope they will by the time we leave, I’m getting it on the agenda.)

California’s state flag has a Grizzly bear on it. Though the last Grizzly in California was killed about a century ago. Lebanon’s flag has a cedar on it. How long do these trees have left? Here’s some attractive journalism about climate change in Lebanon.

Folks using institutional Dropbox accounts had the details of their files and accounts shared with an outside research team. Without informed consent. How did this get through IRB? (Which might lead you to wonder, what files of ours might Dropbox be sharing, and with whom?)

Why are some major news outlets still covering extreme weather like it’s an act of God?

“Here is another suggestion: Stop publishing scholarship for an extended period of time. Announce this decision to colleagues. Be willing to say that this is for your good and for the good of your field. Acknowledge that you need time to reflect on what the preoccupation with productivity is doing to your field and to you as a scholar.”

Do you understand logarithms? Really? This new paper suggests that a lot of people who think they understand them actually don’t.

Have a great weekend!