Recommended reads #191

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Whew! It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these for you. So I’ve got some great stuff lined up. A Call to Re-examine How Student Success Is Defined in Higher Education The B Lane Swimmer Two ways to fairly grade class participation Out in this desert

Recommended reads #190

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Whatever you might say about mental health support to your students in your syllabus, the tone of your overall document appears to be more important. “Attracting Diverse Students to Field Experiences Requires Adequate Pay, Flexibility, and Inclusion” is the title of this article in BioScience. Yup. “Don’t call it [academic] integrity when you really mean…

Recommended reads #183

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Has more than a month passed since I’ve done a rec reads post? My gosh. Which in 2020 time, is, like, 27 years? This is a relatively condensed list of things I’ve bookmarked since the last one. And there are no takes on the election. (Though if you do find a 10,000 word insider’s view…

Recommended reads #171

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Noted philosophers reconsider their key insights after a month of social distancing. George Saunders’s letter to his students about the pandemic. Our pandemic summer [highlighted read] This piece by Ed Yong is another supreme piece of journalism. He’s going to get an award for his work in The Atlantic during this pandemic, I hope?

Who can we trust?

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When you’re in a position where someone can marginalize you without experiencing adverse consequences, you’re more susceptible to having others take advantage of you. The tragic implication of this dynamic is that the people who are in the greatest need of support and collaboration are also the people who need to be the most selective in choosing professional partnerships.

Help us to diversify and humanize biology courses!

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a guest post by Project Biodiversify (www.projectbiodiversify.org @biodiversifying) We contain multitudes. Our courses should reflect this. We contain multitudes. Like an ecological niche, a person’s identity is composed of infinite dimensions that make up a person or group’s collective identity space (Figure 1). However, in science – a discipline that has historically valued objective and…

Gender inequity at every step of publishing

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I sat down to my laptop this morning and was looking forward to getting to work. But then I looked at the news. And I saw this: “It is apparent that the gender gap manifests at every stage of the publishing process — choice of journal, editorial decisions, referees’ decisions and even citations…This suggests something…

Recommended reads #159

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Hitman 2’s new game lets you quit being an assassin and become an ornithologist: “Here’s how it works: After using your trusty piano wire to kill an ornithologist and swap into his cargo shorts and binoculars, all you have to do is press X to toss aside your silenced pistol, point out the nest of…

Excellent mentoring strategies

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An article arrived in my inbox this morning and it seems so spectacular, I wanted to highlight it as its own post: Emery, N., A. Hund, R. Burks, M. Duffy, C. Scoffoli, A. Swei. 2019. Students as ecologists: Strategies for successful mentorship of undergraduate researchers. Ecology and Evolution. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.5090

The price of the Gender Tax at home

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Fellow men, I recommend against joining a criminal conspiracy to get your kids into a prestigious college. But if you do go this route, you better do your share so that your own ass gets arrested along with your spouse.

Let’s imagine an alternative universe, where it’s illegal to get your kid braces, or arrange for them to go to summer camp, or to pick them up after soccer practice, or to be involved in their girl scout troop, or to go to parent-teacher conferences. Ask yourself, would your spouse be more likely to get arrested than you would be? 

Responding (or not) to prospective students

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For all the concern about pipeline problems, we seem to be fond of creating bottlenecks that filter out the people we’re trying to recruit. Let’s take a quick look at how people get into grad school in my field. To my knowledge, in most other fields, prospective graduate students apply to graduate programs. And then…

Recommended reads #144

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To groom better scientists, harness the power of narrative. Applying for faculty jobs and don’t know what an institution means when they’re asking for you to “demonstrate interest and ability to advance diversity, equity and inclusion?” Apparently enough people asked UC Berkeley, so they decided to spell it out.

Actions required of men to advance gender equity in academia

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The last time I was in the audience for a Women-In-Science panel, a member of the audience asked something like, “Of all of the changes that we need to make, what matters most?” The panelist — Dr. Joan Herbers — responded,  “The single most important thing we can do is get men to change their behavior.”

Is there a shortage of summer research opportunities?

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I’ve talked to a lot of talented undergraduates who have been in search of summer research opportunities, but end up not having any options available. Doctoral programs expect undergraduate applicants to have meaningful research experience. This might not be on the application checklist, but it’s essentially a requirement. That means if we’re trying to be…

Recommended reads #137

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You might remember how I’ve said How People Learn is a supreme book that is foundational for evidence-based teaching practices, though it’s almost 20 years old and getting a dated?? Great news! The National Academies have now released How People Learn II. And you can download it for free! This year’s crop of MacArthur Fellows…

Recommended reads #124

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Why I stopped writing on my student’s papers. Four very practical solutions to make conferences less difficult for scientists who are bringing babies and small children, brought to you by Rebecca Calisi and a Working Group of Mothers in Science. Are you part of an organizing committee? Please heed. The case for inclusive teaching The…