Recommended Reads #161

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Teaching more by grading less, or differently Here is a sublime profile of biologist Art Shapiro. And apparently, everybody I know who has worked with him says it’s spot on. A librarian discovers many rare books have had images of beetles cut out of them. It sounds like a disaster, but turns out to be…

Academic advising and academia

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I’ve recently talked about the hidden labor of academic advising, and also the need to provide an education in academia and academic culture. I think it’s important to discuss how these two things intersect. If we are trying to bring more first-gen and minoritized folks into this academic sphere, then one of the first steps…

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…

Look in your own backyard

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Metaphorically, that is. What can you do to increase the representation of minoritized people in your department and in your lab? Well, the big answer to the question is that anything worthwhile takes work. This is not just worthwhile, it’s important. So, it will require effort on your part. And it means challenging yourself to…

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…

an old school wooden card catalog

Recommended reads #158

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A very nice paper on efficient teaching, showing how small tweaks can result in big educational gains. “Dr. Kathryn Milligan-Myhre works in the field of host-microbe interactions. In this mSphere of Influence article, she reflects on the people and scientific ideas that influenced her journey from a small town in Alaska to a faculty position…

Recommended reads #156

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An open letter about sexual harassment and retaliation at UC Irvine. Among the many layers of horrible events In These United States, the dismantling of the USDA, via translocating the agency to Kansas City (though where in Kansas City, they have no idea), is not getting much attention. Here’s a recent update on this from…

Recommended reads #155

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It’s never going to be perfect, so just get it done. Stats on tenure-track hires in Ecology and Evolution, in which Dr. Fox combs though a lot of CVs. Yet another piece of research showing that “learning styles” is not a thing.

Recommended reads #150

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One hundred fifty. I’ve done this 150 times! How ’bout that, eh? 8 ways to teach climate change in almost any classroom This review of a new book about Joy Division by Henry Rollins is not Everything, but it’s Quite A Lot. (And here’s a blog post about the science of the cover of Unknown…

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

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.

The power of small teams

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If you search up the phrase “power of small teams,” you’ll find lots of conventional wisdom. I just would like to say, to all of that conventional wisdom: Yeah. Right on. Yup. And there apparently is a substantial body of academic research on the matter, too.

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…