This week, the National Academy of Sciences released a report on gender harassment and sexual misconduct in our profession. There are a number of findings that might surprise you. Here are selected reads related to this report.
This is a spectacular and moving essay: Our Houses Became Boats: Surviving Hurricane Maria and salvaging my career in its aftermath
This case study of search committees demonstrates how downright sexist conduct is pervasive in academic job searches.
When it comes to time management in academia, here is some highly condensed wisdom.
It’s well established that student evaluations of teaching performance are gender biased. Based on that fact, then, here’s an intriguing question: Are they illegal?
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.
This is wonderful: NSF is now requiring awardee institutions to report findings of sexual harassment by personnel on NSF grants, and to report when individuals are placed on leave related to an investigation. And they are prepared to take serious measures in response. Here’s the NSF statement, and related stories published by Nature and The New Republic. (How bout rounding up a few PIs and your Title IX coordinator, and schedule a meeting with the person in charge of post-award at your university, to make specific plans for implementing this, including the reporting mechanisms and training that NSF expects.)
What I’ve learned from my 4 year old (By the way, I’m psyched that Viet Thanh Nguyen is now a contributing opinion writer for the NYT, I’ll be keeping an eye out for his future pieces)
The Biology Department of San Francisco State wrote a detailed academic paper about a successful department-wide professional development plan to improve their teaching.
Happy Christmas! I hope you’re having a pleasant break.
This is the 90th post of 2017. It’s been a horrible year for scientists and academics based out of the US, and for democracy in general. But Small Pond Science continues to grow. Here’s a look at the Top 5 posts of 2017. And also 5 more posts that we’re proud of, that didn’t make it into the Top 5.
This three-part story about data storage is amazing and important. I had no idea how much of the data being stored today is still on magnetic tape, nor an idea of the consequences.
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.
9 myths holding you back from stellar slides. Not as clickbaity as it sounds.
This is the best explainer ever about social class in universities. Please read and share, especially with the graduate admissions committee.
Can you pick the bees out of this lineup? No really, can you?
The NSF-DEB blog has a post about the new guidelines for graduate fellowships, which have a deadline next month.
President Trump’s War on Science. This is an important comprehensive editorial from the Editorial Board of the New York Times.
This, I think, is ingenious and next-level stuff: Designing malware to hack bioinformatics software by coding it into the DNA of organisms that get sequenced! Which, in the future, maybe could be a real problem?
This is old news, but not to me. In Holland there is (was?) a place that used a misting spray of synthetic DNA that could be used to identify folks who committed robberies.
Now that it’s start-of-semester-get-your-syllabus-ready season, let me remind you of this useful course workload estimator, to make sure that your expectations are well calibrated relative to the number of units associated with a course.
Wow. This opinion piece written by a scientist, who is a whistleblower working in the Department of Interior, is both important and landmine. They essentially reassigned him — and many other senior scientists — to work in the mailroom. Far away from home. We knew in advance that our new federal government was going to be anti-science, and in places like this, it’s as clear as ever. If you haven’t seen this yet, it’s a short op-ed and a key piece of information if you’re trying to stay even the slightest informed about science policy in the US kleptocracy.
This one-minute clip of a US congress member asking a NASA scientist whether it is possible that a civilization was on Mars thousands of years ago is also a must-see.
Stop the presses!!! Here is a shocking new finding: A new meta-analysis shows that student evaluations of teacher performance are unrelated to student learning.
David Attenborough regrets spending so much time away from his family. (I should note that I’m writing this from a field station in Costa Rica, missing out on the duties and joys of parenting. It’s my shortest summer research trip down here ever, for this reason.)
It’s been two weeks already!? Here’s some reads for what remains of the long holiday weekend, for those of us in the US.
Getting past Bloom’s taxonomy in a way that focuses on the minds of the students
This online comic as struck a big chord with a a lot of women I know. It explains how many men don’t share the burden of parenting and running a household by simply thinking that doing stuff when asked is enough. The cognitive load of keeping track of domestic affairs is not a trivial matter.
Superstar artist Ai Weiwei wrote a piece about how censorship works for the New York Times — gosh knows he’s had plenty of opportunity to gain expertise. It’s revelatory, and relevant for those of in the US more than ever.
The founders of the field of cryptanalysis, William and Elizabeth Friedman, had a cipher on their tombstone. Which was just solved.
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.
File this under, “No shit, sherlock”: A study finds that women do more departmental service than men, and that this harms career progression.