Academia is a cult (I don’t agree with everything in here but there’s a lot of what people call food for thought)
Surprise, surprise – a study looking at tenure and promotion criteria didn’t find that there’s much value placed in community engagement.
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 just came out. As always, some amazing people and work are being supported. I was psyched to see developmental psychologist Kristina Olson (whose work was so spectacular, this year she managed to break the long drought of women recipients for NSF’s Waterman Award).
Why UC Merced is not the “dumb” university. I love this. I looooove this.
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
One hundred twenty nine. I’ve been doing this, every other week, for a while now.
(image: first Matilija poppy of the season)
Early luck in grant funding has massive long-term effects on future funding (and here’s the original paper)
This is shameful to the extreme: How the University of Minnesota hides its professors’ sexual harassment
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.