Friday links: carnival of advice, bias against novel grants, life of an NSF program officer, FEAR THE PELICAN, and more (UPDATED)

From Jeremy:

Evolutionary blogger extaordinaire Jeremy Yoder has organized a blogging carnival on the theme “knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your former self?” Lots of bloggers responded with lots of great advice, much of it for grad students but some for folks at other career stages as well. Perhaps the most striking advice for grad students is from Ted Hart (Get out while you still can!) and Benjamin Chabot-Hanowell (Don’t neglect your social life!) And if by chance you ever do gain the ability to travel back in time to deliver advice to your former self, here’s how to do it. ;-)

‘Tis the season for final exams. Students at BYU in the US and Dalhousie University in Canada can de-stress during final exams by playing with puppies. So…much…cute!

A randomized trial claims evidence that grant reviewers are biased against novel grants. This result holds even after using various means to control for proposal quality, and is only partially explained by perceptions of the lower feasibility of novel proposals. Now, one can certainly argue with the way they quantified “novelty”. And the whole framing of the paper in terms of philosopher Thomas Kuhn’s ideas about “normal science” vs. “paradigm shifts” seems rather overblown to me. But still, it seems like a significant improvement on people’s purely subjective impressions and anecdotes about the grant review process.

Turns out it’s trivially easy to game Google Scholar to make it look like you’re highly-cited.

A major US professional basketball team may change its name to the Pelicans. People who mock this choice because they think pelicans aren’t fierce creatures know nothing about pelicans. Sports site Deadspin channels its inner ornithologist and explains why you should FEAR THE PELICAN! :-)

From Meg:

ProfLikeSubstance has guest posts this week from a rotating program officer at NSF, Michelle Elekonich. She’s rotating in IOS, and is writing three posts on what it’s like to be an NSF program officer. The first two are here and here. The third will appear today. She’s been answering questions in the comments section, too, which is great.

From the archives:

MeRry ChRistmas

UPDATE: And here’s a new holiday caRd from The EEB and Flow!

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5 thoughts on “Friday links: carnival of advice, bias against novel grants, life of an NSF program officer, FEAR THE PELICAN, and more (UPDATED)

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