Also this week: “Get respect for your ideas and blazer choices”, historical context for the March For Science, and more.
I spoke on the main stage of the March for Science in DC this past weekend. This post contains the text of what I said (as well as the slightly longer version that I originally prepared). I’m also working on posts that talk more about what it was like to prepare for the talk and to give the talk. Hopefully those will be done soon!
Brian went to the March For Science in Washington, DC. I attended the satellite event in Hartford, CT (well, the first half; I couldn’t stay for the whole thing). Here are our thoughts. Meghan spoke at DC March, look for her standalone post later this week.
Brian, Meg, and I will all have March For Science posts later this week. In the meantime, here’s an open thread. What do you think of the March? Did you attend one, or speak at one? Have you seen any pieces on the March that you think are particularly worth reading? What do you think happens next, or should happen next? Looking forward to hearing from you.
We’ll have a more serious post on the March For Science next week, but in the meantime here’s a compilation of some of the best signs, where “best” is operationally defined as “signs I really liked”. Whether because they pithily summarized what I think are good messages for the March to send, or just because they were funny. Share your favorites in the comments!
Robert Trivers, the world’s foremost living evolutionary theorist, is retiring from Rutgers University. Last year, he published his memoir, Wild Life: Adventures of an Evolutionary Biologist. Here’s my review.
Who pays the publication fee for your papers, when there is one?
When the authors are all members of the same lab, I assume the PI ordinarily pays the fee if there is one. That’s certainly what I do.
Just recently I published an author-pays open access paper with a grad student whom I co-supervised with a colleague, and there’s a second such paper in the works. I had been hoping to split the publication fees with my colleague. But it may come down to whoever has the most grant money.
What about papers by working groups or other big collaborations? Who pays the publication fee then? Does whatever funding source paid for the working group also pay the publication fee? Or does some working group member pay the fee from one of their grants, or from some other source available to them such as an institutional open access fund? What if more than one person in the working group has the ability to pay? In that case I guess the first author, or the first author’s PI, would pay?
Same questions for the data hosting fees charged by some depositories, when depositing data associated with a publication.
ht to a correspondent for suggesting this post idea.
Scientific ideas can have various virtues. Most obviously, they can be correct. But they can also be clever, surprising, elegant, etc.
One important but difficult-to-pin-down virtue is fruitfulness. A scientific idea is fruitful if it leads to a lot of further research, especially if that research retains long-term value (it wasn’t just a trendy bandwagon or whatever). Fruitfulness overlaps a lot with influence.
Fruitfulness or influence covaries positively with correctness, but not perfectly. It would be nice if the covariance were perfect. It’s unfortunate when an influential idea turns out to be wrong, because the work that grew out of that idea often loses at least some of its value, and because there’s an unavoidable opportunity cost to building on ideas that turn out to be wrong. Andrew Hendry has a compilation of ecological and evolutionary ideas that inspired a lot of research despite being (in Andrew’s view) wrong, or at least not all that important.
In this post I’m interested in the flip side of incorrect-but-influential ideas: ideas that were correct but not influential. Somebody said something true–but nobody else cared. Correct but non-influential ideas are the proverbial tree falling in a forest that doesn’t make a sound.
What are your favorite examples of correct-but-uninfluential ideas in ecology? In all of science?
Also this week: NSF Waterman award winners, Hungary vs. its best university, critter cams, keep lectures live, what the pyramid of passive and active learning methods REALLY looks like, the Godfather vs. grade-grubbers, and more.