Friday links: “Dear evolution” letters, gender and science, and more

From Meg:

I enjoyed this post on gendered assumptions and science by Caroline Tucker over at The EEB & Flow. I particularly liked these lines: “Gender shouldn’t be the default position when we consider scientists who happen to be women. And apparently this message still needs to be repeated.” The post brings up the Finkbeiner test, which is meant to help writers avoid gendered profiles of women scientists. I’ve been meaning to link to the Finkbeiner test since I heard about it, and am glad Caroline covered it in her post.

The Committee on Publication Ethics has issued new guidelines, including one saying that journal editors should not anonymously peer review papers they are handling:
It never occurred to me that this happens, and I wonder how common this is for ecological journals. A pdf of the basic guidelines for peer reviewers is here.

From Jeremy:

“Dear evolution”: species write letters of thanks–and complaint–to the process that created them. Hilarious! đŸ™‚

Leading economics blogger Mark Thoma on how blogging has grown into an essential part of scholarly communication among economists, and between economists and the broader public. Interesting reading. Not to long ago, I compared the current status of blogging in ecology to that in economics and speculated on whether ecologists would ever take up writing and reading blogs to the extent economists have. At the time, I was cautiously pessimistic because the rise of blogging in economics seems to have been driven in part by some specific-to-economics circumstances. But because of Mark’s post, the recent startups of several excellent new ecology blogs, and some other anecdotes (about which I may post in future…), I’m now wondering if perhaps I should’ve been cautiously optimistic. And I’m heartened to read that economists started seeing blogging as a positive rather than a negative on someone’s CV in large part because some already-successful economists started blogging. It’s my hope that Dynamic Ecology, along with other blogs by established ecologists and evolutionary biologists, will have a similar effect on how ecologists perceive blogging. Although I admit that no blogging ecologist is as prominent as someone like Greg Mankiw is in economics. Maybe what we need is for a Simon Levin, Jane Lubchenco, or Dave Tilman to start blogging!

Why facts (and scare stories, and one-off symbolic acts like Earth Hour) aren’t enough, or even helpful: what climate hawks can (and can’t) learn from public health campaigns about how to shift public behavior.

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