There’s been lots of discussion on blogs and twitter this week about the #scimom session of what used to be called Isis vs. Tomasson and is now being called PubStyleScience. Much of the discussion afterward focused on a comment by Michael Tomasson on how the idea that parents need to split tasks 50/50 is incorrect. This post by Sciwo has links to several to the different posts that responded to this. I think it’s an interesting point – basically, the idea is that, because each partner will have different ideas of what is essential, each needs to do more than 50% of what they view as the essential tasks in order to have everything get done. Redefining what I think is essential is something I’ve done to help make more time.
Rosie Redfield raises the issue of commercial publishers who re-edit articles from open access journals, publishing them as part of a book without the authors’ knowledge. In a listserv post, she said “Although most authors I’ve spoken with find this objectionable it’s quite legal, since open-access articles are usually published under Creative Commons attribution-only (CC-BY) licenses.” She then had a link to a survey for authors, but, since she decided not to include the link to it on her own blog, I won’t include that link here. But the issue is certainly an interesting one. It’s certainly not the kind of reuse I had in mind when publishing in open access journals. Rosie has written more on this topic here, here, here, here, and here.
And a couple of links that I inadvertently left out two weeks ago:
Here’s a post from Tenure She Wrote on the decision fatigue that occurs when trying to make the 92 million little decisions that are involved in setting up a new lab. The bad news: there’s kind of no way to avoid it. The good news: chocolate helps.
Related bad news: chocolate is under attack from parasites! I love parasites, but if they impact my ability to eat chocolate, I might have to reconsider. (Joking aside, the article raises the important point that we, as a society, are not paying enough attention to plant pathogens.)
From a new study: faculty these days now work past the age at which they used to be obliged to retire. The trend predates the financial crash of a few years ago, instead dating back to the end of mandatory retirement. The (partial) exceptions to the trend are faculty at professional schools who can retire in order to take up consulting jobs. The study suggests that the usual incentives to retire may have little effect, and that universities will just have to accept that many faculty will work well into their 70s and 80s. UPDATE: Via Twitter, Tuomas Aivelo reports that profs in Finland must retire at 68–but many of them keep doing research, without pay!
Could a market-based approach save the whales? Intriguing idea, about which I have no opinion, not knowing nearly enough about whaling, or about similar proposals in relation to other species (e.g., proposals to legalize trade in ivory or rhino horn). Comments? (HT Economist’s View)
Just found Being a Better Scientist, a blog by evolutionary biologist Pleuni Pennings. She’s currently a postdoc at Stanford. She talks a bit about her work (on evolution of HIV and other topics), but mostly talks about her own efforts to be the best scientist she can be. For instance, here’s the first in a series of posts about trying to become more efficient by only working 4.5 hours/day. She doesn’t post super-often, but still, well worth a look.
Scientific fraud is on the rise, probably faster than the rate at which papers are published. Is the ultimate cause…Thomas Kuhn’s and W. V. O. Quine’s ideas about philosophy of science?! I’ve skimmed it. Like the author I disagree with Kuhn and Quine and their more extreme followers. And some fraudsters, like social psychologist Diederik Stapel (and apparently, many others in his field), do indeed have seriously mistaken or shaky understandings of philosophy of science. But I don’t think the increase in scientific fraud can be laid at the feet of Kuhn and Quine, nor am I convinced that teaching scientists more philosophy of science would reduce fraud. (HT Andrew Gelman)
From Jeremy (not science):
Of course there’s a Tumblr dedicated to replacing the dialogue in old Peanuts cartoons with Smiths lyrics. The overall effect is kind of like Garfield Minus Garfield, only more so. (HT Frances Woolley, via Twitter)
From the archives:
Just in time for the start of the fall term: how to make your graduate student seminar series better training.