Also this week: teaching advice, a classic paper on the ecology of dragons, don’t believe the hype, great minds
think link alike, and more. Also, Happy Halloween!
I enjoyed this post at Tenure, She Wrote on maintaining productivity and finding structure despite stress, self-doubt, and imposter syndrome.
I also enjoyed this post on why PhD students should use twitter. I love how twitter facilitates interactions across all ranks, across disciplines, and of scientists and non-scientists. (My own reasons for using twitter are in this post.) (Jeremy adds: What, no ht?🙂 Also, yes, Twitter can be very useful, but if it doesn’t work for you don’t sweat it.)
This NPR piece focuses on Jennifer Doudna, who has done transformative research that might earn her a Nobel Prize some day. Part of why it is interesting is because it talks about how her incredibly important discoveries arose out of basic research. But another reason why it’s interesting is because it includes an anecdote about how important it was for her, when she was a girl, to see a scientist who looked like her.
This week, I attended a teaching seminar featuring Robin Wright of the University of Minnesota. In it, she mentioned a new open access journal focused on biology education, called Course Source; she is the Editor in Chief. From their webpage:
CourseSource is an open-access journal of peer-reviewed teaching resources for college biological science courses. We publish articles that are organized around courses in biological disciplines and aligned with learning goals established by professional societies in biological sciences disciplines.
She also mentioned this article, reporting the results of a study that found that simply teaching intro bio in a room designed for active learning improved student learning, even when there was no shift in pedagogy. She also recommended the book Make It Stick, which focuses on how students learn and has tips for students and instructors on how to improve learning.
Tim Poisot with a nice piece on how people who feel too busy may indeed be too busy, because we all go through the cycle of taking on more work (thus making us feel too busy), learning to handle it (so that we don’t feel busy any more), and then taking on more work (so that the cycle repeats). (ht Small Pond Science)
But nice as that piece from Tim is, this one’s better: here’s Tim sharing the story of the 12 second conversation that caused him to quit academia, and the mentor who pulled him back. Here are four more stories about the same sort of thing, each of them unique: from Meg, from Carla Davidson, from John Stanton-Geddes (ht Jeremy Yoder), and from me.
One more from Tim, who is on fire lately: he’s doing a series of posts on his (ultimately successful) search for an academic job, a search that took him to France before he ultimately ended up in Canada. Starts here.
Missed this last week, so a slightly belated happy 1st birthday to #HOPEJAHRENSURECANWRITE. Yes, she can!
Over at the Journal of Animal Ecology blog, Tim Coulson argues that trying to address the causes of science’s skewed sex ratio has failed, and that the answer is mandatory quotas to enforce gender balance. Provocative piece on a serious problem, though your mileage may vary on quotas as a solution (to his credit, Coulson does try to address various serious and spurious objections to which quotas are subject). Here’s a related post of Meg’s addressing a similar issue at the lower level of individual investigators.
What to do if someone accuses you of p-hacking. Note that some of these require you not to have p-hacked in the first place. And I love the point that “our chosen analysis is reasonable” is not a defense.
Relatedly: in praise of statisticians’ resistance to hype.
Evolutionary biologist Britt Koskella is a convert to double-blind peer review. Although note that, while it presumably wouldn’t hurt, the evidence that it will help is mixed (see Tom Webb’s comment in the thread on Coulson’s piece).
Think the peer review process in science is too slow? It could be worse; you could be in accounting, or economics, or finance, or psychology, or… (ht @franceswoolley)
PeerJ is growing steadily. The linked piece also includes a lot of arm-wavy speculation about its future.
While procrastinating by browsing some old posts, I stumbled on this comment linking to a classic letter to Nature by Bob May, on…(wait for it)…the ecology of dragons! Have I mentioned lately that I love our commenters?🙂
And finally: Happy Halloween from Dynamic Ecology! Hope you remembered to carve your pumpkin…
…dress as your study organism (or Meg’s)…
…or think of something else if you don’t really have a study organism.🙂
(Images from lydmc.blogspot.com, cottenielab.org, and cafepress.com)