Also this week: teaching resources for theoretical ecology, trolling the entire Evolution meeting (and the entire ESA meeting), data on sexual assault on campus, the science funding gene, reference letter advice, optimizing field pants, and more.
The ESA Theoretical Ecology Section has started a wiki of teaching resources relevant to theoretical ecology. (ht: Marissa Baskett) The Disease Ecology section also has a similar resource.
The University of Michigan conducted a survey of its students regarding sexual assaults. The results are sobering, and are summarized here. 22.5% of undergraduate women report nonconsensual touching, kissing, or sexual penetration in the past year. 9.7 percent of all women reported nonconsensual sexual penetration. The numbers are appalling, but I think it’s great that Michigan is bringing the issue into the light, and hope more universities do the same.
This week PLoS Biology published my interview with Rich Lenski about his Long-Term Evolution Experiment. The EiC there saw my post with questions for Rich, and Rich’s answers, and invited us to publish them. So Rich and I edited our posts to read like an interview; I like how it turned out. Hopefully publishing in Plos Biology will bring it to a new audience that wouldn’t otherwise have seen it. Which would be great, because Rich has a ton of super-interesting things to say. The LTEE is a great case study of how to do science, which anyone can learn from.
Charles Goodnight asks:
This is the week before the Evolution meetings, so the big question of the day is what can I post that I believe to be true, and will rile enough people up to get a good discussion going.
His answer: arguing that there is no genic selection (except in the special case of transposable elements). I like the idea of posting something controversial right before a big conference. May have to give that a go for ESA! With any luck, I’ll make a lot of students nervous that I’m going to ask them tough questions after their talks.* 🙂
Charles Goodnight is trying to start an argument, but Trevor Branch is trying to continue one. Several, actually. Here’s his list of key readings on eight high-profile controversies in fisheries research. Good fodder for a lab meeting discussion or seminar course.
Further to our post earlier this week on how to write a reference letter, here are HHMI’s excellent tips on how to do it. I particularly like the tip on checking for subtle gender bias: switch all the pronouns in your letter to the opposite gender and see if it still reads well. If it sounds odd, you need to rephrase. Worth doing this for letters for both men and women. (ht Jessica Theodor, via the comments)
When does switching from a between-subjects design to a within-subjects design improve statistical power? When does it reduce (yes, reduce) your power? Here’s an example from psychology, but the point is broader. Good example for intro stats courses.
Wait, a random sample of 40 recent papers from each of three cancer journals reveals that 25% of papers have duplicated images, the frequency of which doesn’t vary with journal IF? And over half of those duplications involve the same image being used to represent different experimental conditions? Jeebus, that’s a high frequency of some combination of very sloppy errors and fraud. (ht Retraction Watch)
A history of, and ode to, field guides. (ht Not Exactly Rocket Science)
A hypothesis about the ultimate field pants. 🙂 Not being a field ecologist myself, I assume they look something like this. That’s the sort of thing I used to wear when I had to go into the field. And when I had to go up to bat, of course. 🙂
Using the full power of genomics to find the science funding gene. 🙂 (ht Not Exactly Rocket Science)
Frogs unveil 5 million year plan to move up the food chain. 🙂 (ht Not Exactly Rocket Science)
And finally, pimp my
ride snail. What would E. B. Ford have made of this? 🙂
*Just kidding, students.** 😉
**OR AM I? MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!11!1***
***You now have all the incentive you need to read this old post before you go to the ESA meeting. Dynamic Ecology: causing, and resolving, student anxiety since 2012. 🙂