Friday links: Oregon Trail vs. peer review, the Mr. T test, and more

Also this week: myths about who can be an NSF PI, Big Data != Big Understanding, and how to interview for a faculty position.

From Meg:

You have died of peer review, Oregon Trail-style.

The Mr. T test:

Rich Lenski had an interesting post on how he represented the importance of basic scientific research to his Congressional Representative, who recently visited Michigan State. (note from Jeremy: related posts from Meg and I.)

From Jeremy:

No pedagogical approach works well for every instructor, class, or individual student. So let’s can the overheated “lecturing is unethical” rhetoric. It’s the job of every teacher to assemble their own toolkit of pedagogical techniques that work for them and their students, and reevaluate and revise it as necessary. Related old post here. (Note to anyone tempted to misread this as an attack on their favorite pedagogical approach or as a defense of always lecturing: I’m teaching a 132-student intro biostats course as a flipped class next term.) (ht Brad DeLong)

The NSF DEBrief blog dispels myths about who can be a PI and the PI’s status relative to co-PIs. One thing I’m still not 100% clear on: can PI’s and/or Co-PI’s be employed at institutions outside the US? I ask because at Calgary I’ve been involved with a couple of NSF applications (neither of which was funded). On one I was a co-PI (I think…), on another I was a “consultant”. (ht Small Pond Science)

Stephen Heard asks whether the one thing he teaches that everyone remembers is…wrong.

Your periodic reminder that Big Data (and Big Simulations) do not equal–or even necessarily promote–Big Understanding. This reminder comes in the form of an accessible rant about neuroscience. Apparently there are neuroscientists who should read Borges. (ht Brad DeLong)

Andrew Hendry’s advice on how to interview for a faculty position.

Hoisted from the comments:

Margaret Kosmala on the pluses and minuses of a thesis comprised entirely of side projects, and more broadly on the value and challenge of being an intellectual generalist. Great thoughts.

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