Friday Links: Valentine’s tips from nature, cake breaks embargo, and more (UPDATEDx2)

Also this week: the world’s longest running experiment, why academics need to get moving, lessons on writing reviews from British tv, a dead (evolutionary) horse takes a terrible beating, and more.

From Meg:

The longest running experiment in the world is at Michigan State University (UPDATE: okay, maybe not: see comments) – and, no, it isn’t Rich Lenski’s LTEE. I remember learning about this as a new grad student – just a few months after they dug up the most recent bottle of seeds – and thinking it was really neat. It’s also interesting how the utility of the experiment has shifted over time, from one related to agronomy to one related to conservation.

Your Wild City has tips from nature for Valentine’s Day – though, um, maybe vomiting in your loved one’s mouth isn’t actually such a great strategy.

This week’s exciting physics news was that gravitational waves have been detected . . . and the news was broken by a cake on twitter. Referring to the scientist who tweeted the cake picture, the story says, “In her defense, she says, this is what science is like: It’s hard not to want to share the exciting results of your peers. Or news of free food.” Indeed! (ht: Andrew Steen)

The Guardian had a piece on why academics need to get moving (literally), noting “we’re … doing ourselves and our career an unintended disservice when we prioritise work ahead of wellbeing”

I enjoyed this post from Jacquelyn Gill on writing constructive reviews, which is framed around a comparison to a British baking show she’s been watching. In the post, she says, “The next time you sit down to review, remember the Great British Baking Show. Be respectful. Be constructive. Don’t forget to praise. Be honest, and be critical, but be motivated from a place of encouragement.” I’ve benefited from really helpful, constructive reviews, and try to do the same in the reviews I write. (Jeremy adds: my advice on how to do reviews is here).

From Jeremy:

After Meg’s hugely impressive link-finding (her first two links in particular are pure gold), mine may be something of an anti-climax. 🙂 But here goes:

Wait, philosophical feuds about methods of evolutionary tree estimation are still a thing? Hey everybody, David Hull called from 1988, he wants his (atypical) example of a scientific dispute back.

A classification of p-hacking, garden of forking paths, and other common ways to totally screw up your data analysis. Very practical and non-technical, includes real-world examples, suitable for use in undergraduate courses.

Margaret Kosmala muses on alternative publishing strategies for graduate students and postdocs, using her own experiences as an example.

Can universities persuade faculty to act like employees? Should they even try?

Valentine’s Day tips from animals. Sample:


UPDATE 2: Happy Darwin Day!

Here’s how we celebrate at Calgary.

16 thoughts on “Friday Links: Valentine’s tips from nature, cake breaks embargo, and more (UPDATEDx2)

    • Thanks for the comment. I had wondered if it was really the longest, but didn’t look into it much. Clearly I should have! I’ve updated the post.

  1. Jeremy- I recently took an in-depth course in tree building, which does not make me any expert. Seems the biggest hurdle is location of genes that represent true molecular clocks. That is, many appear true, but are not, and investigators can spend years searching for the right ones among a particular group of taxa. Otherwise I got the impression the debate was settled.

  2. Hi Meghan and Jeremy: this is the first post of yours I’ve read, and I’m a new follower to your blog. I really like the links you shared this week AND I really like the issues of academia you’re bringing up. Thanks, and I hope you check out The Ecotone Exchange here on WordPress–we’re more shooting for a general audience, but also trying to get positive environmental science out into the mainstream. Best, Neva Knott.

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