Also this week: the recent history of ecology, mission creep in scientific publishing, work vs. you, meeting
past future science greats, how to pitch your paper, the real origin of dogs, and more.
Zen Faulkes did an experiment where he posted a preprint to biorXiv to see what sort of response it generated. The answer: not much. His take home: “I learned that for rank and file biologists, posting work on pre-prints is probably just another task to do whose tangible rewards compared to a journal article are “few to none.” Like Kim Kardashian posting a selfie, pre-prints will probably only get attention if a person who is already famous does it.”
It’s baby bird season! Here’s an excellent poster from Bird and Moon showing what to do if you find one. I’ll keep my eye out for ones with a large claw on the second toe!
I just saw this older post by Ambika Kamath outlining a workshop she planned and ran with two other grad students on how to make science more welcoming for underrepresented groups. This seems like it would be really useful for lots of departments.
potnia theron had a post on trying to find a balance between taking care of yourself and getting enough work done. As she says, finding the balance is hard, and we’ll never really know if we have it right. But it’s important to try.
Perhaps it’s because I have an infant, but I think this SMBC on meeting past science greats is very sweet. (ht: Jacob Tennessen)
The ESA Student Section is doing a survey of current students on challenges and opportunities for ecologists in the 21st century.
And before you say LaTeX is the answer, remember this recent Friday Link from Jeremy:
And, while I’m linking to tweets, watching the oxbow form in this is very cool!
I’m years late to this, to my embarrassment: Earth Days looks like a must-read history of ecology from the 1950s through the 1970s, a crucial time in the history of the field. Sounds like it’s good gossipy fun too. Anyone read it? Care to provide a capsule review in the comments? (ht Small Pond Science)
I’m on time for this book, though: writing in Science, Meg Lowman reviews Hope Jahren’s memoir, Lab Girl.
Via guest poster Isla Myers-Smith, Cahill et al. (2011) on how to “pitch” your next ecology paper. I might do a post on this myself at some point, because it’s so important and is often done badly (including by me).
Related to Meg’s preprint link: Zen Faulkes on mission creep in scientific publishing.
Explaining Rbitrary standards (ht Andrew Gelman). A taster:
As a general rule of thumb, if you encounter something truly ludicrous [in R], don’t know where it comes from, and don’t see it listed here, randomly select from one of the following explanations:
- Nobody thought it was important to get right at the time.
- That still exists?! I thought we’d removed tha- oh, wait, backwards-compatibility.
- Scheme did that.
- S did that.
- APL did that.
- Lisp did that.
- That’s the only use case late-20th century pure statisticians have, and if it’s good enough for us it should be good enough for you.
- Are you kidding?! If we’d done it that way it wouldn’t work on Solaris 8!
The origin of dogs. 😉 (ht @dsquareddigest)
And finally, an April Fool’s Day link especially for Meg, who hates April Fool’s Day: