Also this week: data vs. anecdotes, wear your science on your
sleeve whole body, Avatar for conferences, and more.
An Australian government study randomly assigned applicants for senior positions in the Australian Public Service to be reviewed either normally, or de-identified. Women and minority candidates were less likely to be shortlisted when applications were de-identified. I wouldn’t make too much of it one way or the other–the study was small, the effect sizes were (mostly) modest, and the participants knew they were participating in a study, though they didn’t know what it was a study of. But it got me thinking back to our past discussions of blinding the initial stage of faculty searches (e.g., the old post by Meghan, and my brief remarks here). (ht Marginal Revolution)
Dr. Bethany Brookshire (aka Sci Curious) thought that men tended to reply to her requests for interviews by calling her “Bethany” or “Ms. Brookshire” whereas women tended to call her “Dr. Brookshire”. Then, to her credit, she compiled the data and found out she was wrong. I link to this only because it got me thinking about the broader issue of data vs. anecdotal experiences. They’re sometimes seen as opposing ways of learning about the world, but in my (admittedly anecdotal!) experience they’re mostly complements, not substitutes. The linked Sci Curious post illustrates the value of data as a record of one’s own anecdotal experiences; sometimes, the plural of “anecdote” really is “data”. This got me thinking back to Meghan’s old post on working hours, which notes that unless you track your time, you’re likely to mis-estimate how much time you spend working. Absolutely not saying that you shouldn’t ever share your own experiences unless you kept data on them, of course! Just highlighting an (anecdotal!) illustration of why it can be useful to do so.
This is cool: Rich Lenski commissioned an old-fashioned bookplate for the Long-Term Evolution Experiment.
Here’s a woman who makes and sells nice dresses and ties with science-inspired prints. Fibonacci sequence dresses, for instance. No ecology/evolution ones, tho. (ht @noahpinion)
And finally, Avatar for scientific conferences. (ht @noahpinion) 🙂
BONUS: Couldn’t wait until next week to share this. We now go live to someone trying to replicate a paper just by reading the methods section. (ht @kjhealy) 🙂
If you haven’t checked out #reviewforscience on twitter, you’re missing out! It seems to have started with this tweet:
which led Dani Rabaiotti to propose #reviewforscience: