Also this week: tell me again what scientific “originality” is, how scientists running for Congress are doing in the primaries, revisiting Chesson 2000, longest lecture ever, customs agents vs. scientific conferences, man vs. nature, the sad truth about happiness, students back in the good old days weren’t so good, terrible engineering pun, and more! Lots of good stuff for your
beach field site wherever reading pleasure this week.
Constantinos Yanniris with a very interesting and personal mediation on how originality in science usually means elaborating and rethinking ideas others have had before–even if you didn’t know about those previous ideas.
Here’s our big compilation of advice on applying for tenure-track ecology faculty positions. Includes links to advice from others, and lots data on the N. American ecology faculty job market.
Hari Sridhar interviews Peter Chesson about Chesson (2000).
The first simulation-based projections of global warming under various economic scenarios are now 30 years old. How did they do? (spoiler: pretty well.) The linked post is a nice example of learning from false models by localizing the sources of their errors.
An update on how scientists running for the US Congress are doing. tl;dr: it’s a mixed bag. (ht @noahpinion)
This week in the replication crisis: a critique of pretty much the entire empirical literature on happiness, arguing that every major result in the field is sensitive to methodological choices and assumptions that are either highly debatable or false. I haven’t read the linked paper yet (it’s on my list), so I’m just passing this along for you to evaluate yourself if you’re interested. (ht Marginal Revolution)
Protip: when writing, don’t interrupt your flow by looking up references; just insert a placeholder. Look up the references later. I’ve always written this way.
Poll data on how sociologists view the interplay of research and advocacy. I link to this only for the raw data; I’m not endorsing the editorial comments of the person sharing the data. I’d be curious to see similar data for ecologists. We have a bunch of posts on this: see here, here, here, here, and here.
The average length of a published economics paper has more than tripled over the past 40 years. I feel like the average length of an ecology paper hasn’t changed much? Unless you count online supplements in which case it’s probably gone up in the last ten years?
As someone currently failing to write a book, this resonated with me (ht @EthanZ):
So what’s the new equilibrium, if we move away from I-give-free-labor-to-Elsevier-by-reviewing-random-papers-for-their-journals-at-the-behest-of-equally-uncompensated-editors to open post-publication review? Is it just that zillions of things get published and a few of them get reviewed in an unsystematic manner?
The fact that the answer to Andrew’s question is “yes” is presumably one reason why hardly anybody wants to replace pre-publication review with post-publication review.
Related to the previous link: post-publication review and the “bystander effect”. I’m actually not sure this is the best analogy, but it’s thought-provoking.
The debate within the Herpetologists League over the rescinding of an award to Richard Vogt has turned into a debate about how women dress at herpetology conferences. I agree with the many folks who’ve already pointed out the sexism of criticizing women for dressing casually when men also dress casually. And count me among the many folks who don’t think conferences need dress codes.
You know how your undergraduate students sometimes annoy you by skipping class or asking you to raise their grades? It could be worse: you could be teaching 18th century students.
If you’re one of those people who thinks pedagogical research shows that nobody should ever lecture, you definitely should not click this link. 🙂
Good thing it wasn’t a school of sharks. Like the linked tweet says, this get funnier the more you watch it. 🙂
PALEONTOLOGISTS HAVE INFORMALLY NAMED STEGOSAURUS TAIL SPIKES AFTER A “FAR SIDE” JOKE. That smoke you smell is Stephen Heard, who just spontaneously combusted with excitement. 🙂