Also this week: mass resignation at Diversity and Distributions, weevil vs. baseball, scientists vs. money, weird field guide, and more.
Retraction Watch has the story of the mass resignation from the editorial board of Diversity and Distributions over the publisher’s move to make the journal author-pays open access. Scroll to the comments on the linked story for further information from the resigning EiC, Janet Franklin.
The Bank of England has released a list of over 800 scientists nominated to appear on the new 50 pound note. The nominees come from 114,000 public nominations so far that met the eligibility requirements. Nominations remain open until Dec. 14. Nominees have to be real (sorry Sciencey McScienceface), dead (sorry Jeff Ollerton), and have contributed to UK science. 😉 The 800+ current nominees are roughly 25% women, and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney says he expects at least one of the 5-6 shortlisted nominees to be a woman. The current nominees include Stephen Hawking, Alan Turing, Dorothy Hodgkin, Rosalind Franklin, Mary Anning, Ada Lovelace, Alexander Fleming, and, um, Baroness Thatcher (who was briefly a food chemist). Lots of great picks already on the list, I find it hard to choose my own favorite! And I obviously have no idea who it will be, although I assume that it’s not going to be anyone who’s been on British money before (sorry Charles Darwin). But I suppose if I had 5 quid I’d put it on either Alexander Fleming or Dorothy Hodgkin. Fleming’s discovery of penicillin saved uncountable lives and is very familiar to the public. In the past, British currency has featured people and works quite well-known to the general public. Hodgkin is the UK’s most decorated woman scientist and one of its most decorated scientists, period. She won the 1964 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, she’s the only woman ever to receive the Royal Society’s Copley Medal, and has twice featured on British stamps. She’d be an unarguably excellent and thus very safe choice. Totally speculating here and I could be totally wrong, but I suspect that honoring a woman who didn’t get the support or recognition she deserved in her lifetime would, for better or worse, be seen as a bit risky by the committee that will be making the final decision.
Great animated gif illustrating how sampling error decreases as sample size increases.
More great animated gifs illustrating how various causal inference methods (instrumental variables, differences-in-differences, etc.) actually work. Great teaching aid, though the animations would be even better if they were slower. (ht @noahpinion)
Ta Nehisi-Coates on why he left Twitter.
This week in unusual field guides. Can someone who knows German tell me what the heck the diagram at the top is? A phylogeny? A structured population model? An interaction network? Something else? (ht @dsquareddigest)
I assume its common name is “bat flip weevil“. 🙂
We now go live to a shot of the otter that’s been eating its way through the prize koi in the Classical Chinese Garden in Vancouver. 🙂 I leave it to you to decide whether you otter make terrible puns in the comments, or demonstrate your basic human decency by not doing so.
And finally, Australian farmer buys giant eland to lead his cattle herd. Apparently. 🙂
My colleague Gina Baucom and I have relaunched DiversifyEEB! The new site is much fancier and has more bells & whistles, including the ability to create a log in and keep your account updated. Check out the new site, read Gina’s guest post introducing DiversifyEEB when we first launched it in March 2016, and read my post on why lists like DiversifyEEB are useful.