Also this week: racial and gender bias in postdoc hiring, the story of another “Hidden Figure”, the latest on Plan S, Jimmy Carter gets tenure, and more.
The US National Academy of Sciences voted overwhelmingly in favor of allowing expulsion of members who violate its code of conduct, which covers sexual harassment, bullying, and scientific misconduct.
France has banned publication of statistical information about judge’s decisions, such as statistical models predicting future judicial decisions based on judges’ past decisions and personal attributes. Violation is punishable by up to five years in prison. Yes, really. (ht @kjhealy)
The latest on Plan S, the proposal by some European funding agencies to mandate open access publishing.
An argument that people have an irrational preference for “knowledge” (i.e. direct evidence such as eyewitness testimony) over statistical evidence, both in courts of law and in life in general. This would be an interesting piece to discuss in a stats course. Personally, I disagree with it. I think our preference for direct evidence over statistical evidence in courts of law is because in court we want to judge guilt or innocence in a particular case. Not “what fraction of defendants are guilty in cases that are like this particular case in relevant respects?” (ht @dsquareddigest)
The story of JoAnn Morgan, the only woman inside the control room for the Apollo 11 launch.
The backstory of a rogue geoengineering attempt. I’ve used this case as the basis for an exam question in aquatic ecology. Under what conditions, if any, would you expect a one-off pulse of iron enrichment in the ocean to give you both carbon sequestration and more+bigger salmon?
Why is the price of higher education in the US so damn high? Here’s a deep answer–the Baumol Effect. I’m not an economist so I’m not qualified to fully evaluate the argument. But the logic is exceptionally well-explained and it’s at least consistent with some important features of the data. So if it’s wrong, I don’t think it’s obviously wrong. Note however that the standard illustrative example of the Baumol Effect–a string quartet–is no longer the best example.
Jimmy Carter finally gets tenure. (ht @dandrezner)
A new study looked at racial and gender bias in postdoc hiring (and, importantly, did so in a way that should have removed the effect of social desirability bias, by saying it was a study on CV formatting). They sent CVs that were identical except for the name (e.g., José Rodriguez vs. Bradley Miller). In biology, faculty did not show gender bias in competence and likeliness to hire, but Asian and White applicants were viewed as more competent and hireable than Black and Latino applicants.
I wonder if we’ll be able to open any windows at Evolution or ESA this summer: