Also this week: college textbook prices are dropping, death vs. citations, and more.
Sad news: evolutionary biologist George Gilchrist has passed away. His work on the evolution and consequences of thermal sensitivity underpinned the very first project I worked on in grad school. Donations in his honor to support graduate student research and travel to the Evolution annual meeting can be made here.
A recent Nature paper on streamflow response to forest removal and planting has been retracted for honest mistakes in the underlying data and analytical assumptions.
I’m late to this, but writing in the American Journal of Sociology, Azoulay et al. find that a scientist’s premature death increases the rate at which that scientist’s work is cited. The effect is especially strong and long-lasting for scientists who die young and who were not highly cited in life. The effect seems to be due to posthumous recognition efforts by the associates of the deceased scientists. Note that I haven’t read the paper (it’s on my list…); just passing on the link in case you want to read it yourself.
In a survey of 1106 scientists from 46 countries, 58% reported receiving “unprofessional” comments in peer reviews, which is far higher than I’d have guessed. Which I assume means that unprofessional peer review comments are much more common in countries, journals, and/or fields other than those with which I have experience as an editor. Women and non-white scientists were no more likely than white men to report receiving unprofessional peer review comments, but were more likely than white men to report that the comments made them doubt their own scientific abilities. (note: link goes to a news article, not the original survey, to which no link is provided) (ht @noahpinion) (UPDATE: see the comments for discussion of details of the survey methods, including reasons to think that the survey may have oversampled people who’ve received unprofessional reviews)
US inflation-adjusted college textbook prices have been falling (slowly) for a couple of years now. Student spending on textbooks is dropping too. (ht Marginal Revolution)