Friday links: t-shirts vs. coronavirus, cafeteria menus vs. scholarly papers, and more

Also this week: 2020 ESA award recipients, coronavirus vs. field work, Velociraptor happy medium, video lecture bloopers, and more.

From Jeremy:

Congratulations to the 2020 ESA award recipients!

Stephen Heard replaced the high-stakes midterm exam in his course with low stakes weekly quizzes. You may or may not be surprised by what happened next, but Stephen was.

A new preprint (which I haven’t yet read carefully; just passing it along if you want to read and evaluate it yourself) looked for evidence of bias against women in a huge dataset of 1.7 million authors, 740,000 referees, and 145 journals spread across all scholarly fields. Editors tend to gender-match authors and referees, which isn’t a finding I’d heard before in my admittedly-scattered reading of this literature. And if anything, papers by women tended to have more positive peer review outcomes than those by men, though the estimated difference varied among fields. I think that result needs careful interpretation, and I’d need to read the paper closely before commenting.

You can buy t-shirts from the cancelled Evolution 2020 meeting, with the meeting logo on the front and an amusing addition to the back. Proceeds go to help defray the enormous cost of the cancellation to the societies involved. I bought one and I wasn’t even going to go to the meeting. These shirts are going to be collector’s items! And scientific societies are good; I want them to survive and thrive!

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Why most predictions about post-pandemic life will be totally wrong. (ht @mattyglesias) Because after all, most predictions about how 9/11 or the Great Recession would “change everything” were totally wrong, too. In fairness, many of these “predictions” aren’t really predictions (well, the authors may think they are, but they’re not really). They’re really arguments about how things should should change post-pandemic, just framed as a prediction about how they will change. Or else people coping with stress by imagining that they changes they’d like to see will come about. Or else people just speculating for entertainment purposes, because speculation can be fun. Question: I wonder how much improvement in one’s ability to make accurate predictions (about anything, not just the long-term effects of the coronavirus outbreak) comes from consciously trying to make accurate predictions? As opposed to sorta, kinda making “predictions” when subconsciously you’re actually trying to do something else? I’m sure there’s research on this; it’s part of the argument that you can’t make good predictions without having “skin in the game”. But it’s not an area of research I know much about. Related: my reviews of Superforecasting andΒ The Signal and the Noise.

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The ESA is soliciting blog posts on field work during the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s the first one, by Martha Downs and colleagues, on whether or not to go into the field.

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Google Scholar thinks school lunch menus are scholarly papers. More examples. I presume “F. Fries” has an h-index of, like, 36,000. πŸ™‚

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“When figuring out Velociraptor feathering, there’s definitely a safe middle ground between naked turkey and murder floof.” I have no idea if this is scientifically accurate, but I don’t care because it’s great. (ht @jholbo1)

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Video lecture blooper #1. (ht @kjhealy) πŸ˜‰

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Video lecture blooper #2 πŸ˜‰

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If I ever finish my frickin’ book, this is how I hope readers will react. πŸ™‚

2 thoughts on “Friday links: t-shirts vs. coronavirus, cafeteria menus vs. scholarly papers, and more

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