Friday links

From Jeremy:

Blogging about ecology feels rather pointless and trivial right now. There’s nothing I can say about bigger issues that others aren’t already saying much better. But right now, in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, it doesn’t feel right for this blog to stick to its usual narrow beat. So here are some things I read this week, from academics and others, that informed and inspired me to do what I can. I hope some of you find them helpful too.

Barack Obama on how to make this moment the turning point for real change.

Robert Sellers on how long must we wait?

Social scientist Jennifer Doleac on what research tells us about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to improving policing. And here’s a summary of that literature from data scientist and black activist Samuel Singyanwe. And here’s a piece from Singyanwe on the data on police killings, which suggest that progress is possible.

Political theorist Jacob Levy on “folk theory as ideology“–the danger of assuming that what governments should do is what they normally do. From years ago, but more relevant today than ever. Helps explain why governments–but not protestors–tend to get the benefit of the doubt when they act in ways they shouldn’t.

Sociologist Kieran Healy on the politics of disorder.

Economist Alex Tabarrok on the exorbitant privileges of police unions.

ESA Black Ecologists statement.

ESA letter to the community.

ASN statement.

SSE statement.

Other links:

Swanne Gordon on being a new prof in the age of COVID-19.

Andrew Gelman on the Association for Psychological Science statement.

University strategic planning in the time of coronavirus, with a focus on the Canadian context.

What happens to grad students and postdocs when the PI is accused of scientific misconduct.

The WHO, prominent scientists, and several national governments appear to have been scammed by a dodgy US doctor who claimed to have assembled a huge database of data on coronavirus patients. The dodgy data (which sounds like it may not even be real data…) formed the basis of multiple high-profile papers in top medical journals. Here is further coverage of this story from Science.

John Burn-Murdoch on how Spain’s data on new Covid-19 deaths are junk, in a way that (intentionally or not) makes the situation there appear much better than it actually is. Criticizes data aggregators like Johns Hopkins and the ECDC for republishing Spain’s numbers.

Sweden’s top epidemiologist admits that, in retrospect, Sweden’s approach to the coronavirus outbreak was wrong and resulted in too many deaths.

Dan Bolnick’s advice on giving a good recorded video lecture for a virtual scientific conference.

NY Times obituary for icthyologist John Randall. I hadn’t known about him until I read the obituary, icthyology being far from my field. But wow, what an amazing career!

The 50th anniversary issue of TPB is open access. Check it out for commentary on the most important papers in TPB history. (ht a correspondent)

Am Nat releases the director’s cut of Fig. 2 of Oksanen et al. 1981. I’m going to start calling all author corrections of publisher errors “director’s cuts”. 🙂

3 thoughts on “Friday links

  1. Actually, the Swedish state epidemiologist did not admit that the approach was wrong. He later stated that he was just being self critical that the government did not do sufficiently at the elder homes and in elder care, and that some actions should have been done earlier (such as increased testing). Experts on elder care were perhaps not surprised of the problems due to the organization and their bad economy. Many persons working in Swedish elder care are on short contracts and often have jobs at multiple places. A good thing with the crisis has been that these elder care problems have now come higher on the political agenda.

    Whether the general approach in Sweden was wrong or not is a different matter, and will likely be discussed over many glasses of beer in the future, but it has also been described internationally as more lax than the reality. In either case, it has obviously not worked well this far.

  2. By the way, I also thought that it was funny that Lauri corrected the figure now, 40 years after the publication. I wonder what caused him to do that.

  3. Further thoughts from Kieran Healy:

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