Also this week: remembering when Am Nat was a pop sci magazine, learning to love biology, and more.
You didn’t think that #pruittdata was over just because several weeks went by without any retractions for Jonathan Pruitt, did you? The latest one just dropped: Lichtensten et al. 2018 Am Nat. Link goes to the retraction notice. The retraction is for a long string of duplicated data, and for nearly identical distributions of spider colony size across several sites. Jonathan Pruitt collected the data and couldn’t explain the anomalies to the satisfaction of either his co-authors or the investigating committee Am Nat convened. Co-author Sarah Bengston comments. Pruitt didn’t agree to the retraction.
Sticking with Am Nat: Smocovitis et al. dive into the history of the journal, specifically how the subject coverage has changed over time. Very interesting, whether you know nothing of the journal’s history or (like me) only know the broad outlines. Did y’all know that Am Nat started out as a popular science magazine aimed at amateur naturalists?
A non-biologist on how he learned to love (molecular) biology. Very good piece, particularly for high school biology teachers and faculty who teach first year intro bio.
Why are conspiracy theories on the rise? A depressing hypothesis.
I know someone with whom this xkcd hovertext will really resonate. 🙂