Also this week: Katherine Johnson’s memoir, xkcd vs. base rates, jazz vs. Billy Idol, and more.
Ainissa Ramirez reviews pioneering NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson’s memoir.
Writing in the New Yorker, here’s Hannah Fry on the history of graphs and charts. I haven’t actually read this yet, but it looks super-interesting.
I’m late to this, but last year a study commissioned by Fidelity Investments and conducted by the Chronicle of Higher Education found that 55% of tenured and tenure-track faculty are contemplating leaving academia or taking early retirement due to Covid-19. On the one hand, I’m skeptical the number is that high just because I’d expect these sources to overestimate the exact number. On the other hand, I totally believe that number, because it me. I guess the safest thing to say is: if you’re a prof who’s thinking about this, you’re definitely not alone. Don’t worry that it’s just you who feels that way. It’s not just you.
What Patrick Collison, Tyler Cowen, and Patrick Hsu learned from a year of giving out $50 million worth of Fast Grants for Covid-19 research. Very interesting piece.
Science has a news piece on evolutionary biologist Ken A. Thompson’s so-far unsuccessful attempts to get his own first-authored paper retracted, and get Guelph University to conduct a serious investigation. Thompson discovered serious unexplained anomalies in the data provided to him by his co-author and former advisor, Steven Newmaster. Tidbit from the linked piece that caught my eye: the #pruittdata scandal inspired Ken Thompson to act on his doubts about the paper. Here’s our previous linkfest entry on this story.
Since early 2018, NIH has received 314 complaints about harassment, bullying, or discrimination by PIs, leading to 75 PIs being stripped of their grants. A large majority of all complaints, and of complaints that resulted in loss of grants, were for sexual harassment. That’s notable, because before 2018 no NIH PI had lost a grant for sexual harassment. Click through to the linked Science news piece for more details on the data. I would be interested to see a breakdown of the reasons why some complaints aren’t upheld.
Harvard University has stripped prominent archaeologist Gary Urton of his emeritus status, and banned him from campus, for serial sexual harassment. Urton retired from Harvard last year, during the investigation into his behavior.
And finally, I love the original version of “Dancing With Myself”. But the up-tempo pop/rock tune is mismatched to the lyrics, I think (YMMV). So it was a pleasure to discover this jazz cover version, which fits the lyrics perfectly:
Have a good weekend. 🙂