A study on how to best fund your studies. Very meta.
But seriously, as most governmental forms of funding are drying up, scientist are by necessity trying to figure out how to fund their research. And crowd funding has become an increasingly interesting option.
So, are you/your study well suited for this funding avenue? Read about it here!
Ziploc bags can be used as snail carriers. Food containers make good little bee homes. A salad spinner makes a good PCR centrifuge. Any scientist who’s ever done field work knows that everyday household projects can be game changers.
And now, scientists are reviewing these products on Amazon.
Read about them here!
Everyone I know is leaving academia. It started a few years ago with great postdocs taking alternative academic positions (head of an NSF institute, lead of a nature preserve, etc.), and has now progressed into most of my friends moving to industry (data science, start ups and biology industry).
So it’s really refreshing to read a post about someone who flat out loves their job. Maybe there is still hope?
Read more here.
Utahraptor, 23 feet long and weighing over a ton, was one of the largest dromaeosaurs, feathered, sickle-clawed dinosaurs closely related to birds. Since its discovery in 1991, it has been the subject of a popular novel, assorted documentaries and tie-in toys from “Jurassic Park.” But for all its fame, the predator has been known primarily from only a few remains. That changed in 2001, when a geology student found a leg bone emerging from a hillside in the Cedar Mountain formation in eastern Utah. You see, millions of years ago, on a mud flat somewhere in Cretaceous Utah, a group of Utahraptors made a grave mistake: They tried to hunt near quicksand. The pack’s poor fortune has given modern paleontologists an opportunity to decode the giant raptor — its appearance, growth and behavior — but only if they can raise the money.
Enter “The Utahraptor Project,” started on GoFundMe last year with a $100,000 goal. It offers backers access to a field worker’s blog, a live “Raptor Cam” and digital models of the find put together through the process of photogrammetry.
READ MORE HERE!
Linus Pauling, a two-time Nobel prizewinner, also gave us another important, if less well-known, dictum: that if you want to have good ideas, you must have lots of ideas and learn to throw away the bad ones.
But how do we quantify if that’s true? One academic of emeritus status (John Kirwan) looked back on his career to do just that.
Read about it here.
It’s fascinating how terrible we are at long term combating human pathogens. It’s kind of like wack-a-mole, when one route is eliminated another springs right up.
On one hand, this is obviously a plug that we need more money dedicated to scientific research.
But on the other, it’s really just interesting! Take Gonorrhea for example. Or better yet, read about where Gonorrhea is hiding these days…
Rather than make up numbers about the number of people present at the March for Science, the scientist/organizers wanted to “Science the shit out of them”.
Volunteer Kate Gage: “We really wanted to emphasize that it was a march about science and data and evidence”.
Read about the numbers of marchers and their methods here. Also, WELL DONE MARCH!
As I’m sure everyone has heard by now, the NSF is cutting the Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant (also known as the DDIG). This is a huge loss for scientific research in the United States.
Dollar per person, of all the NSF grants the DDIG was the biggest bang for the buck. It helped launch innumerable careers, and started many a scientist on the path to full adulthood.
The internet and twittersphere are full of stories about how DDIGs helped careers, but I want to highlight one from Jeremy Yoder. As usual, it’s well written and gets to the heart of the concept.
Also, call your members of congress to object to the continued reduction in funding for scientific research.
GOOD NEWS, THE GOVERNMENT IS GONNA KEEP RUNNING TILL AT LEAST SEPTEMBER!
Better news, the budget that was passed to keep the government running includes a bump in funding for NIH, and no reduction in NSF funding. Now, it’s not all good news, there’s a serious cut to EPA funding, but let’s take the wins we can get!
And keep fighting. This budget is only through September.
I am not sure how to measure the success of protests, but the March for Science was unquestionably heard around the world. People Marched in 600 locations around the globe to stand up for scientific research in the face of the US President being an unabashedly against science funding/communication/reality. So to celebrate scientist and science enthusiasts standing together, I have collected a few of my favorite videos. Or read more about the march here.
March of the Penguins for Science at the Monterey Bay Aquarium:
The Underwater March for Science at Wake Island:
And a video summarizing some great signs from the March for Science on Washington DC.
And just remember, this is only the first 100 days. Curbing the potential damage this administration can have on the planet will require staying vigilant for the next 4 years. As Aminatou Sow said during the women’s march “I can do this every week”. Bring it.