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.
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.
Is it the massive profit margins? Or the massive cost of their profits?
Or is that the vast majority of the work is being done by the unpaid. Researchers and editors and reviewers, while the profits go to someone who contributes not at all.
Read about it here!
Over at Small Pond Science, there is a thought provoking post about how to truly ‘diversify STEM fields.
If you want to truly diversify, then we need to stop trying to fill in the holes based on perceived deficiencies. Instead, we need to focus on training complete scientists. We need to fundamentally change our mindset about what a successful student looks like in a way that doesn’t reflect systemic inequities — and then enact a training and recruitment agenda based on that mindset. We can continue investing our time and resources trying to get URM students to look more competitive against white students from private universities.”
Interested? Read more here.
In the best titled blog post ever “Scientists aren’t Stupid, and Science Deniers are Arrogant” the anonymous author Fallacy Man openly confesses:
“Debating those who reject scientific facts has been a hobby of mine for several years now. It’s not a very rewarding hobby, and it comes with high stress levels and periodic fits of rage, so I don’t particularly recommend it.”
This in and of itself would make me love this post. But he then goes on to talk about how the biggest problem with science deniers is their arrogance. They genuinely believe that they know more than people who have years, and sometimes decades of experience studying science. While this makes my blood boil, the more important part of post for me was an outline of different arguments that science deniers have made, and good peer-reviewed sources to respond.
Read it here!
In academia, sometimes you need to be a gatekeeper, sometimes you need to be an editor. But knowing when to play either role is important, and can really make a difference to the student/young scientist/person whose work you are editing.
In their ongoing discussion of the role of peer review, Dynamic Ecology has an excellent blog post addressing this distinction.
Global health charities are funding more and more scientific research (as NIH and NSF funding rates are scarily low).
However, one prominent charity, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have an open-access policy stipulating that any research that they fund must be available open-access.
Which conflicts with Science and Nature policy. So at the moment any research funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation cannot be published in two of the top journals for science.
Read about it here.