Posts

September 05, 2014

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5:01 AM | When Diversity Is Absent from Science, We ALL Lose
Many of my posts and efforts actively work to get more diversity, particularly women and girls, into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). I’d like to take a moment in this post, however, to comment on a recent article in Scientific American that I find not only appalling as a scientist, but as a human being. […]

September 04, 2014

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7:30 PM | The Apprenticeship Solution
It’s long been a sort of minor worry among American policymakers that we don’t have much of an apprenticeship system in this country. Unlike in many other industrialized nations, here in the U.S. most students are tracked toward college. At least policy is designed largely to get people there. If college isn’t a possibility, students mostly flounder around toward high school graduation, and then flounder around for years thereafter until they find something that works. But […]
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5:17 PM | The mysterious sailing stones at Racetrack Playa How does a big...
The mysterious sailing stones at Racetrack Playa How does a big heavy rock move on its own across the desert?  The reason is partially due to ice. Researchers have investigated this question since the 1940s, but no one has seen the process in action — until now. Because the stones can sit for a decade or more without moving, the UC San Diego researchers did not originally expect to see motion in person. Instead, they decided to monitor the rocks remotely by installing a […]
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1:00 PM | Interview with James Coker
To find life outside of Earth, we need to know under what sort of extreme conditions organisms are still able to thrive. When it comes to halophilic archaea, James Coker and Aida Moran-Reyna have now shown the effects of extreme pH levels on the archaea’s transcriptome. Coker shares more about the research in the [...]
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12:59 PM | Universities are Highly Responsive to Very Rich People
As a kind of side-note to Corey’s most recent post, most people, including, I suspect, most academics, don’t realize how important rich people are to the running of universities. Some months back, I was able to listen in on a conversation including a college president (not my own), and was startled to discover how much time the president spent managing relations with the Board of Trustees. Being a board member usually involves a two way relationship. As a trustee, you get some […]
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12:00 PM | Efficient teaching: Doing active learning an easy way
Here are a few difficult facts about education in college classrooms: Lectures don’t work well. People just don’t really learn much from hour-long lectures. People learn when they discover ideas on their own. People learn best when working with peers. It’s a hell of a lot easier to just explain something to someone than to set…
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11:42 AM | Start-of-the-year advice for everyone!
Over the years we’ve done lots of advice posts on all sorts of things, aimed at everyone from prospective grad students to postdocs to faculty. Here are links to some advice posts that are relevant for the start of the … Continue reading →
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8:07 AM | Men are Parents Too
Another shocking headline graced the pages of the Daily Telegraph this week, albeit apparently only temporarily before removal. ‘Mother of 3 poised to lead the BBC’ it shrieked, a sentence curiously reminiscent of the way Dorothy Hodgkin’s Nobel Prize was … Continue reading →
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6:25 AM | Mental illness and sexual abuse: the shocking link | Richard P Grant
Violence perpetrated on the mentally ill shows that victim-blaming is nothing more than a cover-up for subhuman behaviourSome years ago, the Mufti of Australia got into hot water when he likened women who failed to wear the hijab to uncovered meat, at risk of being devoured by cats. In other words, if a woman who dressed immodestly were to be raped then she should share, if not take all, the blame. Sadly, despite the outcry that followed, this attitude that of blaming the victim is still […]
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1:46 AM | Can We Take the Fighting Out of Education Reform?
Maybe the education debate in this country has gotten too ugly. Maybe we’d all be better off if we just took a step back, remembered what’s really at stake, and tried to focus on facts and evidence, not our own ideology. That sure sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it? And so one group of education reformers is going to try to make this happen. According to an article in the Washington Post: Into the fray steps Education Post, a nonprofit group that plans to launch Tuesday […]

September 03, 2014

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6:55 PM | Compulsive Poetry In Epilepsy
The case of a woman who began compulsively writing poems after being treated for epilepsy offers a rare glimpse into the ‘inner’ dimension of a neurological disorder. Here’s the paper in Neurocase from British neurologists Woollacott and colleagues. The story in a nutshell: the patient, age 76, had been suffering from memory lapses and episodic […]The post Compulsive Poetry In Epilepsy appeared first on Neuroskeptic.
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5:14 PM | OYM 47: Shooting the Science Shit
Calling all McGill Neuroscientists!  Come talk shop with the OYM team at this year’s IPN retreat September 18 – 19! We’re slightly abridged this week, with two out of three hosts in the process of moving.  Adel’s warming up to the idea of moving across the pond to start life as a med student, but ...read more The post OYM 47: Shooting the Science Shit appeared first on On Your Mind Podcast.
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5:11 PM | "Examining mechanisms that provide an insect with a sense of smell isn’t as glamorous as..."
“Examining mechanisms that provide an insect with a sense of smell isn’t as glamorous as developing a mobile app that could be worth billions of dollars. But such research might lead to fighting mosquito-borne diseases like malaria - saving lives and generating billions of dollars.” - Thomas Lee on the power of basic research (and Janet Napolitano’s message at the OpenSDx Summit): As Napolitano correctly noted, the private sector has pretty much outsourced basic […]
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3:52 PM | http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/2014/09/03/1284/
Top scientific publisher chooses not to advance open access By Erin McKiernan, independent, and Jon Tennant, Imperial College London Access to research is limited worldwide by the high cost of subscription journals, which force readers to pay for their content. The use of scientific research in new studies, educational material and news is often restricted by […]
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3:35 PM | Active Learning Halves Black-White Achievement Gap in Bio Classes, Say STEM Ed Researchers in LSE Paper
"Active-learning interventions," in which passive lectures are replaced with interactive activities, moving lecture materials to homework and outside readings, have been shown by STEM education researchers in recent years to be strikingly effective, but a new study published on September 2 in CBE—Life Sciences Education, published by ASCB, reveals that this strategy is especially powerful for black and first-generation college students. An active-learning strategy in an introductory […]
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2:09 PM | Bobby Jindal and the (Common Core) Morning After
Politicians love ideas. They can talk about them for years. Politicians are somewhat less enamored of implementing ideas, since concrete actions can have (electoral) consequences. Look no further than Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s erstwhile embrace of the Common Core State Standards. Or rather, look no further than my just-published column at Talking Points Memo for a discussion of his efforts to terminate the standards he helped bring to Louisiana: it’s particularly tough if […]
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1:59 PM | Reaching out to China – interview with Jia Shen
Jia Shen is a Chinese researcher in Los Angeles, who is currently helping F1000Research to reach out to the Chinese research community. Among other things, she has translated various materials for us, and you can see some of her translation work if you access the F1000Research homepage from China. In the interview below, Jia [...]
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11:55 AM | Prioritizing rest
Earlier this year, in a YOLO/carpe diem moment (or possibly a moment of insanity), I decided to sign up for a marathon. I’d been contemplating the marathon for a while as something I’d do “someday”. But I’d been running injury-free for over a year, completed a few half-marathons and was enjoying running longer distances, and […]
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11:28 AM | This Is What Science Looks Like at NC State: Elizabeth Loboa
Elizabeth Loboa uses her engineering expertise to extend the frontiers of medicine. Her work focuses on generating new tissues for people suffering from traumatic wounds and tissue loss.

September 02, 2014

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7:57 PM | In which I am still largely at large: another mother in academia
Blogging appearances to the contrary, I am still alive, clinging gamely to some semblance of work-life balance as a new mother in academia. Not so new anymore, I realize, as Joshua hurtles, one milestone at a time, toward his first … Continue reading →
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7:12 PM | My Son's First Day: 10 Things I Want My Child To Gain From Schooling
Getting a great education is not about smartness. I picked the brown, leather high tops with the fluorescent green laces. Shoes make an impression on the first day of school. My son, Robeson, picked a Cars inspired backpack and a Planes lunchbox - school shopping. The small traditions that comprise the first-day build-up almost brought me to tears (not because of the prices). Parents’ expectations of their children’s schooling surface consciously or unconsciously. It’s only […]
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5:12 PM | How ocean dust makes rain clouds When storm clouds form over the...
How ocean dust makes rain clouds When storm clouds form over the ocean they’re drawing that moisture into the atmosphere to form clouds.  At that point it takes many water vapor molecules to freeze and bond with one another to fall from the sky, but how does this bonding process start?   It begins with tiny particles of organic matter such as parts of cells of dead organisms that the water vapor can bond to (as ice). Scientists at UC San Diego now theorize that these particles […]
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3:15 PM | New Android Kit Released for Mendeley API
We have been very busy at Mendeley looking at how to improve the Developer Experience for the community that builds cool stuff on the Mendeley API. For those who don’t know, API stands for Application Programming Interface and it’s what allows your product to talk to other products, opening up your data and functionality to […]
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1:47 PM | Book: Nature’s economy, A History of Ecological Ideas
I had an uneasy feeling about not knowing enough about the history of ecology and after some googling I tried reading Nature’s economy (http://www.amazon.com/Natures-Economy-History-Ecological-Environment/dp/0521468345). I am glad I did. Despite the first 300 pages are a bit slow and deal … Continue reading →
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12:00 PM | Academic self care
The semester has begun and everyone is returning back to campus. It means my commuter bus is full and I rarely get a preferred seat. Bike parking in Uppsala is a lot harder too. For me this means that I’m returning to my office and there are people walking around in the corridors. I spent…
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11:41 AM | What should editors do when referees disagree?
Journal referees often disagree. Referee disagreements can be challenging for editors to handle. How should editors deal with them? One common approach, especially among editors at selective journals, is to just reject the paper. That is, anything other than unanimous … Continue reading →
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11:02 AM | Finding Better Ways of Mining Scientific Publications
Mendeley is supporting the 3rd edition of the International Workshop on Mining Scientific Publications, which will take place on the 12th September 2014 in London. The event will bring together researchers and practitioners from across industry, government, digital libraries and academia to address the latest challenges in the field of mining data from scientific publications. […]
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11:00 AM | Dogs, Math and Computers: How One Researcher Gets His Ideas
Where does inspiration come from? One researcher talks about artificial intelligence, computer science, and working with dogs.
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9:37 AM | Tristan adventure 1: journey & arrival
Tristan Adventure 1: Journey and arrival Hello outside world! I’m safely ensconced in Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, the capital (and only settlement) of Tristan da Cunha. For those just joining us, this trip to the most remote inhabited island in the world (some 2100 km south of St. Helena (which is, itself, not close […]
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1:53 AM | Interview with Alain Prochiantz
How can you tell the difference between two proteins if the antibodies are not specific? This was a problem that researchers studying the cortex came across when determining the function of Otx2. In a recent F1000Research article, researchers from France and Italy found a solution. In this interview, one of the study’s authors, Alain [...]
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