Posts

October 08, 2014

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11:43 AM | From a New Viewpoint
I have moved a mere mile or two from my previous home to my new abode at Churchill College, and yet it feels as if everything has shifted: my centre of gravity is this crucial mile further west and everything … Continue reading →
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11:13 AM | What should ecologists learn LESS of?
There are lots of things that it would be nice for ecologists to know more of. Natural history. Math. Programming. Statistical techniques. The mathematical foundations of statistics. Philosophy of science. Genetics. Evolution. Other things. If you’re like me, you probably … Continue reading →
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10:57 AM | Peer review workshop at University of St Andrews
As you know, we’re supporting the Sense About Science “Nuts and Bolts” peer review workshops that are regularly held in the UK. The next one will be on November 21st at the University of St Andrews. If you’re an early career researcher in Scotland or the North of England, this is well worth an [...]
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2:23 AM | I have the grey hairs to prove it
Macquarie University has apparently noticed the grey hairs I'm starting to get, they announced last week that I am one of six new Distinguished Professors. On top of that, on the same day, the Macquarie University Research Excellence Awards were presented, and Karl Hassan and I won the Research Excellence Prize in Science and Engineering. They made 90 second videos summaries for each of the research projects nominated for an award. Here's the video for our project on identification of a new […]
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12:18 AM | Yeast 2.0 on the radio
I was interviewed on 2SER this morning on the topic of yeast 2.0, biofuels and beer.Transcript and podcast can be found here.Louise Brown came along for moral support and snapped this action shot of the back of my head:

October 07, 2014

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11:01 PM | On the writing of a PhD thesis
“Writing a [thesis] is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.” Winston Churchill I’ve just finished my PhD thesis and thought I’d share some of my opinions on how best to go about writing one. But before we get there I’d like to express my […]
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10:17 PM | Debating the role of metrics in research assessment
I spent all of today attending the “In metrics we trust?” workshop organised jointly by HEFCE and the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at Sussex University. It was an open session that was part of the information-gathering process of HEFCE’s … Continue reading →
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9:17 PM | UCSB’s Shuji Nakamura wins Nobel Prize in physics for the...
UCSB’s Shuji Nakamura wins Nobel Prize in physics for the blue LED From the cell phones of protesters in Hong Kong to the energy-efficient lightbulbs at the hardware store, there’s a pretty good chance that this year’s physics Nobel prize-winning invention is in your everyday life. The blue light-emitting diode (LED) is found in the screens of millions of phones as well as a cost saving replacement for incandescent light. Today, the Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to the […]
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8:48 PM | How Gay-Friendly Does Gordon College Have to Be?
One Christian college in Massachusetts is having a hard time trying to address homosexuality today. The problem is the school's accreditation. According to an article in the Boston Business Journal: The higher education commission of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges met last week and "considered whether Gordon College's traditional inclusion of 'homosexual practice' as a forbidden activity" runs afoul of the commission's standards for accreditation, according to a joint […]
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3:28 PM | Let's Incentivize Colleges to Reduce Costs and Educate Students
If colleges want to reverse the declining number of teachers of color, create more STEM teachers, and calibrate teacher supply with district demand, then teacher preparation programs need to become less dependent on individuals’ tuition. The current tuition-driven system is incentivizing teacher preparation programs to prioritize quantity over districts’ needs. The country needs more effective STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) teachers as well as teachers of […]
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3:22 PM | How Tuition Tracker Helps Kids Compare Colleges - and Other Tips for Overwhelmed Parents
New York - It’s the thick of college application season, and your child is diligently churning out common application essays while simultaneously studying for four or five advanced placement exams and researching scholarships, right? Well, maybe not. Click to find out how much college might cost you In households across the U.S. right now, (including my own) there’s likely a good deal of procrastination - along with frustration and anxiety about the endless array of essays and […]
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3:09 PM | Ending Higher Ed's Tuition Addiction to Produce Teachers We Need
If colleges want to reverse the declining number of teachers of color, create more STEM teachers, and calibrate teacher supply with district demand, then teacher preparation programs need to become less dependent on individuals’ tuition. The current tuition-driven system is incentivizing teacher preparation programs to prioritize quantity over districts’ needs. The country needs more effective STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) teachers as well as teachers of […]
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1:30 PM | What is open data?
To continue our series of “What is…” posts, we’re focusing on open data. Previous posts in this series covered open access, open peer review and post-publication peer review.   Open data in science “Open data” is a broad concept that doesn’t just apply to research data, but also to, for example, the [...]
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12:00 PM | Writing a review: thoughts from the trenches.
Somehow I’m in the middle of writing three review papers so I am gaining some perspective on writing them. The first one is basically my own fault; I started thinking a lot about nectar rewards and how they fit into my research. That thinking lead to a talk last year on some of my ideas…

October 06, 2014

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5:14 PM | "Nobel Prizes are not awarded because researchers figured out how to make a lot of money. They are..."
“Nobel Prizes are not awarded because researchers figured out how to make a lot of money. They are awarded because researchers transformed, at some level, our understanding of the human experience, and all that goes on in the universe that we call home.” - University of California President Janet Napolitano discussing the importance of basic research. Listen to her talk here →
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1:39 PM | Even Education Data Geeks Agree That Education Data is Completely Inscrutable and Inaccessible to Parents
One of the many provisions of the 2001 federal education act, known as No Child Left Behind, was a requirement that states had to issue a “report card”  for every public school. The report cards include things you might expect like student test scores and test score changes, but also a laundry list of data from graduation rates to school demographics. Part of the purpose of making this data available was to help parents see how the students in their children’s school […]
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1:26 PM | EcoData Retriever now supports R and environmental data, and has more datasets
We are very excited to announce the newest release of our EcoData Retriever software and the first release of a supporting R package, ecoretriever. If you’re not familiar with the EcoData Retriever you can read more here. The biggest improvement to the Retriever in this set of releases is the ability to run it directly […]
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12:00 PM | When are minority-focused conferences the best choice?
Sometimes, the title has a question mark. The body of the text usually has the answer to the question in the title. This is not one of those. I don’t have an answer to this question. Have you heard of SACNAS or ABRCMS?* These organizations put on a big science conference somewhere in the US…
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11:49 AM | New on F1000Research – 6 October 2014
A selection of new content on F1000Research from the past week. To receive notification of all new articles, sign up for our table of contents alerts.   Featured peer review report Each week we feature a peer review report on the front page of our website. This week’s report, by Sam Schwarzkopf, is a critical [...]
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11:28 AM | Should journal editors be anonymous?
Should journal handling editors be anonymous? Editor anonymity used to be rare or nonexistent at ecology journals. But it seems to be more common now, at least for certain decisions and at certain journals. In particular, it now seems to … Continue reading →
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9:17 AM | Blog Awards Winners 2014
EcoEvo@TCD was awarded Best Science & Technology Blog in Ireland at the Blog Awards ceremony on Saturday. Thanks to everyone who has contributed posts over the past couple of years. It’s nice to know that we’ve put some good thoughts down on paper! Keep the posts coming.  
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8:45 AM | PhD – Pretty Huge Disaster
This is a mini series of two posts about finding positive things in negative results. Science is often a trial and error process and, depending on what you’re working with, errors can be fatal. As people don’t usually share their bad experiences or negative results beyond the circle of close colleagues and friends, I thought (and hope!) that sharing my point of view, as a PhD student might be useful. If you’re about to do a PhD you will fail and if you’ve already […]

October 05, 2014

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12:00 PM | Links Roundup #24
Apps for Students A previous roundup mentioned Lifehacker‘s annual series of posts on the best current apps/software for different operating system.  Now they have published editions of best apps/software for college students, for Windows, Mac, Android, and iPhone. Blog/Website of … Continue reading → The post Links Roundup #24 appeared first on Personal Knowledge Management for Academia & Librarians.
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9:39 AM | Super Mario, Minions, and Labguru
Earlier this week, we released a new plate element to Labguru's experiments and protocols modules. We claimed it's versatile and powerful. Did we mention it's also fun? Check out Stas's plate art: Want to try your hand at plate art? Signup for a Labguru trial, open a project, add a plate to an experiment procedure, then share your results in the comments below!

October 04, 2014

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5:45 PM | Using a smartphone with O2 in Europe – update
On my recent trip to Greece, I tried out O2’s £1.66 daily European data allowance. I’m pleased to report that it ‘did what it says on the tin’, and I was able to keep using my phone for social media and photo uploading throughout the trip without any problems. I used WiFi when possible (but […]
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3:59 PM | Reclassification Rules for Dual Language Learners Matter
My elementary school had a separate classroom for students who were non-native speakers of English. As far as my friends and I were concerned, it was another planet. Though it was located immediately next door to my third grade classroom, we knew almost nothing about the students or their teachers. Even at the tiny school (approximately eight classrooms across K–3), the room’s inhabitants were somehow invisible to us. Insofar as we acknowledged the arrangement at all, it was in the […]
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3:33 PM | The Underwear Fetish Brain?
According to a Japanese case report, a man developed a fetish for women’s underwear due to decreased brain blood flow. Here’s how neuropsychiatrists Koji Masuda and colleagues describe the patient: A 24-year-old male patient who was arrested for stealing underwear and referred to our hospital for evaluation. The patient had stolen women’s underwear on multiple […]The post The Underwear Fetish Brain? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.
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12:25 PM | Former ASCB President Bruce Alberts Receives the National Medal of Science
Bruce Alberts, professor at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), who served as ASCB president in 2007, was just named one of the nation's top scientists by President Obama. Alberts and nine others are recipients of the National Medal of Science, the Nation's highest honor for individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering. Alberts will be presented the medal in a ceremony at the White House later this year. Bruce Alberts is a renowned […]

October 03, 2014

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10:44 PM | Andreessen-Horowitz Again
Andreessen Horowitz had a second Academic Roundtable, gathering together academics, VCs, and people in startups to talk for a few days about a variety of topics.  I wasn't sure why I was invited the first time (which I wrote about last year), and am even less clear on why I was invited back, but I again had a very good time.  Before a few words about the talks, the high order point:  I'm told that most/all of the talks will be put online over the coming weeks.  So if you're […]
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9:10 PM | The little things, professorial edition
A while back Meg posted on the importance of doing little things to keep your lab happy. Well, if you’re lucky, your lab will also do little things to keep you happy: :-)Filed under: Just for fun, Navel gazing, Personal … Continue reading →
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