April 21, 2014

11:00 AM | This Is What Science Looks Like At NC State: Ann Ross
Editor’s note: This is an entry in an ongoing series of posts that we hope will highlight the diversity of researchers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The series is inspired by the This Is What A Scientist Looks Like site. This submission comes from Ann Ross, a professor of anthropology at NC State. My
10:00 AM | Women in Science and (almost) space
Last week we saw the celebrations of Human Space Flight, and today we’re continuing our space-related celebrations here at Au. We thought we would do another installation of our Women in Science feature, but with a space theme! But first, I am sure most of you have seen the famous meme of Hillary Clinton… Women …
12:16 AM | Some "Holiday" Themed Microbiology?
It's Easter Sunday as I write this quick post.  And don't worry:  I'm not going to discuss religious issues.  For many people (especially those of us with children), Easter is much more about high fructose corn syrup.  Right?  Sad but true.One type of scary yet oddly delicious sugary item for this holiday seasons are the infamous Peeps.  They become all the rage during this time of year, with their near total lack of nutritional value, in addition to colors and […]

April 20, 2014

7:28 PM | Open Access — yes you can
For researchers who have never dipped a toe into the debates on open access that surge across the blogosphere it is all too easy to imagine that they need not get involved. For sure, people are increasingly aware that a decision … Continue reading →
3:13 PM | How I ended up with an alternative academic job
Astute readers might notice that the frequency of new posts has tailed off lately.  This isn’t reflective of any change in my interest in blogging, or want for post ideas (trust me on this one), but is caused entirely by the fact that I’m changing continents in a month. For the last 31 months, I’ve […]
10:03 AM | The Mystery of “Quantum Resonance Spectroscopy”
Can quantum physics help to diagnose schizophrenia and depression? A paper just published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease claims that a technique called ‘quantum resonance spectroscopy’ (QRS) can accurately diagnose various mental health problems. But is it quantum wizardry or magic quackery? According to the authors of the new paper, Zhang et […]The post The Mystery of “Quantum Resonance Spectroscopy” appeared first on Neuroskeptic.

Zhang Y, Liu F, Shi J, Yue X, Zhang H, Du X, Sun L & Yuan J (2014). Exploratory quantum resonance spectrometer as a discriminator for psychiatric affective disorders., The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 202 (4) 287-91. PMID:

2:53 AM | Dry run
It was a lab rule that anyone giving a talk had to have a practice run with the prof. This was supposed to be one on one but when my turn came, it didn't work out that way. Dr. L. was in deep denial about computers, but always wanted to impress colleagues with his state-of-the art knowledge of the latest technology. My talk had to use some LINUX presentation program with vertigo-inducing animation capabilities that Dr. L. found on a CD-ROM in some old magazine. And this meant that Dennis had to […]
2:14 AM | Play the Dynamic Ecology GeoGuessr Challenge!
In an old Friday linkfest I plugged GeoGuessr, which uses Google Street View images to simulate the experience of being dropped in a random location somewhere on Earth. Your challenge is to figure out where you are solely by driving … Continue reading →

April 19, 2014

1:17 AM | Former Research Students and Their Success Stories, Part I!
At a small liberal arts institution, I don't have postdoctoral students, technicians, or graduate students.  I lack vast infrastructure or much in the way of grant support (and I am pretty much out of money---gulp!).  Nor do I have much time, with teaching taking up most of my hours on campus (and off, given grading and prep time).  I have very little time to reflect and plan and be creative, though I do my best.What I am very fortunate to have are wonderful undergraduate […]

April 18, 2014

8:40 PM | The Worst Trends in Higher Education
There are trends in higher education that those of us of follow this sort of thing like to track. There’s an increasing focus on accountability. There are the ever-escalating cost. There’s lately a great deal of worry about how much varsity athletes are worth. There's a push to get more an more parts of higher education online. When Education Secretary Arne Duncan has his semi-regular "ask questions of the secretary" discussion on Twitter (an event, admittedly, not geared for […]
8:40 PM | 2-3 ecology grad student positions in Jeremy Fox’s lab
Through a mixture of circumstances, I suddenly have 2-3 grad student positions open in my lab for fall 2014 or winter 2015. So while I know this is very much not the season for this sort of thing, if you’re … Continue reading →
5:41 PM | Our Presentation at Computers in Libraries
If you saw our posts covering what we saw at the 2014 Computers in Libraries conference, you’ll know that we presented a program there on April 9th.  If you wish to see the slides from our presentation, they are embedded … Continue reading → The post Our Presentation at Computers in Libraries appeared first on Personal Knowledge Management for Academia & Librarians.
3:00 PM | Why Can't the Zombie-Focused Sociologist Get a Job?
An occasional topic here at College Guide has been the employment problem many aspiring academics have. Because American universities produce far, far more PhDs every year than there are tenure-track positions, many potential professors have hard time supporting themselves, despite their impressive credentials. And some people have a really hard time. Todd K. Platts writes at Inside Higher Ed about his situation: Like many recently minted Ph.D.s [his is from the University of Missouri] I am […]
2:15 PM | Weekly Webcrawl: April 18, 2014
It was a big week for potential life-supporting conditions in space. Scientists found that Pluto may have a deep, underground ocean, which could explain it’s unique relationship with it’s moon, Charon. And they also discovered a distant planet called Kepler-186f that looks more similar to Earth than anything they’ve seen before. It seems hard to believe […]
12:10 PM | Fifty-One.
Yesterday evening I stepped on a scale and it said 183.5 pounds. I haven’t specifically been trying to lose weight, exactly. I’ve been trying for about 6.5 years now to be a healthier human. I quit drinking. 18 months later I quit smoking. 18 months later I started running. And about 2 years after that, […]
12:00 PM | Recommended reads #25
Google tries to have it both ways when it comes to geopolitical boundaries. Where does Russia start and where does Ukraine end? That depends on your IP address. They want to tell the truth, but not if it involves pissing off Putin, I guess. If Google is so craven in a situation like this, then we […]
11:19 AM | Friday links: women in science x3, Peter Godfrey-Smith at 3 am, Dr. Zen on postpublication review, and more
Also this week: Meg has started reading the internet again, happy 50th birthday kin selection theory, the changing nature of academic celebrity, pretty pictures of Jeremy’s “backyard”. Also a link specifically for longtime reader Jim Bouldin! From Meg: Here’s an … Continue reading →
10:00 AM | Lost in Space
In sci-fi films we often see people being sucked out of their spaceship by holes blown in walls, but what really happens to us in space when we leave behind the essentials? As a carbon-based life form adapted to Earth’s conditions, we’re not suited to fleeing off into space armed only with the ability to …
8:59 AM | In which the season turns
London is in the throes of springtime, and everything is in bud. Last year this time, my belly was swelling ever bigger in pregnancy. Now, my son – nearing the seven month mark – grows so fast that he seems … Continue reading →

April 17, 2014

10:39 PM | Teachers Have a Respect Problem. Guess Why?
There’s big lawsuit in California. With the backing of a group called Students Matter, nine public school students from across the state are suing, in Vergara v. California, arguing that state laws make it so hard to to fire bad teachers in public schools that many students, especially black and Hispanic ones, can't get a "basic" education. Plaintiffs says this is about ensuring teacher quality. The opponents say this is about the labor rights of teachers. But there’s a problem […]
9:40 PM | The Political Attractiveness of "Last-Dollar" Scholarships
The old adage about there being no such thing as a free lunch may hold true regarding a turkey sandwich on rye bread, but free lunches can happen in the world of higher education. An example of this is the growing number of “last-dollar” scholarships, in which private entities or state/local governments agree to cover students’ remaining tuition and fees after all federal grants have been provided. (Note that it does not cover room and board or living expenses—an […]
8:38 PM | Public higher education is not a reward for hard work
Here in California, there was a measure to officially restore affirmative action to the public university admissions process. (The movement navigated through our state senate, but then the popular narrative is that the Asian-American community tanked it before public had a chance to vote on it. More here.) Whenever white folks (or non-Hispanic European, or whatever […]
6:33 PM | Education Reform and "Teacher Haters"
I’ve been writing publicly about politics for a few years now, so I’ve become accustomed to a pretty steady stream of hate mail. It appears to come with the territory. And nothing—nothing—lights up my inbox with insults like writing about education reform. It would be one thing if folks objected to the substance of what I write—but most of the time, the emails are pure ad hominem attacks. They impugn my motives or call me a “teacher […]
3:20 PM | New York Kicks Off a New ELLs Conversation
New Yorkers are famous for their narcissistic myopia. Talk to a long-time resident, and you’ll hear just as much parochialism as any small-town stalwart. New Yorkers take it for granted that they embody the cutting edge. If you make it in New York, sure, you can make it anywhere, but—once you’ve made it—why would you bother leaving? And while this is almost always bluster beyond any semblance of reality, when it comes to education policy, New York has been grabbing all […]
2:00 PM | The Easier, Softer Way.
I have found that the only path to freedom from addiction is in embracing it. That’s not to nullify others’ experiences, everyone is welcome to their own. But my experience, and that of many others that I know who have recovered by taking the same path I have, is that the only true release from […]
1:12 PM | Officially official (sort of)
From Farley Katz, of the New Yorker. After a lengthy wait I've finally been informed that my university is recommending me for tenure, which will take effect in a couple of months. I've gotten positive feedback throughout the process, but it was good to finally get the word. Amazing to think that I've been blogging […]
12:24 PM | The biggest problem on the planet
A couple months ago the National Science Foundation released some surprising stats about what Americans do (and don’t) know. One in four of us, apparently, believes that the sun revolves around the Earth. That made me cry a little on the inside when I first read it. But in a lecture on science, society, and education on Tuesday, […]
11:41 AM | A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Prejudice Go Down
I wasn’t really paying attention to the radio. I was busy cooking, but it sounded to me as if the question Clive Anderson asked the film-maker Andrea Calderwood on Saturday’s episode of Loose Ends amounted to ‘how come a nice … Continue reading →
11:41 AM | #13 ‘Super Charismatic Nicholas’
‘Charisma’ and ‘Science’ – to many that might seem to be a contradiction in terms, but I don’t know – you only have to turn on the TV these days to realise how popular, popular-Science has become – programs invariably fronted by dishy science-friendly presenters, ladling out dollops of ‘shot-on-location’ charisma to satiate our need for our living room science […]
11:24 AM | When a series of entirely reasonable decisions leads to biased outcomes: thoughts on the Waterman Award
The National Science Foundation just announced the winner of the 2014 Alan T. Waterman Award, the highest award it gives to a scientist or engineer under the age of 35. The winner is Feng Zhang, a molecular biologist at the … Continue reading →
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