August 22, 2014

8:53 AM | Peer review service recognition – ORCID-CASRAI recommendations need your feedback
As I posted earlier this year, I have been co-chairing the CASRAI Peer Review Services Working Group together with Laura Paglione (Technical Director, ORCID) to look at the best way to recognise referee reports as a formal output in for example an ORCID profile. This project has looked at the peer review [...]
3:01 AM | Mills College: Now a Women’s College Any Way You Slice It
Women’s colleges have for the last few years had a little trouble with how to address transgender students. Historically these schools were created to help address discrimination and gender imbalances in higher education. Many of the country’s colleges back in the 19th century only admitted men. The reason we have women’s colleges is to fix that, and give women an education. But with transgender students the question became a little more complicated. Many women’s […]

August 21, 2014

5:24 PM | Scientific conferences, the too-slow movement of ideas, and giving an engaging talk
I went to a bunch of scientific conferences this summer. Four of ‘em. I have a smorgasbord of reflections on the whole experience to share with you. I spent about fifteen days padding around convention centers this summer. In early June there was Goldschmidt in Sacramento, then in July were both Social Insects and then Tropical Biology in…
4:16 PM | chipstea: hello & goodbye Saving the rarest of penguins...
chipstea: hello & goodbye Saving the rarest of penguins from extinction The Yellow-Eyed Penguin builds a nest in a much different way than most penguins.  In a colony you would think the flock is in one big crowded group, but this penguin needs its space and their nests need to be hidden from view.   This presents a problem with human development because these birds need a much larger area to live and due to encroaching development they’ve become endangered. UC […]
1:45 PM | Hashing Summer School
Back in July I took part in the Hashing Summer School in Copenhagen.  This was nominally set up by me, Rasmus Pagh, and Mikkel Thorup, though Mikkel was really the host organizer that put it all together.The course materials are all online here.  One thing that was a bit different is that it wasn't just lectures -- we really did make more of a "summer school" by putting together a lot of (optional) exercises, and leaving time for people to work through some of them in teams.  I […]
12:51 PM | Do ‘green’ access strategies actually achieve public access?
I note with interest that article publication charge data from the University of Edinburgh has been released on Figshare today. There are some fascinating numbers in there and I applaud the transparency. One particular article that took my eye is this one: Paradoxical effects of heme arginate on survival of myocutaneous flaps Page charges were … Read more →
12:35 PM | The CellSlam that Would Not Die Steps out Again at Philly 2014
Back from the undead, the 2014 "Zombie Cellslam," the Public Information Committee's stand-up science slam, is slouching toward Philadelphia where it will take the stage again at an Annual Meeting of the ASCB for the first time in five remarkably peaceful years. No more. The 2014 Zombie Cellslam, so named because it will not die, is set for Monday evening, December 10, at the joint ASCB/IFCB meeting in the Pennsylvania Convention Center. It will offer a variety of wit, music, and outrageously […]
11:53 AM | Is blogging with someone a conflict of interest?
Most journals and granting agencies have conflict of interest policies, though in ecology and evolution they’re often fairly non-specific, so that in practice much is left to the discretion of people with decision-making authority. For instance, the Journal of Ecology … Continue reading →
6:32 AM | Trends in Rare Diseases or why the ice bucket challenge is a cold dash of temporary relief | Heather Etchevers
Governments fund research into diseases that are popular with voters. But what about rare diseases, or the ones that arent popular, that nonetheless affect thousands of lives?Out of 14 different titles, Elseviers Cell Press has no Trends in Rare Diseases.To be fair, there are some rare diseases mentioned in some of the existing journals. Trends in Parasitology covers diseases that are not rare at all, but are still not trendy anyone you know affected by schistosomiasis? Nonetheless, literature […]

August 20, 2014

11:01 PM | Do You Believe in Dog? A New Ball Game
Hello Do You Believe in Dog(ers)!(source)After two years of mostly pen-pal style blogging, we're excited to share our new direction!When we first decided to create Do You Believe in Dog?, we committed to blogging back and forth about canine science for two years. We were able to celebrate achieving that goal at the recent 4th Canine Science Forum in Lincoln, UK and also reflect on the future of Do You Believe in Dog?The DYBID blog, Facebook and Twitter feeds have become vibrant places to […]

Dijk E.M.V. (2011). Portraying real science in science communication, Science Education, 95 (6) 1086-1100. DOI:

Fischhoff B. & Scheufele D. (2013). The science of science communication, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110 (Supplement 3) 14033-14039. DOI:

8:52 PM | Thousands of California Kids Don't Get Past Middle School
LOS ANGELES - Devon Sanford’s mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer when he was in the eighth grade. After barely finishing at Los Angeles’s Henry Clay Middle School, he never enrolled in high school. Instead, he spent what should have been his freshman year caring for his mother and waiting for the police to show up asking why he wasn’t in school. No one ever came. “That was the crazy part,” he said. “Nobody called or nothing.” Although the […]
5:31 PM | "Just six Walmart heirs have more wealth than the bottom 42 percent of Americans combined."
“Just six Walmart heirs have more wealth than the bottom 42 percent of Americans combined.” - UC Berkeley’s Robert Reich, The Rise of the Non-Working Rich.
3:40 PM | Continuing the battle for open access that’s good for science, not publishers’ profits
Two developments since the last post regarding open access things for anyone interested! First, is a little interview I had with the Open Access Button folk about er, open access: Second, is that our open letter to the AAAS has spawned a second one addressed to the Society for Neuroscience, led by Erin […]
1:41 PM | Poll: What should a community ecology class cover?
This fall I will be teaching a graduate-level community ecology class for the first time. Most people would say that community ecology is one of the five or so main subdisciplines of ecology along with physiological ecology, population ecology, ecosystem … Continue reading →
1:24 PM | The use of scientific posters to disseminate research data
Do you create and present posters at scientific conferences? We thought so. Posters are one of the key ways early research is disseminated. Academic Editor, Researcher and F1000 Specialist Nicholas Rowe explains the important role posters play and why we need to pay more attention to them. In our professional and academic roles, [...]
6:03 AM | Your Brain and Video Games
This is an interesting video since it uses video games to explain how your brain works. In this instance in video games. For instance Neural Prediction or the way you estimate a ball coming towards you so to be able to catch it in time. At least before it hits you in the face. Neuroscience […]

August 19, 2014

8:35 PM | Reviewing Scales
I'm just about finished reviewing for CoNEXT (Conference on Emerging Networking Experiments and Technologies), and am starting reviewing for ITCS (Innovations in Theoretical Computer Science).  One notable variation in the process is the choice of the score scale.  For CoNEXT, the program chairs chose a 2-value scale: accept or reject.  For ITCS, the program chair chose a 9-point scale.  Scoring from 1-9 or 1-10 is not uncommon for theory conferences. I dislike both […]
6:11 PM | Learn to code while playing Minecraft Did you know that you can...
Learn to code while playing Minecraft Did you know that you can learn programming while playing a video game? A team of computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego, has developed LearnToMod, software that teaches kids introductory programming with Minecraft. Students will learn JavaScript, the essential programming language of the web, and can also earn University of California college credits, regardless of their age. “Our goal is to teach kids computer science while […]
5:52 PM | A Review of Progress.
Sometimes I go look at old copies of my CV to see the professional progress I’ve made. It’s stupid and vain, yes. But it’s meaningful to me to see how over the course of two or three years, I’ve increased my publication and grant output, I’ve changed positions and added invited lectures, etc.. I feel […]
5:04 PM | Teacher-School Match: Education Needs Long Relationships, Not 'One-Night Stands'
Teacher preparation programs should see themselves as matchmakers. We match professionals with schools and students who’ll hopefully consider their arranged partnership happy, healthy and productive. Communities benefit when new teachers share their fates with their surroundings. Matriculation and graduation are the few separation rates teacher prep programs should celebrate; in the very least, the public should expect students, schools and districts to get their dowries back. In order to […]
2:28 PM | Butterflies, beetles and banknotes: tuning colour efficiently | Athene Donald
Structural colours are more visible and vivid than those that use pigments as many examples from the natural world demonstrate. But sometimes pure white is what is requiredIn the South American rainforests, a blue flash of colour visible from hundreds of metres away is likely to signify the presence of one of the Morpho genus of butterflies. Although the colours of many animals arise from pigmentation, for Morpho and a range of other insects (including iridescent beetles) the origin of their […]
11:52 AM | Notes and impressions from the ESA meeting
I enjoyed the meeting and got a lot out of it. Thanks very much to the organizers for working so hard to make it happen. Some random thoughts and impressions: I screwed up my Ignite talk, but it was fine. … Continue reading →
11:00 AM | This Is What Science Looks Like At NC State: Colleen Doherty
Editor’s note: This post was written by Colleen Doherty, an assistant professor of molecular and structural biochemistry at NC State. The post is an entry in an ongoing series 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
9:06 AM | Using Swarm and the new Foursquare app
I promised an update on using Swarm/Foursquare, and since I’ve been doing some travelling on the last week or so, I’ve had a chance to put both apps through their paces. The first point is that I don’t use the actual Foursquare app much. I check in to places using Swarm, and only go into […]

August 18, 2014

11:17 PM | How Much Did Students Really Gain on Common Core Tests in New York? Data Don't Say
The main reason for annual standardized tests is to figure out how much kids are learning each year. But when New York released its 2014 Common Core test results on August 14, state education officials were selective in their data reporting and did not disclose actual student scores. Instead they released only the percentage of children hitting various proficiency thresholds. That makes it difficult for outsiders to understand how much New York students improved after their second year of […]
11:09 PM | Getting Kids into College is One Thing, Getting Them Through is Another
NEW ORLEANS —When Pamela Bolton searched for a middle school for her daughter seven years ago, convenience, not college, was on her mind. She ended up enrolling her daughter at a new and untested middle school called New Orleans College Prep largely because she could get there easily. But New Orleans College Prep, and its partner high school, Cohen College Prep, ended up providing much more than an easy commute. Last spring a large poster of Bolton’s daughter, Imani, then a […]
10:55 PM | Paying College Players- Cost of Attendance Stipends
The Raleigh, N.C. News and Observer had a front pager yesterday on the changes that are coming to college sports regarding paying players. There are so many issues, and so many questions, but a key one is understanding a key University concept, “the cost of attendance (COA).” Duke University’s COA for 2014 is shown below: Historically, the NCAA has prevented University’s from covering the full COA via an athletic scholarship, but the ruling in […]
6:30 PM | Lawmakers Dabble in Early Education Reform
In our recent report, Beyond Subprime Learning: Accelerating Progress in Early Education, we put forth dozens of recommendations for federal, state, and local policymakers; teacher preparation programs at colleges and universities; community organizations; and school leaders to help the field better meet the needs of young children and their families and improve access to high-quality early education opportunities. New America is just one of many groups with ideas for how to improve […]
6:22 PM | Five Years.
Today, the 18th of August, is the fifth anniversary of my quitting tobacco. According to all the web-based stuff, I’m now down to a non-smoker’s risk of stroke. About half the risk of lung cancer of a smoker, and my heart disease risk is approaching normal. The epidemiology is pretty clear: smoking is bad, and […]
5:00 PM | Should you be afraid of the Ebola threat? If you’re able...
Should you be afraid of the Ebola threat? If you’re able to read this post, chances are you don’t have to worry. Arthur Reingold, head of epidemiology at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health, puts fears of an Ebola epidemic to rest in an interview with Vox. VOX: Some airlines are enacting travel bans since the outbreak. Are they justified then? Arthur Reingold: The virus is not transmitted through coughing and sneezing, or through sitting next to someone on a bus or the […]
281 Results