Posts

February 22, 2015

+
6:17 PM | The problem of expertise: The Brighton/English Touring Theatre production of Stoppard’s Arcadia
The play Arcadia by Tom Stoppard‘s links entropy and chaos theory, the history of english landscape gardens, romantic literature and idiocies of academia. I’ve always thought of it as Stoppard’s most successful “clever” play, the one that best combines the disparate material he is bringing together into a coherent whole. Rosencrantz and Guildernstern are Dead feels more straightforward, more accessible, although I don’t doubt […]
+
5:29 PM | Experiment.com
A for-profit company called Experiment connects researchers with public donors offers an alternative model for Life Science research. As you can see in the table below, this model could lead to cost-cutting in research and over-employment of junior academics. It could also lead to a qualitatively new and exciting form of public science engagement. I’m […]
+
1:35 PM | Right-Wing Brain Surgeons: The Case of Surgical Neurology International
Last week we learned about the strange goings-on at two journals edited by the autism researcher, Johnny Matson. Matson and his team 'stepped down' after accusations of improper peer review processes. This reminded me of another case of unusual behavior at an academic journal: Surgical Neurology International (SNI), published by Medknow/Wolters Kluwer. I've been meaning to blog about this for a while, and now seems like a good time. The story of SNI is rather more complex than the Mats

February 21, 2015

+
2:12 PM | “What Does the Police Say?”
One day I received a call on my home line. I do not like calls from strangers, but the guy knew my name. So I started talking to him. I assumed that it was some official business. He told me that their company monitors Internet activities, and that my computer is emitting viruses into the […]
+
2:10 PM | PamPam
Have you ever solved a CalcuDoku puzzle, or a MathDoku puzzle? Maybe you have, but you do not know it. Many incarnations of this puzzle are published under different names. The MIT’s Tech publishes it as TechDoku. What distinguishes this puzzle type from most others is that it is trademarked. The registered name is KenKen. […]
+
4:26 AM | Chicago School Board Member Under Investigation Wins Education Industry Award
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Chicago school board member embroiled in controversy over her investments in companies that do business with the district received a standing ovation and a “Friend of the Education Industry” award Thursday at an education technology conference. Deborah Quazzo, founder and managing partner of GSV Advisors, a venture capital firm, earned the honor from the Education Industry Association, a Washington, D.C., trade organization. Her dual roles as public official and […]

February 20, 2015

+
11:10 PM | Oklahoma: History is Too Liberal
And then there was the time Oklahoma just decided that it wasn’t going to teach Advanced Placement History anymore because it turns out AP History is too liberal. According to a piece by Caitlin MacNeal at Talking Points Memo: An Oklahoma House committee on Monday approved a bill taking aim at the new AP U.S. History framework, which conservatives have decried as unpatriotic and negative, the Tulsa World reported. State Rep. Dan Fisher (R) introduced a bill at the beginning of the […]
+
6:12 PM | ucsciencetoday:The Lawrence Livermore Microbial Detection Array...
ucsciencetoday:The Lawrence Livermore Microbial Detection Array can detect, within 24 hours, viruses and bacteria with the use of 388 thousand probes that fit on a one inch wide, three inch long glass slide."All the DNA sequences that it corresponds to, those thousands of viruses and bacteria are printed in this glass slide. So, it’s really a lab on the chip."That’s biologist Crystal Jaing, part of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory team that developed this breakthrough […]
+
3:52 PM | Open Science News – 20 February 2015
Brief news from the world of open science: Tomorrow is International Open Data Day See if there are any events near you! A science BarCamp (unconference) in Hamburg on March 24 Great comprehensive list of open science events in Europe Average article processing charge (in GBP) paid by UK universities for [...]
+
11:37 AM | Friday links: sharks and pythons and unicorns, oh my!
Also: articles about women in science, economics as the most confusing subject, and risk-reward tradeoffs in grants Mammal March Madness is about to return! The four divisions are Mighty Mini Mammals, Mythical Mammals (the photo seems to indicate unicorns will … Continue reading →
+
11:03 AM | Ostrich Knees
Dear Dr. Jeal, Why is it that when a mammal kneels down its legs bend forwards, but when an ostrich bends down its legs bend back? – Junior Sophs. The question you ask is quite curious, but I don’t think you’re on the right track, Saying “knees of a mammal bend forward, while knees of an ostrich bend back.” But I quite see the cause of your problem, and it’s really quite simple you see, As the bend in the leg of an ostrich is more like an ankle than knee, The […]
+
10:36 AM | My IlumiNasyon talk!
+
3:20 AM | Fitbits!
How do you motivate me to do something I don't want to? Turn it into a game or competition! For Valentine's Day, I bought Fitbit flexs for Phyllis and myself. A somewhat courageous choice of present that seems to have worked out well. Fitbits are wearable devices that can track your activity (exercise, sleep patterns, etc).So, I now know that walking  from my home to Macquarie University in the morning through the Lane Cove National Park is 4.8 km and takes 5,700 steps (which puts me along […]
+
2:51 AM | Mind those sausage-stealing kookaburras
I was out at the Sydney Institute of Marine Sciences (SIMS) last Friday. I gave a guest lecture to finish up the SIMS-CMB Summer Course on Marine Microbial Ecology. Suhelen Egan at UNSW has been organizing this course for the last few years, this has been the first time I've actually been able to make it. It was a fun day, Martin from my group was able to get a portable flow sorter setup and the students were able to sort cyanobacterial cells from Sydney Harbour water they had collected that […]

February 19, 2015

+
10:01 PM | "We found that there is a narrow window where supermassive stars...
"We found that there is a narrow window where supermassive stars could explode completely instead of becoming a supermassive black hole — no one has ever found this mechanism before" says Ke-Jung Chen, a postdoctoral researcher at UCSC No this isn’t a cross section of a human brain. Its actually a simulation of what an ancient star death could have looked like. Scientists think that these stars left no remnant behind after they exploded whereas today’s supermassive stars leave […]
+
6:30 PM | Five Things to Check when Reading a Science News Story
Is there more than meets the eye? Frances Vaughan has some guidance on how to separate fact from fiction when reading about science in the news. For many of us, newspapers and news websites are our primary sources of information about new scientific research. While these are great resources, it can sometimes be difficult to…
+
5:59 PM | Crows are smart… like, really smart
This week in Animal Behavior, we’re talking about learning and cognition. One of my favorite things at this point is to shatter the misconceptions about what ‘smart’ is, and let students compete in similar tasks to test species. This helps to point out many species are incredibly good at solving puzzles– sometimes even better than […]
+
5:38 PM | "There are several different ways that migrant farmworkers are categorized that play into their work..."
“There are several different ways that migrant farmworkers are categorized that play into their work and their lives and their bodies not being valued as much. One example is how legal professionals or the media talk about “skilled” and “unskilled” labor. Strawberry pickers are classified as unskilled labor, but my experience picking next to them is that they are very skilled and they are very fast, whereas I was very unskilled in that situation. Our society […]
+
5:15 PM | Poll: What is your risk/reward preference in science funding?
Funding rates in the US are declining. Even if NSF gets a little boost to its budget, the situation will remain grim in the United States and many places beyond. For every funded project, there are many other meritorious and important projects that go unfunded. At least in my subfields in the USA, government funding tends to…
+
2:23 PM | What Happens When Computers, Not Teachers, Pick What Students Learn?
NEW YORK - Teacher John Garuccio wrote a multiplication problem on a digital whiteboard in a corner of an unusually large classroom at David A. Boody Intermediate School in Brooklyn. About 150 sixth graders are in this math class — yes, 150 — but Garuccio’s task was to help just 20 of them, with a lesson tailored to their needs. He asked, “Where does the decimal point go in the product?” After several minutes of false starts, a boy offered the correct answer. […]
+
11:55 AM | How do you learn new skills in R?
As I wrote about yesterday, I have slowly shifted from using Systat and SAS to using R. I now do all of my analyses and make my figures in R, but still regularly bump up against things I don’t know … Continue reading →
+
6:59 AM | The hunt is on for new antibiotics | Jenny Rohn
Global antibiotic resistance is imperilling our existence. We need clever ways to find new bug-beating drugsIn 1945, Alexander Fleming, the scientist who first observed the action of a new bacteria-fighting substance on a mouldy Petri dish, sounded a sober note. I imagine it may have clashed uneasily with the gala occasion: Fleming’s Nobel acceptance speech for co-discovering penicillin. After describing the science behind his finding, he warned: It is not difficult to make microbes […]
Editor's Pick
+
4:00 AM | Bloom where you’re planted
We started together at NIP, uprooted from someplace. She took about seven months from a mere cutting to flower. I, on the other hand, am taking forever.

February 18, 2015

+
9:24 PM | Does Science Produce Too Many PhD Graduates?
In a new paper, a group of MIT researchers argue that science is producing PhDs in far greater numbers than there are available tenured jobs for them to fill. The authors, engineers Richard C. Larson, Navid Ghaffarzadegan, and Yi Xue, start out by noting that The academic job market has become more and more competitive... nowadays, less than 17% of new PhDs in science, engineering and health-related fields find tenure-track positions within 3 years after graduation. But why? Are we sim
Editor's Pick
+
5:57 PM | Palaeontology in the 21st Century
Palaeontology is the study of the history of life on Earth. Whenever I get asked what I do, my answer always gets a predictable response: either “Oh, like Ross from Friends?” “So Jurassic Park?” or “So you dig dinosaurs?” Neither of these are close to what myself, my colleagues, or the broader field are doing. Well, apart from the digging dinos. We have to have some perks (not that I’ve actually ever been on a dig…). What I want to highlight are […]
+
5:52 PM | kqedscience:Banana Slugs: Secret of the Slime | Deep Look YOU’VE...
kqedscience:Banana Slugs: Secret of the Slime | Deep Look YOU’VE BEEN SLIMED. Beneath the towering redwoods lives one of the most peculiar creatures in California: the banana slug. They’re coated with a liquid crystal ooze that solves many problems slugs face in the forest — and maybe some of our own. Watch our new “Deep Look” video:http://youtu.be/mHvCQSGanJgThe beloved banana slug! Janet Leonard and Brooke Wagner, both of the University of California-Santa Cruz, […]
+
5:32 PM | Doing science sitting down, and other thoughts about universal design
I’m writing this post one-handed. Last week, I cut my finger badly in the lab, and I’m wearing a splint to protect the tendon from further damage. This marks the second time in my academic career that I’ve had an injury that involved some form of modified work or accommodation (the first was a […]
+
1:01 PM | What Happens When You Flip an Education Conference? We're About to Find Out
You’ve heard of the flipped classroom. Now comes the flipped conference. And, appropriately, it is being planned for those who want to learn more about blended learning. Blended Learning Newsletter This story is a preview of our weekly Blended Learning email newsletter. You can read the whole newsletter or sign up below. About 300 educators are expected to attend the Colorado Blended and Online Learning Flipped conference this week. In a flipped classroom experience, students […]
+
1:00 PM | Should ecologists teach writing?
I could start this post with a back-in-my-day story and bemoan the state of student writing today but I think you can probably fill in the blanks without me hashing out a familiar tale*. Sufficed to say for a ecological methods course I team teach, we’re finding that the quality of writing from the students…
+
12:43 PM | Under the influence: how insecticides affect jumping spider personalities (Part 2)
This post is written by former PhD student Raphaël Royauté, and is a plain-language summary for our most recent article titled: Under the influence: sublethal exposure to an insecticide affects personality expression in a jumping spider It’s well known that personalities can shift and change when we are ‘under the influence’ of chemicals, be it […]
123456789
259 Results