Posts

September 19, 2014

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8:49 PM | On Paying Postdocs Whatever for Whatevs
There was a discussion on Twitter regarding postdoctoral compensation that veered off into the assertion that it is "easy" for PIs to give a 20% bump to their postdocs if they wanted to. It eventually incorporated some allegation that particular subspecialties (like computer/informatics jockeys) required a bonus bit of pay above normal for postdocs. Eventually […]
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4:58 PM | People of science are just like other people. Horrible.
Go read comments from Professor Isis-the-scientist today: Science Has A Thomas Jefferson Problem... Still, this doesn’t change the fact that the notion that “Science Has a Sexual Assault Problem” makes me salty. Life has a sexual assault problem. 26% of women scientists are assaulted in the field, but about that many women in general report […]
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4:51 PM | A Simple Question About Vendors of Science
Most laboratories buy stuff that they need to do their research. It varies. From latex gloves to pipette tips. From mice to bunnies. From cocaine to ABD-xld500BZN....whatever that is. Operant boxes to sequencers. Stuff. All of these cost money which generally comes from the laboratory budgets. Startup, unattached funds if you have 'em and, for […]

September 18, 2014

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6:54 PM | Hard truths for supposed neuroscientists
This is the truest and best thing I have read on the internet today. @MyTChondria @drugmonkeyblog :O Neuroscience doesn't make sense without behavior!!!! You just do cell bio accidentally using neurons! — Scienerdorkeekist (@TheIntroNertPhD) September 18, 2014
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2:55 PM | Tough love
I got tough-love comments only about twice in my postgraduate academic training prior to becoming a PI. Once was from a friend in a far different graduate program when I was in the depths of writing my dissertation. This one is in my top 5 life touch-stone conversations I would guess. Basically it boiled down […]
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12:33 AM | No, postdoc, your fellowship doesn't give you a right to continued salary from the PI
I got it mostly out of my system on Twitter but there IS a lesson in this idiocy from today. Do not EVER assume that just because [insert some assumption you made up inside your own head] that your postdoctoral mentor is going to continue to support you beyond some timepoint agreed upon explicitly. That […]

September 16, 2014

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3:42 PM | NIH Grant Strategy: Just keep the ball in play
We're at the point of the fiscal year where things can get really exciting. The NIH budget year ends Sept 30 and the various Institutes and Centers need to balance up their books. They have been funding grants throughout the year on the basis of the shifting sands of peer review with an attempt to […]
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3:07 PM | NPRonNIH continues: The Postdoc
More from Richard Harris at NPR: Too Few University Jobs For America's Young Scientists That's because if you want a career in academia, it's almost essential as a postdoc to make a splashy discovery and get the findings published in a top scientific journal. Hubbard-Lucey is working on an experiment that she hopes will be […]

September 15, 2014

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6:39 PM | Thought of the Day on how the Public Views Scientists
The comments that are submitted to the NPR pieces on NIH, NIH-funded science and academic careers by Richard Harris (see here, here, here) are interesting. One of the things that is immediately picked up by the typical reader is the conceit we scientists express about having a job paid for by taxpayer funds, that allows […]
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4:54 PM | On Feminist 0.6 thinking
Look, it's a long slog to make yourself a decent person. I once wrote a fairly popular blog post entitled "I am". It contained passages such as I am a friend. A friend to women who I met when I was 5 years old, ones I met in high school, college, grad school. Women I […]
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4:10 PM | Scientists "cut corners", eh, NPR?
The latest in the NIH/science focused series from Richard Harris is: Patients Vulnerable When Cash-Strapped Scientists Cut Corners It hits on some of the expected themes. Including: Most of the experimental ALS drugs, it turns out, undergo very perfunctory testing in animals before moving into human tests — based on flimsy evidence. In hopes of […]

September 13, 2014

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3:04 PM | A simple question (or two) on training graduate students
This one is directed at my Readers who have supervised graduate students through the PhD in their laboratory. Have you ever, at any point, thought that you should not train more than replacement value (n=1)? If not, why not? What influences in your life have shaped your decision to train graduate students? What is YOUR […]

September 10, 2014

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5:57 PM | NPR on the NIH Grant situation
In the event that you missed it, NPR has been running stories on the current situation with NIH-funded biomedical research in the US. These seem to be mostly the work of Richard Harris, so many thanks to him for telling these stories to the public. You will note that these are not issues new to […]

September 09, 2014

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12:32 PM | Driverless automobiles
Driverless cars will not be accepted until most people who remember Windows95 are dead.

September 05, 2014

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3:05 PM | Thought on the public funding of science
Simple truth of the recentEbola hysteria and the ensuing media coverage of scientists working on hemorrhagic viruses. Approximately 85% of bioscience now wishing ill on a whole lot of people so as to draw attention to their scientific domain.

September 04, 2014

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3:04 PM | The good old days of science
@Odysseyblog science pre 1990s sounds awful. — Bashir3000 (@Bashir9ist) September 4, 2014

September 03, 2014

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3:18 PM | Attention FLOWbies!
A solution for you! There are days when a Dothraki academic referencing system holds a certain appeal. pic.twitter.com/e3K8DZRco9 — David Tollerton (@dtollerton) August 4, 2014

September 02, 2014

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11:40 PM | Repost: The War on Drugs Didn't Work, Eh?
There's a strawman-tilting screed up over at substance.com from my current favorite anti-drug-war-warrior Maia Szalavitz. She's trying to assert that Trying to Scare Teens Away From Drugs Doesn’t Work. In this she cites a few outcome studies of interventions that last over relatively short periods of time and address relatively small populations. I think the […]
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10:49 PM | A dump journal is not an indiscriminate garbage heap
I use the phrase "credible application" a lot when I talk about grant submission. It holds true for manuscript submission as well. I suspect some people may think that what they perceive as a "dump journal" of last resort will not require the most polished of manuscripts. This isn't true in my experience. Dump journal […]
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9:30 PM | Soundtrack for getting your Reviewer #3 on
No summary available for this post.

September 01, 2014

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4:09 PM | Reflecting
One of the more awesome and fun parts of running this blog for so long is watching you all progress in your lives and careers. Many of you started commenting in stages far removed from your current places. I've seen struggling grad students achieve the PhD, (dis)gruntled postdocs win a tenure track job...or go do […]

August 31, 2014

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3:59 PM | Writing Process
I start a paper draft very early in the process. Sometimes it is started before even a single bit of data has been collected. It starts, often, with some literature that I am reading that starts to gel an idea. So I'll jot down the author/date and some words related to my thinking at the […]

August 29, 2014

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6:53 PM | Exposure IS training
from a Twitt: @drugmonkeyblog Actually PI #1 is passing around drafts of upcoming R01 renewal. So there's exposure, but not formal "training". — Kate Stafford (@kastacholamine) August 29, 2014 Let me explain something to you trainees. You are not undergraduate students anymore. You are not given a syllabus, quizzes and office-hour responses to "Is this […]
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6:22 PM | Professor Isis on Trainees and Writing
At Isis the Scientist blog: My perception is that graduate students and postdocs have a skewed view of what constitutes scientific productivity. It is very easy at that stage to feel “productive” by going to the lab and generating data because, typically, they feel confident in the experimental skills they’ve established by the time they’re […]

August 27, 2014

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2:52 PM | Thought of the Day
Cling fiercely to what you want to do with your life and what kind of person you want to be. View it through your expectations of yourself and your view of what constitutes a good person. Defend that against all comers.
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