As usual, Female Science Professor has an outstanding post up this morning. Unfortunately, however, this one is not about the the trials-and-tribulations or joys-and-pleasures of academic science. Rather it describes a terrible situation that increasingly faces her students, and that is only going to get worse, and worse, and worse:

Several of my graduate and undergraduate students have recently had their lives disrupted because their apartments were in houses or apartment buildings that went into foreclosure. Some have already had to find a new place and move, and some have to move within the next 1-2 months.
* * *
Even without the current mortgage crisis in the U.S., students are too often the victims of irresponsible or even unethical landlords, as I well know from my own experience with an avaricious, grasping, duplicitous, thieving scoundrel of a landlord when I was in graduate school. And now this. In addition to the problems that make the news, the mortgage crisis has generated a cascade of lost time and productivity that affects graduate and undergraduate students, and all those who work with them.

Of course, this kind of thing is just the beginning, and it ain’t just grad students who it is happening to. If you are not comfortable with honest, angry language, don’t read below the fold.

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Experimental Biology 2008

March 28, 2008

Any of y’all blogonauts attending EB 2008 ? If we get quorum we can schedule a little social or something. drop me a line

drugmnky-ATAZ-gmail-DOTTYDOT-com

The past few years in NIH-funded research land have been peppered liberally with cries for “translational” research. The notion is that while the prior decades of research have been excellent at generating basic science observations, progress in using this information to improve health care has been insufficient. The reaction, of course, has been to revamp the NIH funding to try and enhance the degree to which research directly related to improved health care is supported. This has had the dual results of irritating basic scientists and revealing a rather spotty infrastructure of available physicians who also do biomedical research.
Apparently one basic biomedical research institution has decided to enthusiastically back this translational trend by starting a medical school devoted entirely to physician researchers.

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Over at Medical Writing, Editing & Grantsmanship I noticed a commenter musing:

I’d be interested to know how many readers of this blog have actual formal training in the task of review (here I make a strong distinction from training for the task of editing). I will venture to say the answer is none. We learn to review through experience and the process of trial and error. End result is review tends to be a highly idiosyncratic activity where we can rarely predict with any degreee of certainty the outcomes of the peer review process.

Well I don’t know about “formal” training, but I certainly received some informal training in manuscript review from a postdoctoral mentor. The commenter, Greg Cuppan, has a great point when it comes to grant review.

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Over at Medical Writing, Editing & Grantsmanship I noticed a commenter musing:

I’d be interested to know how many readers of this blog have actual formal training in the task of review (here I make a strong distinction from training for the task of editing). I will venture to say the answer is none. We learn to review through experience and the process of trial and error. End result is review tends to be a highly idiosyncratic activity where we can rarely predict with any degreee of certainty the outcomes of the peer review process.

Well I don’t know about “formal” training, but I certainly received some informal training in manuscript review from a postdoctoral mentor. The commenter, Greg Cuppan, has a great point when it comes to grant review.

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In a recent post Uncertain Chad opines that a “very good reason” for the “veil of confidentiality surrounding tenure decisions” is so that external referees will be free to derail someone’s career with unsubstantiated accusations of scientific misconduct. This is utter malarkey. In the multiplicity of reasons for confidentiality, good or bad, this is possibly the worst.

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We have discussed various aspects of what you need to do to secure a tenure-track job offer: CV, job talk, interviewing, etc. You’ve done well with all of this stuff, and you have one or more offers. Now let’s discuss how to negotiate the particulars of the offer, to best maximize your chances of ultimate success.

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