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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Huffington Post blogger David Sloan Wilson wonders why the Huffington Post has no section for “Science”.

I am reminded of this cover every time I visit the Huffington Post and see the words “Politics,” “Media,” “Business,” “Entertainment,” and “Living” on the top banner. These comprise the Huffington Post’s view of the world. Where, I would like to know, is “Science?”

Where indeed?

Read the rest of this entry »

Huffington Post blogger David Sloan Wilson wonders why the Huffington Post has no section for “Science”.

I am reminded of this cover every time I visit the Huffington Post and see the words “Politics,” “Media,” “Business,” “Entertainment,” and “Living” on the top banner. These comprise the Huffington Post’s view of the world. Where, I would like to know, is “Science?”

Where indeed?

Read the rest of this entry »

The Today Show took up the vaccination issue today and used the recent San Diego measles situation as the lure.
Matt Lauer served up a softball for his physician guest with this remark:

It seems to me the priority should be putting an end to this debate over whether these vaccines cause other conditions

Read the rest of this entry »

Monomaniacal Scientists

March 21, 2008

Female Science Professor wrote yesterday about the concept that “serious” scientists should be “monomaniacal” about their work, in the sense of elevating science above all other pursuits in life, and spending virtually all of one’s time and effort on science to the exclusion of all else. In response to one of her many asshole male colleagues’ comments that “he wished more women grad students had ‘monomania’ when it came to research/Science”, she rightly points out that this is a pernicious idea, and one that serves to reinforce shitty gender norms:

Read the rest of this entry »

Writedit ponders a recent Nature piece on PIs who hold largish numbers of awards and dollars from the NIH. The post from writedit covers some recent policy proposals seeking to limit the total number of awards any one PI can hold.

Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome to PalMD!

March 20, 2008

PalMD has joined Mark and Chris Hoofnagle at denialism blog. For those who were not already fans of the old WhiteCoat Underground blog:

PalMD is a practicing internist in the Midwestern United States. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, which means that some medical school was running short on off-site teaching faculty. Quite often, patients eschew advice based on hard, scientific work, and ask him about the latest miracle cure. This makes him cranky. He aims to change the world, one reader at a time.

I think you will enjoy what PalMD has to say. Go Read.

Offended (Updated)

March 20, 2008

According to this online dictionary, offended is defined, in part, thusly:

(v. tr.) 1. To cause displeasure, anger, resentment, or wounded feelings in.

I’ve been thinking about the concept of giving / taking offense and/or the state of being offended lately because of a bunch of conversations online which I will not enumerate. Recent features of our US Presidential campaigning, ditto. Some additional scenarios in my real world existence, you betcha. Suffice it to say that I’ve been considering the evidence, such as it is, that has apparently been taken as justification for taking offense in a number of scenarios. I have found it wanting. I have also been considering a scenario or two in which it appears that one of my correspondents feels that I am unjustifiably “taking offense” because I am “too sensitive”. This makes me howl. Because I very rarely find myself in the emotional state that is, to all appearances from others, properly considered the “offended” state. Still, this failure to understand what is apparently a basic feature of human nature makes one step back and consider.
I have come to the conclusion that I have a modest deficit in understanding the concept of “offended”.

Read the rest of this entry »

Two outstanding science bloggers, Geeka and Katie, have just returned from job interviews, Geeka for a post-doc and Katie for a faculty position. They have posted their fascinating and valuable impressions of their experiences at their blogs.
They have also each thanked PhysioProf for earlier advice that they considered valuable in their interviewing, and I am understandably pleased to have been helpful to them. Below the fold I highlight some of what they say, and amplify on a few things, but I urge readers to visit their blogs for their full stories.

Read the rest of this entry »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 38 other followers