More on Neurotree

November 30, 2007

I had a note before on the site which is databasing neuroscientists’ training genealogies. The masters of Neurotree have put up a growth chart which shows that additions continue to accelerate each quarter. Some of the discussion under my prior post seemed to find this a mere interesting curiosity. I have been thinking about this as I’ve browsed around on the site and come to a different conclusion. Read the rest of this entry »

A little discussion over at Young Female Scientist reminded me of the suggestion in a Nature editorial that this summer’s RFI from the NIH to solicit input on the peer review and grant funding process drummed up about 2,000 responses.[Update 12/05/07: This ppt from Tabak claims about 2600 responses to the RFI.]

Going by the usual ratios that comments to blogs represent maybe 10% of readers at best, well, YFS alone must have a fairly large population of disgruntled grad students and postdocs reading her blog. The number of ScienceWoman, Female Science Professor and similar blogs must have another huge population of women scientists who have at least some objections to the WayThingsAreDone in NIH land. Read the rest of this entry »

The NIMH is soliciting comment on it’s draft Strategic Plan (actual pdf of the draft here) that will “serve as a guide to the Institute for advancing mental health science over the next 3-5 years.”

A few things from the draft: Read the rest of this entry »

I’d been wondering what was going on with the infamous MIT denial-of-tenure case (blogging here, here, here), seeing as the June 30 kick-out deadline had long passed. A recent correspondence to Nature puts us on the track. James Sherley has apparently moved to Boston Biomedical Research Institute, an:

…independent, nonprofit scientific research institute dedicated to basic biomedical research to promote the understanding, prevention and treatment of a wide range of illnesses, including cancer, heart failure, stroke, diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease.


has over 100 biomedical researchers, including 27 faculty members, tackling complex questions about how the human body works at the cellular and molecular level.

Good for him.

I previously noted an interesting response of one of my scientific Societies to CSR Director Scarpa’s request for them to identify/recommend some senior scientists to empanel on study section. I was quite pleased with the approach the President had taken, I had expected a more straight-up response as requested (as another of my Societies chose to do). This particular society has now gone one additional step forward and created a “Peer Review Task Force”. Their mission? Read the rest of this entry »

The PhysioProf Conundrum

November 23, 2007

Having been infected by the establish your own scientific eponym meme, I present for your satisfaction the PhysioProf Conundrum.

The PhysioProf Conundrum posits that the amount of time spent in a faculty meeting discussing a topic is inversely proportional to the extent to which discussion can lead to an effectual decision. Huge amounts of time are spent in faculty meetings opining bombastically on the wisdom of already-made high-level administrative faits accomplit. Minimal amounts of time are spent on key decisions such as faculty hiring, promotion, and tenure.

There is also Carter’s Corollary to the PhysioProf Conundrum, which holds that the amount of time spent in a faculty meeting discussing a high-level administrative fait accomplit is directly proportional to how long ago that fait accomplit occurred.


November 21, 2007

Professor, Dr. or Mr./Mrs./Ms.?

ScienceWoman discusses an unsubtle sexism in academic address, namely the fact that:

A significant portion of my students address me as “Mrs. ScienceWoman” despite my repeated email signatures, etc. to the contrary. On the other hand, the lecturer with an M.S. next door to me is constantly addressed as “Dr. Lecturer.” Guess what gender “Dr. Lecturer” is?

FemaleScienceProfessor had a similar post a while back: Read the rest of this entry »