Greg and Steve (not Adam and Eve) both blogged a recent paper by Degenhardt and (20 other) colleagues in PLoS Medicine.
Steve:

According to a new survey the USA has highest level of illegal cocaine and cannabis use in the world. Thank goodness the War for Drugs is working so well! Ohh… wait… that’s the war ON drugs and it’s supposed to protect us from ourselves and our nasty drug habits.

Greg asks:

Does the observed age difference (younger cohorts with more drug use) reflect a reporting bias or a reality? It seems that over the last several decades the evidence that younger people are using more drugs is so often reported that all people must be using all drugs by now, but they aren’t! Do studies that show declines in drug use get less press, or go unfinished? (Is there a reporting bias or a confirmation bias at work here?)

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Readers of the old blog on WordPress will recall that I enlisted BikeMonkey to cover the sports-doping beat a time or two on the old blog. Today’s news pried him away from his political ranting commenting for a guest appearance. -DM


Dave Stoller: “Everybody cheats. I just didn’t know”.



BikeMonkey GuestPost

Professional cyclist Floyd Landis has lost his final appeal of his conviction for testosterone doping during the 2006 Tour de France. Most readers will be familiar with the backstory. If not, click the two prior links and then head on over to the trust but verify blog for the pro-Landis perspective.
I’m motivated to discuss this stuff not just because I follow professional cycling now and again; it has a lot of parallels with science misconduct.

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Now the PP’s been a little frisky this week. Gettin’ up the noses of the postdocs, Open Access Nozdrul (twice! although curiously not a bill nor a Bora in sight), dreamers who want lyrical masterpieces instead of geeky science articles. Not to mention the Care Bears fans.
So I’m going to let you in on a little hint on getting your own back. With no further delay…

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Are there any experimental scientists out there advocating for and using open notebooks? Not navel-gazing theoreticians that sit around drinking coffee and making shit up, but actual real scientists: people fucking with shit in a laboratory. Because frankly, “Open Notebook” sounds like the kind of batshit wackaloonery that people who don’t even know what a real lab notebook looks like would be propounding.

People are still going on about the completely absurd idea of “opening” working lab notebooks by publishing them on the Web?
Who the fuck wants to read someone else’s lab notebook? I want to see digested, processed, analyzed data, with bad experiments thrown out. Maybe bloggers have the time to wade through the piles of shit in other people’s lab notebooks to find the meaningful nuggets, but working scientists do not.
And if we are talking about publishing curated, analyzed datasets on the Web independently of peer-reviewed publication, well this ain’t a “notebook”, and calling it “Open Notebook” is fucking stupid.

Jonah Leherer has an interesting post up at The Frontal Cortex in which he discusses the very stereotyped structure of a scientific research article:

The vast, vast majority of science articles follow the same basic pattern: abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion. * * * There are no stories, no narrative, no amusing anecdotes. * * * Rather, there’s just line after line of jargon leaden prose in the passive tense.

Jonah is not particularly pleased by this:

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This is a followup to an older entry I recently reposted following a post from the Mad Hatter on alternate careers. I thought perhaps this was relevant to the ongoing discussion we’ve been having about postdoctoral views on the dismal prospects for transition to independence.


Still not done with the issue of nontraditional entries to independent research positions. “Independent” here being somewhat narrowly defined as the ability to submit and hold research grant funding (not just fellowships) as a Principal Investigator. I’ve been advocating postdocs to look beyond the traditional route to independence, i.e., applying for hard money salary, tenure track assistant professorships (with startup funds!) advertised halfway across the country. Physioprof is most familiar with the more traditional route to independence but is, I hope, being won over a bit. S/he asks:

Drugmonkey, if you personally have taken a “non-OldeSkool” route, would you mind summarizing your path?

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