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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