There have been some discussions lately in the science blogosphere about paper authorship in the biological/biomedical sciences, and I think it would be useful to tie those discussions together and add a few more thoughts here.

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"Thanks, Doc."

August 29, 2008

Watching Michelle Obama speak at the Democratic Convention this week was awe inspiring and hope uplifting for many Americans and others worldwide. I was feelin’ it myself. But what really hammered home the real message here, for me, was listening to various media interviews with African-American women. They explained in both humble and soaring terms how important it was for their dreams, aspirations and parental hopes that Michelle stood up there, brilliant, black, beautiful, charismatic and, let’s face it, just plain fabulous. Her strength and will as an advocate for the downtrodden, her country and her family alike was a big hit for women everywhere who finally, finally see families that are just like theirs making a serious run at the US Presidency.
This reminds me of a phenomenon experienced by a scientist with whom I am familiar.
“The conversation usually ends with ‘Thanks Doc, it means a lot’.”

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Noah Gray, previously of the Action Potential blog of Nature Neuroscience, skirmisher on the old DM, and occasional punching bag of YHN has started a new blog called Nothing’s Shocking at our mortal enemy friendly rival science-blogging-network-thingy place. I’ve found Noah to be bit less of a stiff than the usual self-important and humorless blogger types at the NPG empire so I encourage you to read, even if you normally don’t frequent NN.
More importantly, the cause of the blog move is Noah’s promotion to the flagship Nature journal. So run on over and congratulate him, eh? Good on ya, Noah!

Many of you were, like me, a little sad to hear Propter Doc, author of post doc ergo propter doc blog, sign off a few months ago. Well, Propter Doc is back, sortof.
Author “KH” has launched a new blog entitled Lecturer Notes to reflect a new phase in the academic career of the blogger-previously-known-as-propter.
Grant proposal in 250 characters or less:

Ths grnt iz vry imptnt b’cos it wl sv the wrld. I wl uze chmcl tchnks 2 slv ths problm. I nd $ 4 chmcls & slvnt & lb kt. Rezultz wl b pblshd in lolchmstry.

Propter Doc is dead, Long Live KH! (or something like that)

The National Science Foundation has issued an InfoBrief report on some interesting data on science and engineering expenditures by US research institutions for Fiscal Year 2007 [pdf is here].
One way to look at some of these data is that local institutions are stepping up to the plate.

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One Million Comments

August 27, 2008

Is it really only impressive to hit one hundred billion comments?

Anyhoo, the OverLordz are anticipating that ScienceBlog readers will offer up the millionth comment in the next few weeks. My requests to have each blog drenched in electronic confetti and start auto-playing Sousa marches has fallen on deaf ears, I’ll have you know. Ahem. To celebrate this auspicious milestone (we are all about the discussion you know) some of the Sciblings will be arranging little reader meetups to extend thanks to you, DearReaders, in person. Dates will be sometime within the range of 9/14/08-9/28/08, depending on the host’s preferences and (presumably) local reader requests.
There will also be some other stuff. (The 500K comment milestone was discussed on this page which has a handy comment counter- currently standing at 978,485 comments.)
Michigan folks, check in with PalMD.
Oklahoma City peeps, go see ERV, (currently 9/16 at Hideaway Pizza).
North Carolina (see Coturnix) has the most Sb’ers and the biggest party including a back-stage zoo tour.
Minnesotans, stick to Greg Laden’s blog or float up on Pharyngula.

PSA: Blogging an Abortion

August 27, 2008

I cannot look my political and public health self in the eye if I do not sack up on this one. I endorse the blog format for conveying personal stories of a potentially embarrassing nature if they have the potential to demystify healthcare procedures. Anything that helps people to seek out medical care where there might otherwise be mental barriers is a GoodThing. Major, major props to Abel Pharmboy for liveblogging his vasectomy, Janet for blogging her mammogram (with additional public health followup) and Zuska for blogging a D&C.
Today I direct you to a somewhat more controversial topic.

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