Oh you crazy bloggers. How dare you actually…..discuss….a scientific finding?

We would actually encourage you to write a comment to NEJM. NEJM is well known for its devotion for scientific debates on recently published papers. That would be a normal way to debate and discuss scientific findings. We would also have a possibility to answer on an “equal ground”.

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You probably joined the umpteen-million people who watched prior US President William Jefferson Clinton stump for Barack Obama this week. You may, however, have been sort of caught up in the moment coming as it did after the infomercial. It is worth reflecting a bit more on what he had to say on the topic of making decisions from a position of knowledge. Of the importance of gathering as much information as possible.

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This would be funny if it weren’t going to be used, extensively, to defend policies which continue to block the transition and advance of younger scientists. A News bit in Nature overviews a paper [pdf] which reports on the number of publications produced by younger and older scientists. From the abstract:

Those who worry about the aging of scientists usually believe that the younger they are the more creative and productive they will be. Using a large population of 13,680 university professors in Quebec, we show that, while scientific productivity rises sharply between 28 and 40, it increases at a slower pace between 41 and 50 and stabilizes afterward until retirement for the most active researchers. The average scientific impact per paper decreases linearly until 50-55 years old, but the average number of papers in highly cited journals and among highly cited papers rises continuously until retirement. Our results clearly show for the first time the natural history of the scientific productivity of scientists over their entire career and bring to light the fact that researchers over 55 still contribute significantly to the scientific community by producing high impact papers.

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SciBlog10Mcomm-DM100.jpgEndNote and competing bibliographic software packages are an awesome contribution to the scientific enterprise. Let’s just get that straight. I am a huge fan. I’ve run across colleagues as recently as the past 2 years who do not use such products and I absolutely. cannot. believe. they. are. such. Luddites!
Endnote version X2, however, pulls a Microsoft-esque blunder in screwing with one of the fundamental features dear to this user. And they have the nerve to tell others who complained that it is the user who is just not giving this kewl new approach a chance! ‘sclowns…

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There are only a few more days left for you to participate in the DrugMonkey Blog Reader Challenge. In case you’ve managed to miss the prior posts, we are joining the other ScienceBlogs’ participation in the DonorsChoose.org Bloggers Challenge.

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Barack Obama.
The Seed editorial endorsement from Adam Bly can be found here.
An unsurprising selection, but welcome nevertheless.

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Since many of our US readers are feeling jazzed about politics right about now, it is a good time to discuss Talking Points. You, DearReader, whether in the biomedical science biz or merely interested in some aspect of biomedical science, are the first line of attack in advocating for the continued health of our federally funded science enterprises. As we’ve all learned over the past 8 or even 16 years of US politics, crafting and honing messages to convey essential themes is critical to political success. Generating a mantra-chant and drumbeat of lemming feet on a consistent and limited set of bullet point topics is the way to cut through the noise and transmit the message. Call it framing or Talking Points or whatever you like.
I have a suggestion for how scientists may wish to approach their CongressCritters.

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