A little while ago Isis the Scientist posted a reader question about whether an academic trainee should broach mental illness issues with his or her PI. As Isis said, it is one heck of a question. To be honest, Isis alluded to the topic in an email prior to writing her post and I basically had no good suggestions.
Today, PalMD has posted a letter from another academic trainee who suffers from depression. I encourage you PIs in my audience to go over there and comment.
Some of the reasons I view this as an incredibly difficult situation are after the jump

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Okay, I did a little snooping around our hit stats and discovered that we could use some targeted clicking to push a couple of the blogs that are donating their June payout to the Doctors Without Borders / Medicins sans Frontieres over the next pay threshold. So if you all read a couple of extra archived posts, maybe send one to a few friends, Twitt it or whatnot we’ll be doing well. If you are a SuperReader, you might think of putting a post, old or new, from one of these blogs on the Reader’s Picks list.
First up is:

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A small note of thanks for *reading this month DearReader since the blog is participating in the End the Silence campaign to raise awareness of sexual violence.
Scicurious points out that this is just the beginning.
Sheril Kirshenbaum has a new post, with soundtrack, up over at The Intersection.
I’ll also draw your attention to the www.stopsilence.com website, spearheaded by Arikia Millikin.
*We’ve made an incremental traffic payout threshold in the last day or so and would have little chance of making the next one by the end of today. So you might as well devote your last-minute clicking to other blogs. Perhaps I’ll be able to round up a list of where you can do the most good a bit later.

The President of the University of California system oversees one heck of a lot of NIH-funded research. As we have discussed the biomedical research enterprise has been put under pressure not just by the prior interval of flat-lined (un-doubled, actually) NIH budgets.
President Mark Yudof raises some interesting issues in a video to his University.

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Here we go again. Celebrity dies at a slightly unusual age from an acute failure of essential bodily physiological competence and I’m thinking about drugs. My man @abelpharmboy sent me a note yesterday anticipating the same thing I did when learning of Michael Jackson’s heart attack and demise. [Update: Abel Pharmboy’s post on Demerol and cardiac arrest] Now of course our resident expert in the relevant physiological systems cautioned that I was perhaps jumping the gun. To which I confessed a hammer/nail orientation. Still.
Sure enough, at least one person close to MJ is railing about the drugs.

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This would be totally cool. No, really.
As noted over at Grrl Scientist’s blog, Quark Expeditions is running a contest to select a blogger to join them for a trip to Antarctica.

Quark Expeditions is searching for an Official Blogger to join a voyage to Antarctica. Do you have a passion for the polar regions? A commitment to the environment? An insatiable urge to photograph penguins?

Hello? A blogger who specializes in photographs and ecology and genes and behavior and all bloody things bird? Who else could possible be better than Sb’s own Grrl Scientist at blogging an expedition? I mean, d00d, she even handles cold weather!
As of today I notice that Grrl is sitting in second place with 243 votes, close behind the current leader at 251. The two next-best placed folks are at 118 and 100 votes. That’s it? A few hundred votes* is going to decide this thing? Get cracking people! Go over there and vote for Grrl.
*The need to register in order to vote may be cutting down the numbers a bit so be prepared to make a few extra clicks. It’ll be worth it!

So one thing you can request of your Senator or Congress person is quite simple. Does your delegate believe in these three principles? Has s/he signed the petition yet?

The Pro-Test Petition
We the undersigned believe:

  1. That animal research has contributed and continues to contribute to major advances in the length and quality of our lives. It remains vital to understanding basic biological processes and for the development of new treatments and therapies such as antibiotics, vaccines, organ transplants, and cancer medicines.
  2. That animal research is morally justifiable provided animal welfare remains a high priority and no valid non-animal alternatives are available.
  3. That violence, intimidation and harassment of scientists and others involved in animal research is neither a legitimate means of protest, nor morally justified.