I have been reading the DrugMonkey blog for(trends)

My readers will recall that I have long expressed difficulty crediting assertions that assistant professors are poorer reviewers of grant proposals.
A recent news bit in NatureJobs describes a study (I think it was a conference presentation from the wording) of paper review quality as a function of years spent reviewing.

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Welcome to the DonorsChoose Social Media Challenge for 2009! The DrugMonkey blog is challenging you, DearReader, to pony up for school kids as part of the Scienceblogs bid to out-charitable-ize our MortalBlogEnemies. Particularly those knitters, mommyblogs and of course, Discover Magazine blogs.
As I noted at the start of last year’s Challenge:

Like many (perhaps all) of my readers, I’ve been interested in certain things my entire life. Facts about the natural world. What things are. How things work. What will happen when you poke that with a stick? As luck would have it, I managed to turn this proclivity into my livelihood. Not bad. I also get to participate in a great human endeavor that lays down lasting improvements for our species and our planet. Nice. It would be great if this opportunity was available to all young children with similar interest would it not? Well, interest is great but children require a fertile environment in which to pursue their interests.

For those of you new to DonorsChoose.org you should start at this information page on the operations. You might want to review ringleader Janet’s opening post for this year as well. In short outline, school teachers (grades K-12) propose small projects for their classroom and request philanthropic donations. Anyone at all can then donate money to a project of their choice. It is easy to browse the site and gate on projects by geographical region, grade level, topic domain (science of course, but also arts, exercise, whathaveyou), total cost and a host of other selection factors. In short it is simple to find something that attracts your interest.
For this year I have selected a number of proposals for your consideration. Other Scienceblogs folks will be selecting their own slates for consideration of their readers. So take a look around at the fascinating and educational proposals that have been selected. (While I am a reasonably competitive person, let me emphasize that the only goal here is to support projects that attract you. So browse around if nothing I’ve selected for our list enthralls you…something else will.) At the very least you will find yourself fascinated by what the teacher proposals have to say about the state of educational funding…
You don’t have to be rich to participate. Every donation counts. $20. $5. $1. Whatever you can afford, it will move a project that much closer to funding.
I’ll end with a small taste of what is in store with a sample from the children you helped last year.

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