Random thoughts of the week

May 27, 2011

What is the point of NIH having dual assignment of grant applications if it ends up being a huge negotiating hassle to even get the second IC to consider picking up the award if the primary passes on it? And how many successful secondary pickups of applications are there?

I really should apologize to my readers who get their feelings hurt when 1) I bash GlamourMag science and 2) CPP bashes society journal level science. I just couldn’t figure out how to make it something other than a nonpology. So the nonpology version is, sorry dudes, sorry that your feelings are hurt if there is some implication that you are a trivial fame-chasing, probably data faking GlamourHound. also, if the ranting that I trigger from certain commenters has the effect of making you feel as though you are a trivial, meaningless speedbump who is wasting NIH dollars better spent on RealScientists who do RealGrandeWorkEleven. The fact is, CPP and I are in relatively comfortable situations compared with many of our readers. It is no secret that we have jobs and grant funding. Although it is true that both of us are not above making an exaggerated point for dramatic discussion-encouraging purposes, it is probably no surprise that we come from distinctly different points of view ForRealz on this particular issue. Speaking only for myself in this case, I’ve been around long enough and enjoyed enough of what I consider to be success in what I want to do as a scientist that it tends to insulate me against criticism. I get that this is not true for all of you. If my intent in raising these issues (i.e., to show that the dominant meme is not reflective of the only way to have a career) backfires for some of you, I do regret that.

Louis CK is so fucking funny it makes my teeth hurt.

Sen Tom Coburn is a jerk but he comes from a long tradition of right wingers trying to make hay out of ridiculing science. Don’t fall for it. [update: read Namnezia, Neurodojo and Dr.O on this issue]

I still haven’t worked out if the idea that there are a host of “good” postdocs out there if the PI could only get them to come to their lab is a pleasant fantasy, a recipe for mentoring disaster or a truth that is only available to that guy, over there.

What IS it with people who arrive at these unshakable assumptions about others based on only the tiniest sliver of the available evidence, and cling fast to these assumptions no matter the additional evidence?


This kind of dude is a stone cold professorial mensch for doing thankless labor on behalf of very young would-be scientists. Really. I mean that.

Huh, I wonder how the Britlandisher science blog collective has been getting along?

I just don’t get what is in the heads of these journalists. Look at sports journalists. They get the box score right. They pursue the injury story, ask questions, do the follow up. Heck, they even do follow up on contract negotiations FFS. Coverage of a drug story in the press, though? Forget about it. No details, no followup. A million stories in the news these days about “bath salts” or “plant food” and allegations of emergency room visits and overdose deaths. Do you think we EVER see followup stories with definitive identification of the drug content (methylenedioxypyrovalerone and 4-methylmethcathinone, we presume)? Never. Journalism sucks.


Update 2: Oh, man, this Gallup poll on estimating the proportion of Gay-Americans is gonna reverberate. I would’a said 5-10% myself. Srsly though, 43% of Democrats think more than 25% of Americans are gay? Really?


No Responses Yet to “Random thoughts of the week”

  1. DrugMonkey Says:

    Oh and can anyone discern any content in Alan Leshner’s Science editorial?


  2. neurowoman Says:

    along the lines of idiot journalists, Daniel Engber’s Slate article today really grates.


  3. DrugMonkey Says:

    Grates? It is true, journalism has very little institutional memory and no tradition of citing that which came before. …another thing they could learn from scientists.


  4. Yeah, I am sorry if anything I write offends people doing boring hypernarrow science that no one else wants to read.


  5. James Says:

    Entertaining = reading posts & responses by CPP and DM as a single person with multiple personality disorder.


  6. drugmonkey Says:

    There are other hypotheses that are stronger James.


  7. James Says:

    Only because this is a new hypothesis. Always tearing down the ESI coming up with new hypotheses?


  8. DrugMonkey Says:

    Typical ESI, crying bias at the slightest alternative interpretation…..


  9. James Says:

    Get off your high horse, old fogie!


  10. becca Says:

    What James suggests does not, strictly speaking, exclude the previous hypotheses.

    Now, if we take the most popular scenario, that DM and CPP are really Statler and Waldorf, it is at first difficult to analyze how DM and CPP could really be both S & W AND the same person- as there are a whole horde of muppeteers responsible for S & W.

    However, it is known that Jerry Nelson and Jim Henson were the original Statler and Waldorf. And we also know that Jim Henson and Jerry Nelson both did Kermit the Frog. Thus, Statler and Waldorf are both really Kermit the Frog, and CPP and DM are both really Dr. Freeride. And since we all know Dr. Freeride is Kermit the Frog, S & W are CPP and DM, AND the same person, who is Dr. Freeride/Kermit the Frog. QEMFD. However, who the heck is @pervwanker? That is the question worthy of grantfunding.


  11. Isis the Scientist Says:

    Have you been drinking?


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