Archive for the 'Life' category

New NAS members

May 03 2016 Published by under Careers, Life, NIH

Today the National Academy of Sciences announced their newly elected members. You can read the announcement here.


Once again, I'm not on the list.


Once again, the gender balance isn't. Not even close.



Apparently the Royal Society didn't do any better with their new Fellows.


One response so far

Climbing ponderable

Apr 25 2016 Published by under Careers, Life, NIH

People often refer to a ladder when discussing ascending through the ranks in their careers. I prefer to think it's more like rock-climbing* - there's not necessarily one route as implied by a ladder.

Be careful not to tread on the fingers of those below you and don't forget to point out the hard-to-see hand/foot-holds.

No point in getting to the top if there's no one left following to witness it.


* It's still an imperfect metaphor. Also, I'm no rock-climber.


4 responses so far


Apr 20 2016 Published by under Life

Cats embody entitlement.

Dogs embody hope.


One response so far


Apr 11 2016 Published by under Careers, Life, NIH

The discussion in the comments here on PI's "purloining"* projects developed by postdocs is one of several reasons why someone starting their own lab is well advised to have more than one research project in mind. To not do so is foolhardy at best.



* I put this in quotes because situations can vary tremendously and be more complicated than they appear at first.


One response so far

Punching down much?

Mar 21 2016 Published by under Careers, Life, NIH

This popped up on my Twitter timeline this morning:

Go read the linked post in all it's "glory".

What an arse.

I retweeted the above and got the following response:

Interesting thought. What's to stop PPPR* degenerating into this kind of crap? I get that most scientists are decent people and wouldn't do this, but...



* Post-publication peer review if you're wondering.


9 responses so far


Mar 16 2016 Published by under Careers, Life

Deep. Very deep. Too deep for a Wednesday.


No responses yet

Acronym Mania

Mar 11 2016 Published by under Careers, Life, NIH

NIGMS has a postdoc training program titled "Intramural NIGMS Postdoctoral Research Associate (PRAT) Program". This amuses me no end. Someone on this grant is a PRAT.

This had me wondering on the twits: Perhaps they should have a program called "Graduate In Training (GIT) Program".

Then @michaelhoffman suggested:

One could then progress from GIT to PRAT to ARSE...

Pretty much the system we currently have described in acronyms.





No responses yet

Rescue me! Please?

Mar 10 2016 Published by under Careers, Life, Things that go beep!

DrugMonkey recently kicked off a blog meme asking:

The question is, from the teevee (or movies) you've been watching recently, name the top five characters you'd want coming to rescue you from a bad situation.

I wasn't tagged*, but here are mine.

  1. Rocket Raccoon - seriously, no one thought of being rescued by a genetically engineered raccoon with a fetish for prosthetics?
  2. Rey - no explanation necessary.
  3. Baymax - being rescued by an intelligent balloon would be kind of funny.
  4. SpongeBob - why not?
  5. The Notorious RBG. Or Sotomayer. Or Kagan. (DM didn't say they had to be fictional characters.)


Clearly some of my recent(ish) viewings have been somewhat influenced by my spawn...


* Nobody loves me...

3 responses so far

Read, then think.

Mar 08 2016 Published by under Careers, Life, NIH

If you haven't already, please read this. Then spend some time thinking about it.

4 responses so far

"Creatorgate": a lesson for editorial types.

Mar 07 2016 Published by under Careers, Life, NIH

Much has been made of last week's "creatorgate" incident (PLoS ONE publishing and then retracting a paper that referred to a creator). You can read @Dr24Hours' take on this, which makes some very good points, here. I'm not going to say anything about the paper, the work in it, the ensuing twitter storm, or even PLoS ONE's response. There are many potential lessons to be learned from from this brouhaha. I'm just going to point out one...

If you're an editorial type who oversees the review process,




That's something often referred to as "doing your job."

Thank you.


2 responses so far

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