New NAS members

(by odyssey) May 03 2016

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

(by odyssey) Apr 25 2016

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


(by odyssey) Apr 20 2016

Cats embody entitlement.

Dogs embody hope.


One response so far


(by odyssey) Apr 11 2016

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.


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Punching down much?

(by odyssey) Mar 21 2016

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

Cannon fodder

(by odyssey) Mar 18 2016

Yesterday on the twits there was a suggestion that teachers (of the K-12 kind) use #icanhazpdf and/or SciHub to obtain paywalled papers. Even before contacting the authors directly.*

No. Just. No.

#icanhazpdf and SciHub are illegal.** Those pushing their use know this, and it's their choice if they want to use those venues. But do most K-12 teachers know about the legal issues? I doubt it.

Using others who may not know better to forward your agenda - no matter how noble an agenda it is - is reprehensible.

And before you go on and on about how the public should have free access, US taxpayer dollars etc., stop. That's not what this post is about. It's about the kind of extreme evangelism that uses others as cannon fodder. The kind that is more likely to hurt your agenda than help it. The kind that's repugnant.



* Some have at least recanted this position, so I won't name and shame.

** At least here in the US.

7 responses so far


(by odyssey) Mar 16 2016

Deep. Very deep. Too deep for a Wednesday.


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(by odyssey) Mar 15 2016




I found at least some of Michael Eisen's responses to Andrew Kern's tweets. Worth reading (click on the tweets below)-



It's worth looking at PLoS's Core Principles. I'm not seeing anything there they've violated by acting like... a business. And before you leap on Principle 6, "fair price" is generally interpreted as "what the market will bear". PLoS doesn't seem to be hurting for submissions.


18 responses so far

Acronym Mania

(by odyssey) Mar 11 2016

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.





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Rescue me! Please?

(by odyssey) Mar 10 2016

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

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