Archive for: March, 2016

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

Cannon fodder

Mar 18 2016 Published by under Uncategorized

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


Mar 16 2016 Published by under Careers, Life

Deep. Very deep. Too deep for a Wednesday.


Comments are off for this post


Mar 15 2016 Published by under Careers, NIH




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

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.





Comments are off for this post

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