whether or not you should pursue a career in science still depends mostly on that thing that is you

I took the plunge a couple of days ago and answered my first question on Quora. Since Brad Voytek won’t shut up about how great Quora is, I figured I should give it a whirl. So far, Brad is not wrong. The question in question is: “How much do you agree with Johnathan Katz’s advice … Continue reading whether or not you should pursue a career in science still depends mostly on that thing that is you

the truth is not optional: five bad reasons (and one mediocre one) for defending the status quo

You could be forgiven for thinking that academic psychologists have all suddenly turned into professional whistleblowers. Everywhere you look, interesting new papers are cropping up purporting to describe this or that common-yet-shady methodological practice, and telling us what we can collectively do to solve the problem and improve the quality of the published literature. In … Continue reading the truth is not optional: five bad reasons (and one mediocre one) for defending the status quo

on writing: some anecdotal observations, in no particular order

Early on in graduate school, I invested in the book “How to Write a Lot“. I enjoyed reading it–mostly because I (mistakenly) enjoyed thinking to myself, “hey, I bet as soon as I finish this book, I’m going to start being super productive!” But I can save you the $9 and tell you there’s really … Continue reading on writing: some anecdotal observations, in no particular order

in praise of self-policing

It’s IRB week over at The Hardest Science; Sanjay has an excellent series of posts (1, 2, 3) discussing some proposed federal rule changes to the way IRBs oversee research. The short of it is that the proposed changes are mostly good news for people who do minimal risk-type research with human subjects (i.e., stuff … Continue reading in praise of self-policing

CNS 2011: a first-person shorthand account in the manner of Rocky Steps

Friday, April 1 4 pm. Arrive at SFO International on bumpy flight from Denver. 4:45 pm. Approach well-dressed man downtown and open mouth to ask for directions to Hyatt Regency San Francisco. “Sorry,” says well-dressed man, “No change to give.” Back off slowly, swinging bags, beard, and poster tube wildly, mumbling “I’m not a panhandler, … Continue reading CNS 2011: a first-person shorthand account in the manner of Rocky Steps

what Paul Meehl might say about graduate school admissions

Sanjay Srivastava has an excellent post up today discussing the common belief among many academics (or at least psychologists) that graduate school admission interviews aren’t very predictive of actual success, and should be assigned little or no weight when making admissions decisions: The argument usually goes something like this: “All the evidence from personnel selection … Continue reading what Paul Meehl might say about graduate school admissions

will trade two Methods sections for twenty-two subjects worth of data

The excellent and ever-candid Candid Engineer in Academia has an interesting post discussing the love-hate relationship many scientists who work in wet labs have with benchwork. She compares two very different perspectives: She [a current student] then went on to say that, despite wanting to go to grad school, she is pretty sure she doesn’t … Continue reading will trade two Methods sections for twenty-two subjects worth of data

academic bloggers on blogging

Is it wise for academics to blog? Depends on who you ask. Scott Sumner summarizes his first year of blogging this way: Be careful what you wish for.  Last February 2nd I started this blog with very low expectations.  During the first three weeks most of the comments were from Aaron Jackson and Bill Woolsey. … Continue reading academic bloggers on blogging