Science is also about convincing others, be it your supervisors or your collaborators, that what you intend to do is relevant to get the answers sought. This “what” can be anything from designing an experiment, to collecting samples or formatting the data. This post was inspired by a recent discussion with one of my supervisor … Continue reading Making a case for hierarchical generalized models
Earlier this year I had the privilege of serving on the ASN Jasper Loftus-Hill Young Investigator Award (YIA) committee, along with Rebecca Safran (Chair) and Luke Harmon. The award goes to investigators less than 3 years post-Ph.D., or in the final year of their Ph.D., for promising, outstanding research in any field covered by the ASN. Four awards are given annually. The award is in memory of Jasper Loftus-Hill, a promising young scientist who died tragically 3 years after receiving his Ph.D.Read the full article.
If you’re a very avid reader of this blog, you need to get a life will know that I’m writing a book about ecology. It’s for University of Chicago Press. The working title is “Ecology At Work”, though that’s only one of several candidate titles. Other candidate titles include “Ecology Master Class”, “Re-engineering Ecology”, and the joke titles that I and others tweeted recently.
Anyway, I’m very excited by this new challenge I’ve set myself, and also very nervous that I can pull it off. Which is where you come in. Below the fold is a draft introduction to my book. Please tear it apart.
Ok, don’t just tear it apart; any and all feedback is most welcome. But critical feedback and suggestions for improvement are particularly welcome. If you think the style sucks, or that the book sounds boring,...Read the full article.
Also this week: Michael Eisen plans to run for Senate, honoring ecologists, Princeton Monographs seeks women authors, and more.
An interesting remark from Andrew Gelman:
Why am I so sure that effect sizes will be low in the absence of theory? Because there are just too many things to look at. Without theory (or effective intuition or heuristics, which are just informal versions of theory), you’re basically picking potential effects at random, and most potential effects are small.
Cognitive bias cheat sheet. It has lots of detailed info on different biases, and this summary near the end:
...Read the full article.
Applicants are currently being sought for NextProf Science, a workshop aimed at future faculty (advanced doctoral students or postdoctoral fellows) who are interested in an academic career in science and who have demonstrated a commitment to diversity. The workshop is May 2-5, 2017 in Ann Arbor, MI.
At NextProf Science, participants learn:
The NextProf Science 2017 workshop is free to participants, who must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Underrepresented minorities and women are especially encouraged to apply. Travel, lodging, and meals will be covered by the program.
Applicants may nominate themselves or be nominated by a faculty mentor. Find additional information about the workshop and application materials on the NextProf Science website at:...Read the full article.
Last week, I did a poll asking about readers’ experiences with courses where faculty (and/or grad students and/or folks outside academia) meet with students in a format that is often called “professors on parade” (because lots of faculty rotate through the course during the semester). I was curious to know whether people find these courses useful, and whether they like certain styles of them more than others.
tl;dr: Most people seem to find these courses useful, but a substantial minority do not. People seem to find these courses especially useful if they include presenters who come from outside academia, discussion of classic or important papers, and/or discussion of papers by department faculty. They seem to find them less useful if they include basic research skills (such as how to extract DNA), though that comes with the caveat that...Read the full article.
A while back, a correspondent noted that many important advances in physics arose from apparent contradictions between established bodies of knowledge. If you’re confident that X and Y are both true, but X and Y appear to contradict one another, well, that’s a puzzle that demands resolution. And the resolution often is a deep insight into X, Y, and/or the relationship between them. My correspondent suggested that this isn’t unique to physics, that identifying and resolving apparent contradictions is a good way to advance any scientific field.
I think there’s something to this. I’m currently revising a paper I’m very proud of (we’ll see what the reviewers think!) The genesis of the paper was me recognizing what seemed like a contradiction between two things I thought I knew about metapopulation dynamics. Resolving that contradiction led me to what I think is a deep insight about how metapopulations persist.
My correspondent...Read the full article.
Some of the biggest effects of climate warming are being observed in the polar regions; but the climate in mountainous regions are also rapidly changing. For example, the rate at which climate change is happening in the European Alps, is more than double that of the average across the Northern Hemisphere.... Read the full article.
As I wrote yesterday, my department has been thinking about creating a course for first year grad students that would have as a key goal introducing them to a variety of faculty in the department (as well as having them get to know each other better), and that might have as a secondary goal training them in skills that will be useful for careers in science. In this post, I will lay out my proposed twist on the course. Right now, I’m not that optimistic that it would actually work, but I’m hoping readers might have suggestions for ways to tweak it to make it work!
My idea is to create a course focused on training faculty and students in how to communicate their science to broad audiences. The general plan would be to start out with training students and faculty in science communication, and then would have faculty practice their talks by...Read the full article.
In this post I would like to comment a bit on the recent forum paper by Houlahan et al on the importance of prediction to demonstrate ecological understanding. Before going through what I took from the paper I will outline a bit where I stood on prediction and understanding before reading the article. Explanation vs … Continue reading Prediction in ecology -implementing a priority.