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EcoBloggers is a feed of ecology blogs aggregated from around the web. If you write an Ecology blog (made up primarily of original posts by you or contributors), and you'd like to have it included here, email the feed link to the site webmaster. Each contributed post is trimmed to stay on the right side of copyright law and to encourage readers to click through to contributors' sites. You can get the RSS feed here. Each post is also automatically tweeted by @EcoBloggers.
  • via Jeremy Fox from Dynamic Ecology
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    2 months 4 days ago

    I recently read Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction by Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner. Here’s my review.

    tl;dr: It’s good, and will get you thinking about how its conclusions apply to your own scientific work.

    Philip Tetlock studies decision-making by individuals and organizations. His co-author Dan Gardner is a noted journalist and popular science writer. The book is written in the first person, as if Tetlock were the sole author, so I assume Gardner was brought on board to polish the writing. Superforecasting is a popular account of the results of Tetlock’s decades of work organizing forecasting tournaments. Hundreds of participants were asked to predict the answers to hundreds of questions about future events. Those events were...

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  • via Meghan Duffy from Dynamic Ecology
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    2 months 5 days ago

    I am pretty much through with revisions to my manuscript on authorship, with one exception. One of the reviewers is (quite reasonably) pushing me to make a stronger recommendation about how authorship decisions should be made in the increasingly common case of collaborations between groups. But, of course, this is a tricky issue, and I’m waffling on what exactly to recommend. This blog post is me trying to work through that, and looking for feedback at the end. I’m quite interested in hearing how others think decisions about authorship should be made when multiple groups collaborate substantially on a project!

    I’ll start by recapping some of what my results, since they set up the general question. Then, I’ll give some of my thoughts on what might be a proposed solution. And, as I said above, I’ll end by asking for feedback on what I propose.

    My manuscript is interested in who is last and corresponding author as well as in the factors that influence peoples’...

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  • via Jeremy Fox from Dynamic Ecology
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    2 months 1 week ago

    It’s faculty job hunting season, so I’m reupping Meghan’s very useful, recently-updated compilation of links related to tenure-track job searches in ecology.

    As an aside, you might also be interested in our series of posts on non-academic careers for ecologists. Starts here.


    Filed under: Advice, Jobs ... Read the full article.
  • via Jeremy Fox from Dynamic Ecology
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    2 months 1 week ago

    Reupping this from back in the spring:

    Last fall, I compiled data on the gender balance of over 170 newly-hired assistant professors of ecology and allied fields at N. American colleges and universities. The results were good news: 53% of N. American tenure-track assistant professors of ecology hired in 2015-16 (or in a few cases in 2014) were women.

    This year I’m doing it again. To make it easier, I’m asking for your help. This Google Docs spreadsheet lists all tenure-track positions in ecology and allied fields (plus a bunch of other positions) advertised in the 2016-17 job season. If you know who was hired to fill one or more of the listed N. American assistant professor positions in ecology or an...

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  • via Jeremy Fox from Dynamic Ecology
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    2 months 1 week ago

    From Jeremy:

    The NSF has a new report on the career plans of newly-minted science and engineering PhDs. There are more than ever–but fewer have concrete plans for after they receive their degrees. (ht Chris Blattman)

    The opposite of a biologist is a model (the fashion kind, not the mathematical kind). (ht @matt_levine)

    Um…

    And finally: Meghan, Brian, and I celebrated Dynamic Ecology’s 5th birthday this week:

    We're out for dinner celebrating 5 years of...

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  • via Jeremy Fox from Dynamic Ecology
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    2 months 2 weeks ago

    Later this week Brian will provide a bunch of tips on where to eat and drink in Portland, including several brewpubs. Commenters on our Portland open thread also have great tips. But if you’re a beer geek like me, you’re not going to be happy drinking at whichever decent bar is closest to the convention center. I’d rather go a bit further afield to seek out someplace really good and hopefully also less crowded. So here are the fruits of my background research on beer geek websites like RateBeer, plus a bit of personal experience from the last time ESA was in Portland, plus the...

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  • via Brian McGill from Dynamic Ecology
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    2 months 2 weeks ago

    I have been musing a lot lately, motivated in part by the post-fact era we seem to have moved to, on what makes science such a powerful way of knowing. Hopefully, my thinking will advance enough that I can write a post on that soon. The one thing I’m sure of is it is not the conventional answer of “we have the scientific method”. But in the mean time, I served on a criminal jury not too long ago. It got me thinking about how the criminal trail process and science were and were not similar. This seems like at least a good starting point to think about what makes science a powerful way of knowing.

    Although I am not legally barred from discussing my experience, probably better not to say too much specific. In general I was on the jury for a case involving OUI (operating a vehicle under the influence – a car and alcohol in this case). It was a very typical trial in the Anglo-Saxon legal system (I am aware many other countries have very different...

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  • via Jeremy Fox from Dynamic Ecology
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    2 months 3 weeks ago

    Occasionally in the past readers have asked me to post the list of talks and posters I’m planning to see at the ESA meeting. I appreciate where such requests come from; there are a lot of talks and posters and I’m flattered that some people would like their favorite blogger to help them choose. But I’m a little uncomfortable with such requests. I choose which talks and posters to see for my own reasons, which are probably not (and shouldn’t be) your reasons.

    So rather than post the list of talks and posters I’m planning to see, here are some suggestions on how you can choose which ones you want to see. Please add your own suggestions in the comments!

    My advice is oriented toward the ESA meeting, which is the only conference I attend regularly, but most of it should generalize to any conference large enough to have at least a few parallel sessions running at any given time.

    • Do some planning...
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  • via Jeremy Fox from Dynamic Ecology
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    2 months 3 weeks ago

    Stephen Stearns’ classic piece, “Some Modest Advice for Graduate Students,” includes this excellent advice under the heading “You must know why your work is important” (emphasis added):

    When you first arrive, read and think widely and exhaustively for a year…

    If some authority figure tells you that you aren’t accomplishing anything because you aren’t taking courses and you aren’t gathering data, tell him what you’re up to. If he persists, tell him to bug off, because you know what you’re doing, dammit.

    This is a hard stage to get through because you will feel guilty about not getting going on your own research. You will continually be asking yourself, “What am I doing here?” Be patient. This stage is critical to your personal development and to maintaining the flow of new ideas into science. Here you...

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  • via Jeremy Fox from Dynamic Ecology
    Citation for this post: BibTeX | RIS
    3 months 2 days ago

    On the recommendation of our commenters, I just finished Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Signature Of All Things. Here’s my (brief) review.

    tl;dr: This is one of the best novels I’ve ever read.

    Warning: a few very mild semi-spoilers ahead. Honestly, I wouldn’t consider them spoilers myself. But I know some people don’t like to know any details about a book before they read it.

    As a reader, when you open a book, and these are the first two sentences, you know you’re in good hands:

    Alma Whittaker, born with the century, slid into our world on the fifth of January, 1800.

    Swiftly–nearly immediately–opinions...

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