Category: Doctor Al Digests

Doctor Al Digest #25

bacterial-diet-spotlight

Poster by Dr. Tristan Long

Some great articles in the past few weeks…

The Feminism of Black Panther vs. Wonder Woman

We are All for Diversity, but… How Faculty hiring committees reproduce whiteness and practical suggestions for how they can change

Addressing issues related to child-care at conferences

Pushing back against the quick turnaround to serve as a reviewer for journal manuscripts

How some relationships are ending because of the #metoo moment and current politics, and it’s not due to the reason you think!

My colleague and I talk about our #Scicomm efforts.

 

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Doctor Al Digest #24

The #reviewforscience Twitter hashtag has been cracking me up this week. Highlights include gluing trackers on bees, using a body massager to attract spiders, nooses for lizard collection, and the winner: using nail polish for killing bot fly maggots prior to extracting them from your own body.

Looks like the #MeToo movement has caught up with Canadian politics and they’re clearing house (the House of Commons that is!)

Tooting my own horn a bit…myself and several other bloggers were interviewed by the Nature piece “Why science blogging still matters”

A very elegant and thorough study by Chrétien et al. that suggests that the mitochondria in human cell lines operate at ~50°C when at maximal capacity  and a thoughtful critique by Dr. Nick Lane . I suspect that some paradigms are about to be destroyed in the near future in mitochondrial and thermal biology.

Doctor Al Digest #22

A great post over at the Conditionally Accepted blog entitled “Latinxs in Academe: Rage about “Diversity Work that effectively articulates the anger that is generated and internalized when one is assumed and expected to speak for an entire group.

This beautiful piece by Ta-Nehisi Coates is a must read. I am in awe of this man’s ability to use English prose. The lovely turns of phrase in this piece are surprising given its subject matter. I read it several weeks ago and it’s haunted me ever since.

I had previously avoided reading anything authored by Margaret Wente on purpose. Her column on Sept. 19, 2017 about students with disabilities was ignorant, unkind, and poorly researched. I won’t do it the dignity of linking to it here. I’ll warn you not to read the comments either; most of them are equally gross and lacking in empathy.

 

Doctor Al Digest #21

The Ig Nobel awards are always amusing, but they do make you think. You can go here for a list of the winners that were announced yesterday. I too have always wondered whether cats could be both a solid and a liquid.

A great post over at the blog Conditionally Accepted on Recognizing Emotional Labor in Academe

A powerful art exhibit reinforces the offensiveness and irrelevance of wondering what sexual assault survivors were wearing when they were assaulted. Trigger warning for sexual assault descriptions.

 

DoctorAl Digest 13

Yet another take-down of an ill-advised campaign to address the challenges faced by women in STEM. The problem is not getting girls and women interested in STEM.

A follow-up to Terry’s post last week on most scientists being good people; “If you have a bad advisor in grad school

A good summary of how setting small doable goals for academic writing can yield great results from the “This is what a computer scientist looks like” blog.

A thoughtful piece on the struggle for work-life balance in academia over at Tenure, She Wrote

The times they are a’ changing…and we need to change too! A neat article by Allison M. Vaillancourt at the Vitae website.

 

 

DoctorAl Digest 12

This week’s edition focuses on mentoring and mental health.

Meghan Duffy talks about “How intensively do you mentor undergrads working in your lab? over at Dynamic Ecology.

Terry McGlynn believes that “A lot of scientists are kind, careful and caring at Small Pond Science.

Scitrigrrl speaks “On my role/effectiveness as a mentor at Tenure, She Wrote.

A very clear and honest list written by a student entitled “Dealing with mental health: A guide for professors” over at University Affairs.

 

Doctor Al Digest 11

Those of you who have been following the blog for a while know that challenges facing women in science are important to me.

Here are some recent articles from the web on these topics that I think are worth reading:

A great article from Lauren Morello summarizing the experiences of female scientists on Twitter in light of the sexist scandals of the past year.

The costs of being a minority professor are hard to quantify. Here’s an insightful article about the service part of the job with some concrete examples.

Previous posts of mine on similar topics can be found below:

The Ultimate Guide to Being a Gracious (Non-creeper) Conference Attendee

Jurassic World’s Portrayal of Women and Scientists

Book Review: What Works for Women at Work

Moms and babies: Maintaining academic productivity while a mother is not a zero-sum game

Don’t feed the trolls

Are you unintentionally writing biased reference letters for your female trainees?

Gestating in STEM: Blending family with a tenure-track academic career

Doctor Al Digest 10

A wonderful essay on the emotional labour performed by many women in the academy by Margeaux Feldman.

Lecturing is getting a bad rap these days. Some great thoughts by Stephen Heard on the expectations that we should have of our students if we are using lectures in the classroom.

Jeremy Fox has an interesting post up at the Dynamic Ecology blog about the best movies about scientists . I’ve blogged in the past about my impressions of the portrayal of scientists in popular culture here and here.

A great post by Terry at Small Pond Science about the conditions at his institution and how they constrain the type of laboratory that he can run.

An insightful post from Acclamatrix on anger over at Tenure, She Wrote.

DoctorAl Digest 8

I was lucky enough to be at Game 5 of the Jays-Rangers series last week. The game was exciting and it was bizarre. There was a point in the 7th inning when I left my seats because it wasn’t an appropriate place for my 8 year old to be hanging out. I haven’t seen anything that bananas in a long time.

This post is a hilarious take on how it all went down, including the infamous Bautista bat flip. h/t @kyrajns

A great piece on multitasking written by Tim Harford. h/t to Meg over at Dynamic Ecology.

The challenges of deciding what to wear as a female academic. I love the title!

Nobody wins microaggression Bingo (Tenure, She Wrote).

Stinky seeds dupe dung beetles (Science News).

Very happy that we have a new majority party and PM in Canada. All of my science colleagues are walking around a bit lighter this morning.