Archive for the ‘Academia’ Category

Bioquote otw #2

This is a second shoot at quotes. Not a misquote (though it may happen someday), more of a mycoquote (it’s all about funguys!).

Plant pathologists are regularly confronted with having to choose a name for their pathogen of interest and mycologists often need to decide when to recognize a new species or apply an existing name.*


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Just because it sounded too good not to mention it. A taxonomy of coauthor species.

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There are blogs with strong inclinations to discuss issues in Academic Life. As a matter of fact, Seeds Aside is reading a few. Sort of a think-about process and sometimes (more often than not) wise source of career advice.

Over there at Drugmonkey, there’s this post with a great discussion about PLOS1 and how one would define dump journals, and impact factors in your field (well, somewhat). Though interested in jumping in, but being in a position of considering most scientific journals are as good as they are (of course there’s variation in impact, therefore obsession with say impact factor), most probably because my fields of research are usually published in journals with a rather low IF, and also maybe because I’ve never been publishing in scientific glamourmagz (never tried), but certainly because maybe I don’t care that much or haven’t had results so strikingly rocking that there was no use even trying. (more…)

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I take this graph out of the SA loose rants draft listing, which I almost never go in to look at, and I see this. Oh my, I don’t remember putting this in here nor where I found it, it comes from weeks or months! But anyway, it’s here and it’s interesting. It’s a prediction for 2013, a change that probably most media will leave unnoticed. But that’s not completely devoid of consequences, it’s an important move. Whatever happens, whether it indeed happens this year or next, and of course this is just gross bean counting, one cannot dismiss the shift. And in a decade probably, the world science leading country will have changed.

This basically means that creationists can take over the USA, it won’t matter anymore to the world. It won’t matter if science education in the USA get rotten to the bone anymore. Startling perspective? Well, this would not be the first example of Golden Age past.

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Okay, I’m a bit late finding time for not much more than a link offer. It’s very interesting to go, read, follow links further and investigate raw data. Jessica at Moss plants and more, offers us a nice post about a huge dataset and gender production that you can check and explore in different fields and subfields. Makes me wonder what a biased career path I had since before landing in current position, all Labs and bosses and collaborators were primarily and heavily biased toward femaleness. That is, I certainly never had an experience of Academia as it is supposed to be, given the stats.

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Take notice. Self citation is a tool to have others discover you did write some other papers on the subject. Or related subjects. And then… Just take advantage when nobody else will promote your own results.

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You’ll find below a shortlist of gems from students’ final. The exam occured already a few years ago so I guess it is enough anonymous now to be posted (and which student would revendicate paternity for a gem?). These quotes are out of context, so sometimes they appear even funnier. Some are cute, some are really unfortunate. (I personally think they do not necessarily reflect upon students qualities, since some of these were taken out of quite good works.)

These gems are mostly revolving around the concept of randomness & sampling (sampling plant species with a grid in meadows). I suspect this year one professor messed things out, so maybe we shouldn’t go stone students for what they wrote… (shocked? people used to stone each other for fairly smaller outrages in the past, didn’t they?).

Without delay, here are the gems:

  • “Random sampling is by definition random, but human beings cannot have a random reasonning.”

    Obviously they can! (more…)

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Voici une petite liste de perles de copies d’étudiants pour un examen d’Ecologie des Communautés. L’examen en question remonte à plusieurs années, donc ce sera suffisamment anonyme et je pense que peu d’étudiants viendraient réclamer la paternité d’une perle de leur copie. Bien sûr, les perles sont prises hors de leur contexte, donc l’effet de décalage est accru, mais il y a bien quelque chose qui prête à sourire (parce que les perles peuvent être mignonnes bien sûr), voire littéralement à rire (malheureusement, l’étudiant n’est pas toujours au meilleur de sa forme au moment où il passe un examen).

Les perles en question gravitent beaucoup autours de l’aléatoire et de ses conséquences en statistiques. Visiblement, il y a eu un cafouillage dans les enseignements cette année là.

Bon, sans plus attendre, les perles:

  • L’échantillonnage aléatoire est par définition aléatoire, or l’être humain n’est pas capable d’avoir un « raisonnement » aléatoire.

    Visiblement, si! (more…)

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Thanks to this post at This Week in Evolution, I discovered one can have a personnal page in google scholar, to group and “revendicate” her/his papers: a recurrent issue when you jump from a field to the other is that you decrease the odds of being acknowledged as an author (“is that really the same gal/dude?” syndrome), and eventually more jumps, less academic visibility. Which may be important if you wish people to know who you are, what you did, even when they are not looking at a résumé. That is, when you look for a job.


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Oh my…

From Nature’s Careers and jobs section this week, two points that made me depressed.

US scientists keep jobs. That’s a good thing, and of course, it doesn’t drive me down per se. I’m glad it’s working fine over there… Only about 4% of biologists are unemployed! That’s so low! It definitely seems like I’m not living at the right place. I do not have the least clue about the same French statistics, but it is probably much higher, let’s say at least three times (that would be the national average, though it is even more probably higher given the state of science job market in here)…

French recruitement. This year is nevertheless an apparent exception, at least with regard to agriculture research. Not bad at all neither (though none of the advertised profiles fit anything that I would bring for as a scientist… That’s not for me this year neither…). But have a look at the comments -a few quotes: (more…)

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