Archive for the ‘English’ Category

Yes, I know I was five days away from the initial buzz, but considering how slow stream Seeds Aside is, that’s not too bad. (This is perhaps the first time in its history that SA is taking a ride at all :)

A few blogs have analysed the extant of the gap:

How to calculate #MyGenderGap for publishing scientists


#MyGenderGap – my history of inequality in numbers

My CV is a Sausage Fest


The stream is mostly in tweets, you can still reach them to get an idea… even if untweeting. Or even better, just here.

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I’ve crossed the following post at Denim & TweedThe science gender gap gets personal with #MyGenderGap, from which I’ve decided to steal the title. I’ve no twitter account yet (is that a fail? More and more academics are using it, but apparently biologists do poorly so this is just because!), so the only way to deal with the issue is to go blog about it.

The issue is about bias in gender in Academia. There’s been occasionnal mention to this issue here at SA (e.g. Gender & publishing), though just passing by (I’m not in a position to create new views, arguments or meaningful analyses on that matter, and there are plenty places where such things are produced or discussed so I usually get away with providing links).

It is all about a recent comment in Nature, which I’ll quote:

Thanks to Anne Jefferson on Twitter, I see that Alex Bond has called our collective attention to Nature’s great feature on gender equity in the sciences by making the whole thing as personal as possible: asking people to total up their collaborators and see what female-to-male ratio they find(…)

I’ll go more personnal below, but before, just have a look at their interesting map (it is just below if you don’t happen to have access to the journal): some countries just perform much better in term of women inclusiveness in science publication world:

Skewed gender in published research.

I don’t have field work pictures as Jeremy does, but it’s also true that most of my field times are rather lone or with reduced crews. Much of my previous work doesn’t strictly rely on field work but includes various lab steps, so I’m still able to crunch magic numbers about female to male ratios from my different work experiences past.

When I first counted collaborators (just including people with whom I published), raw numbers are 14 women and 7 men (that would be 8 if I count myself). So basically the sex ratio is 2.00 for my collaborators (1.75 if I collaborate with myself :) that should count since I’ve already published a single author paper).

That’s rather huge, compared to the USA average of 0.43 Jeremy noted (EDIT: 0.50 in France, but my work experiences are both in Fr & USA). But that’s because I’ve mainly worked in female biased labs throughout my early career. (it’d be interesting to keep track of the numbers as I currently work at a place where potential authorship should have a reversed trend –I should care about it clearly…)

At first, I investigated the numbers with counts on each paper, which yields a slightly different picture, since people are counted several times. My first ratio was 1.37 and I wondered why it differed from co-author ratio (which was 2.00). Then I realised I counted myself on papers but not in the collaborator sample. So when I drop myself from the papers, the ratio is 3.25 (that’s because I published regularly with the same female colleagues).

Whatever the calculation, I’m always in an atypical situation.

Of course I’m not discovering this: I already knew my work experience differs from most scientists because the basic or average place is biased toward strong maleness while my own path only crossed the reversed situation. Though I have to say that I happened to realise it only because people discuss the issue of gender bias (thanks internets! It’s never been discussed at workplaces). It never crossed my minds how outstanding my professional situation was before I read about this gender issue in Academia. But there’s something weird about this. I don’t know whether it’s telling something or pure luck is involved: if the common situation is a male dominated  Lab or Team, why did I never experience it (over 6 different work settings)? Is there anything that prevented me to work at the average Lab place? If so, we clearly all need some more awareness that there’s an issue, and it’s not getting away fast enough…

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You may find interesting consequences of megajournal open access journals (that’s impressive in term of numbers):

Open Access MegaJournals – Have They Changed Everything?

And this talk shared there: Open Access MegaJournals.

Certainly there’s been a change in the science publication ecosystem (that’s obvious). Unsure as to whether some aspects are easily documented, though:

– actual replication is accepted, but is it easy to find out which studies stand as replications from earlier works?

– “minor results” may indeed have found a way in the available “results pool”, but how do you say? It was clearly an issue prior to open access, since reviewers could reject on the basis that results were not interesting (whatever that meant), but OA doesn’t delineate between results unfairly rejected on spurious motives and “minor results”. Weren’t citation fate of papers telling us about fanciness already? (and not scaling on interestingness anyway!)

Did you ever get the feeling that these two aspects were saved by OA in specific cases? I haven’t yet. Which doesn’t mean it isn’t happening (I’m only saying it doesn’t read well even between lines). Or was I already swimming and reading in the pool of “forgotten studies”?

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Bulk linking for friday, since I’m becoming able to type more and more…


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Carnival of evolution is at Evolving Thoughts: The Day of the Doctor of Evolution: CoE #66.

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Lichen check!

Please check Lichen blog in colorado here!

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Previous Berry Go Round is found at For the love of plants.

This is edition #64.

Unfortunately, I’m currently only left handed, so this edition will be more like a round of links and probably less wordy than could have been.

Any typo is mine…

Are tannin familiar to you? Did you know about how there’s even a special organella devoted to them? Then you should learn about it thanks to Kathleen Raven at Food Matters:

This is a wonderfull collaborative blog, so you may find a lot of other stuff of interest, with or without plants but plenty:

And even GMOs debate going on:

Anyhow, please have a nice blog mining, and hopefully we’ll meet Food Matters on next occasion!

Season is falling in tempirate climate, so how do trees cope? Find out in good company at… a rocking plant I thing:

Unless you’d prefer Ghosts in the Rocks and spectacular spectralities!

  • Needles to say, sheathe got an option! Looking closer is always good…

If it’s edible… it’s also readable:

Or passing by, can you take it warm?

Some more Raflesia on the internets: How A Plant Makes The Biggest Flower of Them All

Aren’t plants always a mass of stuff? Well, while some families are familiar, the other are… Malpighiales: A Glorious Mess of Flowering Plants

Mossible? Unmossible?

Climate change is happening (one more bit of evidence):

Okay! Left hand tired flat! Oh, but there are many more gems over over!

For example, what’s in a tropical understory? A sub story of some sort? Probably not:

And browse the recent tropical blogging at Phytofactor!

Wants more? Well, next Berry is expected soon! Please volunteer if you feel like, you’re welcome to too!

Late edit: forgot this submission, about Larchness monster.

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Last week I had hammock time with bigger son (this one, yep he’s bigger now!). He was trying to convince me that his next birthday party really should be all about dinosaurs: sauropodic cakes, reptilian sweets, dinosaur costumes or even better, living dinosaurs at home. Not willing to break through happy dreamland birthday party, I nevertheless answered that dinosaurs were still around us and that actually, some of them were messing out daily with my plants in the garden*. He looked me up, unsure about whether he heard me true or what… I added that you see, some dinosaurian species did not go extinct the latest life crisis, but they evolved toward extant species… as birds. He only had to look closer at legs how scales are probably relicts of their glorious past. (Not that they haven’t a glorious day currently, indeed they have, but I wanted him to acknowledge they don’t exactly look the same today as their ancestors did in the past).

He gave a few seconds full thinking about this. Looked at me (possibly my leggs I have to admit). Asked: “So the eagles are living dinosaurs?”. Yep. “Chickens are dinosaurs?”. Yep. “Hummingbirds?”. (Confusingly, I may have heard Hummingborgs). Yep, all of them sort of are extant species of dinosaurs. He gave a few seconds full thinking about this. You would hear the mind blowing in dusky times and beyond. “Dad… but I thought you were a dinosaur!”. True too.

* Chickens, if you didn’t guess. They often devastate vegetables, but on the other hand they also kill centipedes. (Here for a gallery of centipede diversity in the Antilles).

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Where do you rally generally? In tree steps.

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Peacock of the week, power storm.

Eyes for unsure.

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