Academia

Effect Measure

Category archives for Academia

Open science, openly arrived at

As an academic researcher I don’t write grant proposals for a living, although sometimes it feels like I do. I need grants to do my work, but I also need to get to work and I don’t consider myself to be commuting for a living. Although sometimes it feels like I do. Having said that,…

Making data available to others

Yesterday we posted on our strong support for open access publishing of tax payer supported research. We are taxpayer supported scientists (at least our NIH grants are) and we consider our work to be the property of the public, who paid for it. Whenever possible (which is most of the time) we do publish in…

Chilean earthquake and science

There is so much tragedy and sadness in the wake of the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile that to bemoan the fate of research projects there seems kind of trivial. But if you are scientist your heart really goes out to your Chilean colleagues. Jocelyn Kaiser and Antonio Regalado have some details at ScienceInsider, Science…

Peer review is hell

If you are a publishing scientist this will hit home. It’s making the rounds of the science community, so you may have seen it, but if you haven’t, it’s hilarious. In fact it’s still hilarious after the third and fourth times through. Warning: If you are sensitive about Hitler associated parodies, don’t watch it; I…

Yuck! This coffee tastes like poison!

Medical institutions in the US northeast have always been competitive, and Harvard has always been toward the top of the list in that category. I don’t mean just competitive to get into. I mean competitive, period. I went to another big research medical school in the northeast in the sixties and we used to joke…

Homeward bound

I should be writing a substantive blog post, but I’m dead tired after 14 hours spent listening to very stimulating science presented by talented grad students, post-docs and residents at a large medical center, after which they were in turn subjected to an invited lecture from me, a lecture I’ve been obsessing over for a…

It is clear that if you want to get a so-so paper published in a top tier journal, the best way to do it is to write about a breaking medical news event and get there first. We saw this with avian influenza and SARS and now it’s being repeated with swine flu. The Scientist…

Elements of Style‘s needless words

Scottish linguist Geoffrey Pullum’s take-down in the Chronicle of Higher Education of the venerable Strunk and White Elements of Style has received some notoriety. It’s Elements‘ 50th anniversary this month, but Pullum isn’t celebrating in “50 Years of Stupid Grammar Advice.” I have a copy of Elements and like many others thought its advice was…

The Conflict of Interest talk these days is all about doctors and medical school lecturers who are in bed with Big Pharma, but the bed is pretty crowded. Researchers are there, too. Not that this hasn’t been a topic of conversation. And not that researchers aren’t conscious of it and frantically trying to distance themselves…

Pills, profits and medical schools

When I was in medical school it was common to get gifts from drug companies. Since many of us had very little money, the gifts were welcome. One company gave me a Littman stethoscope, at the time, the most advanced stethoscope around. The same model costs about $100 now. I was glad to get it,…