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bioRxiv, the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, #ASAPbio, and scooping

Gary McDowellMay 13, 2017Comments
The movement in the biological sciences to archive preprints, or complete scientific manuscripts that are uploaded by the authors to a public server, has grown dramatically and successfully since the first ASAPbio meeting I attended at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 2016. The growth of preprint archiving in biology over time has been dramatic, with many preprints being archived by a ~  read more

If you've been accused of sexual harassment, maybe don't sing about how wonderful it is to be a woman in science?

Lenny TeytelmanApr 04, 2017Comments
Two weeks ago, a famous science writer Michael Shermer went on Twitter to say that science is apolicital and has no gender or race. Yes @michaelshermer, science *seems* to be "a-political, a-gender, a-race" if you're a white man. 3/3 — Lenny Teytelman (@lteytelman) March 23, 2017 Shermer's name was familiar to me because I recall reading a BuzzFeed ~  read more

A reproducible effect: failing to credit women scientists for their leadership.

Lenny TeytelmanMar 03, 2017Comments
There is no shortage of historic examples of women scientists not getting the credit they deserve due to sexism (a few of the countless examples). This is so pervasive, there is actually a name for this, The Matilda Effect, and papers like this have been published about it. While we all know about this, it’s been shocking for me to personally watch this unfold in the case of Dr. Elizabeth ~  read more

The programming language does make a difference for bioinformatics. (From a Perl lover who knows no Python.)

Lenny TeytelmanJan 02, 2017Comments
This isn't a technical blog post where I dive into the relative strengths of Perl and Python. That's because I know zero Python but sometimes have dreams in Perl. I learned Perl in the lab of Lincoln Stein, taught it several times as a TA in his CSHL Programming for Biologist class, and organized a similar bootcamp in Berkeley. Sure, there were others before 2001 (7K lines of Visual Basic code ~  read more

Veruscript: the academic publisher built for academics or Putin?

Lenny TeytelmanDec 26, 2016Comments
A week ago, the Financial Times ran the story, Intelligence experts accuse Cambridge forum of Kremlin links. It raised the possibility that a new publisher Veruscript is set up to promote Russian interests: Sir Richard [the ex-chief of MI6] and his colleagues suspect that Veruscript — a newly established digital publishing house that has provided funding to set up a new journal of ~  read more

An open letter to the Scientific Advisory Board of Elysium, the anti-aging supplement company

Lenny TeytelmanDec 12, 2016Comments
Dear Members of Elysium's Scientific Advisory Board: I am a geneticist and have been absolutely fascinated by aging research since 2003. I write to you to ask you to reconsider your participation in the scientific advisory board of Elysium Health, Inc. The amazing research into the genetics of aging is undermined by a premature rush to consumer pills. Particularly, the reputation of the field is ~  read more

A bad week for women in physics, and beyond.

Michelle CollinsOct 09, 2016Comments
It’s been a rough week for women in physics. Hell, women generally. I’ve found myself cradling my head in my hands, dejectedly looking up at information displayed on my glowing monitor at work on multiple occasions this week, as I read about yet another blow to women in physics, instead of focusing on my own work. So, why has this week been so bad for me and my ladies-of-physics? ~  read more

Quantitative Analysis of Neo-Nazis Supporting Trump and Clinton

Lenny TeytelmanJul 07, 2016Comments
Introduction In May, the conservative National Review published Trump’s Anti-Semitic Supporters. In June, House Speaker Paul Ryan accused Donald Trump of "textbook racism" over Trump's attacks on a federal judge with Mexican roots. These are just a few of the myriad of media stories about Trump's racism, xenophobia, and consistently strong support from anti-Semites and Neo-Nazis. Just ~  read more

What men can and should do about the awful academic sexual harassment.

Lenny TeytelmanJul 01, 2016Comments
Sexual harassment in academia is pervasive and scandalously tolerated by administrations across universities. There is a reason Congress is now looking at sexual harassment in academia. Representative Jackie Speier said in her comments regarding academic sexual harassment on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on January 12, 2016: Mr. Speaker, some universities protect predatory ~  read more

Looking for the scientist's spouse?

Lenny TeytelmanMay 21, 2016Comments
Leslie Vosshal noticed yesterday that when you search for a woman scientist, Google seems to often predict that it's their spouse you really want to read about. Top 5 search suggestions for female scientists often include "husband". WTF? — Leslie Vosshall (@pollyp1) May 20, 2016 Matt Davis noted that the same often happens when you search for famous ~  read more

Reacting to the overtime rule changes for postdocs and technicians

Lenny TeytelmanMay 20, 2016Comments
Almost a year ago, Justin Kiggins wrote on our Spectroscope: Postdocs will be getting a raise. He discussed that Obama's proposed changes to overtime compensation would likely include postdocs. Nature covered this and there was active blogger and Twitter discussion around this (see here, here, and here for some heated discussions). Alas, somehow the director of NIH Francis Collins ~  read more

Whatever the size, when schools act unethically, it's a problem. We can and should shame them, without punching down.

Lenny TeytelmanMay 06, 2016Comments
RetractionWatch reported yesterday about a bizarre press release from Penn College: College retracts press release about sociologist reviewing manuscript. In the press release, the college was explicit regarding the title of the paper under review in the journal Contemporary South Asia. The journal is published by Taylor and Francis, and it is clear that their peer review is expected to be ~  read more

Boldly going to Alpha Centauri?

Michelle CollinsApr 14, 2016Comments
A theoretical physicist, the creator of Facebook, and a Russian Billionaire walk into a press conference. Next thing you know, the internet is abuzz with the talk of an interstellar mission, wherein we puny humans will attempt to fly a teeny-tiny space craft roughly 25 trillion miles to our nearest stellar neighbour, Alpha Centauri. This ambitious project is the latest to be funded by the new ~  read more

3-D, without glasses

Jacob MayfieldApr 07, 2016Comments
One of the real challenges to teaching and understanding development is the mental gymnastics needed to understand what's happening in three dimensions when only 2 dimensions are available for viewing using a microscope.   Wow! This video does an amazing job of bringing the third dimension to ~  read more

What is the ethical compensation for nonprofit executives? (Should you boycott PLOS?)

Lenny TeytelmanMar 22, 2016Comments
Over the last week, there's been a storm over the executive compensation and financials at the Public Library of Science (PLOS). It was started by a series of tweets from Professor Andrew Kern, looking into the financial disclosures of PLOS and learning that they pay good salaries and have operating margins. Andrew then concluded: PLOS's financials reveal that they are merely trying to maximize ~  read more