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Lenny Teytelman
Co-founder of ZappyLab.

You'll never believe this easy trick Wired used to undermine Alice Dreger as a professor and a writer

Lenny TeytelmanMay 04, 2015Comments
Alice Dreger just published The Big Problem With Outlawing Gender Conversion Therapies. It is a thought-provoking and nuanced piece about the challenges of providing the support that gender nonconforming youths need and deserve. Unfortunately, due to the title that Wired chose, the editorial comes across as an argument in favor of gender conversion therapy - the exact opposite of what Alice ~  read more

Argument for closed or open peer review?

Lenny TeytelmanApr 29, 2015Comments
Yesterday, I witnessed the most viral academic tweet I have seen since I opened my account two years ago. An anonymous reviewer suggested that male academics may publish more prolifically for the same reason that men tend to run faster than women. As if that's not enough, the reviewer then suggested that the paper could be improved by adding a male co-author to avoid biases. I am just going ~  read more

How should one handle a racist on twitter?

Lenny TeytelmanApr 18, 2015Comments
I got pulled into an upsetting thread on the genetics of race with the Digital Darth Vader Chuck Jones. And I am deeply conflicted. Ignoring these Chucks is bad. But engaging with them increases their visibility and grows their twitter following. It's a lose-lose situation for us and a win-win for Chucks. Any advice? @aepton @joshtpm @lteytelman please read Nicholas Wade's book. — ~  read more

We can and should improve reproducibility. But it's not a crisis, so can do it without panic.

Lenny TeytelmanApr 09, 2015Comments
Three days ago, I asked whether irreproducible research is a problem or a crisis. I asked on Twitter, consulted Ivan Oransky of RetractionWatch, and discussed over e-mail with many. We have a reproducibility problem. But is it a crisis? (I am genuinely curious about the answer. Please RT.) — Lenny Teytelman (@lteytelman) April 6, 2015 The overwhelming consensus is ~  read more

We have a reproducibility problem. But is it a crisis?

Lenny TeytelmanApr 06, 2015Comments
I often bump into biomedical researchers who do not think that there is a problem with reproducibility. They say it’s just an issue of cancer studies or pre-clinical research. As Francis Collins said at a recent conference that I attended, “If you think reproducibility is only a problem in other fields, you need another look at yours.” It is a serious problem, and it is ~  read more

No, there is no evidence that breastfeeding leads to higher IQ.

Lenny TeytelmanApr 05, 2015Comments
On April 1st, I had an extensive discussion with @scicurious and @AlongsideWild about Nature's joke article on Dragons. They both argued that jokes in biomedical journals undermine trust in science, while I contend that the real damage to science is the trust in what's published as if peer review can predict what is and is not reproducible and true. “@scicurious: And now, a piece ~  read more

We need post-publication peer review of journals

Lenny TeytelmanMar 08, 2015Comments
Mark Johnston, Editor-in-Chief of Genetics recently published an editorial against the high-impact journals, "A Glaring Paradox."  He notes that the editors at Nature, Science and Cell are frequently scientists who have not published much. In contrast, the editors at society journals are all active scientists with a deep knowledge of their field. As a consequence, Mark writes that the ~  read more

Nature's double-blind review. The opposite of what we need.

Lenny TeytelmanFeb 23, 2015Comments
Nature Publishing Group just announced that they will begin experimenting with double-blind peer review. I am thrilled to see that they are going to experiment. Their announcement is thoughtful and this effort is clearly carefully considered by them. It is also meant to address a key and serious bias problem in the current review system. I look forward to the outcome of the experiment, but I bet ~  read more

Eroom's Law, Collaboration in Pharma, Competition in Academia

Lenny TeytelmanFeb 13, 2015Comments
Half a year ago, I was invited to chair a session at the annual meeting of the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS). I had never heard of this meeting and thought initially it was one of the spammy/scammy conferences. Good thing I paused and looked up the organization. Turns out it’s not a usual academic meeting, but one that also draws significant participation of ~  read more

Anti-vaccine parents aren’t stupid. They do love their kids and are not disregarding yours.

Lenny TeytelmanFeb 07, 2015Comments
In response to the measles outbreak, there is charged anger everywhere towards the non-vaccinating parents (examples: Penn & Teller, The Vaccine Lunacy, My Parents Are Idiots). They are called morons, parasites, accused of negligence towards their own and endangerment of other’s kids. This is a misguided response. Living in Berkeley, you bump into anti-vaccines folks. I have had several ~  read more

Subscription Publishing is the Hotel Industry. Science needs Airbnb.

Lenny TeytelmanFeb 04, 2015Comments
I just re-read “Dragging scientific publishing into the 21st century” (Razib Khan, Laurie Goodman, David Mittelman. Genome Biology 2014, 15:556). It ends with: Should publishers continue to do business-as-usual, then they will (and frankly should) become dinosaurs, while younger, more innovative and more robust communication venues take the lead. The ~  read more

The Subscription Publisher is Inherently Anti-Science

Lenny TeytelmanJan 14, 2015Comments
There has been a lot of chatter over the past year about predatory open access publishers. The concern is that the pay-to-publish model incentivizes journals to publish as much as possible of anything, correct or not. The concern is misguided (see here). However, what I want to focus on is the even more misguided notion that the subscription publisher's business model is aligned with the ~  read more

Gaps in academic training: don't dismiss and don't freak out

Lenny TeytelmanJan 07, 2015Comments
I just came across a terrific post from Dr. Inger Mewburn about gaps in academic PhD training, "Academic on the inside?" It highlights skills important for non-academic work that the graduate training often fails to provide. These include time management, teamwork, communication with non-scientists and ability to act on partial information. The post is superb and I can't recommend it enough. ~  read more

Minority? We want you to get a PhD, but we don’t want you as a professor.

Lenny TeytelmanDec 10, 2014Comments
Yesterday I wrote why I was encouraged by the ASCB session on the Future of Research. Today, I want to focus on data from this session that I found to be shocking and unacceptable. Kenneth Gibbs gave a data-rich talk on the landscape of career outcomes and perspectives of research trainees. He shared informative statistics about the general trainee pool and the comparisons for women and ~  read more

Optimistic About the Future of Research

Lenny TeytelmanDec 09, 2014Comments
Over the past decade, I have become increasingly despondent regarding the state of the biomedical research enterprise. Five days ago, I was in Washington D.C., as part of a committee tasked with drafting a set of recommendations for a science society to promote diverse non-academic careers for its students and postdoctoral researchers. On the committee was a program director from NSF who ~  read more