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Lenny Teytelman
Co-founder of ZappyLab.

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

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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

Veruscript: the academic publisher built for academics or Putin?

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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

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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

Quantitative Analysis of Neo-Nazis Supporting Trump and Clinton

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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.

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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?

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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? pic.twitter.com/6EuSkEO0AC — 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

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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.

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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

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

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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

When good nonprofits collide: the battle between Open Access and Academic Societies

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Lenny TeytelmanMar 16, 2016Comments
Many academic societies do wonderful things for science, scientists, and society. They advocate, educate, support trainees, organize productive conferences, act as publishers whose goal is to improve rather than reject any given paper. As a geneticist, I have attended many of the GSA’s yeast conferences since 2003, and they were always a highlight of my academic training. The GSA was and ~  read more

Our depressing progress on sexual harassment in academia.

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Lenny TeytelmanMar 09, 2016Comments
Not at all surprising, but so terribly depressing to read that similarly to Geoff Marcy, UC Berkeley found the Law School Dean guilty of sexual harassment in an investigation, and then did essentially nothing to punish him. Reading the following made me sick. It's disturbing and upsetting that our progress on sexual harassment is essentially: 1. 20-30 years back, most investigations of people ~  read more

Hush academic, don’t speak up, Focus on your research and shut up.

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Lenny TeytelmanMar 07, 2016Comments
As a first-year graduate student in 2003, I rotated in Michael Eisen’s lab right before the launch of PLOS’s first journal. An older student in the department told me, “Don’t join Mike’s lab. He doesn’t care about the science any more and is just an open access activist at this point.” This is just one of the many dismissive comments I’ve heard ~  read more

Warning against confirmation bias is missed because of confirmation bias

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Lenny TeytelmanFeb 23, 2016Comments
Lior Pachter is an absolute genius. Please read his The relative impact factor of glamour journals is 2.166. Read it now, before you look through the rest of this post, because I will ruin it.  Done? Did you love it? If you loved it, is that because it confirms that the impact factor is a terrible metric? Is that because it confirms that PLOS ONE doesn't have good articles? Did you ~  read more

Invitation to ghost-write an article for RetractionWatch

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Lenny TeytelmanFeb 05, 2016Comments
I am at the UC Davis Gaming Metrics: Innovation & Surveillance in Academic Misconduct. Lots of talks on fake journals, fake papers, fake metrics. The talk that rocked the audience with laughter was by Burkhard Morgenstern on the fake Editorial Board member, previously covered by Jonathan Eisen (Scary and funny: fake researcher Peter Uhnemann on OMICS group Editorial Board ~  read more

Blogging is wonderful for science. More scientists should blog and tweet.

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Lenny TeytelmanFeb 02, 2016Comments
Last night, I came across an interview in Current Biology with the scientist Jingmai O’Connor. It had a rather controversial paragraph: [Question] What’s your view on social media and science? For example, the role of science blogs in critiquing published papers? [Answer] Those who can, publish. Those who can’t, blog. I understand that blogs can be useful in affording the ~  read more