Author Archives: Michael Eisen

Vegan Thanksgiving Picnic Pie Recipe

I posted some pictures of this Thanksgiving themes picnic pie (completely vegan) on Twitter and Facebook. A bunch of people asked me for my recipe. Unfortunately, it was almost completely improvised, so I don’t have a recipe. But here is roughly what I did. First of all, a few weeks ago I had no idea what a […]

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You Have Died Of Peer Review

      I’ve been feeling the need for some new publishing related t-shirts, and somehow this idea popped into my head.   For those of you who don’t know, it’s based on the popular 80’s computer game Oregon Trail, where games would often end with the alert that “You Have Died Of Dysentery” I made […]

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The New York Times’ serial open access slimer Gina Kolata has a clear conflict of interest

Yesterday the Gina Kolata published a story in the New York Times about the fact that many clinical studies are not published. This is a serious problem and it’s a good thing that it is being brought to light. But her article contains a weird section in which a researcher at the University of Florida explains […]

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What Geoffrey Marcy did was abominable; What Berkeley didn’t do was worse

I am so disappointed and revolted with my university. On Friday, Azeen Ghorayshi posted a story about Geoffrey Marcy, a high-profile professor in UC Berkeley’s astronomy department. It reported on a a complaint filed by four women to Berkeley’s Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD) that alleged that Marcy “repeatedly engaged in inappropriate physical behavior with students, including […]

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The Mission Bay Manifesto on Science Publishing

Earlier this week I gave a seminar at UCSF. In addition to my usual scientific spiel, I decided to end my talk with a proposal to UCSF faculty for action that could take make scholarly communication better. This is something I used to do a lot, but have mostly stopped doing since my entreaties rarely produce tangible […]

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A couple of weeks ago I unintentionally set off a bit of a firestorm regarding Wikipedia, Elsevier and open access. I was scanning my Twitter feed, as one does, and came upon a link to an Elsevier press release: Elsevier access donations help Wikipedia editors improve science articles: With free access to ScienceDirect, top editors can ensure that […]

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Thoughts on Ron Vale’s ‘Accelerating Scientific Publication in Biology’

Ron Vale has posted a really interesting piece on BioRxiv arguing for changes in scientific publishing. The piece is part data analysis, examining differences in publishing in several journals and among UCSF graduate students from 1980 to today, and part perspective, calling for the adoption of a culture of “pre-prints” in biology, and the expanded […]

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Sympathy for the Devil?

My Facebook feed is awash with people standing up for Tim Hunt: “The witch hunt against Tim Hunt is unbearable and disgraceful”, “This is how stupidity turns into big damage. Bad bad bad”, “Regarding the Tim Hunt hysteria”, and so on. Each of these posts has prompted a debate between people who think a social […]

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Elsevier admits they’re a major obstacle for women scientists in the developing world

I just received the following announcement from Elsevier: Nominations opened today for the Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early-Career Women Scientists in the Developing World, a high-profile honor for scientific and career achievements by women from developing countries in five regions: Latin America and theCaribbean; the Arab region; Sub-Saharan Africa; Central and South Asia; and East […]

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Pachter’s P-value Prize’s Post-Publication Peer-review Paradigm

Several weeks ago my Berkeley colleague Lior Pachter posted a challenge on his blog offering a prize for computing a p-value for a claim made in a 2004 Nature paper. While cheeky in its formulation, Pachter had an important point – he believed that a claim from this paper was based on faulty reasoning, and the p-value prize […]

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