Category Archives: Uncategorized

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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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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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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Yoshiki Sasai and the deadly consequences of science misconduct witchhunts

People who know me or read my blog will know that, in 1987, my father, a scientist at the NIH, killed himself after a member of his lab committed scientific fraud and he got caught up in the investigation. So I found the news this morning that Yoshiki Sasai, a Japanese stem cell scientist, committed suicide […]

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Let’s make 2013 the year of legislative access on open access

Yesterday a bi-partisan group of legislatures – Rep. Doyle (D-PA), Rep. Lofgren (D-CA), Rep. Yoder (R-KS), Sen. Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Cornyn (R-TX) – introduced legislation that would require federal agencies that fund scientific and medical research to make works they fund available to the public. This bill – known as the Fair Access to […]

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My father, Aaron Swartz, and assigning blame for suicide

Twenty-six years ago, on February 7th, 1987, my father killed himself, and this day is always a complicated one for me. It is something I have never talked or written about in public. But I am moved to say something this year because of the suicide of Aaron Swartz. My brother had the same reaction, and wrote […]

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Blog’s back

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Notebook S1: Scientific publishing awesomeness

Greg Lang and David Botstein have a paper in PLoS One this week probing the consequences of disrupting the cluster of GAL genes in the yeast genome. The paper is cool. But the supplemental material is awesome. This description in the text says it all: Notebook S1. The complete laboratory notebook detailing the strain constructions […]

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Mystery in a children’s classic: Who is the 12th girl at dinner while Madeline is in the hospital?

Nearly everyone is familiar with Madeline, Ludwig Bemelmans’ classic 1939 children’s tale of the girls in a Parisian boarding school. You will recall that there are 12 of them, and they go about their days in two nice little lines. Always 12 of them, whether they are out and about. Or eating, washing up or […]

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