Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Tragedy of Lander

Given my previous history of harsh criticism of Eric Lander’s actions and character, people seem to expect me to be gloating at the news that his tenure as President Biden’s chief science advisor ended in ignominy after barely a year following an investigation that found he had bullied and belittled staffers. I am unsurprised. I […]

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What population genetics has to say about Olympic success of West African sprinters

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Publishers are routinely stealing content from American citizens

President Obama published an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association today discussing the current state of his health care reform initiatives. Fortunately, the article is not behind a paywall. But JAMA nonetheless asserts their ownership and right to control the article’s use, as they do on all articles they publish, by attaching […]

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Berkeley’s Handling of Sexual Harassment is a Disgrace

What more is there to say? Another case where a senior member of the Berkeley faculty, this time Berkeley Law Dean Sujit Choudhry, was found to have violated the campus’s sexual harassment policy, and was given a slap on the wrists by the administration. Astronomer Geoff Marcy’s punishment for years of harassment of students was a […]

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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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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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