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The Black Hole

BY DAVID KENT | APR 03 2011

This quarter, both Beth and Dave have made efforts to bring the Black Hole out of e-space and into the new territory.  Firstly, a panel organised by science blogger Maryse de la Giroday at Frogheart.ca will feature Beth at Northern Voice 2011 on May 13 and 14.  Secondly, though it was recorded (and probably aired) […]

BY DAVID KENT | MAR 26 2011

I was sitting down with a group of scientists following a football/soccer game the other day and dropped a bomb into the conversation by asking if people thought cancer research got too much money.  Nobody, myself included, disputed the obvious need for funding cancer research as a leading cause of death, but what we did […]

BY BETH | MAR 07 2011

This site was recently brought to my attention: http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/ It’s a site that reports on research papers being retracted (e.g., due to the science contained within them being fraudulent). I thought that in light of our discussions on here about the use of number of publications as the main measure of academic “success,” it might […]

BY DAVID KENT | FEB 21 2011

Last year, one of the hottest topics on the site was Budget 2010 and the new rules regarding postdoctoral fellowships. Those entries are still among the most popular: (latest post) 2012 Taxes for Postdocs: Dredging up the Past 2010 Canadian Taxes: Did you get your T2202 and T4a? Budget 2010: Post Docs, be careful what you […]

BY BETH | FEB 20 2011

This blog posting is something a little different than our usual blog fare here on The Black Hole, but something I thought might be of interest to our readers: a chance to publish your dissertation – in haiku form! A friend of mine recently told me about this blog, a place where you can submit a […]

BY BETH | FEB 17 2011

The course that I currently teach at a local college is being set up as open source. It draws on material that is available through open sources, uses an open source textbook, and will be freely available as open source content ((not sure the details of when and where and how, but that is the […]

BY DAVID KENT | FEB 07 2011

Quick Hit: Paul Krzyzanowski, another post doctoral fellow who writes for the Stem Cell Network blog just posted The underused academic in which he discusses funding levels of Canadian postdoctoral fellows and the balance of funding International imports vs. Canadian exports. New Metrics for Assessing Scientists: Let’s Accessorize (see also: New Metrics for Assessing Scientists: […]

BY BETH | JAN 29 2011

About a year ago, I blogged at the CIHR Science to Business program – a funding mechanism “designed to encourage individuals with PhDs in a health related field to pursue an MBA.” Well, being one of those people with a PhD in a health related field who is in a career involved in translating knowledge […]

BY DAVID KENT | JAN 18 2011

I just had a pair of new students start under my supervision in the lab and I decided to try something new.  Along with the standard “who’s who in the lab” and “here are a few good reviews and papers to get you started”, I passed along two things that I think are simply wonderful […]

BY BETH | JAN 13 2011

The other day, this article from Live Science was brought to our attention: “Republicans Call for Public Scrutiny of NSF grants” From the article: Republican Majority Leader-Elect Eric Cantor (R-VA) is asking citizens to choose their own cuts to federal spending — and he’s started with the National Science Foundation. On his website, Cantor is […]

BY MARIANNE | JAN 06 2011

I have had the unique opportunity to make this decision, recently.  After nearly seven years of postdoctoral experience, I was ready for my first ‘real job’.  By ready, I mean I had already been seeking that job for nearly 3 years. I can tell you from personal experience that the job market in Canada has […]

BY DAVID KENT | JAN 02 2011

Happy 2011 everyone – we hope you’ve all enjoyed 2010 and are looking forward to engaging you on many new (and old) issues in the coming year.  It’s been a great quarter for us with increased traffic despite a slightly lower number of posts.  Dave has signed up for twitter @scienceadvocacy and we hope that […]

BY DAVID KENT | DEC 30 2010

Those who know me might recall a certain penchant I have for making terrible acronyms (or jokes in general) and I can’t believe that this one has escaped me for so long: PHD = Professionals in High Demand This tidy little phrase underscores many of the issues that we have written about on this site […]

BY SONJA B. | DEC 15 2010

In response to Dave’s recent post on formal undergraduate training programs, I felt that it would be worth sharing my thoughts as someone who has just finished 16 months of co-op in academia and industry.  I first started to think about enrolling in a co-op program after talking to an international student advisor, who suggested […]

BY DAVID KENT | DEC 09 2010

Although an identical number of women get a PhD in the life sciences, only 15-20% of tenured positions are secured by women ~Frank Gannon, EMBO 2007 This is a frightening statistic, and I’m not convinced it’s gotten much better since 2007. Gannon goes on to introduce two articles in the same issue of EMBO that […]

BY BETH | DEC 04 2010

Student loans. They are sort of the dirty little secret among grad students. Not something people generally like to talk about, because having student loans means you weren’t good enough to have won the big scholarships that the other grad students were able to use to sustain themselves through undergraduate and grad school. And that […]

BY DAVID KENT | NOV 20 2010

After some requests and a few months of “oh yes, I’ll get around to that”, we have created a Twitter account for you to follow if that is your method of choice for keeping your news, blogs, etc organized. We are located at:  http://twitter.com/scienceadvocacy Just to enrich the post a little more, I think it’s […]

BY DAVID KENT | NOV 15 2010

Quick Hit:  Earlier this week, I published a blog entry with the Stem Cell Network on scientists holding back the details of their data prior to publication entitled: The Royal Society and the philosophy of openness: Are we moving backwards? As it overlaps with many of the themes on this site, I figured it wouldn’t […]

BY BETH | NOV 09 2010

A friend of mine who is close to finishing her PhD and is trying to figure out what she wants to do next (“To postdoc or not to postdoc….that is the question :)”) emailed me recently looking for advice on where to look for job postings. As I compiled a list of the places I’ve looked […]

BY DAVID KENT | NOV 01 2010

It’s term time here in Cambridge and this means that rotation students start passing through the labs (6-10 week projects in multiple labs to determine where to complete PhD research).  This is a curious stage in the development of young scientists, because undergraduate degrees rarely equip students with a real vision of what graduate school […]