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THE BLACK HOLE

By DAVID KENT | May 12 2016

Last week, I stumbled across a Princeton professor’s oddly entitled “CV of failures” (PDF) and obviously I fancied a click-through to give it a look. It, and its accompanying introduction from Johannes Haushofer, were a good read and an even better reality check. As he says in this introduction, “failures are often invisible” and I […]

By JONATHAN THON | May 02 2016

In this guest post, Damien Wilpitz details how to negotiate a start-up package that reflects your needs.

By DAVID KENT | April 26 2016

David Kent breaks down an eLife article that suggests peer review scores cannot distinguish very good grants from excellent grants. In fact, at a certain point in the process, it is pretty much a random lottery.

By JONATHAN THON | April 18 2016

“If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.” – Albert Einstein   “In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake … That is why academic politics are so bitter.” – Wallace Stanley Sayre (Sayre’s law) To read the previous articles in this series […]

By DAVID KENT | April 11 2016

Before I get into recapping the last few months of activity on the blog, I want to make a plea to all Canadian postdocs to fill out the 2016 survey of Canadian Postdoctoral Fellows. Last time (in 2013), the survey made big waves capturing the views of nearly 2,000 Canadian postdoctoral fellows. Major findings included that […]

By JONATHAN THON | March 31 2016

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward. – Amelia Earhart To read the previous articles in this […]

By DAVID KENT | March 21 2016

Over the past few months I have been doing some semi-regular teaching at the undergraduate level. It’s been a while since I have taught, aside from an odd lecture here or there. However, one thing has become very clear to me: the further I go in research, the less I’m meant to teach the next […]

By JONATHAN THON | March 10 2016

To read the previous articles in this series please visit the links below: The door to an academic science career – open or closed? Commencing the academic job search – impetus and deadlines The academic job search – getting your foot in the door Preparing your application package for an academic job Preparing for the […]

By DAVID KENT | March 01 2016

Let’s focus our evaluations on the research rather than the person completing it.

By JONATHAN THON | February 22 2016

A test of what is real is that it is hard and rough. Joys are found in it, not pleasure. What is pleasant belongs to dreams. – Simone Weil  To read the previous articles in this series please visit the links below: The door to an academic science career – open or closed? Commencing the […]

By DAVID KENT | February 12 2016

Focus your efforts and don’t waste other people’s time.

By JONATHAN THON | February 01 2016

If you are not sure what you want to do for a living, that message comes out loud and clear in the interview. To read the previous articles in this series please visit the links below: The door to an academic science career – open or closed? Commencing the academic job search – impetus and […]

By DAVID KENT | January 19 2016

I’m being applauded for taking parental leave, yet my partner – also a scientist – faces the usual obstacles for her maternity leave.

By JONATHAN THON | January 12 2016

Most importantly: remember your audience.

By DAVID KENT | January 05 2016

Jonathan and I want to wish our readers a very happy new year. In 2016 we want to continue to expand the back and forth with readers as we compile things for our book based on Black Hole ideas and discussion. We’re delighted to be working with superstar editor Angela Jameson Potts on getting these […]

By JONATHAN THON | December 21 2015

There are problems with academic science. We all know this to be true. After roughly eight years of maintaining The Black Hole blog, and three decades having experienced academic science from the ground up — as curious kids, volunteers, undergraduates and then graduate science students, postdoctoral fellows, instructors, professors, thought leaders and mentors — Dave and I have accumulated a comprehensive […]

By DAVID KENT | December 08 2015

Last week, a series of articles came out in Nature that highlighted the need for urgent change in PhD education. This is not a new call, but in one of the articles, Julia Gould does an excellent job of drawing attention to some serious efforts that are underway to both understand and address the problem. […]

By JONATHAN THON | December 01 2015

We don’t know where our first impressions come from or precisely what they mean, so we don’t always appreciate their fragility. – Malcolm Gladwell To read the previous articles in this series please visit these links: The door to an academic science career – open or closed? Commencing the academic job search – impetus and […]

By DAVID KENT | November 25 2015

In my last post, I alluded to a wish list for our new government that would “inspire change across a country that has become, in international eyes, a non-supportive scientific environment.” When I began my PhD in 2003, there was much more liveliness in the science community of Canada: people had bold ideas for how to create vibrant scientific research […]

By JONATHAN THON | November 16 2015

You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else. – Albert Einstein To read the previous articles in this series please visit the links below: The door to an academic science career – open or closed? Commencing the academic job search – impetus and deadlines […]