THE BLACK HOLE
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.
“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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Let’s focus our evaluations on the research rather than the person completing it.
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 […]
Focus your efforts and don’t waste other people’s time.
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 […]
I’m being applauded for taking parental leave, yet my partner – also a scientist – faces the usual obstacles for her maternity leave.
Most importantly: remember your audience.
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 […]
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 […]
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. […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
There has been a lot of chatter in social and news media about the recently elected Canadian Government and its “pro-science” stand. There is not one, but two, ministers who have the word science in their titles. The long-form census will be restored. Just this week, the government dropped the policy of muzzling government scientists, issuing strong statements […]
There is every reason not to pursue an academic career in science save one – that you could not, in good conscious, do anything else. — Jonathan N. Thon, PhD This is the second in a series of articles. To read the previous article, visit the link below: The door to an academic science career […]