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THE BLACK HOLE

By JONATHAN THON | August 05 2014

Government support of research and development should focus on expanding its ability to engage in early basic research, where justification for government intervention is strongest, while incentivizing programs that will help bring these discoveries to market. To better appreciate this point we need look no further than across our largest border. Over the last three […]

By DAVID KENT | July 22 2014

Our guest blogging has finally started to ramp up to where we are getting numerous viewpoints on the key issues affecting early career researchers. We hope this momentum will continue and the Black Hole can be a place for people to express their opinions and generate discussion. This quarter featured the following posts: Erika / […]

By JONATHAN THON | July 02 2014

In 2010 the federal government of Canada established an Expert Panel on Federal Support to Research and Development to provide advice on maximizing the effectiveness of federal support for basic research. To sustain the current level of prosperity Canada enjoys among first-world nations and maintain competitiveness in an increasingly challenging global context, the report specifies […]

By DAVID KENT | June 16 2014

Editor’s note: A few weeks back, Jenn and Erika shared their stories about being postdoctoral moms (here and here). Today the stories continue with a point by point entry and a Q & A response on the major challenges associated with the period away from the lab…  A blank year on the CV Child-rearing is an “acceptable delay” […]

By BRIANNE KENT | June 04 2014

Publication in high impact journals often drives both the experiments and the career trajectory of early career researchers. Hardly a day goes by in the lab without somebody lamenting the peer review system or the latest rejection (or acceptance!) in Cell, Science or Nature. It is the source of much consternation and last week the […]

By JONATHAN THON | May 20 2014

I was recently invited to give a keynote address at the Human Disease Mapping conference at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland that was fully coordinated by a small group of the college’s PhD students and postdoctoral fellows. The scope was to share my experience and story of my academic career in a period […]

By DAVID KENT | May 12 2014

Editor’s Note: Today the Black Hole continues its series of posts dedicated to postdoctoral fellows with kids. Two current postdoctoral fellows (Jenn and Erika) who have recently had children whilst pursing science at the very highest levels have kindly agreed to share their experiences. We are really excited to be able to provide them a forum that will […]

By DAVID KENT | May 05 2014

Editor’s Note: Today the Black Hole is delighted to launch a short series of posts dedicated to postdoctoral fellows with kids. Two current postdoctoral fellows (Jenn and Erika) who have recently had children whilst pursing science at the very highest levels have kindly agreed to share their experiences. We are really excited to be able […]

By JONATHAN THON | April 28 2014

I was recently invited to give a keynote address at the Human Disease Mapping conference at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland that was fully coordinated by a small group of the college’s PhD students and postdoctoral fellows. The scope was to share my experience and story of my academic career in a period where the […]

By BRIANNE KENT | April 22 2014

Editor’s note: Today, we are very happy to welcome Brianne Kent, a Gates Cambridge scholar originally from Vancouver to the Black Hole blogging community. As always, readers interested in blogging about issues they are passionate about are encouraged to email us at contact@scienceadvocacy.org with their pitch. Earlier this year, the Cambridge University graduate school of life sciences GRAduate […]

By JONATHAN THON | April 14 2014

I was recently invited to give a keynote address at the Human Disease Mapping conference at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland that was fully coordinated by a small group of the college’s PhD students and postdoctoral fellows. The scope was to share my experience and story of my academic career in a period where the […]

By DAVID KENT | April 08 2014

It’s taken nearly five years to build the Black Hole blog up to the point where we are having regular input from more than me + 1 (first Beth Snow and now Jonathan Thon) so this quarter it was especially nice to see numerous guest posts including a returning guest blogger. The goal of the […]

By JONATHAN THON | March 31 2014

I was recently invited to give a keynote address at the Human Disease Mapping conference at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland that was fully coordinated by a small group of the college’s PhD students and postdoctoral fellows. The scope was to share my experience and story of my academic career in a period where the […]

By DAVID KENT | March 26 2014

Scientific research extends well beyond borders and its internationalization has been a major boon for collaboration and advancement. Last month, Switzerland made news by putting a cap on immigrant labour that would prevent mobility into their scientific research environment. This met with much criticism and resulted in the EU banning Swiss applications to its Horizon […]

By JONATHAN THON | March 17 2014

I was recently invited to give a keynote address at the Human Disease Mapping conference at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland  that was fully coordinated by a small group of the college’s PhD students and postdoctoral fellows. The scope was to share my experience and story of my academic career in a period […]

By DAVID KENT | March 10 2014

Last week, I attended a lecture by Jorge Cham, creator of PhD Comics who preached about the “power of procrastination.” For those who have seen this lecture before, you may have left wondering whether his statements about what you do while procrastinating are true. He maintains that such oft-demonized activities are the process of discovering […]

By JONATHAN THON | March 03 2014

I was recently invited to give a keynote address at the Human Disease Mapping conference at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland  that was coordinated by a small group of the college’s PhD students and postdoctoral fellows. I was asked to share my experiences and story of my academic career in a period where […]

By DAVID KENT | February 24 2014

Editors Note: The Black Hole team is delighted to have guest blogger Dr. Kelly Holloway share her thoughts on the recent Canadian Science Policy Conference and the dangers of pushing researchers toward an entrepreneurial mindset. Her research group focuses on this issue and others and their website is listed below. The November 2013 meeting of the […]

By JONATHAN THON | February 13 2014

We are very pleased to introduce a guest post from Dr. Mark Larson, an associate professor of biology at Augustana College, South Dakota. Mark is a distinguished scientist, a gifted lecturer and a strong advocate for science education. His article this week is particularly timely in light of recent events in the South Dakota Legislature. […]

By DAVID KENT | February 05 2014

Last spring I wrote an article called “Postdoctoral mentors and a regular reality check” which discussed the topic of a secondary mentorship program. The postdoctoral-fellow second mentor is something I’ve been pushing to create here in Cambridge. Many people find some type of mentorship on their own through departmental seminars, collaborations, conferences, etc. – but are all […]