Tag Archives: science

Remembering Bill Loomis, a Dictyostelium colleague

Bill leaned towards me, slightly lopsided but intent, holding a glass of white wine at an angle that almost kept it from spilling on me. It was clear he wanted to figure out what I was up to, not quite … Continue reading

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Do you deserve to be told why your preproposal was not invited?

By now everyone has heard whether or not their preproposal at NSF in DEB or IOS has been invited for a full proposal. About three quarters of us are disappointed, perhaps fewer if people wrote more than one, so had … Continue reading

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Do you need to name the scientists in intro biology?

Meghan Duffy on the terrific blog Dynamic Ecology asks whether we can’t just teach the concepts and not worry about the researchers. After all, there are so many things we have figured out in biology that really don’t need to … Continue reading

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Science is problem solving: two crucial first steps

I have an extremely intelligent friend with a Ph.D. in something really fancy who raised his kids with a great deal of freedom. I’m sure he did this for a number of reasons, but one that he articulated early on … Continue reading

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Ph.D. Qualifying exams: what they do and do not mean

My youngest son went to a very progressive public kindergarten in Houston, La Escuela Rice, that was supposed to be highly technological, multi-grade, and bilingual in Spanish. This school also had a special grading system that did not have letter … Continue reading

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Do mouse people talk outside their group? Do you?

Creativity research says to reach outside your group to come up with innovative ideas. I’ve written before on this topic, referencing Burt‘s work on structural holes and who is at risk for a new idea. Right now I’m at Janelia … Continue reading

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What I learned at the National Science Foundation

Here are some things I learned last week at NSF while serving on the Advisory Committee for Biological Sciences. I expect every time I go I’ll learn something new, but in some ways what a beginner learns first can be … Continue reading

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How to increase research creativity: work differently!

Isn’t it too bad there isn’t a simple formula for having the best ideas? Isn’t it too bad you can’t easily find the best thing to study, something easy, fun, high impact, and easily published in PNAS? It may seem … Continue reading

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Don’t you want to share your slides? Here’s an easy way to do it!

A friend of mine here at Wash U, Liz Dorland, shares all her talks. She works on effective science teaching, so I refer to her talks often. Liz uses Slideshare for this. Since she discovered it, it might be good … Continue reading

Posted in Helping others, Presentations and seminars, Scientific community, Scientific meetings, Seminars, Talks, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What if you assume your hypothesis is wrong when you design an experiment?

Designing experiments is deceptively simple. After all, you know what’s going on, right? So you just design an experiment that manipulates or otherwise examines the variable of interest, with an appropriate control, then show the pattern you expected, write it … Continue reading

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