Last Two Weeks’ Good Reads: Pooping in the Field, Scientists in the Twitterverse, and an Ode to Random Choices

1) Ecologists share their favorite sightings while going to the bathroom in the wilds of their fieldwork: What’s the Best Bird You’ve Seen While on the Toilet?, Living Alongside Wildlife, Rebecca Heisman

2) “I don’t know how you can keep up with your field today without the likes of Twitter…. The return on investment of time is well worth it.” Eric Topol, in an article by Neil Savage: Scientists in the Twitterverse, Cell

3) Buzzfeed calls out Science by summarizing all of the really bad press they’ve had in the past year related to sexist content: Read This Letter from Scientists Accusing Top Publisher of Sexism, Buzzfeed News, Cat Ferguson and Azeen Ghorayshi

4) The Really Big One, The New Yorker, Kathryn Schulz

5) A lovely ode to randomness: How to Choose?, Aeon, Michael Schulson

6) New Podcast The Conjectural experiments with what makes good science news both informative and engaging. The first episode delves into climate science.

7) Data Analysis: Create a Cloud Commons, Nature, Lincoln D. Stein et al.

8) Fishing Boats Become Citizen Science Data Platforms, BBC News, Mark Kniver

9) The Scopes Trial Redefined Science Journalism and Shaped It to What It Is Today, Smithsonian Magazine, Kimbra Cutlip

10) Top 10 Ways to Save Science from its Statistical Self, ScienceNews, Tom Siegfried

11) I’m Calling It: Podcasting Is the Future of Journalism, The Tyee, Shannon Rupp



Weekly Good Reads: Blind Experiments, Broadest Impacts, and Writing Explainers

1) Evidence of Experimental Bias in the Life Sciences: Why We Need Blind Data Recording, PLoS Biology, Luke Holman et al.

2) Carl Zimmer’s Brief Guide to Writing Explainers, The Open Notebook, Carl Zimmer

3) Population Trend of the World’s Monitored Seabirds, 1950–2010, PLoS One, Michelle Peleczny et al.

4) Broader Impact Statements: Are Researchers Thinking Broadly Enough, SciLogs, Kirk Englehardt

5) US Postdocs Hope for Overtime Pay, Nature, Chris Woolston

6) To Catch a Cheat: Paper Improves on Stats Method that Nailed Prolific Retractor Fujii, Retraction Watch

7) Grassland Productivity Limited by Multiple Nutrients, Nature Plants, Philip Fay et al.

8) The Imperfect Science of Climate Change Analysis: A Conversation with Michael Mann and Katherine Hayhoe, The Weather Channel, Michele Berger

9) Why Academic Journals Are Teaming Up with Reddit, Medium, Simon Owens

10) Talking with Students, Scientific American, Glendon Mallow

11) Sardines, Both Beloved and Reviled, May Be Vanishing, National Geographic, Maryn McKenna

12) A New Breed of Ranchers Is Restoring the Landscape and Learning to Live with Predators, Pacific Standard, Alisa Opar

13) Lyme Disease Is Spreading Faster than Ever and Humans Are Partly to Blame, Quartz, Gwynn Guilford

This Week’s Good Reads: Evolution 2015, Lost Carbon Sink, and New Pew Data

1) Climate Change: Weighing the World’s Trees, Nature News Feature, Gabriel Popkin

2) New info on what social factors predict people’s choices about controversial science issues. Take home message: It’s not always education, or political affiliation, or religion, or any other social identifier that most influences what people think. It really depends on the issue, which means each issue takes tailoring messages for a particular audience. Americans, Politics, and Science Issues, Pew Research Center, Cary Funk & Lee Rainy

3) Evolution 2015 just happened in Guarujá, Brazil. Tweets at this hashtag: #Evol2015

Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 4.31.02 PM

4) Hybrid Zones: Windows on Climate Change, Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Scott A. Taylor et al. [paywall, c’mon, TREE]

5) @AcademicsSay: The Story Behind a Social Media Experiment, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Nathan Hall

6) Gene Expression Analysis–Are We Doing It Wrong?, The Molecular Ecologist, Melissa DeBiasse

7) Leisure Activities: The Power of a Pastime, Nature, Chris Woolston

8) Job Security for Early Career Researchers Is a Significant Factor in Helping Research Make an Impact, London School of Economics and Political Science Blog, Siobahn Phillips & Rhona Heywood Roos

9) Using Twitter to Communicate Conservation Science Beyond Professional Conferences, Conservation Biology, Sara P. Bomabaci et al. [paywall]

10) Perceptions of Manipulation and Judgments of Illegitimacy: Pitfalls in the Use of Emphasis Framing when Communicating about CO2 Capture and Storage, Environmental Communication, Gerdien de Vries et al. [paywall]

11) Sexual Conflict Maintains Variation at an Insecticide Resistant Locus, BMC Biology, Wayne G. Rostant et al. [paywall, but press release here]

12) Science Frauds Who Steal Tons of Federal Money Almost Never Go to Jail, BuzzFeed, Azeen Ghorayshi and Cat Ferguson

13) Science Is Heroic, With a Tragic (Statistical) Flaw, ScienceNews, Tom Siegfried

14) A Bayesian Approach to Mitigation of Publication Bias, Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, M. Guan & J. Vandekerckhove

15) Where to See a Rare Firefly Mating Dance, NY Times, Joanna Klein

16) Monkey’s Uncles, Evolution, and the South, The Science of the South, Craig McClain

17) California Academy of Sciences is hiring 6 ecological scientists who focus on science communication and diversity in science. Job posting here.


This Week’s Good Reads: Long-Term Experiments, Symbioses, and Turtle Shells

1) Jeremy Fox did a great Q & A with Richard Lenski, who is best known for his Long-Term Evolution Experiment following colonies of E. coli since 1988. Lenski lends insight into the art of asking experimental questions, the challenges and promise of long-term experiments, and what questions he has answered and still hopes to answer with this project with no end.


From Here to Eternity–The Theory and Practice of a Really Long Experiment, PLoS Biology, Jeremy Fox and Richard Lenski

2) Rick Borchelt summarizes the findings of two new science communication studies:

How do millennials consume news?
“The key for those of us who want our news to be part of the information diets of Millennials is to match their assessments of which experts and what institutions become trusted information sources.”

Do hostile media perceptions affect action?
“the take-home message for communicators seems to be that rallying against hostile media may be an effective way to boost activism, albeit incrementally.”

Minding Millennials, Media Bias, ScienceWriters, Rick Borchelt

3) Great science communication satire here: Upvote This Post, Pleeease!, Bryn Nelson, The Last Word on Nothing


4) The Gordon Research Center’s Meeting on Animal-Microbe Symbioses happened this past week. A few people were tweeting at #GRC2015, although that hashtag appears to be confused with several different meetings that happened recently. Here are some papers that got on my radar:

Major evolutionary transitions in individuality, PNAS, Stuart West et al.

Metagenomics Meets Time Series Analysis: Unraveling Microbial Community Dynamics, Current Opinion in Microbiology, Karoline Faust et al.

Inoculation of Tannin-Degrading Bacteria into Novel Hosts Increases Performance on Tannin-Rich Diets, Environmental Microbiology, Kevin Kohl

Microbial Ecology in Hydra: Why Viruses Matter, Journal of Microbiology, Thomas C. G. Bosch et al.

Microbial Metaproteomics for Characterizing the Range of Metabolic Functions and Activities of Human Gut BacteriaProteomics, Weili Xiong

5) Blind Trust in Unblinded Observation in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, Frontiers in Ecology & Evolution, Melissa R. Kardish et al.

6) Identification, Please, The New York Times Magazine, Helen MacDonald

7) E.P.A. Warns of High Cost of Climate Change, The New York Times, Coral Davenport

8) Could the Pope’s Encyclical Push Public Opinion to Tipping Point on Climate?, PLoS Blogs, Victoria Costello

9) How the Turtle Got Its Shell, NPR, Nell Greenfieldboyce

10) Once and Future Nut: How Genetic Engineering May Bring Back Chestnuts, NPR, Jill Neimark

11) Why Doesn’t Everyone Believe Humans Are Causing Climate Change?, NovaNext, Brad Balukjian

12) Lost in ‘Third Space': The Impact of Public Engagement in Higher Education on Academic Identity, Research Practice and Career Progression, European Journal of Higher Education, Richard Watermeyer

13) When Publishers Aren’t Getting It Done, Medium, Neil B. Christensen