Frogs in Pants Empirically Demonstrate How Babies Are Made

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In the 17th and 18th centuries, misconceptions about microbiology and sex abounded. Find out what frogs in pants did for the field of reproductive biology in my guest post for BuzzHootRoar, with custom illustrations (like the one at left) by B. G. Merkle. Even BoingBoing liked it.

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Women in Science: Reaching Equilibrium

I will be leading a discussion at ScienceOnline Together on February 27th, 10:30am (Room 3, for those attending). The basis for the discussion will be my recent blog post, Unsettling Stats about Women in Science.

The flash talk I will use to begin and organize the discussion is posted above.

Some other resources that may inform the discussion include:

6 Steps to Gender Equality by Curt Rice

American Scientist articles about women in science, including “When Scientists Choose Motherhood”

You can follow the discussion on Twitter at #ScioWomen

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Unsettling Stats about Women in Science

Smithsonian Institution @ Flickr Commons

Smithsonian Institution @ Flickr Commons

In a recent post, I pointed out that:

“A 2012 study showed that the top 1% of the most highly cited ecologists were men (93%), American (65%), had an average of 32 years of experience in science, spent an average 11 hours per week writing grant proposals and publications, had a large lab of an average 11 people, and had average annual funding of $500,000. Similarly, the 2011 ESA survey I mentioned earlier also concluded:

“We can describe today’s ‘typical ecologist’ as a 55-year-old male professor who studies communities and ecosystems using field observations and experiments, and who finds professional satisfaction in his research. Twenty years ago, the description would have been a 38-year-old male professor studying aquatic communities.”

So, the keys to success are the ability to get funding and the ability to network and collaborate. It also apparently helps if you are a man.

Women make up about 50% of those who receive doctorates in science, but only 21% of tenured professors in science, said a publication in Nature in March. What is it about a woman’s experience during her scientific training that makes academia so unattractive? Let’s look at the numbers. Continue reading

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2013: The UnderStory’s Year in Review

Some boletes stain blue when bruised. I found this one on a mushroom hunt with mycologist Greg Bonito and his lab earlier this year.

Some boletes stain blue when bruised. I found this one on a mushroom hunt with mycologist Greg Bonito and his lab earlier this year.

Looking back on the past year has been very satisfying. When I think about where I was at this time last year and what I intended to accomplish, it is very gratifying to realize just how far I’ve come.

In January of last year, I had just finished editing my first feature article at American Scientist. I’m really proud of how it turned out, which has much to do with the talent of the authors Ashli Moore and Paul Bartell, as well as the patience and intelligence of the American Scientist editorial staff, who always made time for my many, often rookie questions.

One of my big goals for 2013 was to Continue reading

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Who’s the most intelligent species? Brian Hare has some interesting answers.

What Is Intelligence from American Scientist on Vimeo.

I had the wonderful fortune of interviewing Duke University animal behaviorist and anthropologist Brian Hare, who studies cognition in dogs, bonobos, humans, and other animals, and who also launched the citizen science project Dogntion. I produced an audio slideshow, shown above, featuring the interview as part of the American Scientist Pizza Lunch Podcasts, a monthly multidisciplinary science speaker series. You can listen to other Pizza Lunch Podcasts here.

My favorite part of the interview was when Continue reading

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