This Week’s Good Reads: The Hyperbolome, Making Impact, and Genetic Rescue

This seems to be the week of cool meetings I missed. Including:

1) The General Meeting for the American Society for Microbiology, which you can check out at #ASM2015. Carl Zimmer spoke about the hype around microbiome research, and he coined a new word for it: the hyperbolome.

2) The World Conference on Research Integrity, which you can check out at #WCRI2015.

3) The International Public Science Events Conference, which you can check out at #IPSEC2015.

4) The Science of Team Science, held at the NIH, which you can follow at #SciTS.


1) I’ve often thought that using more accessible language would help journal articles have more impact, but at least for number of citations, that’s not true, according to a new study: In a Paradox, Study Finds That Long, Jargon-Laden Abstracts Make for More Citations, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Mary Ellen McIntire. But there are other ways that making one’s work accessible can lead to indirect career benefits and impact, not that that should be one’s sole goal, ethically speaking, as this NY Times article discusses: Academics Seek a Big Splash, NY Times, Noam Scheiber. Of course, there are other (perhaps more ethical) reasons to make one’s work accessible, as discussed in this editorial: Why We Should Help People Understand Our Scientific Literature, Conservation Biology, R. W. Abrams. All of these papers get at the question of what exactly impact is, and when it is ethical versus not, which Kirk Englehardt has discussed recently.

2) Speaking of ethics in science, check out my recent response to the NY Times editorial on cheating and retractions in science.

3) And in the big stink of the week, Science Careers published an advice column about sexual harassment in the workplace that immediately drew the rage of social media. It was quickly taken down. You can read more about that conversation here: Science, Not Sexism, Inside Higher Ed, Colleen Flaherty

4) Congratulations, You’re an Editor! What Do You Do Now?, The Open Notebook, April Reese

5) Don’t Explain So Much at Once, and Other Advice from Young Science Readers, Scientific American, Amanda Baker

6) How Conspiracy Theories Emerge on Facebook, NOVANext, Allison Eck

7) Secrets of Charles Darwin’s Breakthrough: The Real Story of How We Got to Evolution, Salon, Susan Wise Bauer

8) This One Simple Trick to Help Fight the Male Scientist Stereotype, Small Pond Science, Catherine Scott

9) Missed this blog’s lit review from a few weeks ago, but it’s evergreen enough to be relevant now, discussing several recent papers about genetic rescue and gene flow: Gene Flow and Population Fitness, The Molecular Ecologist, Arun Sethuraman

10) Ten Top Tips for Reviewing Statistics: A Guide for Ecologists,, Chris Grieves


This Week’s Good Reads: The Hyperbolome, Making Impact, and Genetic Rescue — 3 Comments

    • Kirk, I always find your writing on science communication thought-provoking. Thanks for taking the time to research and write it!

  1. Pingback: This Week’s Good Reads: Ecologists’ Favorite Statistical Methods, How Biodiversity Inhibits Parasites, and Distractingly Sexist Scientists | The UnderStory

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