1) Last week, I discussed the NY Times’ coverage of retractions in science, which failed to acknowledge that more retractions actually could mean science is doing a better job of outing bad science. Although it’s far from ideal that these retractions happen at all, Adam Marcus and Ivan Oransky wrote this week about how the outing of questionable science has changed, and why that’s a good signal: The Lessons of Famous Science Frauds, The Verge, Adam Marcus and Ivan Oransky
2) Interesting blog on what statistical methods are used most in ecology, and the increase in using AIC: Why AIC Appeals to Ecologist’s Lowest Instincts, Dynamic Ecology, Brian McGill
Data McGill found from methods in Ecology Letters in 2004 and 2014:
Method 2004 2014
Regression 41% 46%
Significance 40% 35%
Richness 41% 33%
Competition 46% 49%
AIC 6% 19%
So, AIC (Akaike’s Information Criteria) methods are increasing in popularity. McGill goes on to discuss how AIC is being used and how he thinks it should be used, but the post is helpful not just because of McGill’s opinion, but also because of the more than 100 commenters’ opinions shared at the end of the post.
3) Nobel laureate Tim Hunt sparked outcry after making a sexist comment at the World Conference on Science Journalism (#WCSJ2015).
— Connie St Louis (@connie_stlouis) June 8, 2015
He proceeded to not really apologize for what he said, seemingly oblivious to the reasons why his “just trying to be honest” was indecent. He instead said he was “really sorry that I said what I said” (implying that he is not sorry that he meant what he said, which he confirmed in his apology) and that it was “a very stupid thing to do in the presence of all those journalists” (implying that it would be OK to say this in the presence of other people, just not journalists). Women scientists responded on Twitter with the hashtag #distractinglysexy. Before the week was over, Hunt resigned his post at UCL. Given that last week I mentioned the terrible advice in a Science Careers advice column to not say anything when dealing with sexual harassment, I think this is a perfect example of what happens when people follow such advice. I imagine this is not the first time in Hunt’s long and distinguished career that he has said something sexist, but it might be the first time he actually got the message that it was inappropriate.
6) A pair of papers in Science talk about the advances in tracking animals, both marine and aquatic, heralding a “golden age” of studying animal movements:
7) Conference on Broadcast Meteorology happened this week; you can check out the conversations at #AMS15.
15) Meeting on Pollinators in October: Experts Convene to Discuss How to Protect Bees, Other Pollinators, NCSU News, Matt Shipman