It’s that time of year when all clear-thinking people die a little inside: the latest set of journal impact factors has just been released.
Although there was an initial flurry of activity on Twitter last week when the 2015 Journal Citation Reports* were published by Thomson Reuters, it had died down by the weekend. You might be forgiven for thinki Continue reading
I miss my home town. I miss the sound of cicadids on a summer evening. I miss the construction of a fine, Southern sentence. I miss running around in bare feet. Continue reading
Last week the world erupted into a storm of outrage over remarks Sir Tim Hunt, Nobel Prize winner, made in Korea. Unacceptable, indefensible remarks. He has been made to resign from positions and committees for which he has worked so hard. An extraordinary number of column inches (virtual and real) have been devoted to demonising the man. As someon Continue reading
In the past week there has been a lot of talk about sexism in science. I don’t want to rehash any of the arguments (though you can hear some of my views on Radio 4 and in the Telegraph). One might summarize it like this, just to set the stage:
1. Some silly, ill-thought-out comments were made by a high-profile scientist in a very public venue Continue reading
So this happened – at The World Conference of Science Journalism, at a lunch sponsored by Korean female scientists and engineers – just yesterday.
So as a human being, I am not sure I particularly care what Professor Tim Hunt, FRS thinks about women. I am however grateful I never worked for the man as it might have been a pretty Continue reading
I seem to have given a lot of talks recently in which the phrase ‘faking it’ sat at their heart. You will realise I am not referring to talks about protein aggregation, microscopy or other scientific subjects when the use of such words might imply some decidedly dodgy and unethical practice. Rather, my talks have been about career progression, conf Continue reading
I suppose most scientists have the problem of taking their work home with them. And by this I don’t mean the stacks of papers you need to read, or the manuscript you’re writing, or the grant application you’re still cobbling together one day before the deadline. No, I mean the tendency we scientists have of seeing everything throu Continue reading
We’re still here. No need to send a search party… yet.
People seem to think that science and culture are two different things. Just as Stefan Collini, in his 2012 book ‘What are Universities for? ’ constantly referred to scientists and scholars, as if scientists were unable to join the (implied elite) club of scholars, culture as usually considered consists of things like music, art, poetry and literat Continue reading
Most conferences provide food for thought and my participation this week in the Global Scholars Symposium in Cambridge certainly fulfilled my expectations in this respect. Although I was meant to be the one doing the talking, there was also time for Q+A and general discussion with the students under the broad theme of Building Impact: Listen, Learn Continue reading
I have been reading the book by Sylvia Ann Hewlett on sponsorship: (Forget a Mentor) Find a Sponsor. Sylvia very kindly gave me a copy of this book when I met her in March where we were both talking at The Meaning of Success event in New York; she is a fellow alumna of Girton College. She is emphatic that you need sponsors as well as mentors. As sh Continue reading
Surprisingly to some and not-so-surprisingly to others, we scientists have our own fair share of troubles in the way we perform our day job – bias, fraud, irreproducibility, lost results, bad data management, difficulty in publishing non-conclusive results. We also have trouble with finding research funding, pressure to publish in high prof Continue reading
At the turn of the year I wrote about the death of Ed Kramer, one of the two key people in my life who turned me into the person I am as a scientist. I am deeply saddened to learn about the death of the other crucial individual who influenced the course of my career so substantially, Sir Sam Edwards. I have written previously a little about Sam but Continue reading
This morning I awoke to the following email (and yes, “OMICS” does it again):
Dear Dr. Steve Caplan,
Greetings of the day. Hope you are doing well. Continue reading
One of the things that is always said about teaching is that it shows you what you do or don’t know. You can’t flannel an explanation to a student who keeps asking probing questions though you may manage to do it to yourself. They may be questions that approach a topic in some way you had never considered before but rapidly realise is i Continue reading