Category Archives: Literature

On the Journal with No Name

There was a little bit of kerfuffle a week or two ago. Apparently some rather well-respected institutions (and the Max Planck Institute) decided to announce they were thinking of launching a journal. Maybe. In a year’s time. With no editor-in-chief … Continue reading

Posted in Literature | Tagged , , , | 24 Comments

On peer review, part 451 (b)

I had a conversation on twitter last night with m’learned friend Nige, who runs the most ethical small business I know of. He pointed me at this blog post by Richard Smith at the BMJ, What is post publication peer … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Nonsense, The stupid, it burns | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Silence is Golden

It passed pretty much unnoticed amongst the other projects going on around here, but I wrote a short story the other week, and it’s up on LabLit: Silence is Golden. Gratifyingly, Tania Hershman asked me on Twitter whether there were … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, wibbling | Tagged , | 24 Comments

On writing papers

One languid Sydney lunchtime I copied a particularly egregious paragraph from one of my co-authors and emailed it to my boss, with simply a ‘!’ for comment. A few minutes later his reply snuck sheepishly into my inbox, with the … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Rants | Tagged | 21 Comments

On peer review and trials by Twitter

(Edited to add: just three seconds after hitting ‘publish’ I saw that Girl, Interrupting, has a very fine post making some of the same points. Please read that, too.) Towards the end of last year, the day job ran an … Continue reading

Posted in F1000, Literature, Rants | Tagged , , , , | 21 Comments

On motivation

I gave a talk last night at the Royal College of Physicians, in the Research Information Network‘s series on Research in transition. The inestimable (and believe me, I’ve tried estimating him) Stephen Curry was there too; it was a veritable … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Talks | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments

On books

Just after I got to work this morning, a parcel appeared on my desk. “I wonder what that could be?” I said, theatrically. Ah ha! Look at that handsome photography. The Honest Look, now shipping from Amazon. PS Don’t forget … Continue reading

Posted in Literature | 22 Comments

On inevitability

While cooking dinner, I was pondering a twitter conversation, and some news reports that had been referenced. With my vast expanse of science journalism (hah) on the one hand, and personal insight into major newsworthy events on the other, I … Continue reading

Posted in Literature | 12 Comments

On impact factors

They’re crap, aren’t they? Seriously. Jenny writes that scientists need metrics that reward effort as well as luck. While that’s true, we also need metrics that aren’t capricious and as susceptible to gaming. At the day job, Bob Grant (no … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Rants | Tagged | 23 Comments

On coupling

No, not that sort of coupling. I was writing up today’s Faculty Dailies, catching up on (yet) another paper about how ribosomes control the rate of transcription. As has been known for decades, bacterial transcription and translation are tightly coupled. … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Science | 2 Comments