Archive for the 'BlogBlather' category

Twelve Months of DrugMonkey (2015)

Dec 19 2015 Published by under BlogBlather, Blogging

Jan: Here's to wishing all of my Readers a fantastic 2015. May your grants be funded, your papers accepted and your promotions obtained.

Feb: Some people try to get into a mental frame for grant writing with disruptions of their normal workaday routine.

Mar: There is one thing that concerns me about the Journal of Neuroscience banning three authors from future submission in the wake of a paper retraction.

Apr: challdreams wrote on rejection.

 These things may or may not be part of your personal life, where rejection rears its head at times and you are left to deal with the fall out.

May: Neuroscientist Nikos Logothetis (PubMed) has informed his colleagues that he is stopping his long running nonhuman primate research program.

Jun: First of all, if you don't understand that anything featuring groups of humans is in the broader sense "political" than you are a fool.

Jul: I still get irritated every time a PO gives me some grant advice or guidance that is discordant with my best understanding of the process.

Aug: Sometimes, I page back through my Web of Science list of pubs to the minimal citations range.

Sep: How many staff members (mix of techs, undergrads, graduate students, postdocs, staff sci, PI) constitute a "medium sized laboratory" in your opinion?

Oct: Are you familiar with any Universities that award some sort of official recognition of the completion of a postdoctoral term of scientific training?

NovPAR-16-025 invites applications for the R50 Research Specialist award.

Dec: It emerged on the Twitts today that sometimes postdocs can defer student loans and sometimes they cannot.

One response so far

Who are you, what are you doing here and why are you looking at me??? The Reboot

Jul 29 2015 Published by under BlogBlather

It's that time again, Dear Reader.

This post is a meme for you, the readers of this blog, to take more than the usual spotlight you enjoy here in the comments. This is especially for you lurkers (in case you didn't notice, the email field can be filled with nonsense like For the the veterans, yes I know who you are but feel free to update us on any changes in the way you interact with the blog...especially if you've lost touch with the content, been dismayed or just decided that I'm not who you thought at first, ideas-wise.

1) Tell me about yourself. Who are you? Do you have a background in science? If so, what draws you here as opposed to meatier, more academic fare? And if not, what brought you here and why have you stayed?

2) Have you told anyone else about this blog? Why? Were they folks who are not a scientist?. Ever sent anything to family members or groups of friends who don't understand your career?

3) How did you find us and how do you regularly follow us? through Twitter, Facebook and/or other beyond-RSS mechanisms?

If you blog, and I know many of you do, go ahead and post your own version of this. Take the time to get to know your audience and ask the lurkers to come out and play. You'll be most pleasantly surprised how many take you up on it.

[This is all the fault of Ed Yong. Head over the the last iteration to see all the gory details and links to prior comment threads.]

92 responses so far

Open Thread

Jul 14 2015 Published by under BlogBlather, Day in the life of DrugMonkey

Whatcha got for me today?

39 responses so far

Thought of the Day

Jun 22 2015 Published by under BlogBlather, Grant Review, Grantsmanship

I cannot tell you how comforting it is to know that no matter the depths and pedantry of my grant geekery, there is always a certain person to be found digging away furiously below me.

9 responses so far

Updating the Glossary

May 29 2015 Published by under BlogBlather, Blogging

I maintain a blog Glossary page which is supposed to be a handy reference for newcomers to the blog. It is necessary because I am lazy and often use shorthand when I am writing blog posts. My commenters frequently do as well. I was just adding RAP to the list when I thought I should maybe solicit feedback from you.

So, any suggestions for the Glossary, Dear Reader?

Anything which stumped you when you first started reading? Or which stumps you now?

What jargon should I add?

30 responses so far

Open Thread

Jan 23 2015 Published by under BlogBlather, Blogging

Whatcha got today, folks?

57 responses so far

Thought of the Day

Dec 17 2014 Published by under BlogBlather, Careerism

This blog is as much about succeeding in the world as we find it as it is about complaining about the bad things.

9 responses so far

Blog networks

Dec 15 2014 Published by under BlogBlather

Blog networks appear to have a life cycle. Today it is Scientific American that is blowing up its blog network.

Dave Winer, one of the medium’s pioneers, once defined a blog as, “the unedited voice of a person.”


It’s an honorable notion of what a blog should be, which suits independent bloggers just fine. News outlets, however, have unique responsibilities to their readers and to the public and as such their standards must differ.

So... maybe don't pretend to have blogs? Just call them columns like you used to?

First, we are publishing a new set of Blog Network Guidelines so that everyone, bloggers and readers alike, is fully aware of our basic operational ground rules and protocols.

To make the most of these new guidelines, we are also reshaping the network to work more closely with our blogggers, create an improved balance of topic areas and bring in some new voices.

One of those statements is believable, anyway.

On down to a comment from what I guess is a staffer?

The reduction in the size of the network is not a statement about the quality of bloggers’ work—any more than any periodic update in any magazine’s content offerings is such a statement. Our decisions involved a variety of factors, including frequency of posts and traffic.

and adherence to the new Guidelines?

ah well. Like I said at the top, networks appear to have a natural life-cycle. The ones that are tied up to a traditional publishing entity perhaps are on a short burn from the start. They are just waiting for enough little kerfuffles to build up into a profound nervousness on the part of the suits upstairs. Then down comes the hammer.

8 responses so far

Thought of the Day

Dec 09 2014 Published by under BlogBlather, Day in the life of DrugMonkey

People selected to pontificate at an audience on the basis of prior accomplishments in a related context are invariably less interesting than people selected because they have interesting things to say.

8 responses so far

Snowflakes falling

Dec 05 2014 Published by under BlogBlather

We've finally found out, thanks to Nature News, that the paltry academic salary on which poor Jim Watson has been forced to rely is $375,000 per year as "chancellor emeritus" at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. The current NIH salary limitation is $181,500, this is the maximum amount that can be charged to Federal grants. I'm here to tell you, most of us funded by NIH grants do not make anything like this as an annual salary.



The Office of Extramural Research blog, RockTalking, has 73 comments posted to the discussion of the new NIH biosketch format. I found one that expressed no concern and apparently the rest range from opposed to outraged. One of the things that people seem particularly enraged by is the report of the supposed pilot study they ran. The blog entry reports on how many people found the new format helpful and, as the many commenters point out, the real question is whether this new format is better or worse than the old format. This you will recognize, OER watchers, as a common ploy for the NIH- carefully construct the "study" or the data mining inquiry so as to almost guarantee an outcome that puts the NIH's activities and initiatives in a favorable light. We are not fooled.


Ruth Coker Burks' Story Corp is a must-listen. Jesus effing Christ we failed the fuck out of everything in the early days of the HIV/AIDS crisis. Thank goodness there were a few people like Ms. Burks around.


Phoenix AZ police can't stand being overshadowed in this critical measure of awesome policiness.


Apparently Cerebral Cortex is the latest academic journal to play shenanigans with the pre-print queue. Looks like there is an article by Studer and colleagues that was first published online Aug 7, 2013. I can find no information on the submission and acceptance dates. Perhaps I am just overlooking it but I have noticed a couple of times that journals with terrible timeline issues don't seem to publish this information like most journals do these days. Go figure.


According to some guy on the internet Jim Watson also has an awesome house that he doesn't have to pay for.

(in case you were worried about substantial amounts of his paltry $375K per year salary being eaten up in housing costs just like most other academics' salaries.


What is even more worrying about the NIH Office of Extramural Research is that even when they set out a pretty clear goal they are so bad at reaching it.

Marcia McNutt in Science:

Consider a rather outrageous proposal. Perhaps there has been too much emphasis on bibliometric measures that either distort the process or minimally distinguish between qualified candidates. What if, instead, we assess young scientists according to their willingness to take risks, ability to work as part of a diverse team, creativity in complex problem-solving, and work ethic? There may be other attributes like these that separate the superstars from the merely successful. It could be quite insightful to commission a retrospective analysis of former awardees with some career track record since their awards, to improve our understanding of what constitutes good selection criteria. One could then ascertain whether those qualities were apparent in their backgrounds when they were candidates for their awards.

13 responses so far

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