So I'm really looking into a particular lab for a postdoc, one that I am fairly familiar with. Before I contact the PI, I am brushing up on some of their most recent publications. The question is how far back do I dig? My thought is that since I am familiar with what they do, I'll go back and read what they've published in the last three years as this is the most relevant to what's going on in the lab. Also I've pulled any review from the lab in the last 5 years, while some may no longer be topical, I want to get their slant or perspective on how they see the field.
So dear readership (n=4), how far back would you recommend me going in the paper pile?
A recent opinion piece at CNN about Angelina Jolie's double mastectomy (Article here) had a few errors and had some issues with it. But what was most confusing was wording that mislead the reader to believe that most of the non-familial breast cancer patients did not have BRCA1/2 genes, instead of stating that they did not have mutations in those genes. I was actually kind of surprised when both the author and the article responded to me quite quickly.
Bravo CNN for fixing the inaccuracies but boo to the clinician who wrote the paper with the errors in it.
Since recruitment season is coming to a close for most of us (not our lazy asses) I wanted to see how everyone's efforts went with attracting new students to your programs. Our results have been tepid at best but this doesn't reflect a lack of effort on our part. In fact I would say we poured in a ton of efforts and brought in more students for interviews than we have ever. Despite all this we are getting recruitment numbers that are in line with when we are lazy and didn't give two shits. Some of the problem is the format of our recruitment and interviewing process but I think that is being discussed in-house and should change (hopefully) soon.
So folks, how did it go this year? Did you see the numbers you wanted to? I know with the funding situation it's getting tight, but did you get as many as you wanted and what was your thoughts on the quality of the applicants?
Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX), known for sponsoring SOPA, went full stupid and drafted a bill that would fundamentally alter the way the NSF doles out its grant dollars. If good ole Lamar had his way, that kooky concept of peer review would be gone and the science funding would be decided by whether your research met certain vague criteria like:
1) "… in the interests of the United States to advance the national health, prosperity, or welfare, and to secure the national defense by promoting the progress of science;
2) "… the finest quality, is groundbreaking, and answers questions or solves problems that are of utmost importance to society at large; and
3) "… not duplicative of other research projects being funded by the Foundation or other Federal science agencies."
And if it didn't make it worse it would set off a chain event that would probably force other federal science agencies to have to adopt this funding philosophy as well. For more on the matter see the writeup in Science or at RawStory.
So we have a new guest blogger starting at Scientopia this week again, so when they toss their first post up go say hey to Harry and Rim from Neurobites. You can also track back to their blog to see their coverage of SfN2012.
Lets face it kids, this place don't run on wishes and kisses to quote Kevin Smith. We need dollars to pay the proverbial power (server) bill. And to do that, we needed to bring in some advertising. I reached out to the good kindly folks at Cedarlane because they are a smaller life science company and lets face it, if we don't support folks like them, we will be stuck buying from the big two. I've used their products in the past and found them to be fantastic.
So if you get a chance, show a little support to the folks that are supporting us. Click on the link and take a look at their products and if you feel so inclined order something. I'm sure Kyle and the rest of Cedarlane would appreciate your patronage.
Great because we are looking to jumpstart our guest blogge again. We've had some great ones in the past and I've got a few lined up for the future. So if you'd like to try your hand at it, leave a comment, send an email, send a letter, but don't send a pipe bomb.
A semi-cultured, good-natured graduate student in biomedical sciences who escaped out of the deep south and now focuses on using genetics and biochemistry to elucidate DNA repair in cells. I also rant about other things non-science related here.