Scientopia http://scientopia.org Thu, 30 Jul 2015 00:25:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Back to school: Ally Edition http://thirtyseven.scientopia.org/2015/07/30/back-to-school-ally-edition/ http://thirtyseven.scientopia.org/2015/07/30/back-to-school-ally-edition/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 00:25:44 +0000 http://thirtyseven.scientopia.org/?p=1679

Most important sign outside my new office. Thanks to U of Minn. Dr. Penn for designing! pic.twitter.com/kP0aMSitwe

— Raychelle Burks (@DrRubidium) July 29, 2015

You too can be an ally! How? Follow @chescaleigh's 5 tips!

Ready? Good! Here are the 'Recources of allies' @chescaleigh provided with her video at YouTube. Read them. And there's more! Get thee to the web!

Getting Called Out: How To Apologize
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8xJX...

White Privilege: Unpacking The Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh
http://nymbp.org/reference/WhitePrivi...

The Angry Eye - Blue Eye Brown Eye experiment
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pv8m...

A Powerful Lesson About Privilege
http://www.buzzfeed.com/nathanwpyle/t...

Managing Privilege
http://www.upworthy.com/shut-the-fck-...

10 things allies need to know
http://everydayfeminism.com/2013/11/t...

Derailing for dummies
http://www.derailingfordummies.com/

Resources for straight or cisgender people:
Queer 101: http://www.roostertailscomic.com/comi...

White anti-racism: living the legacy
http://www.tolerance.org/supplement/w...

10 Simple Ways White People Can Step Up to Fight Everyday Racism
http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/09/n...

GLAAD's resources for allies
http://www.glaad.org/resources/ally

Transwhat? tips for allyship
http://transwhat.org/allyship/

10 reasons to give up ableist language
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rachel-...

Colorlines
http://colorlines.com/

Melissa Harris Perry Black Feminism syllabus
http://www.msnbc.com/melissa-harris-p...

How to be a male feminist ally
http://feministcurrent.com/7988/how-t...

Go! Post your own ally sign!

Ally sign

Bit ups to Dr. R. Lee Penn for designing this great sign and to @ChemProfCramer to sharing with twitter!

 

 

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Who are you, what are you doing here and why are you looking at me??? The Reboot http://drugmonkey.scientopia.org/2015/07/29/who-are-you-what-are-you-doing-here-and-why-are-you-looking-at-me-the-reboot/ http://drugmonkey.scientopia.org/2015/07/29/who-are-you-what-are-you-doing-here-and-why-are-you-looking-at-me-the-reboot/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 17:19:04 +0000 http://drugmonkey.scientopia.org/?p=8160 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 dev@null.com). 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.]

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Your online advice is rubbish if I can't read your CV!!! http://proflikesubstance.scientopia.org/2015/07/29/your-online-advice-is-rubbish-if-i-cant-read-your-cv/ http://proflikesubstance.scientopia.org/2015/07/29/your-online-advice-is-rubbish-if-i-cant-read-your-cv/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 15:38:33 +0000 http://proflikesubstance.scientopia.org/?p=4060 As we have covered before (Here and Here) there are many reasons why people blog under a name that can't be directly tied to their professional life. You can check the links if you want my extended thoughts on that and links to posts elsewhere that are more eloquent, but it's why the following exchange bothers me:

Academia is a very hierarchical enterprise. Trainees slot in at different, defined, levels. PIs have defined structure to advancement. There's university rankings, journal rankings, h-index, and on and on. We really love to define people by a variety of metrics and context.

All of these pieces of information provide a matrix where we, consciously or unconsciously, can form an opinion on the authority or each individual. As reviewers of proposals and manuscripts and as humans interacting with, and through, the literature or at meetings - whether you are "known" caries significant weight.

And that's where social media goes and screws it all up.

Giving people the option to post comments and interact without those all important identifiers takes the context that many academics rely on IRL, away. And that has opened the door to provide a voice to those who might not be heard 10 or 20 years ago. Ironically, this gets to the point:

Though this was said tongue-in-cheek, the reality is that what is a social norm for some is another's shut door. Having people entrenched in the upper tier culture view voices they can't place in their social context as not worthy of attention only re-enforces the echo chamber and excludes the same people who have been excluded for decades. I'm not here to chastise anyone, but I think it's important that we recognize that this is exactly the attitude that has gotten us to the point of being a largely white and male dominated profession. In the vast majority of cases, good science flows more from having the opportunity ($$$) to do science, rather than the individual brilliance of those doing it. Recognition and opportunity are inextricably tied together, and systematic exclusion (conscious or unconscious) has consequences.

But advice abounds everywhere, good bad and otherwise. To pretend like there is a universal correlation between the source and the value of the advice is ridiculous. I have gotten both good and bad advice from people I respect. Same goes for those whom I would not normally seek out. If you want examples of well-established PIs doling out terrible advice, just pick up Science Careers at some point and flip through. Or maybe you have a senior colleague in your department who got a job out of grad school 30 years ago and has renewed the same R01 for all that time. I'm sure he's got valuable advice for the grant scene these days.

We all get loads of advice throughout our careers, and whether the source is someone you know or someone writing under a pseud online, you need to evaluate it and decide whether it works for you. No one is out there faking their status to try and feed out bad advice, but your situation might not suit what they have to sell. We do this all the time IRL, so making the arbitrary distinction online is something that is curious, at best.

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quote of the day http://mistressoftheanimals.scientopia.org/2015/07/29/quote-of-the-day/ http://mistressoftheanimals.scientopia.org/2015/07/29/quote-of-the-day/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:07:14 +0000 http://mistressoftheanimals.scientopia.org/?p=1495

“By the time a person has achieved years adequate for choosing a direction, the die is cast and the moment has long since passed which determined the future.”

Zelda Fitzgerald

zelda

 

 

 

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The thing that made going back to work after maternity leave a bit easier http://inbabyattachmode.scientopia.org/2015/07/29/the-thing-that-made-going-back-to-work-after-maternity-leave-a-bit-easier/ http://inbabyattachmode.scientopia.org/2015/07/29/the-thing-that-made-going-back-to-work-after-maternity-leave-a-bit-easier/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:00:14 +0000 http://inbabyattachmode.scientopia.org/?p=277 I recently came across Laura Vanderkam's post about dealing with going back to work after your maternity leave.  It made me think about the one thing that I did when going back to work after BlueEyes was born and that was for my husband to take a week off to take care of BlueEyes the first week I went back to work (BlueEyes was 3 months when I went back). This was a great thing for us for a couple of reasons:

1. By being home for a week with BlueEyes my husband realized what it takes to be home with a baby and why some days when I was on maternity leave I would be ecstatic to have contact with another grown-up after being home with a baby all day. He realized how exhausting it was, how for some reason you get nothing done all day and by 5 PM you find yourself on the couch with a crying baby, still dressed in pajamas that may or may not have been puked on. After this, he would never ask:"what have you done all day?" on days that I was home.

2. For me, it was nice to go back to work and not have to worry about how BlueEyes was doing in daycare that first week. Instead, I only had to worry about pumping milk, being incredibly sleep deprived, not fitting in my old clothes yet, trying to remember what I was sciencing about before going on leave and adjusting to being this entirely different person who was mostly very alert whether somebody was crying or hungry.

3. I don't know if for BlueEyes it mattered whether he was home with my husband or at daycare. I like to think it was a nice transition for him, to have to drink from a bottle but still be in the house that he knew before going to daycare, but with such a little baby, it's hard to know.

I think my ideal situation would be to have some hybrid work-baby situation with a small baby: be able to bring them to work or be able to work a bit from home (which I did much more with Little Brother), or be able to have both parents work half days, but of course each baby (and parent) is different. What would your ideal transition back to work look like?

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Irritations and Maturity http://mistressoftheanimals.scientopia.org/2015/07/29/irritations-and-maturity/ http://mistressoftheanimals.scientopia.org/2015/07/29/irritations-and-maturity/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 12:53:23 +0000 http://mistressoftheanimals.scientopia.org/?p=1299 I just had someone (who I like, who I respect) come in and perturb me. I am trying to getting (another) grant out the door. I was going to write "they" to be gender neutral, but it was a "he". He had a bone to pick with me. He didn't ask, he told. He assumed. He made a very (to my thinking) male assumption about "fairness".

What do I wish? - to finish the bloody grant in peace. And, of course, get funded.

-------------------------

I wrote this when I was working on my June submission, so about two months ago. Now, I don't even remember about whom I was writing. I consider that a Good Thing. Slicing open my thumb this morning whilst making breakfast, not so good. You win some, and you lose what seems like even more.

 

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Applicant fantasizes about visiting the study section meeting during discussion of his grant application http://drugmonkey.scientopia.org/2015/07/28/applicant-fantasizes-about-visiting-the-study-section-meeting-during-discussion-of-his-grant-application/ http://drugmonkey.scientopia.org/2015/07/28/applicant-fantasizes-about-visiting-the-study-section-meeting-during-discussion-of-his-grant-application/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 18:51:42 +0000 http://drugmonkey.scientopia.org/?p=8154

h/t: Namaste_ish

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Yes, it was the methylone that killed him http://drugmonkey.scientopia.org/2015/07/28/yes-it-was-the-methylone-that-killed-him/ http://drugmonkey.scientopia.org/2015/07/28/yes-it-was-the-methylone-that-killed-him/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 18:17:39 +0000 http://drugmonkey.scientopia.org/?p=8150 StructureFig-mdma-vs-cathinones450A new Case Report verifies the lethal potential of methylone (PubMed). This drug is also known as beta-keto-MDMA (bk-MDMA; Wikipedia) or 3,4-methylenedioxycathinone. In short, this is the closest cathinone cousin to MDMA, aka Ecstasy.

Barrios L, Grison-Hernando H, Boels D, Bouquie R, Monteil-Ganiere C, Clement R. Death following ingestion of methylone. Int J Legal Med. 2015 Jun 13. [Epub ahead of print]

The decedent was a 21 year old man reported to ingest methylone and cannabis. Friends placed him in a "nearby children's paddling pool" upon report of breathing difficulty and polypnea (rapid breathing, panting).

By the time emergency medical services made contact he was in cardiac arrest.

Investigators were able to procure a sample of the powder the decedent consumed, represented to him as ecstasy upon purchase.

The toxicological screening was negative for alcohol or "medication", opiates, cocaine and amphetamines (including MDMA, MDA, MBDB and MDEA). This individual was positive for THC. The screening for substances by GC/MS identified a substance with characteristics identical to the seized material which the decedent had ingested- methylone with a purity of 83.3%.

Now admittedly a cardiac arrest with labored breathing is not right down the main line of clinical findings in MDMA overdose cases. So this is a bit strange. However, "sudden collapse" or "found unresponsive" is not atypical as the triggering observation that the person on MDMA is in trouble. There are also numerous studies showing adverse effects on MDMA on aspects of cardiac function. Similarly, cardiac implications are common with methamphetamine-related deaths- both acutely and apparently as a consequence of longer term use.

So there is every reason to think that methylone might be cardiotoxic.

The finding of cardiac arrest triggered a vague memory and luckily these authors cited the paper I was remembering:

Carbone PN, Carbone DL, Carstairs SD, Luzi SA. Sudden cardiac death associated with methylone use. Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 2013 Mar;34(1):26-8. doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e31827ab5da.

Now in this case a 19 year old man collapsed while jogging and had a much lower blood level of methylone (0.007 mg/L) compared with the 6.64 mg/L blood levels in the Case reported by Barrios et al. No other drugs were detected, however:

No other drugs were detected in the urine or central blood, including pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, MDMA, 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine, phenylpropanolamine, or cocaine and metabolites. Analysis was also negative for several other bath salts including flephedrone, n-ethylcathinone, mephedrone, methedrone, ethylone, butylone, MDPV, and naphyrone.

This was presumably not an effect of acute overdose intoxication but perhaps a lingering effect on heart function caused by the methylone consumed hours before. Hard to know without controlled studies, particularly given the exercise this person was engaged in.

Nevertheless, this new Case Report serves as a reminder that methylone, which is increasingly replacing MDMA in the US market, represents a risk for immediate and lasting adverse health consequences.
__
Related Reading:

It was the methylone that killed him.

Methylone, or beta-keto-MDMA, also causes fatality

Various posts on MDMA-related fatality and morbidity

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When will we learn? http://mistressoftheanimals.scientopia.org/2015/07/28/when-will-we-learn/ http://mistressoftheanimals.scientopia.org/2015/07/28/when-will-we-learn/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 17:37:31 +0000 http://mistressoftheanimals.scientopia.org/?p=1490 The NYT article on suicide at elite colleges is sobering. It is about how overachieving college students attempt & often succeed at suicide. But, this little bit was embedded in the middle, almost as an afterthought:

And so she had made a plan for making her life turn out the way she thought it was supposed to. “I had the idea that I was going to find this nice Christian boyfriend ...

but...

But there was the issue of her sexuality. ... she had found herself attracted to other girls, but believing her parents and church did not fully accept homosexuality, she had pushed aside those feelings.

and

....her father sat her down for a heartfelt speech about how proud he was .... “Tears rolling down his face, he said, ‘Kathryn, the reason I’m living is to pass you off to your husband.’ ”

Yes, this young woman's suicide attempt was, it seems,  partly about overachieving. About being perfect. But it is also about the horrible non-acceptance of being lesbian. When will these parents learn? The article concludes with...

... she is less concerned about covering up her true self. She has confessed her sexual feelings to her parents. They are working on acceptance. “My mom is there,” Ms. DeWitt said. “My dad is still working on it.”

This woman tried to kill herself, and her father is fucking working on it?

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Settling http://portraitofthescientist.scientopia.org/2015/07/28/settling/ http://portraitofthescientist.scientopia.org/2015/07/28/settling/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2015 15:57:58 +0000 http://portraitofthescientist.wordpress.com/?p=365 Continue reading ]]> Settling down. Settling in. Settling for less?

The academic lifestyle is nomadic. Start with a faraway college, proceed to graduate school across the country, hop over to a postdoc, hopefully land a job in big universityville. That might not be the end, as many academics change universities once or several times in a career. Even if one leaves the academic track, many of these steps are the same and cities with jobs are still limited.

I grew up with this kind of lifestyle and for a time I enjoyed moving around. I relished leaving for that faraway college. I got excited about going to graduate school across the country. And when all my friends were leaving graduate school it felt natural to move to a new town for a postdoc. But now something has changed. Or, rather, a lot of things have changed. I’m older. It is harder to make friends when you’re not in school. Not to mention I’m married with children.

And there is that feeling. That feeling of wanting to put down roots. Make friends for long-term that won’t soon be long-distance. To not feel temporary. Maybe this is not rational, but does it matter? I have one life to live, should I not enjoy it? And if for me that means putting down roots, is that so bad?

The problem is, I live in a city that does not have the most job options for a bio PhD. There are jobs, just fewer in number and variety than other locations. So in that sense it is not a good idea for me to stay here. But there are also reasons that it is a good idea to stay. It’s relatively affordable compared to those cities with more job options. My husband and I like it here for a variety of reasons and my husband is happy with his job.

However, for me it may mean settling for a less than ideal career. I may be giving up on opportunities that other locations have to offer. I may not be able to fulfill my potential.

Despite the implications for my career, I decided to stay. We bought a house. It feels good. It has been a hard decision to come to, but now that I’m here, it feels good. It feels really good. I like not having to think about where I might live next. I just hope that the direction my career takes doesn’t make me regret it.


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