At the risk of giving you the impression that Idaho is full of backwoods uneducated types, I’m going to mention a recent article about the “vaccination debate” here in Idaho.

The article tells the story of a group of anti-immunization crusaders in Northern Idaho through the lens of two contrasting women. One of these is the leader of the anti-immunization folks, Ingri Cassel. The other is state epidemiologist Christine Hahn.

I’m not going to wade into the depths of the ...(read more)

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A few years ago I gave a talk in the biochem department at UNC. Afterwards I went out for lunch with my mentor, and he berated me. (Did I mention that he can be an intimidating guy? But I listen to him, since he’s the one who helped me go from no grants to lots of grants…)

He berated me for several things, including using a difficult-to-read font, giving a software demo that took a bunch of time to get ...(read more)



Many of you have probably heard of speed dating, a relatively new (well, 10 years old now) phenomenon where a large group of singles go to meet potential mates. You get 3-5 minutes with each potential person to decide if you like them and want to give them your phone number for a future date. Put yourself at one of these events for a minute. Since you have such a short amount of time, what would you look for to ...(read more)



If you’re a scientist who wants to get your work recognized, then the titles you put on your talks, papers, and grants matter.

Today I had a conversation related to my bike shop that illustrates this point (and how to do it) clearly.

My business partner is doing a tele seminar series on bike touring.  She named the first interview:

“Bike touring with Ross & Laura”

I took one look at the title, and the record playing in my mind came to a screeching ...(read more)



Sometimes I get to wondering about people, especially when they write in to the blog with really silly comments, like

“Presentation is a trivial part” (referring to grant writing).

This person clearly reacted to the notion that you have to “market” your work if you want to maximize success.

Go on, keep thinking like this fellow (or gal), and keep getting the results you are getting. If they’re the results you want, great!

But let’s say, like > 90% of scientists I know, ...(read more)