Social commentary


Originally I was going to post just about being thankful.

See, despite shrinking budgets and challenging times, we scientists are a lucky group – especially those of us who have benefitted from the budget largesse of the USA towards our endeavor.

When else in history has any society spent so much money on people simply exploring and figuring out who the world works?  Never.  It’s actually amazing if you think about it.

We are so lucky to be living in a time when ...(read more)



How dare you to “speculate” about what your results might mean?

That’s the attitude I’ve received twice now, from two different reviewers, on two different papers.

In the latest case, we did some work related to antibiotic resistance, and we found interesting new pathways activated in one resistant strain.

At the end of the paper, we speculated about what these pathways might be doing. We even came up with a model for it.

We didn’t claim that this was “the correct answer” – ...(read more)



Academics have a love-hate relationship with money that, I think, can sometimes impede forward progress.

I bring this up because of an email conversation with a friend and colleague of mine. I had asked this person about doing an interview for my online grant writing course, and I said I would compensate him for it. He’s someone who has done very well with grants.

He responded telling me that he was uncomfortable with the idea of “charging” for his grant ...(read more)



The dreaded R word. Here, I’ll say it: recession! Administrators in academia seem to be freaking out about it. I understand why… the big budget cuts that they deal with are tough. The question is, are they dealing with those cuts in the right way? Does penny pinching really work? Get the inside scoop from Morgan, the Not So Boring Scientist (formerly ...(read more)



The great health care reform debate of 2009-2010 stirs up controversy and passion alike. The health care reform foes label all attempts to change things as “Obama socialism” and the pro reform people say “we all deserve health care, even if we drown in bloated bureaucracy.” Morgan takes a stand on the issue. Which way will she fall? Towards the lefty/liberal side ...(read more)