These posts are getting too long. I’m going to start doing this twice a week: Tuesdays, in addition to Fridays.
- Stop Admitting Ph.D. Students | Inside Higher Ed
“Knowing that prospective students apply to graduate school of their own free will, with hope in their hearts and stardust in their eyes, doesn’t absolve faculty of some portion of responsibility for the current crisis. As the bumper sticker says, if I’m not part of the solution, I’m part of the problem. I don’t want to be part of the problem any more, and I think I will sleep better knowing that I am no longer contributing to an academic job market that bears an uncomfortable resemblance to a Ponzi scheme on the verge of falling apart.”
- Back to School: Five Myths about Girls and Science | NSF
1. Myth: From the time they start school, most girls are less interested in science than boys are.
2. Myth: Classroom interventions that work to increase girls’ interest in STEM run the risk of turning off the boys.
3. Myth: Science and math teachers are no longer biased toward their male students.
4. Myth: When girls just aren’t interested in science, parents can’t do much to motivate them.
5. Myth: At the college level, changing the STEM curriculum runs the risk of watering down important “sink or swim” coursework.
- Breathing and Pedagogy | ProfHacker
I love this idea: Do a one-minute breathing/relaxation/focus exercise before class. I think it would be especially good to do before exams. I’m scared to implement it but will chat with my yoga instructor about the best way to lead the exercise.
- Should You Be Able to Shoot the Moon in an NSF Proposal? | Science Insider
- Best Jobs In Science: NASA Concept Illustrators Turn Raw Data Into Art | Popular Science
- The guide to standard phrases used by Emeritus Professor BigWig et al | Professor in Training
- The Tenure Track, part 1 | Blue Lab Coats
Nice summary of a typical tenure process.
- ProfHacking Your Retirement Account | ProfHacker
- The passionate scientist: Doing Q&A like Neil deGrasse Tyson | Presentation Zen
- TeX, LaTeX, and Friends | tex.stackexchange.com
New LaTex Q&A site!
- Backing Up a Campus Email Account: GMail, iCal, and a Desktop Application | Profhacker
This is exactly the workflow that I use. Gmail for convenience and ease-of-use and Automator+Mail for backup and long-term storage. I even recently imported my old pine mailboxes into Mail for safe keeping.
- Five Things That Helped Us Survive Summer | ProfHacker
Absolutely loving ProfHacker!
- Switche integrates Expose with application switcher | MacUser
I’ve been using this for the last week or so and it’s great! I especially like the ability to switch between open windows of the current application.
- The Next 10 Years of Astronomy | Cosmic Variance
Pre-game commentary and first thoughts in the comments.
- Decadal Bullets | The e-Astronomer
Highlights and a view from LSST.
- Decadal Survey: 2010| Dynamics of Cats
Live blogging from the eTownhall and first responses in the comments.
- Peering into the future | Cosmic Variance
Nice, short 6 bullet-point summary.
- The Next Decade of US Space Astronomy | Cosmic Variance
on WFIRST, LISA, and the potential gutting of US X-ray astronomy.
- The Next Decade of US Ground Based Astronomy | Cosmic Variance
on LSST, GSMT, mid-scale innovations, and radio astronomy.
- The Next 10 years of Exoplanets | Cosmic Variance
“They made exoplanets an unambiguous scientific priority, and then they did their best to protect pots of money for faster timescale moderate-sized experiments (2nd ranked for both ground and space)…This strategy is smart — we’ve got Kepler up right now, JWST in the nearish future, and on-going ground-based work across the world. The field is evolving so rapidly, that it’s almost certainly better that the experimental response be kept as nimble as possible. So, reading the tea leaves, I think exoplanets did just fine in this report.”
- Decadal Report | Women in Astronomy
Thoughts on how the decadal report might impact diversity and gender equality. (This link was added after this post was originally published.)
- Astro2010: A State of Union for Stargazers | Is Greater Than
“They note the dire need to accelerate the recruitment and retention of Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans into astronomy and astrophysics. While this issue was touched on in the previous decadal, this is really the first one to forcefully make this point…[T]his decadal marks an important personal moment for me. As of September, I will be one of the 5 or 6 Black North American PhDs in astrophysics this year, and I will also be one of the first on the scene preparing the WFIRST project for its jaunt in space. That’s exciting, and I hope my excitement will be contagious.”
- Astronomers’ Wish List: Giant Scopes, Satellites, and Lots of Moola | Science Insider
- Astro2010 Open Thread | AstroBetter
Our own open thread with a several interesting comments.
Decadal Survey Commentary and Summary Round-Up
- The Next Decade of Astronomy? | In the Dark
Great comments on this one. “On a more general level, it’s not obvious how we should react when the US gives a high priority to a given mission anyway. Of course, it gives us confidence that we’re not being silly when very smart people across the Pond endorse missions and facilities similar to ones we are considering over here. However, generally speaking the Americans tend to be able to bring missions from the drawing board to completion much faster than we can in Europe.”
- Report charts new course for US astronomy | Nature News
“The decision to prioritize WFIRST will probably have a significant impact on a similar project, called Euclid, that is being developed by the European Space Agency. Astronomers working on Euclid were expecting some US participation, but the decadal survey now calls on the United States to play a leading part in a potential collaboration that would combine Euclid with WFIRST.
- The Culture of Science (Thoughts on the Decadal Survey) | SarahAskew
“Big Data got a huge vote of confidence in the Decadal Survey, with large-scale surveys topping the priority rankings for both ground- and space-based future facilities. Why are we convinced that the answer lies in the collection of more photons, the generation of more data, than we can ever dream to inspect, let alone analyse or sensibly interpret, by the current cohort of scientists? The idea that we should collect more data just because we can seems a little simplistic. Have we lost faith in imagination and creativity?”
Commentary from Europe