My big week

15 02 2020

I’m moving department! — transferring to Integrative Biology, which I think will be like going back home. Very grateful to Ryan Gregory for being so welcoming; and to my current and future deans, and even more so Provost Charlotte Yates, for figuring out how to make it work. “Geoxit” happens May 1st, but I’ll teach my current courses for OAC for a couple more years ’til they can replace me with some fabulous youngster. Exciting times!



Quotes of the week

7 02 2020

“Kill it tomorrow – but humanely! – from Andrea on Tuesday on my pending interview for directorship of the Campbell Centre.

“Go in from the TOP of the head: the TOP” – from Michelle, really quite adamant about how to extract a zebra fish brain neatly.

I was going to ignore Brexit but…

3 02 2020

… this billboard is just too good not to pass on:



Weird product

2 02 2020

Spotted in the local pharmacy; do they know what “murine” actually means??


Do YOU have an internal monologue?

2 02 2020

I love this post, and also how it went viral. I had no idea that not everyone has an internal monologue! NO idea! Me and Jonathan are flabbergasted and intrigued.

Screenshot 2020-02-02 09.36.54



1 02 2020

The last few days have seen a flurry of paper retractions involving local star Jonathan Pruitt (whose company and enthusiasm I have always loved, so this is all extra shocking).

It started with concerns over the data used in an Am Nat paper, and spiraled from there: yesterday’s total was 5 retractions, 2 requested retractions, 4 paper waiting for co-author consent for retraction, 1 to have a published correction, and another 15 still under investigation. Am Nat editor Dan Bolnick’s been sounding exhausted; Jonathan’s saying they were just mistakes; and yet still the nagging worry is that someone could so profoundly lose the plot as to actually massage their data.

But Kate Lakowski’s thoughtful, and really almost moving, blog about the first retraction is very much worth a read, as is this good piece from other junior collaborators of Jonathan’s, and this stern reminder to use blinding. (Damn, I don’t think we did in our fish paper, though nor did we have especially sexy directional hypotheses to test either. If we have vids for Expt. 2 though, they should probably be recoded by someone blind to the transivity prediction… hmmm….).



Postcard from Tallinn

1 02 2020

Here’s another picture from Estonia, where Maria‘s been continuing her research on this endangered species (and leaving while the UK was still in Europe, coming back to it separated). In a grant application to ASAB she recently described these Euro mink as “non-charismatic”, but I do think that’s a bit harsh. Look!