My most heterodox scientific-writing lecture (or, how I annoy my colleagues in a good cause)

I’m well into my Scientific Writing course now, and I’ve just given the lecture that consistently annoys my faculty colleagues the most (well, it annoys many of them). It’s the one on writing the Methods section, and it’s heterodox in two rather different ways. This lecture stands out a bit – I don’t think my...

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Six months into “phased retirement”: how it’s going

Warning: navel gazing If you’ve been hanging around Scientist Sees Squirrel, you’ll know that last July I moved into “phased retirement”, or “semi-retirement” if you prefer. Administratively, I’m now in 62% of a professorial job, and will be for another year before full retirement. I get asked a lot how that’s working out. About a...

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On text-mining using Google search tools

Content warning: includes examples, motivated by the difficulty of changing species’ common names, that mention ethnic slurs. Other Warning: longer than usual, and somewhat technical. You’ll be most interested in this post if you’ve ever thought about using web searches to explore changes through time in linguistic usage, interest in fields or topics, and so...

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