Keeping track of projects and prioritising work

One of the perennial discussions that crops up in science circles (both academic and non-academic) is how to keep track of projects and prioritise what to work on in away that doesn’t feel like using a parasol to combat a fire hose at close range. I know there are bits of project management software, but I have enough Gantt charts in my life, and nearly everyone in science has a spreadsheet program. Plus, it’s the…

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Some rambling thoughts on field work to wrap up Pride Month

I’ve just returned from a month in the field on Henderson Island in the South Pacific. The trip was, for several reasons, a career highlight for me. I’ve known about the Pitcairn Island since I was an awkward, precocial, pain in my grade 5 teacher’s side and we were asked to do a Geography project on a country (Pitcairn, I should point out, is a UK Overseas Territory, and was therefore not eligible because they…

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Pre-emptive thoughts on Pride Month 2019 & a look ahead

June is Pride Month, and for the first time since 2012, I will be away in the field, this time on the remote Henderson Island in the South Pacific Ocean with no email/phone. To be honest I’m quite looking forward to it. But it does mean that I’ll be largely absent for Pride Month this year, which is a bit sad because I see it as an important time, to celebrate successes and renew battles…

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Subtle markers of career progression

Last September, Meg Duffy wrote a really nice piece about what she saw as some of the markers of a shift in career stage – like seeing a reference letter in a grad school application from one of your former undergrad students. This phenomenon is something of which I’ve been acutely aware recently, though I’m not sure why. But every few weeks, I keep finding another example, and I thought I would collate them here.…

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When the inclusive science spaces we build meet the orthodoxy

As a proud non-academic scientist, I find some of the short-hands (shorts-hand?) for career stages don’t really mesh with my experiences so far. I got my PhD in 2011, didn’t have a career break, and am in my second permanent job, so I’m not really an “early-career researcher” any more (or at least, I don’t really feel like one). One big difference between the academy and science writ large is the presence of permanent staff…

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Good science happens because of good people – thoughts on coauthorship

The title of this post if often how I end my talks and show that even though I’ve been the one talking for the last 45-50 minutes, there’s a whole cadre of students, mentors, and collaborators behind the science. And I will admit that I have had, on the whole, generally good experiences with coauthors. Perhaps so much so that when things don’t go as smoothly, I really notice it. And I’ve only had one…

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2019 goals

I’ve done an end-of-year “By the Numbers” post for the last 6 years, but last year was the first time I did a looking-forward post on goals for the year ahead. How’d it go? Well, one of the long-languishing projects got submitted in December. The other remains largely untouched Research kickstarted: tick! Grant application: err, no. Sigh. First main supervisor PhD student: Yep! And there’s still a week to apply if anyone’s interested! Museum digitisation:…

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2018 by the numbers

Read previous years’ By the Numbers: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013   17 The number of new posts this year. I had aimed for 18, and this was much closer than I thought I would get. I really enjoyed the Pride Month span, but doubt I could keep up that pace in 2019. The top 10 this year were: Personal academic websites for faculty & grad students: the why, what, and how What LGBTQ+ folk in STEM want to…

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Back by demand: Queer in STEM AMA & What Straight Colleagues Should Know

Over the summer, I put out two calls for feedback, both around being LGBTQ+ in science. One for folks to ask me questions about being gay/queer in science [original post here; responses here], and the other flipped the question on its head, asking LGBTQ+ scientists what they wish their straight colleagues knew about being LGBTQ+ in science [original post here; responses here]. I’ve had a couple of requests to open these back up, and so…

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Suggestions for responding to reviewer comments

One of the often frustrating things about the scientific process is finally getting the manuscripts published. This is true of reports, theses, journal articles, white papers, and more. Anything that undergoes any mechanism of external review where a response is needed. Journal manuscripts are the most common in my line of work, so that’s where I’ll focus, though this applies elsewhere, too. When scientists submit manuscripts to a journal, journal editors who think the submission…

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