Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Does Scientific Research Need a Purpose?

Does Scientific Research Need a Purpose?   by Adam Ruben, Science Careers.  Not all research is easily justified—but what do you do when you can't even justify it to yourself?

Sequestration may lead to policies that would hurt postdocs

Sequestration may lead to policies that would hurt postdocs
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) is rallying the biomedical research community to advocate against devastating funding cuts facing the nation’s  research agencies unless Congress acts before the end of the year. Under sequestration, the National  Institutes of Health (NIH) could lose $2.8 billion and would fund 25 percent (2,300) fewer grants. The  National Science Foundation (NSF) could be cut by nearly $600 million. More than 5,800 emails have  been sent to Congress in response to a FASEB e-action alert urging individuals to let their Senators and  Representatives know why federal funding for NIH, NSF, and other agencies is critical to local research institutions and state economies. “Labs will be forced to close, resulting in layoffs of tens of thousands of researchers. It will take generations to recover the lost talent, as dedicated young scientists and engineers will be driven from science by the disruption of their training and lack of jobs,” said FASEB President Judith S. Bond, PhD. To read more, please see: http://faseb.org/Portals/0/PDFs/opa/11.12.12%20Alert%20and%20Advocacy%20press%20release.pdf

Congress passes the whistleblower protection act

Congress passes the whistleblower protection act
Recently, Congress did something good for the American public and good for science. After a 14-year struggle, the House and Senate approved a bipartisan whistleblower protection bill that will make a difference to all federal workers, but that should be especially welcomed by federal scientists. That’s because the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA) recognizes for the first time that censorship of federal information is as harmful to the country as other types of waste, fraud and abuse in government. The WPEA recognizes that a scientist who exposes the censorship of federal information, either crucial to public health and safety or required by law or regulation, is a whistleblower. That scientist is just as much a whistleblower as the federal worker who exposes embezzlement or accepting bribes. Scientists who call out censorship and then are demoted or fired by agency managers will have the right to fight that retaliation. And the WPEA will give all federal workers, including scientists, better tools and stronger rights as whistleblowers. To read more, please see below.
Whistleblower act: http://blog.ucsusa.org/congress-does-something-right-for-federal-scientists/

Career advancement for postdocs

Career advancement for postdocs
One Thursday afternoon in May, a conference room at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston, Massachusetts, is filling beyond capacity. More than two dozen postdocs and young faculty members from the BIDMC and other affiliates of Harvard Medical School in Boston stream in for tips on how to produce an effective oral presentation. The attendees, many of whom are not native English speakers, look overworked but expectant. They have relinquished the freedom of a late-afternoon coffee break because their career advancement is on the line. They know the importance of being able to deliver an hour-long lecture or a ten-minute talk, daunting though that might be. “I have been giving talks for 30 years,” begins the presenter, Terry Maratos-Flier, an endocrinologist and neurologist who directs the Office for Academic Careers and Faculty Development at the BIDMC. “So I figure I should take my expertise and offer it to you.” To read more, please see below.
Career Adv.: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v488/n7411/full/nj7411-419a.html

NIH Director starts blogging

NIH Director starts blogging
For those that do not know, Dr. Francis Collins, the current NIH Director, has started a blog. To read his comments and posts, please see below.
NIH Director’s blog: http://directorsblog.nih.gov/

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bias Persists for Women of Science, Yale Study Finds

Bias Persists for Women in Science, Yale Study Finds   

Information was given to professors describing a recent graduate looking for a laboratory manager position. When the name of the applicant was changed from Jennifer to John, professors regarded the applicant as more competent.

Click the above link to read the article about the study. What do you think?  Do these practices exist at University of Chicago?  What can be done to overcome this?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tooling Up: Questions to Set Your Sails By

Tooling Up: Questions to Set Your Sails By  by: David G. Jensen, November 16, 2012, Science Careers.    

If you love working at the bench and are confident that doing bench science will make you happy for the foreseeable future, then you can find opportunities on either side of the academia/industry divide.

The Obligation for Biologists to Commit to Political Advocacy

The Obligation for Biologists to Commit to Political Advocacy by: Thomas D. Pollard,  Cell Volume 151, Issue 2, 12 October 2012, Pages 239–243.   

The failure of Congress to adopt a deficit reduction program in 2011 resulted in a fall-back option called sequestration, which may reduce federal funding across the board by 8% on January 1, 2013. If this comes to pass, we face widespread unemployment in the biological research community and the loss of many valuable research programs.

Immigration: Waiting for green

Immigration: Waiting for green by: Karen Kaplan, Nature 491, 483-485 (2012), doi:10.1038/nj7424-483a.  Published online 14 November 2012.  

 A US 'green-card' visa can open up career possibilities. But getting one requires stamina — and a dash of luck.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

myIDP: Interests

A careful and detailed analysis of "interests" is at the core of the assessment phase at myIDP.

Click here for the third article in a series designed to help you create an Individual Development Plan (IDP) using myIDP, a new Web-based career-planning tool created to help graduate students and postdocs in the sciences define and pursue their career goals. To learn more about myIDP and begin the career exploration and planning process, please visit: http://myidp.sciencecareers.org.

Have you tried the new myIDP yet?  Have you found it useful?