Blog

Carnival of Evolution #46

The best of last month's evolution blogging, here . Lots of stuff on human evolution and sociality this month.

From the archives: how I almost quit science

This might be the best thing I've ever written for the Oikos blog.

Apparently the Canadian government doesn't read the Oikos blog

Or if they do, they remain unconvinced by my arguments for the value of fundamental research .

From the archives: are some general ecological concepts TOO general?

The most important ideas in ecology are general, broadly-relevant ideas, not narrow, parochial ones. But can you have too much of a good thing? Is there such as thing as an overly general idea? Here's an old post in which I argue that there is, and that the most highly...

What's your favorite ecology textbook? (UPDATED)

What's your favorite ecology textbook? Why? I don't have much to contribute here, because I only teach upper-level courses that don't use textbooks. The last ecology textbook with which I have much personal experience is the 2nd edition of Begon, Harper, and Townsend (...

Oikos blog: have we won the internet yet?

For the fourth week in a row, the Oikos blog just had it's biggest week ever. And what a week it was! Thanks to some very interesting and popular posts by Chris on peer review, we got 3,956 non-syndicated views last week. Add in the syndicated views and we probably got...

Cool new statistical method not so cool after all?

A while back I posted on a cool new nonparametric method, which goes by the acronym "MINE", for detecting associations between variables in multivariate datasets. The method can detect even nonlinear (and non-monotonic!) relationships between pairs of variables, and it...

Is the time right for NCEAS 2.0?

Apparently there was much talk at the closing NCEAS symposium about "NCEAS 2.0"--a successor institute and what it might look like. This is a really interesting conversation from which I'm far removed (I never had any involvement with NCEAS), so this post is basically...

The end of NCEAS (UPDATED)

NCEAS officially closed its doors earlier this week with an invitation-only symposium this week held an invitation-only symposium to mark the end of its NSF funding, though apparently it has secured some other funding sources and will be continuing on in some form. If...

Trying to save a zombie idea (UPDATED)

In a previous post I commented that it would be interesting to see whether the very nice paper by Adler et al. (2011) on diversity-productivity relationships in terrestrial grasslands would finally kill off the zombie idea that diversity generally is a humped function...

Introspection of Oikos papers: self synthesis and expanding the scientific discussion.

You just published a paper in Oikos. Whew. The review process is not trivial, and it took some time in spite of the amazing speed of this journal. Done, time to move on to the next one. Right? No. I have a suggestion based on a recent experience here. Take a second,...

The Philosopher's stone, other forms of ecological synthesis such as reviews.

Thinking on the alchemy of synthesis further, I was considering the importance of identifying the various elements of ecological research that a journal like Oikos or a centre like NCEAS could combine. Here are some options. Data, maps, people, ideas, and methods are...

What is novel synthesis in ecology?

I like the idea of novel synthesis but have been trying to deconstruct what it means. I have spent some time at NCEAS and really enjoyed seeing synthesis in action. Synthesis, ecologically, appears to be bringing together datasets from different places. However,...

May the odds be ever in your favor: a brief comment on the review games in ecology.

Is there a peer-review crisis in ecology? This is critical question that we need to explore to determine whether we should consider introducing changes. Referee selection, number of reviews needed, and the relative importance of referees versus editors in improving the...

Models of journal management

I was wondering how important the communication and management between editors for a journal might be in ensuring effective and fair dissemination. I imagine that most are top down with the Editor in Chief(s) managing the bulk of the decisions. However, I suspect that...

Steve Jobs on the value of fundamental research

For what it's worth (which may be a lot, or next to nothing, depending on your point of view), Steve Jobs agreed with me on the value of fundamental research. The passage below is from his 2005 commencement address to Stanford University. It's quite well-put, so I...

Cover letter power and job interviews

I flip flop on the relative importance of cover letters for my submissions. Sometimes they write themselves, other times it is a struggle. I have not been cognizant enough to see if there is a relationship between those that I struggle with letters on and rejection...

Journal loyalty.

Nearing the end of my PhD dissertation, I was ready to submit my first paper from that process. I had published before, and whilst the PhD was fun, it was a long haul, and I was keen to get some work out there. I chose the Journal of Ecology for a big chapter. It was...

The importance of society journals, affordable open access, and fast turnaround times.

The Research Works Act and the discussion of the profit margins by academic publishers have stimulated both a wealth of discussion and some clear indications of future directions. I wanted to take a moment here to reflect on how this might relate to Oikos. Several...

Why do fundamental research in a world with pressing applied problems? (UPDATED)

I do fundamental research. I don't choose what questions to address, what system to work in, or any other aspect of my research based on consideration of 'societal needs'. I'm not trying to achieve any policy goals, except those of 'doing good science' and 'training...

Pages

Subscribe to Blog

Recent Comments & Hot Topics