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Must read: what doing science feels like

Just found this old post from statistician Andrew Gelman, wonderfully articulating what it's like when you have a hypothesis, have some data relevant to that hypothesis ("not enough, never enough!"), and try to analyze the data so as to test the hypothesis. This is...

Must reads: theoreticians explain themselves to empiricists

Great comment from "lowendtheory" on my post asking for eloquent statements of what it means to be a theorist. Points out two terrific articles--absolute must-reads : Writing for a highly-empirical ecological audience in The Auk in 1981, Simon Levin , one of the world'...

Crowdsourcing: Looking for eloquent statements of 'what it means to be a theorist'

Loyal Oikos blog reader and theoretical ecologist Robin Snyder emailed me with a question, which I'm hoping other readers can answer: "I'm talking to some undergraduates soon about how I got where I am, what it means to do science, etc. and need to give them something...

A blog about scientific blogging

Just found Science of Blogging , a blog about scientific blogging. Includes interviews with scientists who blog and use other forms of social media, discussions of interesting issues like blogging as a form of post-publication peer review, and links to blog posts of...

On rhetoric in scientific writing

Scientific papers are infamous for being dry and technical. There are good reasons for that. A scientific paper is supposed to convince the reader of its conclusions on the objective basis of the evidence it presents. What matters, or what is supposed to matter, is...

Model-based humor

Here .

Biggest week ever for the Oikos blog

Last week was the biggest week ever for the Oikos blog: 2526 page views! And since WordPress doesn't count syndicated views in that total (well, they started doing so a few weeks ago, then mysteriously stopped after a few days), the true number of views is considerably...

More ecology humor by non-ecologists

At least, I assume no one who writes for The Onion is an ecologist. ;-)

Is scientific misconduct especially rare in ecology and evolution?

Recent news about unusually serious scientific misconduct by psychologist Diederik Stapel (he made up the data in more than 30 papers; see coverage here and here ) got me thinking about scientific misconduct, or the apparent lack thereof, in ecology and evolutionary...

Where are the wholehearted defenders of the IDH zombies?

One thing I've been struck by, in the responses to my repeated attacks on the zombie ideas that comprise the core of the intermediate disturbance hypothesis, is that nobody's come forward with a full-on defense of those ideas--direct counterarguments to any of my...

Carnival of Evolution #41 now up

The latest Carnival of Evolution, a compilation of links to all sorts of evolution-related blogging goodness, is now up at The Mermaid's Tale . If you feel overwhelmed by all the interesting stuff out there that you could be reading, the Carnival is a nice filter--it's...

Another ecology & evolution blog you should be reading

Just found Mousetrap , a very interesting blog about the history and philosophy of ecology and evolution. Lots of thought-provoking tidbits based on close reading of people who nowadays we (and that "we" includes me) mostly know only through textbook caricatures:...

Recommendations for new readers arriving from Evolving Thoughts

For new readers who found there way here from Evolving Thoughts , welcome! Obviously, I recommend you read our entire archives (less than 200 posts!), but if that proves infeasible, I recommend: Philosophical posts: 'Synthesizing ecology': revisiting an Oikos classic...

The evolutionary equivalent of the Oikos blog

If you like the Oikos blog, especially my attempts to use philosophy to help think about ecology, you'll like the excellent Evolving Thoughts blog by philosopher John Wilkins, which takes the same approach to evolution. Recommended.

On changing your mind in science

In the previous post I asked readers if a post of mine had changed their minds about whether the intermediate disturbance hypothesis is true or even useful. I was gratified to see I did completely change a few minds, and caused many others to at least doubt their...

Poll: do you still believe in the IDH zombie? (UPDATED)

My post on how the intermediate disturbance hypothesis is a zombie idea has garnered more pageviews and generated more discussion than anything else I’ve written for this blog. But of course, blog comments, and the emails I’ve received, are a highly non-random sample...

Zombie ideas in ecology: the unimodal diversity-productivity relationship

Various people have been begging me to do a post on the humped diversity-productivity relationship as a zombie idea--a widely-believed idea that should be dead, but isn't. And since my motto in blogging is "Give the people what they want!"*, here it is! Grime (1973...

Thoughts on NutNet

Nice write-up in Science this week on NutNet ("Nutrient Network"), a huge (68 sites, 12 countries, 6 continents) experiment looking at the effects of nutrient enrichment and mammalian herbivore removal on grassland communities. This ongoing experiment was started six...

New evolution blog

Readers interested in evolution will want to check out the new group blog Nothing in Biology Makes Sense (the name is taken from Dobzhansky's famous remark that nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution). The contributors are a mixture of experienced...

Zombie ideas in ecology: the t-shirt

Wonder if I've jumped the shark with the whole zombie ideas thing...Nah! ;-)

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