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:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 05-07-2012
A very scary, yet eye openning, article appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education recently. The article, which is titled “The Future of the Ph.D.” discusses the downfall of the coveted tenure faculty position, and how only 30 percent of of the teaching faculty are tenured and tenure-track academics.
The author also highlights the dismal plight of female graduate students who dare to succumb to their maternal instincts during the course of their graduate studies.
The article finishes with the thought provoking question “Is the Ph.D. worth saving?”
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 04-11-2012
Ever wonder how your PI comes up with his or her brilliant ideas? Perhaps they are very well read or blessed with fantastic intuition. Or, perhaps their ideas were inspired by a simple conversation they had with their father when they were 8 years old. Check out this video by MythBusters star Adam Savage to learn how some great ideas were conceived from some very unremarkable events.
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 03-14-2012
Disclosure: I don’t believe that we are in as bad a shape as some would have us believe. Nonetheless, in a recent survey conducted by Research!America more than half of likely voters doubt that the United States will be the No. 1 world leader in science, technology and health care by the year 2020.
Significant findings include:
57% are upset by cuts in federal spending for medical and health research
54% think that federal spending for medical and health research should be exempt from across-the-board cuts outlined in the Budget Control Act of 2011
58% of Americans do not believe the United States will be a world leader in science and technology in 2020
53% of Americans do not believe the United States will be a world leader in health care in 2020
65% of Americans say it’s important that the U.S. is a leader in medical and health research
85% of likely voters are concerned about the impact of a decreased federal investment in research, including the possibility of scientists leaving their profession or moving abroad to countries with a stronger investment in research
66% of likely voters believe government investment in medical and health research will have an impact on the future of the United States
Nearly 70% of Americans believe science and math education will have an impact on the future of the United States
There is, of course, an upside to all of these negative findings, and that is that more than half of likely voters (64%) say they would be more likely to vote for a presidential candidate who supports increased government funding for medical and health research. We are fortunate to live in a strong democracy. We have the power to change the future!
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 02-29-2012
Did anyone really take this seriously?
A 2008 study by James H. Fowler and Christopher T. Dawes of the University of California, San Diego claimed that two genes predict voter turnout. These results, however, were recently called into question by Evan Charney, of Duke University in an American Political Science Review paper published earlier this month called “Candidate Genes and Political Behavior.” In her paper, Charney demonstrates that when certain errors in the original study are corrected — errors common to many gene association studies — there is no longer any association between these genes and voter turnout.
Did we really need another paper to prove that the first study was wrong? Would any reasonable person, let alone a biologist, actually have believed data that shows a connection between genetics and voting behavior? I guess if the data was presented by a good politician anything is believable!