Last week, I wrote about a US court decision that established that legally, spiders are insects (at least in the jurisdiction of the court in question). The case turned on the “ordinary meaning” of the word insect, or roughly, what a reasonable person could think a non-specialist means by it. I was surprised to learn that many dictionaries allow for definitions of insect that include spiders. Could this be true, I wondered? So I took a poll.
Let’s start with the results, and then later we’ll ask if we should have done that. Continue reading
This post is jointly written by Steve Heard and Jacquelyn Gill, and appears in addition on Jacquelyn’s blog The Contemplative Mammoth
A couple of weeks ago, one of us (Steve) posted “How to write, and read, a (job) rejection letter”. (I should clarify that we’re talking here about the university/college academic job market*). One piece of advice to job candidates got some interesting pushback on Twitter, including from Jacquelyn. It was this piece:
Finally, realize that the letter isn’t an invitation to further conversation…Don’t contact the letter writer, or anyone else, to ask for further feedback (not even “so I can improve my future applications”). Believe me, we understand how much you want that feedback, because when we were in your position we wanted it too. But the same confidentiality considerations that kept the letter short and a bit vague apply to later conversations too.
In my last post, I asked what UpGoer Five (along with its constrained-vocabulary ilk) is for. Survey says: UpGoer Five is a toy.
At least, that’s what my readership poll (data above) says. The sample size is small, and it’s an utterly unscientific poll (more about that later). But 63% of respondents believe UpGoer Five is a kind of stunt writing, something we might do for fun, but having no connection to actual science communication/outreach (“SciComm”). Continue reading