PhDs.org Blog

A comprehensive collection of articles for you to become well versed in the world of science and engineering.

September 7th, 2010

Efficient Teaching

In Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits, the Times describes some important findings about how students learn that could play an important role in your teaching: Variety in content matters a great deal: In a study recently posted online by the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology, Doug Rohrer and Kelli Taylor of the University … read more


August 1st, 2010

SciFoo

I’ve just gotten back from SciFoo, an amazing conference put on by O’Reilly Media in cooperation with Nature and hosted at Google. It’s a fascinating mixture of the who’s who – picture Ed Felten talking to Martin Rees and Daniel Kahneman – with mere mortals who have done something particularly interesting of late such as … read more


July 31st, 2010

Communication Skills

Carl Zimmer just gave a short talk at SciFoo on 3 rules for making sure your research is understood: Mentalize – Try to get inside the head of your reader (someone without your knowledge) and see what you are saying through their eyes. Choose every word – No jargon. Carl’s list of banned words is … read more


July 21st, 2010

A Changing Profession

The Times has a discussion about tenure in today’s paper. Nothing really stands out in the discussion pieces, but one thing in the introduction did surprise me: In 1975, 57 percent of all college professors had tenure or were on a tenure track. In 2007, that number had fallen to 31 percent, and a new … read more


July 2nd, 2010

Learning to Communicate

A great article by Chris Mooney on the need for scientists to adopt better strategies for communicating with the public. A central point: Scientists read more assume that if only their fellow Americans knew more about science and ceased to be in a state of knowledge deficit, a healthier relationship between science and the public would emerge. … read more


June 30th, 2010

You sure you want that chemistry PhD?

An choice memo from a CalTech professor chastising a student for failing to work nights and weekends is making the rounds on the web. “In addition to the usual work-day schedule, I expect all of the members of the group to work evenings and weekends,” Carreira wrote. “You will find that this is the norm … read more


June 15th, 2010

“The Real Science Gap”

A good recap of science’s perennial labor oversupply problems: It’s not insufficient schooling or a shortage of scientists. It’s a lack of job opportunities. Americans need the reasonable hope that spending their youth preparing to do science will provide a satisfactory career. The author, Beryl Lieff Benderly, has done a lot of writing for Science … read more


May 29th, 2010

Positive impact of H-1B visas?

Vivek Wadhwa blogs about some interesting looking studies at TechCrunch. Many have argued that H-1B visas depress the salaries of American workers, particularly in IT. A new study finds foreign-born I.T. professionals on temporary work visas actually earn more than their American counterparts; and that limits on H-1B visas cause the salaries of foreign workers—rather … read more


February 12th, 2010

“Banking on a Ph.D. ‘Ecosystem’ to Drive New Economies”

I ran across this recent piece in the Times about how many countries are investing in graduate education as a way of stimulating their economies. Australia and Canada are focusing on boosting PhD enrollment wholesale. Does this sound familiar? Nigel Palmer of the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations said the government was responding to a … read more


February 2nd, 2010

Obama’s Science Budget

Wired has a handy chart of which agencies get what in Obama’s new budget proposal. The NIH gets an extra $1 billion, NSF, NASA, and the EPA each get an extra $500M, and a few others get smaller increases. Only the CDC’s budget gets chopped. Given that the proposed budget comes with a giant helping … read more