Category Archives: Science Culture

Adventures in empathy: allergies, mental health, & hard days in academia

Last week, in the midst of my 50s, I discovered the delightful horror of allergies. When I got the sore throat, I assumed it was a cold. And then my eyes caught fire. And then I got all the other … Continue reading

Posted in Science Culture | Tagged , | 3 Comments

The last lecture: 6 things to keep for 5 years

I finished my final class for the year in Evolution & Phylogeny the other day. The students wrote their final exam yesterday. By today I figure some of the course content has already hit its half-life and it’s on its … Continue reading

Posted in Science Culture | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Fading walls: Communication, conferences, and sharing science

The front walls of the convention center are mostly glass, but you’ll need your name badge to get beyond the lobby. I was at the 100th annual conference of the Ecological Society of America in Baltimore last week. I saw … Continue reading

Posted in Science Culture | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Learning to sharpen your scythe

My grandfather used a scythe to cut hay. Yes. A scythe: big blade, long curved handle, Grim Reaper scythe. I remember watching the mathematical, poetical way he’d arc the blade, pivoting from the waist, mowing down a strip, stepping forward … Continue reading

Posted in Science Culture | Tagged | 3 Comments

Taxonomy matters. Here’s why.

March 19th is Taxonomist Appreciation Day. I don’t think any government has made official pronouncements on that. That’s OK, we’ve got something better — social media. Taxonomist Appreciation Day was the brainchild of Terry McGlynn, an ecologist who understands the … Continue reading

Posted in Science Culture | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

20 Years in the Professor Game: things I did right and things I did wrong

In late December, 1994 I arrived in Montreal with several boxes of books and papers, most of my belongings, and absolutely no idea what I was getting into. I had a week to unpack, get groceries, become a professor, and … Continue reading

Posted in Science Culture | Tagged , , | 27 Comments

Sometimes, a shirt is not just a shirt

In July 1969, I watched, with my family, as the Eagle lunar module touched down on the moon and Neil Armstrong took humanity’s first steps out there. I remember some of the details of that day with great clarity, others … Continue reading

Posted in Science Culture | Tagged | 3 Comments