Diving into a new place
As summer draws to an end, for many it’s time for new beginnings. Maybe you’re about to become the first in your family to go to college. Perhaps you’re embarking on a Ph.D. abroad, taking a postdoc in a different field, or setting up your first lab as a principal investigator (PI). Regardless of whether you are moving across the hall, across the world, or into a new field, starting a position or program in a new place can be daunting. It takes a certain amount of planning, soul-searching, and adaptability to make sure that the transition is successful. Knowing what to expect and learning from others who’ve been there already can help you hit the ground running. Here are some pointers.

Working my way out
by Jason Cantley, 5 August 2016

Show us the money
by Andy Tay, 17 June 2016

Growth can come in phases
by He Fu, 22 April 2016

Leaping into the unknown
by Jeremy C. Borniger, 13 November 2015

Grad students behaving badly
by Adam Ruben, 31 July 2015

Breaking the Class Ceiling
by Elisabeth Pain, 22 May 2014

Forging the Way for Other Minority Scientists
by Elisabeth Pain, 22 May 2013

No, You’re Not an Impostor
by Lucas Laursen, 15 February 2008

Mastering Your Ph.D.: Starting Off on the Right Foot
by Patricia Gosling and Bart Noordam, 26 October 2007 

Relocating With the Lab
by Alysia vandenBerg, 31 August 2007

Mind Matters: Getting Yourself Mentored
by Irene S. Levine, 24 November 2006

Minority Admissions: Countering Cultural Blocks
by Anne Sasso, 10 March 2006

To Tell or Not to Tell: Coping With Chronic Illness as a Science Trainee
by Irene S. Levine, 10 June 2005

Navigating the First Year of Graduate School
by Takita Sumter, 18 February 2005

The Social Justice Definition of Racism. What does racism actually mean?

Advocates of social justice have a persistent habit of redefining words to suit their needs. In what appears to be a deliberate attempt to obfuscate the issues and bamboozle others into accepting ideas, put simply make it sophistry. While this Orwellian defamation of our dialectic is damaging to the public discourse, it can be remedied by a careful analysis of the language we’re using to talk about these issues.

adorable-amygdala  asked:

Do you have any advice for poster layout/construction? My latest few posters always seem super wordy to me, but I want to have all the info there with it still being aesthetically pleasing.

I am SO sorry for answering this later than I said I would. But yes! I do! And this is just really general advice based on my previous posters (made in undergrad), but there are a billion ways to make a good poster so…yeah. On to the tips!

So first things first is making sure your background is very clean and not distracting. Previously, I’ve used a solid pastel color, a gradient from a pastel (usually blue) to white or just white. Also ALWAYS use a black font. 

For a 4′ x 3′ poster I used 80 pt font for Titles, 50-ish pt for authors, 40-ish pt for section headers and 32 pt font for the actual body. No one ever complained that my font was too big or small, so I’m assuming this is at least pleasing to the eye. Different font sizes for different things also gives a “level of importance” so the reader knows where they can find the information they want at first glance.

Also I personally like using a serif font (e.g. Times New Roman or Century Schoolbook) for headings and titles and a sans serif font (e.g. Arial, Gill Sans, Century Gothic) for everything else, including figures captions and labels. I feel this makes it easier to read. 

Remember that the eye is drawn to the center of your poster. That means important results and figures/data should be sitting somewhere near the dead center. 

A typical person will read from top left to bottom right. So your poster should be structured around that. I like using the three column format. The first column holds the introduction, research questions, or relevance to the field. Second column should hold methodology (if you can’t fit it in the first column), and all your results. Last column should hold your conclusions, references and acknowledgements. 

I personally think it’s really nice if all your results can be just graphs and figures with very, very limited text. This actually helps a lot with making your poster seem less wordy, even if your other sections are mostly text blocks.  (It also helps you become very good at making a well thought out figure. Because honestly, a great figure should be able to summarize your work at a glance.)

Another good way to make your poster seem less wordy is to add diagrams! For example, in undergrad I used this diagram below to explain the hypothesis for my thesis, which replaced a few lines of text with “See Figure X”.

Though, try and make your figures less kid-like than I did. xD (Gimme a break! I was learning! My figures are much cooler now.)

A third option is to use bullet points. This will allow you to not have to write a complete sentence, much like you would in a powerpoint presentation, which really cleans things up and adds just enough white space for it not to seem like a block of text. 

And finally, my last piece of advice is to add pictures or clip art which I think just makes posters look more interesting! (Though I’m sure this depends entirely on the field and how old-school the conference is.) For example, I was talking about the lack of snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains and added a picture of melting snow. (Remember to indicate where you got your pictures!) Also to thank organizations that supported my research, I added their logo instead of saying “Thank you NSF/NIH/etc. for supporting our research.” 

So yeah, that’s all that comes to mind right now. 

Again, this is how I made a poster and is based on my experiences in undergrad. They seemed to work for me, but like I said, there are plenty of correct ways to make a visually appealing poster. 

Good luck!


finally finished up my 3 science practical assignments for the term! it was stressful but i’m glad i managed to pull through 💪🏼having a rough week so far with tests and hockey matches, and its just going to be worse next week (5 tests in two days omg) hopefully i will make it out alive next week! + i will answer some asks after my 5 tests next week, sorry i can’t always reply to them immediately! 🙈have a good day everyone, don’t give up! x

I had a professor once who said a phrase that really stuck with me about the way that we teach (at least, in all of the education that I had): “Education is the process of diminishing deception.”

What they meant by that was that we teach things in a relative level of simplicity, and as you learn more and more, the information becomes increasingly complex, showing some of the rules and ideas that we taught previously were actually incorrect generalizations.

This is the case from history, to the English language, to mathematics and the hard sciences. Surely you can think of examples in your own mind: the definition of a species, the causes of the Protestant Reformation, “I before E…”, Supply and Demand, etc.

But like the thing is that relatively rarely do people teaching actually like make sure to note that many of the things that they are teaching are oversimplifications. 

I think it’s like become an important pedagogical issue because, increasingly, you have people using a relatively rudimentary knowledge gained from the part of their education that would hypothetically be complicated and re-taught, and using that as showing their intellectual authority.

This could be known as the “I took a semester of pyschology” or “open a biology book!” effect.

So in an era where people seem to take their slight and oversimplified knowledge of a subject to give them just as much (and sometimes more!) credibility on a subject than even people with a much more in depth scholarship (due to being overconfident for personal and/or demographic reasons), is it wise to continue teaching on a model that oversimplifies information if we cannot count on that oversimplification not being used as a barrier to further knowledge?

Academic tip: if you want to discuss a particular thing or phenomenon without implying the legitimacy of any particular person’s claim to having discovered it, use the word “described” rather than “discovered”.

When I say that “John Smith described such-and-such”, formally what that means is that, well, John Smith published a rigorous description of that thing. It doesn’t say anything one way or the other about whether John Smith actually discovered it, and it doesn’t even suggest that he was the first to describe it -  merely that it was, in fact, described.

(Of course, you can also use this terminology to explicitly distinguish between the source of published description and source of the actual research. “John Smith described such-and-such based on the work of Jane Doe”, for example.)


Obama just became the first sitting president to publish an academic paper!

President Barack Obama has broken many barriers and his latest move is a pretty badass for the leader of the free world. He’s gotten a lot of love on Twitter with the hashtag #ObamaJAMA after being published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association — and the paper covers a very important topic.

Follow @the-future-now

how to take notes

hello! in celebration for 50 followers i’m doing my first masterpost! this is amazing to me, because thats more than twice the amount of people at my school. mind blown 

anyways, this post is about taking notes. now, to take the pretty notes that make our hearts flutter, most people start out with basic and even messy looking notes and then rewrite. personally, my classes go at a very slow pace and i write pretty quickly, so i have a basic template already copied into my notebook and ready to fill in during class. but, i’ve been in classes where the teacher talks at 120 mph and there’s no way you can take “good” notes in-class. so, here we go!

some pretty/helpful notes:

^_^ = generic help
<3 = note type a example
:) = note type b example
✿ = note type c example



I. in class

step 1:

have a notebook/paper and supplies

  • pencils
  • eraser
  • notebook/paper
  • highlighter (optional)
  • yeah that’s pretty much it

step 2:

get writing!

  • if there are slides or a slideshow, you can ask the teacher to send you the slideshow. that way you don’t have to take notes on it. only do this if its a very nice teacher though!!
  • decide what is important.
  • if i’m going to re-write my notes at home, i like to write down everything the teacher says. then, at home i can choose what to include.
  •      pros: you get all the information and can learn more from your notes
  •      cons: its a lot of things to write down and your hand may cramp :(
  • you could also just write down what seems important
  •      pros: its a lot quicker and easier.
  •      cons: you may miss key information based on your judgement of the statement.

step 3:


  • have ways to tell the difference between information.
  • when i do this i have 2 pieces of paper on the desk.
  1. fold them in half.
  2. information paper:
  3. on one half write all the very important information.
  4. on the other write the other information.
  5. clarification paper
  6. on one half write all definitions.
  7. on the other write vocabulary or any other information.
  • you can also underline, circle, highlight, or any other distinctive markings to categorize information.

II. at home

step 1:


  • pencils
  • notebook/loose leaf paper
  • erasers
  • pens
  • highlighters
  • mildliners
  • fineliners
  • any supplies can be substituted with whatever you have :)

step 2:


  • since i re-write in pen (you can do whatever you’d like), i like to plan out the notes on another sheet of paper using pencil and then do the “real” thing when it looks perfect on the planning paper.
  • make sure you have a place for everything.
  • you don’t want to be writing everything in pen and then realize you forgot to leave space for definitions or something silly.

step 3:

drawing it out

  • of course, everyone has their own style, but there is a very common style on tumblr. this doesn’t include all types, but the 3 main types i see.

type a - cute-sy

  • bubble-y writing
  • a large ribbon banner as the title or all-caps highlight w/dark cursive through it
  • geometric/linear highlighted subhead
  • doodles scattered on paper 
  •      click  for examples 
  • ribbon/bubble/cloud/girly headers

type b - simple

  • neat writing (any writing style)
  • two different types of headers
  • very simple and plain
  • very artsy, complicated, and often cursive
  • literally thats it
  • its so easy and nice

type c - mind map

  • the most artistic/pretty (sometimes)
  • any writing style
  • start with bubble/cloud around title/topic
  • basically just make lines coming out
  • and connect them to more bubbles
  • you can do different shapes depending on the information type

step 4:


  • add doodles
  • highlight
  •      do this strategically
  •      if you only do it for aesthetics that can be really confusing
  • underline
  •      again
  •      make sure that what you are doing makes sense
  • use sticky notes/page flags

step 5:


  • study however you might normally study
  •      or use the pomodoro technique
  •      there are lots of different ways to study that you could use
  • if you get bored
  •      take small breaks
  •      draw cute lil stick figures saying important info

wow! that was long, but i hope you guys enjoyed it or were helped by it! be sure to message me requests or anything you’d like to see!

accs mentioned:

@studypetals @divergent-i @mediocrestudyblr @studeity @studyforuwc @georgistudies @acadehmic @studyandfocus @freakygeekclique @mindpalacestudy @haleystudies tysm for having such amazing resources!