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067: Science Magazine Takes a Teeny, Tiny Step Toward Open Access

If you read the following headline this week, you might have experienced a small thrill:

AAAS Forms Partnership to Expand Access to
High-Quality Scientific Publishing

AAAS, or the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is the organization that publishes the flagship journal Science Magazine and related titles.  You might believe from that headline that you could now access Science articles for free from anywhere in the world!

You’d be wrong.

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066: Should Scientists March on Washington?

Though techniques and terminology vary from one scientific discipline to another, all scientists are bound together by a set of core principles.

We call this the “scientific method,” and the approach is sacrosanct.

Observe the world around you, state a hypothesis to explain what you’ve seen, devise an experiment to prove yourself wrong, and report your findings so that the next inquisitive mind can build upon your work.

So what happens when an elected official seeks to erode the foundations of scientific inquiry?

Scientists take to the streets.

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065: Does the GRE Predict Which Students Will Succeed?

Though most of us have never served on a graduate program admissions committee, we can still appreciate the difficulty of their task: Given a stack qualified applicants, choose the few that you believe will succeed.

Where do you start?  Perhaps you check on each applicant’s GPA, or focus just on the GPA in their science classes.

Or maybe you trust the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).  After all, it’s designed to measure a student’s readiness for graduate school, right?

Because reviewers differ on which metrics they trust most, it’s worth considering a scientific approach to admissions. Are there any predictor variables that actually correlate with student outcomes?

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064: A PhD Internship Will Help You Get a Job

You might think internships are the domain of business students and undergrads.  You’re training every day in a lab – why would you need more experiential learning?

The short answer is that your laboratory training is a great internship if you want to go on to a faculty position at a major research university.

But what if you want to use your scientific training to craft policy and legislation in your state government?

Or what if you want to work with a Contract Research Organization and help shepherd new drugs through clinical trials?

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063: PhD Biography – Compton to the Ivy League

Statistically speaking, Teresa Ramirez didn’t stand a chance.

She was raised in Compton, California, a city south of Los Angeles and the eponymous setting of the N.W.A. album “Straight Outta Compton.”

Teresa loved books. She asked questions during class. She put in extra time to help out after school.  In a high school where gang violence was an expectation and higher education was not, Teresa stood out like a sore thumb.

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