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151. Avoid These Phrases in Your Peer Review

The Peer Review villain, alternatively known as ‘Reviewer 2’ or ‘Reviewer 3’, has gained meme status. This is the person who takes your submitted journal article, drenches it in red ink, shreds it, burns it, and feeds the ashes to feral pigs.

And unfortunately, it has happened to all of us. There always seems to be one reviewer that doesn’t just ask for additional experiments, but finds a way to cut a little deeper.

Maybe it comes in the form of an emotive shaming (“Disappointingly, the authors failed to cite Smith, 2015”) or a veiled accusation (“It seems possible that the outlier data has been scrubbed from this report.”), but however it happens, it can affect something more than your experiments.

Some hostile comments might make you wonder whether you belong in science at all.

But, it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, it shouldn’t be this way.

This week, we talk with a linguist and a psychologist about carefully crafting your peer reviews.

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134. Lessons from the Quarantine

COVID-19 is a wildfire burning its way around the planet.

Its impacts are devastating to nearly every aspect of our modern lives: loved ones lost, economies destroyed, and plans put on hold indefinitely.

But like a fire, it’s also shedding light, illuminating the hidden corners of our society and our routines that we may not have taken the time to examine before.

When this fire eventually burns itself out, should we go back to living in the dark, or are there lessons we should learn? Are there torches we can carry beyond this trial to more permanently transform our work, our values, and our lives?

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133. Galileo and the Science Deniers – with Dr. Mario Livio

Four hundred years ago, Galileo Galilei knelt before a group of Cardinals of the Catholic Church and was forced to recant his heretical belief that the Earth revolves around the sun.

“This must have been horrific for him,” says Dr. Mario Livio, author of a new biography titled Galileo and the Science Deniers. “To basically disavow everything he strongly believed in as a scientist.”

This week on the show, we talk with Dr. Livio about Galileo’s life and struggles, and what his experience can teach us about the science deniers living in our own time.

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131. How to Host a Dissertation Defense On Zoom

It’s finally here! The day you’ve been preparing for for the last five years!

Your experiments are finished, papers published, and your dissertation has been typed, referenced, printed, and distributed. Now, it’s time to stand proudly before your committee and a room full of peers to defend your work and be dubbed a Doctor of Philosophy!

At least, that’s how things used to be done before COVID-19 and social-distancing.

Now, you have to do all the experiments, writing, and publishing, and then convince your audience to MUTE THEIR !@#%@% MICROPHONES so you can hear the committee’s questions on your Zoom defense!

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