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The Black Hole

Quarterly Summary: A busy autumn + goodbye and good luck to Beth!


Happy 2012 everyone.

The end of 2011 was very busy, but it was worth it to gather some momentum behind the ideas and conversations from the site in the form of our session at the Canadian Science Policy Conference as well as steady growth in traffic to the site.

On the other hand, it is a sad time for the Black Hole as we bit farewell to Beth Snow, one of the original bloggers and regular contributors over the last two years.  I will certainly miss Beth’s regular input, but expect that we’ve not heard the last from her and will look forward to her future guest posts.  THANKS BETH  … and good luck in Business school!

This means that now, more than ever, I’ll be looking for new contributors to write on issues of importance to science training in order to keep regular content on the site.  More and more it seems that if scientists want things to change, they will have to mobilize the energy from within their own ranks.  Guest blogging will give you a chance to get your issue on the table for discussion and also can be a great way to try your hand at some non-scientific writing.  We have a few entries lined up for 2012, but lots of room for others, so please do get in touch ([email protected]) if you think you’d like to partake in the conversation.

For now, here’s a recap of what was done this quarter:

Articles Written
Marianne S

  • Happiness Outside of the Academy? One year later… see how this former postdoc is doing


  • A Quick Thanksgiving Post on Bad Graphs
  • A Quick Review of the 2009 “The State of Aboriginal Learning in Canada” report
  • More on Aboriginal Education in Canada
  • Bidding You Adieu


  • What to do with all the Scientists… find out at the 2011 Canadian Science Policy Conference
  • Good news from the Border – Keeping international PhDs in Canada
  • Canadian Science Policy Conference – Food for thought
  • University Affairs commentary on our CSPC panel
  • A deeper look into the “80% of PhDs who do not become professors”

Our Other Activities
Dave has continued to write for the Stem Cell Network blog publishing two articles this quarter:

The feedback on the Canadian Science Policy Conference session that Dave chaired in November was quite successful – the feedback has been positive and our panel was discussed on the University Affairs site here and here.  A summary of the entire conference is currently being prepared, stay tuned for its release.

Discussion Highlights
This quarter, a few of our posts were cross-posted on (thanks Ian M) and comments were made on that site instead.  Highlights include some anecdotal information on postdocs in neuroscience and 24/7 labs as well as some venting on the 80% of PhDs who will not become professors.

Popular Posts this Quarter

  • A deeper look into the “80% of PhDs who do not become professors” (2236)
  • The 24/7 lab: Motivated scientists or slave-driving supervisors? (515)
  • Say NO to the Second Post Doc! (471)
  • Academia vs. Industry: A former Postdoc’s perspective (446)
  • 2011 Taxes for Post Docs: At least we know the rules this year (404)
  • To postdoc or not to postdoc? (300)
  • Identifying good scientists and keeping them honest (257)
David Kent
Dr. David Kent is a principal investigator at the York Biomedical Research Institute at the University of York, York, UK. He trained at Western University and the University of British Columbia before spending 10 years at the University of Cambridge, UK where he ran his research group until 2019. His laboratory's research focuses on the fundamental biology of blood stem cells and how changes in their regulation lead to cancers. David has a long history of public engagement and outreach including the creation of The Black Hole in 2009.
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