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The Black Hole
BY JONATHAN THON | December 08 2014
quote>“A person who publishes a book willfully appears before the populace with his pants down. If it is a good book nothing can hurt him. If it is a bad book nothing can help him.” – Edna St. Vincent Millayquote> Consider this your invitation to the show. Academia is a campai...
The Black Hole
BY DAVID KENT | June 18 2015
You would have to be living under a rock to not have heard about the Continue reading that Sir Tim Hunt made to a group of female Korean researchers. After calling “girls” in laboratories “trouble” amongst worse remarks, Professor Hunt has lost his...
The Black Hole
BY JIRO INOUE | September 21 2015
Editor's note:  This week, we are very pleased to have a guest post from Jiro Inoue, a postdoctoral fellow at the Robarts Research Institute, Western University. He is the current vice-president, external, of the postdoctoral association at Western, and the vice-chair, operati...
The Black Hole
BY JONATHAN THON | October 19 2015

My purpose is not to scare you, but to summarize the reality of the present economic climate for young scientists.

I appreciate that I am often very critical of academic research – it’s often necessary. Nevertheless, I truly believe that science is a calling whose social value is paramount; and if you are intelligent, dedicated, hardworking, and passionate, your efforts are wasted elsewhere. True, this ca...
The Black Hole
BY JONATHAN THON | November 02 2015
quote>There is every reason not to pursue an academic career in science save one – that you could not, in good conscious, do anything else. -- Jonathan N. Thon, PhDquote> This is the second in a series of articles. To read the previous article, visit the link...
The Black Hole
BY JONATHAN THON | November 16 2015
quote>You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else. - Albert Einsteinquote> To read the previous articles in this series please visit the links below:
The Black Hole
BY JONATHAN THON | April 18 2016
quote>“If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.” – Albert Einstein   “In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake ... That is why academic politics are so bitter.” ...
The Black Hole
BY DAVID KENT | February 17 2017

They lead to more stability and may force early career scientists to stop waiting to make that next “substantial” contribution.

Last week, one of the world’s biggest funders of biomedical research Continue reading on the maximum number of years post-PhD that an applicant remains eligible for a grant. While I applaud th...
The Black Hole
BY JONATHAN THON | April 06 2017

A guest post from Dr. Kellie Machlus, who asks the question: what processes can we set in place to guard against implicit bias and increase diversity in our ranks?

The Black Hole is no stranger to conversations of gender equality in science – many of which have resulted in very productive discussions in our comments section. Last month, I had the pleasure of seeing these discussions elevated to a higher platform through the organization of a ...
The Black Hole
BY JONATHAN THON | June 02 2017

Once you’ve raised enough money, it’s very important that you find a private incubator space.

The following is a transcript from Continue reading I gave at the medical device development course, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston on May 12, 2016. Due to length, I hav...
The Black Hole
BY DAVID KENT | November 30 2018

These relatively recent initiatives deserve recognition for helping the scientific community.

Sometimes, you just get lost down the rabbit hole of the Internet. In one of these episodes, I came across a Continue reading in which he bestows his life lessons for young graduates. While it wasn't a m...
The Black Hole
BY DAVID KENT | January 10 2020

Career planning and mental health in academe were some of the most-read topics addressed on the Black Hole in the past year.

Happy New Year to all of our readers. The Continue reading is marking its 10th year of existence and Jonathan and I are excited to be in the final stages of compiling our first book on the core issues facing academic science today – we a...
The Black Hole
BY DAVID KENT | May 25 2020

The scientific community often relies on impromptu interactions to spur where the next set of experiments might go.

One of the biggest differences in academic groups in the laboratory-based sciences and other disciplines is that teams of people are generally required to execute experiments. Most graduate students and postdoctoral fellows would typically “see” their supervisor on a daily or at least weekly bas...
The Black Hole
BY DAVID KENT | January 19 2021

Guest writer Sarah Masefield explains why she created the “How to Thrive and Survive in your PhD” project to help postgraduate researchers connect and help one another.

Editor's note: We are delighted to have a guest post from Dr. Sarah Masefield (Continue reading) at the University of York, U.K. Sarah is founder of the Thrive and Survi...
The Black Hole
BY DAVID KENT | September 27 2022

The scientific community needs to talk about the sustainability implications of our research practices and start implementing approaches to minimize our professional carbon footprint.

This is a guest post from Sarah Ruediger. Dr. Ruediger is currently completing her postdoctoral research at the University of California San Francisco and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She studied molecular biology at the University of Basel in Switzerland, and completed her doctoral trai...
The Black Hole
BY SARAH RUEDIGER | January 15 2024

As head of a lab, you’re the one-man band responsible for everything from marketing to finance to product development.

As someone who stepped into the role of a group leader half a year ago, I have just embarked on an exciting journey to set up a new laboratory at University College London, U.K. My goal, as part of my New Year's resolution, is to share some updates about the lab's growth and some of the fun challeng...
Speculative Diction
BY MELONIE FULLICK | December 14 2011
From November to March is prime time for academic burn-out in graduate programs — I’m convinced of that. Perhaps it’s a seasonal thing; it can be easy to sink into a trough of exhaustion and stress, and not climb out of it for months. But rather than just the seasonal doldrums, my sense is tha...
Speculative Diction
Over the past two years or so, I’ve been stewing quietly about a particular issue in Canadian education. Much of the recent media coverage about PSE in Canada is concerned with tuition costs and accessibility, faculty performance and salaries, government spending on education, and the various fail...
Speculative Diction
BY MELONIE FULLICK | February 21 2013
Today’s post is about “process/es”, in the somewhat abstract sense that refers to the ways we organize ourselves when we need to make things happen, particularly things that are work-related. I had to think a bit about this recently when I did an interview for Networked Researcher and was a...
Speculative Diction
BY MELONIE FULLICK | September 06 2013
In this week’s post I’m going to stay with the subject of media and higher education, since there’s so much to work with at the moment - ‘tis the season, as they say. Since I last wrote, there’s a new, strategically-timed CIBC World Markets report that has garnered a good deal of media cov...
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