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First up this month, at Absolutely Maybe, Peak Gender Gap: Women at the Top of Science Agencies. In which I find the track record on gender and race in those who have held the peak position at major science agencies is often impossible to unearth online - and the number with unbroken all-male lineups is shockingly high. Hoping to prod a few more agencies into putting their lists of previous leaders online.

Meanwhile at Wikipedia, I created a page for Audrey S. Penn, the first African-American woman to serve as director of an NIH Institute. The NIH (National Institute of Health) and NSF (National Science Foundation) in the US were the only major science funding agencies I could find that have had black women serving in peak positions. (Audrey Penn was the only one of them who didn't yet have a Wikipedia page.) Lots more inspiring women still missing, though!

 

 

First up was re-visiting the issue of women, children, and clinical trials at Absolutely Maybe: Catch-22, Clinical Trials Edition. The goal of protecting women and children from harm has left them vulnerable to another kind of harm: being exposed to drugs and other treatments that haven't been tested for them.

Next up, after a couple of years of reading and thinking about peer review at journals, I've shifted position on a key issue: The Fractured Logic of Blinded Peer Review at Journals.

A blast from the past: the ancient wisdom of Significus the Obscure!

This month, too, a comment at PubMed Commons about a paper evaluating a method for constructing search strategies for systematic reviews.

Over at Wikipedia, a new page for an African-American educator who died at the age of 46: Ira David Pinson. A 1920 Yale graduate, he pulled a historically black university back from the brink it got to in the great Depression. A powerful and beloved orator, I've included a quote: "Humanity needs a faith that love is at the heart of life, that love is superior to hate, that men must become brotherly or they will perish, that a law of service and sacrifice underlies life..." Read more!

 

 

Once every four years, the worlds of journals and meta-researchers come together for a conference about the science of science publishing. This month, it was on, in Chicago, and I live-blogged each day:

1. Bias, Conflicts, Spin: The 8th Olympiad of Research on Science and Publishing Begins

2. Good Enough? Editors, Statistics, and Grant Peer Review

3. Innovations in Peer Review and Scientific Publishing

The day before, I participated in a panel at a half-day workshop on "predatory" journals. On the last day, my colleague Melissa Vaught presented some of the work she, Diana Jordan, and I have done evaluating who comments on PubMed Commons. You can read our abstract here.

And then I was off for vacation for a few weeks...

 

 

Bias in Open Science Advocacy: The Case of Article Badges for Data Sharing. A look at a much-hyped "simple" solution to wicked problems in science - with a long comment string of debate with authors, advocates, and others. And a comment at PubMed Commons. And then a follow-up post, with a plot twist! There's another study of that journal's practices: What's Open, What's Data? What's Proof, What's Spin?

 

 

If Voltaire tweeted! An important message from the Enlightenment. Meme-ified 1763 added to my old little post on absence of evidence and deductive reasoning: Studies of cave paintings have shown...

A new post at Missing Scientists' Faces blog: Groundbreaking early African-American women PhDs, a scientist refugee, & more. Meet over a dozen diverse scientists and historical figures you have never heard of before!

A response from American Heart Association authors on my comment about errors and other issues with their statement on dietary fats is...surprising. I respond to the comment, with a post that's a trip into into the world of evaluating studies at Absolutely Maybe: Circling the Wagons, Science Style: AHA Saturated Biases Redux. With a reply at PubMed Commons.

 

 

 

Not beach reading, I guess! At Absolutely Maybe: 5 Tips for Understanding Data in Meta-Analyses.

And a look at an aspect of the past that surprised me: Why Pockets and Waves of De-Feminization in Science's Past Matter Now.

Over at Missing Scientists' Faces blog, Early African-American and hispanic biologists, a theoretical physicist & a mathematician in politics.

And new Wikipedia page on Anna Johnson Julian (1903-1994), the first African-American woman to earn a sociology PhD, civic activist, and part of a power couple - she was married to the famous chemist, Percy Lavon Julian.