As you might have noted, this blog was rather quiet in 2019, and for good reason: It was quite the exciting year for your two favorite bloggers, so exciting in fact that even our traditional review post is a month late. We’ve already shared the major changes on social media, and we’ll tell you here as well why our lives kept us from blogging:
It’s just over 10 years ago that I was preparing to attend my first conference, a workshop in the very pretty Dutch city Groningen. I presented preliminary data from my Master thesis as a poster, and was appropriately nervous and excited. Just a few months later, I even travelled overseas to Boston for another poster presentation.
Looking back I realized that there are many aspects of going to conferences that nobody thought to explain to me. As a consequence, I had to learn to swim pretty fast and in luke-warm to icy water. So to make life a little easier for future generations, here are a few questions I remember having before attending my first conference, and a bunch of “conference hacks” I learned along the way. Of course, they are all based on my personal experiences and viewpoints. Depending on your field and personality, your mileage may vary, as they say.
Dr. Marlieke van Kesteren is a Neuroscientist with a pretty impressive CV. She discusses science and life on Twitter and in various blog posts. This one is particularly relevant looking at the academic job market, so Marlieke kindly allowed us to share it on this blog.
Two and a half years ago, just days after the referendum, we asked colleagues to share their thoughts on Brexit. Back then the heartbreak and shock were fresh, but the far-reaching consequences had become apparent quite quickly. Those who hoped that due to the very close result (I would not advise any policy maker to even consider making decisions based on such a study result, nor would we build theories on such weak and inconclusive grounds!) that Article 50 would never be triggered were disappointed almost two years ago. That means the deadline for leaving the EU with or without a deal is almost here. We, as fans and beneficiaries of the EU, thus asked ourselves what it is like right now to be a researcher in the UK and are grateful to our anonymous friend, Remaining researcher, who shares their story and viewpoint from within the UK. Our hearts go out to all our colleagues who only got to lose, be it with or without a deal… Continue reading Deal or no deal: Brexit hurts scientists
A happy 2019, dear CogTales reader! The time around the change of years is, as is now tradition, a time to look back to 2018, which was an exciting and busy year for your two bloggers, Sho and Christina! (This might also explain the slightly less frequent occurrence of posts, please excuse us, but we’re planning to share what we are learning here, of course).
Two years ago, Team CogTales (Sho and Christina) interviewed Anne Scheel. We were impressed how she stood up to ask a tough question at Germany’s largest Psychology conference (the DGPs Kongress) after a keynote presentation. Two years later, Christina and Anne actually met up at the next installment of the very same conference, and a lot has changed in the short time span. So it seems like a perfect moment to catch up and take stock. Continue reading What happens when you stand up to the big wigs? A follow-up interview with Anne Scheel
French version here
Who hasn’t heard that “Children under two years of age should absolutely not be exposed to screen media, no matter what!” – maybe accompanied by the reasoning that “Screens will hinder the development of children’s intelligence.”
Why does the topic of the effect of screens on young children, especially with regard to their brain development, evoke so much controversy and fear? And should we actually think of all types of screen media as equal? What can scientific research teach us? Continue reading Screen, Baby – Let’s Look at Evidence, not Trends
Sho: I recently gave a talk on data visualization at the International Conference on Infant Studies (you can find my slides, along with the other wonderful talks on power, preregistration, and ethical data peeking here on the OSF). I also played the German Cats and Dogs Scientist in the barbarplots campaign on better data visualization (on the same topic, Article 1 and Article 2 on why bar and line plots hide differences in underlying distributions). In fact, being part of the barbarplots team was my entry point into thinking more about the importance of visualizing your data in a maximally informative and honest way. Informative means finding a good balance between simplifying/summarizing and showing the underlying data structure. Honest means not (accidentally) hiding important aspects of your data. Mahiko is my office mate and – this is something I discovered while preparing the above talk – an enthusiastic data visualizer. That’s why I asked him to put together our (mostly, his) favorite data viz resources.
This is part of (academic) life. The session was short, so I won’t bother to summarize. Just watch the video:
Some important points I had discussed in a previous session also apply here:
Naomi Havron is a postdoc at the Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique at Ecole Normale Supérieure.
She was recently interviewed for the departmental newsletter on her experiences as a woman and mother in science, and here’s a statement we found particularly on point:
Being a woman in science became difficult once I was a mom. Before, I believed that any inequality could be surmounted by working my ass off. But once I was a mom, I had to leave work early for my children. And I was judged differently from men. If it was me that was leaving early, that was judged as non-professional and proof I wasn’t invested enough in research. If it was a male colleague that was leaving for his children, he was complimented as being a devoted parent. (paraphrased and translated, see original French version here).
Naomi has been involved in organizing two amazing women-in-science events at our department recently, and we’re very excited she’s sharing her experiences and materials here with us.