Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bayblab Blog

Thanks to Pablo (again) for sharing another great blog with me. Bayblab is a far-ranging science blog and podcast that was originally started by grad students in the sciences. The founders are now postdocs. The tone is thoughtful, informed, provocative, funny, and often sarcastic. Just the way I like my science.

Two of my favorite reviews:
"The bayblab is so much better [than Science Friday]. It even has Stephen Hawking. All Ira Flatow can claim is that he’s interrupted people who are talking about Stephen Hawking."

"It's like butter melting over my pancakes good. I especially enjoyed the information on saving my genitals from a zipper accident."

A recent post on gender imbalance in the sciences caught my eye, as it relates well to one of my earlier posts on working moms on the tenure track.

An unrelated (hmmm, maybe not) post on the astonishing and amusing diversity of penises across the animal kingdom contains this bon mot about the bee penis:
"Like any man, the male honeybee climaxes with an explosion. Unlike men, the male bee genitals literally explode and snap off inside the queen. Afterwards, the males do what any of us would if our testes exploded and our penis snapped off - they wander off to the corner and die."


  1. That article on sex bias is amazing, especially in terms of subjects in research- clinical in humans and experimental in animals! I knew it was bad but the numbers! "We found a male bias in 8 out of 10 biological disciplines, most pronounced in neuroscience (5.5 males to 1 female), pharmacology (5 males to 1 female) and physiology (3.7 males to 1 female). However justifiable these imbalances may be on a case-by-case basis, their cumulative effect is pernicious: medicine as it is currently applied to women is less evidence-based than that being applied to men."

  2. I once got a request from a publisher who wanted to use parts of "Science Friday" to teach English as a second language. I was very surprised that that they thought that science was a good topic for their students.
    "It's not the science that interests us," they said.
    "It's the way you interrupt your guests, that we would like to use as a teaching example."

    Ira Flatow

  3. @Katherine,
    I was also astonished by these findings, as I hadn't really considered how research based on animal models might be biased, probably because my own work with animal models has been explicitly female-oriented. It really reinforces the notion that maleness is baseline and femaleness is aberrant.

    Um, for real? Ira Flatow just commented on my blog? You have made my day, SciFriGuy.

  4. Please do not miss this. Click the link "this guy did it" (or something like it) on the penises article... If you work with animals, you will never look at them in the same way. I am not sure if the writer is serious or not...but I have met characters in my life that would fit his profile...

    Have a nice weekend

  5. Thanks for the kind words, and sending some readers our way. I'm glad you enjoy the blog!

    I was certainly surprised by the gender numbers - and also a little surprised at the backlash we got in the comments.