Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Friday links: Priyanga Amarasekare interview, ChatGPT vs. peer review, and more (UPDATEDx2 and comments closed)

EcologyFriday links: Priyanga Amarasekare interview, ChatGPT vs. peer review, and more (UPDATEDx2 and comments closed)


Also this week: AWOL from academics, finance vs. carbon emissions, the end of science (?), and more.

From Jeremy:

Leading theoretical ecologist Priyanga Amarasekare has given an interview to the Chronicle of Higher Education. It’s her first on-the-record interview since UCLA suspended her in 2022. (update #2: we’ve now had comments expressing a wide range of views about this case. I’ve closed the comments because I don’t think it would be useful to allow a back-and-forth between commenters about this case./end update #2)

Following up on a recent link: the full IUGS, following the recommendation of its Subcommission on Quaternary Stratigraphy, has rejected a proposal to declare that Earth is now in the Anthropocene rather than the Holocene. Under IUGS rules, the issue cannot be revisited for at least 10 years.

At the risk of giving Harvard and its students an even more disproportionate share of the world’s collective attention, here’s one Harvard student’s self-reflective essay on being AWOL from academics. I do think the title is a bit misleading. Part of the point of the essay is that students like the author are absent from academics with leave, at least implicitly.

How worried should you be about Devin (or really, about a much more capable version of Devin that seems likely within a few years)?

Here’s Adam Mastroianni’s long, entertaining review-that’s-really-an-essay on journalist John Horgan’s new book The End of Science. (update: the book’s from 1996, it’s only the review that’s new! Thanks to a commenter for pointing this out. /end update)

Looking back on the unsolved Gardner Museum art heist.

A new as-yet-unreviewed preprint uses a clever approach to estimate that ~7-17% of peer reviews for recent AI conferences in computer science were written using at least substantial help from ChatGPT.

Here’s ace financial columnist Matt Levine on carbon risk transfer. If you think it’s possible to use a combination of government regulations and public pressure to cut off bank funding for carbon emissions-intensive businesses, well, read this and think again. More broadly, Matt Levine is a great and entertaining explainer, including on ecology-adjacent financial topics (ESG investing, green bonds, carbon offset credits, etc.). He’s well worth reading, and his newsletter is free.

British Wildlife Photography award winners. Includes a picture of me. 🙂

Stephen Heard on why the question of whether to end your Introduction section with a statement of your main results isn’t as trivial as I think it is.

Coming up: Witness the power of this fully operational battle station post queue!

Mar. 25: Scientists who were also great novelists (Jeremy)

Mar. 26: Are there any big ideas or big new questions in ecology any more? (Brian)

Mar. 28: Should publishers flag replication failures the same way they flag retractions? (Jeremy)

Apr. 1: Elevator (and boat launch!) pitches revisited (Meghan)

Apr. 3: Poll results on sending thank you notes after a campus interview for a faculty position (plus a brief navel-gazing postscript on the influence of this blog) (Jeremy)

Apr. 8: Does publication of a meta-analysis (or other review paper) encourage or discourage publication of further studies? The case of local-regional richness relationships. (Jeremy)

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