Reads of the week 9 May 2014

A collection of our favourite bedtime reads of the week 9 May 2014

Alexis Webb

There’s been a lot of discussion on Twitter and elsewhere about the mental health status of academics. The Guardian Higher Education Network blog has published a new report with survey data showing that 64% of PhD students and young academics suffer from feelings of isolation. While older lecturers feel that the intense pressure and workload, with a lack of support from higher ups, hinder their health. More than two-thirds of respondents directly tie their illness with their university jobs.

One a lighter and more infographical note, this chart relates fictional predictions from books to the actual scientific discoveries made in the future. Hard to believe it’s been 30 years since William Gibson’s Neuromancer was published! That’s a bedtime read I highly recommend.


Jovian Tsang

My reads are all over the place this week! Let’s start with an intense computer simulation of our universe. Scientists at MIT created Illustris to model the evolution of our universe shortly after the Big Bang to present day. It is beautiful and zoomable too! Google Universe, I’m waiting…

Dora Vargha, a post doctoral fellow in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of London, discusses the intimate history between polio and war.

I stumbled upon Chartchums, a blog and book that aims to help teachers create smarter charts. They recently tackled how to use charts to teach students about the scientific process and science writing! I love organizing ideas visually, so this post really caught my eye.

Julie Gould made a very good point in her recent post “Science Communication Communication” about how science communicators should incorporate practices from other disciplines such as communication, psychology and education. I found an excellent and brief post that highlights Dan Dennett’s guide on how to have better arguments. I think this skill has a place in every field.

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