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#PrettyCurious is pretty sexist

On Tuesday I became aware of EDF Energy’s new campaign to “inspire girls’ curiosity about science, technology, engineering, and maths”. Sounds great, right? Unfortunately – very unfortunately ­– the campaign is called Pretty Curious (#PrettyCurious). Here’s how I reacted on Twitter: They did what? No they did not NO THEY DID NOT. Arrrrrrgh. *rends garments* — Dr. Karen James (@kejames) […]

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A working list of top women of color in biology

Every summer, as part of the MDI Biological Laboratory‘s year-round seminar series, we have two named, endowed lectures: the Kinter Lecture, named in memory of Dr. William B. Kinter, who did environmental toxicology research at the Laboratory, including seminal work on DDT and crude oil, and the Cserr Lecture, named in memory of Dr. Helen F. Cserr, who studied the blood-brain barrier at the Laboratory for twenty summers. The Cserr Lecture is traditionally given by a woman, in part because Professor Cserr was part of the 1974 class-action lawsuit against Brown University, “charging sex discrimination in hiring, promotion, renewal of contracts, and granting of tenure”. It was one of the pioneering academic discrimination cases of the 70s. For more on […]

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Pseudonymity, privilege, and me

Note: This post also appears on #HOPEJAHRENSURECANWRITE as part of a group post entitled Real-Life Identity and The Internet with contributions from Hope Jahren, DNLee, Jeremy Yoder, and Terry McGlynn. Hope Jahren asked me to share my thoughts about my choice to write online under my real name. Actually, she didn’t ask so much as bribe me with papaya seeds and nail polish, but I would have done it anyways because I think it’s important. This post is about why I think it’s important. I’ve been blogging off and on (more off, lately) since 2007 at the HMS Beagle Project Blog and a few other places, and tweeting since 2008. I have always used my real name, except for the first year or […]

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What counts as ‘citizen science’?

I haven’t been blogging much of late… okay, at all. But this post by Adam Stevens (and a little nudge from the Blogfather) was enough to wake me from my long blog slumber and post. Adam* takes issue with Zooniverse, a truly impressive collection of citizen science projects ranging from its namesake Galaxy Zoo to new projects in not only […]

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‘Biodiversity’ and ‘DNA barcoding’ explained using only the thousand most common words

This is my contribution to the #upgoerfive meme in which we are challenged to use this text editor to ‘explain a complex topic using only the 1,000 most common English words’. Like many other contributors, I am writing about my work. Here goes… ‘Biodiversity’ and ‘DNA barcoding’ explained using only the thousand ten hundred (see?) most common words We love animals and green things and we need them for food, houses, to make sick people better, to clean the air and water, to hold down the ground, to know things and to be happy outside. For all of these things, lots of different kinds of animals and green things are better than only a few kinds. So we’re scared because […]

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Hello world II

I’m reviving this WordPress blog to serve as my website (again). iWeb just wasn’t sticky enough, I guess. *ba dum tisk* Here I will post news about me, should anyone be interested in following my doings. For those rather more interested in my thinkings, see my tweets and my ‘real’ if infrequent blog posts at The Beagle Project Blog, Data Not Shown, The Guardian and Scientific American. Back to doings. To make up for lost time, here are some of the highlights since my last news post over *coughs to mask embarrassing number* years ago: December, 2012 – hired as staff scientist and faculty member at MDIBL October, 2012 – was awarded an NSF grant July, 2012 – made the […]

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Leaving this sceptr’d isle

Updated 22 September, 2010. There is a #ukscitweetup-slash-Karen’s-leaving-do in the works; please visit Doodle for the most up-to-date information on date, time and location. Friends, colleagues, tweeps and blogpeeps, the murmurings are true:  at the end of September, after eight amazing years, I am leaving the Natural History Museum — and the UK — and moving back to the United States, to Bar Harbor, Maine, on the doorstep of Acadia National Park. The first couple of months after the move are exciting ones: I’ll be back in London in mid-October to speak at TAM London, then I’m off to Galapagos with the Wellcome Trust and the winners of their Survival Rivals competition, then it’s to Florida for the launch of […]

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Shiny things

Shiny Thing 1: I’ve added two new pages to this website: Saved by Science (NHM) When and where (as in, when and where I’ll be in the coming weeks and months) Shiny Thing 2: I now have an official webpage on the Natural History Museum website, should you wish to see proof that I really do work there.

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I’m a twit

My twitterverse was rocked recently when Andrew Maynard included me in his article, 13 “Twits” who will change your perspective on reality“.  Please visit my blog Data Not Shown for the full scoop.