Crowd-funded science: thoughts after 185 people gave us $10,733 for research

The Contemplative Mammoth

I’ve spent the last month pushing our Experiment.com crowd-funding campaign, to support my lab’s upcoming research in the Falkland Islands. After successfully hitting our $10,000 goal with four days to go, I feel like I have a few thoughts about the process (and a lot of you have asked), so here goes:

Crowd-funding is hard. It took Dulcinea and Kit a lot of time to put their website together, and I spent a considerable amount of time pushing the campaign out via social media, email lists, and to our university press office (definitely do this! We got local TV news coverage), not to mention the time explaining to people how the whole thing works. The effort was, at times, on par with standard grant-writing. Be prepared to put a lot of time and effort into making a really fantastic site, and to follow up with a relentless social media presence. Which brings…

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An open letter to Gov. Scott Walker: stop perpetuating the myth of the lazy professor

The Contemplative Mammoth

Dear Gov. Walker,

Last week, you told professors at the University of Wisconsin that they needed to “work harder.” You were making a case that the Wisconsin state budget crisis could be ameliorated by increasing employee efficiency, and you suggested having faculty teach at least one more class. I’m not going to talk about whether or not the budget crisis is manufactured (some have argued it could be solved by accepting federal funds for the state’s Badger Care health program), or whether your real goal is really partisan politics, and not fiscal responsibility.

Ouch. Ouch. Photo by fellow UW Madison geographer Sigrid Peterson.

Instead, I want to talk about the myth of the lazy professor, a stereotype that you’ve reinforced with your comment. I spent 2005 to 2012 at the University of Wisconsin, where I obtained a PhD in the Department of Geography; I am now an assistant professor at the University of Maine.

When you…

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Doing science sitting down, and other thoughts about universal design

The Contemplative Mammoth

I’m writing this post one-handed. Last week, I cut my finger badly in the lab, and I’m wearing a splint to protect the tendon from further damage. This marks the second time in my academic career that I’ve had an injury that involved some form of modified work or accommodation (the first was a stress fracture that involved an 8-week stint on crutches). Both times, I was struck by a general lack of accessibility in my environment, and how hard it is to move around in a world designed for able-bodied people.

I identify as able-bodied, and I don’t want to give the impression that a few weeks of impairment means I know what it’s like to be a person with disabilities (PWD). But these experiences are, for me, a close encounter with the idea of universal design, the idea that our buildings, products, and environments should be accessible to everyone, regardless of age…

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Preview: Terminal Hero #6

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Terminal Hero #6

Peter Milligan (w)
Piotr Kowalski (a)
Jae Lee (c)
FC • 32 pages • $2.99 • Mature

Last issue! Rory Fletcher has come face to face with the dangerous Mia and Minesh and now he must overcome the strange worlds that their awful drug-addicted powers create. In this final issue of Terminal Hero an old enemy reappears, forcing Rory to face once again the hideous reality of the Tumour Kid. Can Rory survive Mia and Minesh and escape the terrible Tumour monster? Can he escape the death sentence that began this entire journey? And after this final, bruising, shocking issue, will he be in any fit state to return to his adoptive family, waiting for him in California?

TerminalHero06-Cov-Lee

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