Category: Bench, please!

Wanna know what we think?

Bench, Please seeks to cover hot-button topics in the world of science. There are many controversies surrounding science that are seemingly everywhere in the media these days. Here, we seek to clear up some of that confusion, as well as offer our own opinions on the matter.

“They just couldn’t cut it.” How the old school rhetoric in modern PhD programs selects against diversity.

Sometimes when a student fails out of a Ph.D. program, the same old school rhetoric gets passed around: “They just didn’t have ‘it.’” Professors often cite the dubious evidence that because they were able to succeed in a PhD program, if someone else can’t then they “don’t deserve to be here.” But are we culling out great scientists because our programs are designed for a narrowly defined type of student? Ph.D programs are designed for students who test well on the GRE, who can learn through traditional didactic lecture and independent self-teaching, and who can perform well on written exams....

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Publish the Negative

Being extremely Type A, I’ve always found the scientific method to be comforting (#nerdstatus). I like how methodical and adaptable it is and I admire the emphasis it puts on planning.   Importantly, the scientific method is not hasty – it does not aim to definitively answer any question rapidly. Instead, it allows for the ongoing gathering of evidence through observation and experiments.   In this ongoing gathering, there is no distinguishing between positive and negative results. All experiments give data, from which observations can be drawn, and after a few replicates, conclusions can be made.   A result that...

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