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Effective use of colors in meteorological visualizations

July 17, 2014   Filed under Blog, Featured, Posters, Resources, Writing  

A new paper has appeared in the Early Online Releases at the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. This paper is entitled,

Twenty tips for interpreting scientific claims

November 21, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, Resources, Reviewing, Writing  

This Comment in Nature today by William Sutherland, David Spiegelhalter, and Mark Burgman is meant as a primer for policy makers who need to interpret science, but I would argue that this primer is also useful for scientists who might fall into this trap of overinterpreting or misinterpreting results in their own or others’ studies. […]

Eloquent Science: Chapter 11 Figures

June 21, 2013   Filed under Blog, Excerpts, Featured, Potpourri, Resources, Writing  

I received a request from a professor who uses Eloquent Science in the classroom. He wanted the figures from Chapter 11: Figures and Tables, so that he could adapt them into his own presentations. In response to that request, here they are, in a single PowerPoint file: Eloquent Science: Figures from Chapter 11

More thoughts about scientific poster presentations

May 16, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, Presentations, Resources  

As our academic year comes to an end and our undergraduate and masters students are busy preparing scientific posters of their dissertation research, I am reminded of why I dread having to grade these posters every year. Students usually just dump their manuscript into a poster template and then trim it down until it fits. […]

Let there be stoning!

May 8, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, Presentations, Resources  

Thanks to Bogdan Antonescu for pointing out to me the latest entry in Garr Reynold’s Presentation Zen blog. It discusses an article “Let there be stoning!” written by Jay Lehr about bringing an end to incredibly boring speakers. If only more speakers would follow this advice: The average conference paper is 20 minutes in length. […]

How to determine authorship order quantitatively

April 19, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, Resources, Writing  

Feuding coauthors on your paper? Petty arguments about who did more work? Colleagues whining because you didn’t include them in the author list of your latest Nature paper? I recently discovered the following paper, which reminded me of several articles that produce a quantitative approach to determining author order. Authorship of scientific articles within an […]

Can you explain your science using the 1000 most-used words in the English language?

February 17, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, Humor, Resources, Writing  

Give it a shot here: (The title Up Goer 5 refers to xkcd’s comic of trying to explain the Saturn 5 rocket blueprint using only those 1000 words.) (From Jim Steenburgh and his student John; Image from

Review of Explaining Research by Dennis Meredith

January 16, 2013   Filed under Blog, Featured, Presentations, Resources  

I love to read books, journal articles, and magazines. During the academic semester, I have almost no time to read. I try to catch up during the summers and the Christmas break. This break was no exception, and I got to wrap my fingers around Dennis Meredith’s Explaining Research: How to Reach Key Audiences to […]

How to Prepare a Really Lousy Submission: Water Resources Research Editorial Team

December 18, 2012   Filed under Blog, Featured, Humor, Publishing, Resources, Reviewing, Writing  

Sent to me from colleagues at the University of Utah. [PDF]

How NOT to review a paper. The tools and techniques of the adversarial reviewer

December 18, 2012   Filed under Blog, Featured, Humor, Resources, Reviewing  

A paper by Graham Cormode (2009) [PDF], sent to me by Rene Garreaud. The abstract gives you a flavor of how this paper reads…. There are several useful guides available for how to review a paper in Computer Science. These are soberly presented, carefully reasoned and sensibly argued. As a result, they are not much […]

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