Hmmm... thoughtful

How much "out of field" papers do you read?

Greetings. I'm new to the community. I've been on _scientists_ and gradstudents but being as I'm specifically a biology grad student, I thought maybe I'd post this query I have on here so I can get a good response from people in a more targeted group, as opposed to liberal art grad students and the hordes of people on _scientists_ that aren't really scientists but like to pretend they are.

I'm curious to know how much reading y'all do outside of your field? I'm writing my thesis right now so naturally I read a lot of papers particular to my field (restoration ecology/ectomycorrhizae). I've been reading ecoevoblog lately and I see that multidisciplinary approaches to your science are really valued today. So I'm wondering how much effort other sci grads make to read papers that are a little outside of their field, for instance reading something having to do with cellular phys for me. Its a little daunting to try to read other field's literature because there are so many eccentricities about all the sub-sub disciplines that take some time to learn about and understand. I suppose New Scientist and secondary sources are good for this because they appeal to a broader audience and try to not barrage the reader with field specific terms.

Anyway before this gets tl/dr I'd like to hear some of y'alls thoughts on this.
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    curious curious

getting back into the swing of things

I'm cross posting this a few places as I'm sure different groups will have a slightly different perspective on what I'm asking about. So sorry if you see this more than once.

And as an FYI, I'm a first year in a biomedical sciences PhD program.

I graduated in 2001 and have done the work thing since then. I've been quite comfortable the past few years doing the work thing during the day and then going home to do my own thing (yoga, maintaining my spiritual health, cooking good meals, harassing the cat, etc).
I was never great at studying (a problem I "blame" on high school being too easy, and being able to float by with B's with minimal studying in undergrad). I love to read, but I've never been on great at reading for content. Some of it I remember and understand, which is great, but I'd say more of it I either don't remember or don't understand. I'm pretty sure I don't have a learning disability. But I do know I learn better through pictures and/or tactile stuff.

I'd like to say that I need suggestions on how to get 'back into studying', but really I need suggestions on how to get into it in general. I'm interested in the classes I have to take this semester. I'm interested in the lab I'm currently rotating in. And I KNOW that my current reading load is REALLY light, I'm just having a hard time actually getting it done and getting something out of it other than just reading words on a page.
Is it sad that tonight I procrastinated by washing my dishes? (watching The Daily Show on I'll admit was pure procrastination)

I want to do well. I want to get my work done. I want to understand what the hell it is I'm doing and not fall behind quickly (which is what I can already see happening as I didn't finish my readings for today until this morning before class).

I hope my question makes some sense as I'm at a loss on how else to even ask it.

A film about beetles

I am actually a graduate student in Science and Natural History Filmmaking, which isn't quite a science department, but we sure think a good deal about it. I made a film about an entomologist searching for a beetle, and I thought some of you might be interested in seeing it (you can see how research often pans out and watch grad students dig countless holes in the Italian country-side).

This is the trailer:

The full (13min) film is here:

If you'd like to see more films done by other folks in my grad program, you should check out the rest of .
lit - r&gd - boats
  • zutaloo

(no subject)

Howdy fellow science students!

I'm currently in my third year of studying Animal Science as an undergraduate. My plan was originally to get into vet school and work with large animals. However, I took my first biochemistry class and fell in love with the material, and am now considering graduate school. I've taken a lot of required chemistry, organic chemistry, and biology classes for my major, so I wouldn't have to completely restructure my final year and a half of school to make this work, but I'm still a little torn as to whether it's worth a shot.

I've got a couple of questions that hopefully someone out there can answer:
1) My GPA right now is about a 3.2, but my science GPA is probably a bit lower. Although I loves me some biochem, I did only get a B in my last course. I have a feeling this might get asked a lot, but if I'm only slightly above average as an undergrad, what can I expect, performance-wise, as a graduate student? Will I totally be in over my head?
2) I have no idea what schools are good for biochem with my sort of GPA. Does anybody have an recommendations?
3) I like the sound of a PhD (I've always wanted that "Dr" in front of my name), but I've also never considered what kind of careers you can get into with a M.S. in biochem. I've been told by various professors that you might as well get a PhD, but is there any advantage to getting a M.S. (other than less work, of course!)?

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    zbigniew preisner

Forming my committee

How do I ask someone to be on my committee?

Do I say, "Dr. X, I'm (insert name here). I am one of Dr. Y's students. I'm forming my committee and I'd be honored if you'd be a part of it."

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I don't know if there is some proper etiquette to this or something.


The Difference Blog

New scientific blog

differenceblog: I've recently started keeping a topic-driven blog about the study of gender differences. If anyone's interested in that sort of this, I'd really appreciate feedback. There's two posts daily -- one is a brief article about some topic of gender difference, and then every day there will be a (shorter) commentary on how I've observed this gender difference in my life in two genders (I'm a female-to-male transsexual).

I hope you'll check it out. Thanks.