Mr Epidemiology

No, I'm not a skin doctor


June 2012

Interesting reads: June 16th – June 29th, 2012

The World’s Most Accurate Pie Chart

A double whammy of interesting reads today. Last week I was at the Canadian Obesity Student Meeting in Edmonton (thoughts about that to come shortly), and this week I’ve been catching up on work. Things should calm down by the middle of July though, so I’ll have some new posts up around then.

I like to tweet interesting stories and articles during the week (follow me @MrEpid); if you follow me you might have seen these links already:

Have a great weekend!


Great post on the whole “It’s a girl thing” fiasco.

normally distributed

My twitter feed exploded this morning in response to a new European Commission Campaign called “Science: it’s a girl thing“. Specifically the ‘teaser’ video (below). In summary, the tweeple are not impressed.

My guess is that the video was put together by people who don’t actually know anything about science (open toed shoes in a lab? Tsk!) Or women. So perhaps we should pity them in their ignorance, though presumably they were paid enough that they could have done a little research first. Failure to do so has resulted in what Olivia Solon aptly describes as “the bastard offspring of a Barry M ad and the results of searching for “science” in a stock image library

I can only speak for myself here, but my journey into science was not tinged with any perceptible  gender angle. My father worked with numbers for a living, taught me to…

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New Co-Authored Blog: Gradifying!

I’ve been invited to blog at Gradifying!

Exciting news everyone!

I’ve been invited to blog over at Gradifying, a new grad student run blog at Queen’s University through their School of Graduate Studies! The blog will be focused on life in Kingston and graduate life at Queen’s, but some of the topics will be applicable to anyone in graduate school, like picking a research supervisor. If there’s anything in particular you’d like us to cover, don’t hesitate to let us know.

The blog has more information about my co-bloggers Sharday and Megan, as well more about me there too. For more info, be sure to take a look at the Gradifying website, and also follow us on Twitter!

– Atif

Mr Epid goes to Edmonton!

The University of Alberta is hosting the 2012 Canadian Obesity Student Meeting!

No updates this week – I’m going to be at the University of Alberta for the 2012 Canadian Obesity Student Meeting instead. If you’re in Edmonton and are attending, feel free to stop me and say hi (I’ll be the guy with the giant camera), or if you can’t attend, you can follow along on Twitter #COSM12.

I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled updates next week 🙂

Interesting reads: June 9th – June 15th, 2012

I like to tweet interesting stories and articles during the week (follow me @MrEpid); if you follow me you might have seen these links already:

Have a great weekend!


You can’t do a PhD if you’re not passionate about the material!

Hey Mr Epid! What should I bring to a conference?

It’s conference time! Which means three things: 1) you’re frantically applying to every travel award, scholarship and bursary available to help fund your trip, 2) you’re trying to put together your poster and/or powerpoint at the last minute and 3) if this is your first academic conference, you’re wondering what to bring with you. This post is dedicated to the last point (inspired by Ars and other sites).

I like to pack light at conferences. You spend most of your time shuttling between rooms and the more you have with you, the more you have to worry about. That being said, I like to have the following 7 things with me at every conference:

Here’s my conference loadout. Macbook, iPhone, satchel, USB key, business cards and water bottle 🙂 (item #7 not shown)

Continue reading “Hey Mr Epid! What should I bring to a conference?”

Interesting reads: June 2nd – June 8th, 2012

A great pic of Venus travelling across the sun in NJ (via @gmusser)

I like to tweet interesting stories and articles during the week (follow me @MrEpid); if you follow me you might have seen these links already:

Have a great weekend!


Should Bloggers Publicize Their Own Work?

We’re not as adorable as this kitty, so I don’t know if we can get away with this sort of behaviour.

Science blog royalty SciCurious recently had a post up about whether it was okay for science bloggers to blog about their own work. Travis brought it up on his Science of Blogging site as well, and I started thinking about it.

One of the big issues we struggle with as researchers is getting our research out there, and having people understand not only what we did, but why we did it. While Sci and Travis talked about it in terms of blogging, this isn’t a new issue: Georg Franck wrote about it back in 1999 in terms of promoting your research with the media.

We want the public to know that not only is research important, but that it has practical implications, even if those aren’t apparent immediately. The last thing we want is a repeat of the “Squirrel Sex Research” story that came out in 2006. While publishing in reputable scientific journals is rewarded and encouraged, the lag time between submission and publication can range from 3 months to 2 years. So it makes sense to talk about your work so that the public can understand what you’re doing.

Continue reading “Should Bloggers Publicize Their Own Work?”

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