Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
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Jonah Lehrer, teachable moment, ethics in publishing

Jonah Lehrer, teachable moment, ethics in publishing | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

The fall from grace of one of America's hot young writing talents provides an opportunity to discuss ethics in publishing with our students.

 

Jonah Lehrer's not my kind of writer - he falls into the "pop psychology" camp, but with an undergraduate degree in neuroSCIENCE and a short stint in Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel's lab, his credentials helped him gain fame and wealth as a contributing writer and editor for several newspapers and popular magazines. He also wrote three popular books, including "Proust was a Neuroscientist". (More on his early career here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonah_Lehrer).

 

The teachable moment comes from the fact that he was recently found to have committed two serious ethical breaches, self-plagiarism and fraud, which resulted in him losing his positions and having his latest book pulled from the shelves.

 

The issue of self-plagiarism was raised first, about a month ago, and although it tarnished his reputation, he was in no risk of losing his positions over it (http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/06/jonah-lehrer-new-yorker-writer-plagiarizes-himself.html). This shows that self-plagiarism is not always treated as a serious offence (perhaps there's a feeling that everybody does it sometimes, and it's not like you're using somebody else’s work.....). However, in academic publishing, self-plagiarism is an ethical violation, and is as illegitimate as other forms of plagiarism. You can learn more at the American Society of Plant Biologists' statement on ethics in publishing (http://www.aspb.org/publications/authorethics.cfm), in which self-plagiarism is prominently listed as a form of misconduct.

 

Lehrer's fraud was exposed last week, and was the ultimate cause of his downfall. The full details are found here (http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/107779/jonah-lehrers-deceptions), in an article for Tablet by Michael Moynihan. Moynihan is an expert on Bob Dylan, and was interested in a quote he'd never seen in Lehrer's book. He requested the source of the Dylan quote from Lehrer, who finally admitted he'd made it up.

 

Making up data to fit the hypothesis is the most serious ethical breech. If science has a dogma, it is that facts are sacrosanct. We collectively establish a body of irrefutable facts, and we argue about how to interpret them; altering data for personal gain violates this foundation. When this sort of fraud occurs, the damage to the scientist's career is usually complete. Sadly, the pressure to publish is intense, and data falsification happens more often than we realize (here's an interesting analysis of why this happens http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/doing-good-science/2012/07/31/how-we-decide-to-falsify/). The retraction watch blog (http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/) brings these cases to light, and also contributes to a culture in which cheating is likely to be detected.

 

Most of our students won't write best-selling books, but are instead motivated by a desire to enjoy a satisfying career and do good science. It's imperative that we provide them with a strong education about professional ethics, to help them to resist the temptation to cheat, even just a little bit.

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Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education)
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What We’re Reading: June 2nd

What We’re Reading: June 2nd | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

What We're Reading: Aphids, ABP1, FRO2, PO4, yuvalamide A, pinenes, ancestral alliances and other delights

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What We’re Reading: March 31

What We’re Reading: March 31 | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

What We're Reading: Today we cover spandrels & speciation, thermophilous species & tradeoffs, the Kok effect & more

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CRISPR, microbes and more are joining the war against crop killers

CRISPR, microbes and more are joining the war against crop killers | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Agricultural scientists look beyond synthetic chemistry to battle pesticide resistance.
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What We’re Reading: March 10

What We’re Reading: March 10 | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Stomatal immunity, banana breeding, synthetic botany, RACiR, AGO10 and SPY (oh my) and more!

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Activity and Videos: Do plants need soil to grow?

Activity and Videos: Do plants need soil to grow? | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
This resource provides a set of videos and a practical investigation aimed at supporting working scientifically in the classroom and relating science to real world experiences.

 

In the first video Professor Brian Cox joins a teacher to find out how to set up and run an investigation to find out if plants need soil to grow. Children try to germinate and grow plants from a seed using a variety of different materials instead of soil.

 

Further videos show Brian Cox visiting an Industrial farm to find out about how they grow vegetables in a building and meeting a researcher looking at soil health.

 

A written resource, provided by Science and Plants at Schools, (SAPS), guides teachers in running the investigation in class. This resource has been provided by the Royal Society.

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Poverty Plus A Poisonous Plant Blamed For Paralysis In Rural Africa (Cassava)

Poverty Plus A Poisonous Plant Blamed For Paralysis In Rural Africa (Cassava) | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Some African countries have long witnessed mysterious outbreaks of paralysis. Affected regions are poor and conflict-ridden, where people's main food is a bitter, poisonous variety of cassava.
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What We’re Reading: February 17

What We’re Reading: February 17 | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Morphometrics and mycorrhizas,

hydathodes and isoprenes,

Tansley Medal finalists and more!

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What We’re Reading: February 3rd

What We’re Reading: February 3rd | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Reviews on P, Se, and FR/R. Haploid induction, chlorophagy, ethnobotany and more!

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ASPB | Jobs at ASPB. Ecucation Coordinator

ASPB | Jobs at ASPB. Ecucation Coordinator | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Excellent opportunity for someone excited by plant science research! Located near Washington DC at Society headquarters (Rockville, Maryland).

The Education Coordinator is responsible for implementing the Society’s education and outreach activities, as well as for administrative support and coordination of correspondence, communication activities, and development of education-related projects. 

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Plant biologists welcome their robot overlords

Plant biologists welcome their robot overlords | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
Old-school areas of plant biology are getting tech upgrades that herald more detailed, faster data collection.
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Edward Buckler

Edward Buckler | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Edward S. Buckler, Research Geneticist, USDA-ARS and Adjunct Professor, Plant Breeding and Genetics at the Institute for Genomic Diversity, Cornell University, will receive the 2017 NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences, the first time this prize is being awarded.

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What We’re Reading: January 6th

What We’re Reading: January 6th | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Weekly roundup of new and interesting articles from the plant sciences. This week's featured papers span ppressoria, auxin, ash dieback, growth rings, nutrients, okra locus and more!

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What We’re Reading: April 28

What We’re Reading: April 28 | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

We're reading about photosynthesis (several), perennialization, Polycomb Repressive complexes, plastid origins, pollination by birds, hypoxia, hybrid vigor, heat stress (and more!). Enjoy and have a nice weekend!

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Are GMOs Good or Bad? Genetic Engineering & Our Food

A well-presented look at the controversies around GMOs, from the popular video seriesKurzgesagt – In a Nutshell.

 

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Frankie Gnekow's curator insight, April 3, 2017 6:10 PM
Most people are confused about what GMOs are and how they are beneficial to people. People think that GMOs are deadly, but science has proven that they are no more dangerous than no GMOs. Most criticizes against GMOs that are actually valid are actually criticisms of the agriculture and pesticides industries, not the science of genetically modified organisms. Without GMOs, many people would not be able to produce crops and they would not be able to feed families. Examples would be in Hawaii, where the papaya industry was almost wiped out by a disease, but GMOs that were resistant to the disease were created and now the industry prospers. 
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What We’re Reading: March 24

What We’re Reading: March 24 | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

A plethora of papers featuring auxin (5), guard cells (2), evolution (3), & flower/ing (3) +more

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What We’re Reading: March 17

What We’re Reading: March 17 | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Some big ideas this week, from sex determination to the fate of the world's plants (&much more)

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What We’re Reading: March 3

What We’re Reading: March 3 | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Cool chemistry: Structural metabolomics for community ecology, MS imaging of Kranz anatomy, Real-time phloem unloading, Metabolic gene clustering, Pollen chemistry as a driver of host shifts in bees .... and more!

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Quinoa—quest to feed the world | KAUST Discovery

Quinoa—quest to feed the world | KAUST Discovery | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it
The sequencing of a high-quality quinoa genome by a KAUST-led team supports global food security and the production of crops to feed millions of people
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People Behind the Science Podcast. Dr. Mike Blatt: Keeping a Close Eye On Channels and Vesicle Trafficking in Plant Cell Membranes

People Behind the Science Podcast. Dr. Mike Blatt: Keeping a Close Eye On Channels and Vesicle Trafficking in Plant Cell Membranes | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Editor-in-chief of Plant Physiology interview

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What We’re Reading: February 10

What We’re Reading: February 10 | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

What We’re Reading: February 10

Weekly roundup of new and interesting plant science. Shade avoidance syndrome, hypoxia in development, C-stores in coastal wetlands and more!

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“Genomic resources and databases”, special issue from Current Plant Biology

“Genomic resources and databases”, special issue from Current Plant Biology | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

The November-December 2016 special issue of Current Plant Biology is out now and available free of charge. With this issue, focused on “Genomic resources and databases”, Current Plant Biology celebrates the successful completion of its third year.

Call for papers: Upcoming special issue on plant development
This special issue will focus on the mechanisms that govern plant development including the differentiation of the plant cells, tissues and organ. The articles may include reviews, research articles, resources/databases and perspectives.

Deadline for submission: March 30th, 2017

Please contact Sushma Naithani for more information.

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What We’re Reading: January 27th

What We’re Reading: January 27th | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Flower origins and pollinator interactions, dark responses, peptide hormones and pathogen responses, we've got it all!

A great place to find your weekend plant science reading.

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What We’re Reading: January 20th

What We’re Reading: January 20th | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

What We’re Reading: January 20th: drought, pathogens, membranes and databases, oh my! Fe, Cl and mitochondria too!

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What We’re Reading: January 13

What We’re Reading: January 13 | Plant Biology Teaching Resources (Higher Education) | Scoop.it

Weekly round up of new and interesting papers from across plant sciences. Featured this week: autophagosomes, fungal hitchhikers, WRKY gene networks, edge effects in forests, orphan legumes, coffee genetic diversity and more!

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