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PNAS envy

Last week, Nature published a news item analyzing the use of the so-called "contributed" track at Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (also called PNAS). For those who aren't aware, members of the National Academy of Sciences "can submit up to four papers per year to [PNAS], through the 'contributed' publication track. This unusual process allows authors to choose who will review their paper and how to respond to those reviewers' comments."

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Rivers vs lakes of information: are scientific papers "the news" or "the encyclopedia"?

In Present Shock by Douglas Rushkoff, the author makes a distinction between communications that have value as a result of being current versus communications that have value as a result of being curated, accurate and complete. You can think of one like a river - information that is constant flowing, and the other like a lake - information that is discarded when it becomes obsolete but comparatively stays quite stable over time.

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Consciously uncoupling from academia

I have reached a point in my academic career where there is nothing to be gained from staying any longer. I'm luckier than most: my spouse has received a teaching position in our home country and the salary is enough to support our family for a while. I've had time to plan this and I've been investing in skills beyond the lab bench. We're moving to a place with a bustling economy and low unemployment.

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