Tag Archives: DN Lee

American Assocation for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting in Chicago, Illinois (13 – 17 February 2014)

The 2014 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) will take place Feb. 13 – 17, 2014 in Chicago (one of my favourite places), Illinois. It’s always interesting to take a look at the programme and here’s a few of the items I found interesting,

Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014  the AAAS has arranged a number of talks about ‘communicating science and, as usual, bloggers, etc. are confined to presenting under the rubric of social media:

9:00 AM-10:30 AM

Seminar: Communicating Science

11:00 AM-12:30 PM

Seminar: Communicating Science

Engaging with Social Media

To be more specific, here’s the list of presenters for the ‘Journalist’ talk (Note: I have removed links),

Moderator:
Cornelia Dean, The New York Times and Brown University
Speakers:
Carl Zimmer, Independent Science Journalist [Note: Zimmer writes for the NY Times and other prestigious print publications, as well as, being a blogger]

Robert Lee Hotz, The Wall Street Journal

David Baron, Public Radio International

Paula Apsell, NOVA [science program on the US PBS {Public Broadcasting Service} network)

[emphases mine]

Meanwhile, we have this for social media,

Moderator:
Dominique Brossard, University of Wisconsin
Speakers:
Kim Cobb, University of Georgia
Navigating the Science-Social Media Space: Pitfalls and Opportunities
Danielle N. Lee, Cornell University
Raising STEM Awareness Among Under-Served and Under-Represented Audiences
Maggie Koerth-Baker, BoingBoing.net
What’s the Point of Social Media?

It’s nice to see Danielle N. Lee as one of the presenters. Her blog, The Urban Scientist is on the Scientific American blog network (she also featured as a whistle blower and more in the 2013 science blogging scandals [my first post on the topic was Oct. 18, 2013 towards the end of the scandals and I mused on the scandals and discussed  gender in an end-of-year Dec. 31, 2013 posting ) and there’s of course, someone representing BoingBoing, an online publisher,which was conceptualized as a magazine and has now evolved into a group blog.

My basic thesis is that blogs and such are emerging as part of the science media landscape and the types of sessions which isolate bloggers, etc.  do not acknowledge that fact. Yes, it’s true that Zimmer blogs but I can guarantee that the discussion will revolve exclusively around his high profile publishers such as the NY Times and how the participants can get their stories in front of mainstream media journalists and as for the social media session that’s going to focus on how scientists can directly approach their publics.

Moving on, there’s a nanotechnology aspect to the following presentation, although you’d never guess it from the title,

 Preserving Our Cultural Heritage: Science in the Service of Art
Friday, 14 February 2014: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Acapulco (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
In 2009 a group of chemists and materials scientists from a wide range of institutions came together for a workshop on “Chemistry and Materials Research at the Interface Between Science and Art,” co-sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Science Foundation. One of the workshop conclusions was that scientists in academia need to be encouraged to collaborate with their peers in cultural heritage institutions, to both increase scientist knowledge of this heritage and also to develop the necessary tools and apply the science to be able to preserve it. The session covers different collaborations that are ongoing in this area, relating to different mediums of art and different technologies that can be applied. The session will also include recent results and successes in this process, both in better understanding of materials as well as in developments for their conservation. The discussion will also address what is needed for collaborations like this to continue to flourish and grow.

One doesn’t get to the ‘nano’ part until looking at the speakers’ list (Note: Links have been removed),

Organizer:
Nicholas Bigelow, University of Rochester
Co-Organizer:
Leonor Sierra, University of Rochester
Speakers:
Nicholas Bigelow, University of Rochester
21st Century Tools for 19th Century Nanotechnology ‘[emphasis mine]
Richard Van Duyne, Northwestern University
Detecting Organic Dyestuffs in Art with SERS
Anikó Bezur, Yale University
Aiming for a Perfect Match: Pairing Collections-Based Scientific Research with Academia

The 19th Century nanotechnology referred to in the title of Biglow’s talk is the daggeureotype (a type of 19th century photographic process) which gained a lot of attention in the last few years when a display of irreplaceable pieces started showing signs of visible (25 pieces) and catastrophic (five pieces) deterioration. There’s more about this fascinating story in my Jan. 10, 2013 posting.

Saturday, Feb.15, 2014, Alan Alda will be at the meeting as a plenary speaker,

Alan Alda: Getting Beyond a Blind Date with Science
Plenary Lecture
Saturday, 15 February 2014: 5:00 PM-6:00 PM
Imperial Ballroom (Fairmont Chicago)
Alan Alda is an actor, writer, director, and visiting professor at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, where he helps current and future scientists learn to communicate more clearly and vividly with the public. In collaboration with theater arts faculty at Stony Brook, he is pioneering the use of improvisational theater exercises to help scientists connect more directly with people outside their field. Alda is best known for his award-winning work in movies, theater, and television, but he also has a distinguished record in the public communication of science. For 13 years he hosted the PBS series Scientific American Frontiers, which he has called “the best thing I ever did in front of a camera.” After interviewing hundreds of scientists around the world, he became convinced that many researchers have wonderful stories but need to learn how to tell them better. That realization inspired the creation of Stony Brook’s multidisciplinary Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science in 2009.

The last two sessions I’m highlighting are on standard nanotechnology topics. On Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, there’s

Nanoelectronics for Renewable Energy: How Nanoscale Innovations Address Global Needs
Sunday, 16 February 2014: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Regency B (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Sometimes it’s possible to get a handle on the world’s biggest problems by thinking creatively on a very small scale—and advances in the rapidly maturing field of nanoelectronics prove it. Innovations that hold promise for broader and faster adoption of renewable energy technologies loom large against a backdrop of population growth, rapid industrialization in developing countries, and initiatives to decrease reliance on both fossil fuels and nuclear power. In this symposium, researchers from the U.S. and Europe will review the latest progress in nanoelectronics for renewable energy across a series of interrelated programs. For instance, new manufacturing approaches such as nanoimprinting, nanotransfer, and spray-on fabrication of organic semiconductors not only point the way toward low-cost production of large-scale electronics such as solar panels, they also enable and inspire novel nanoelectronic device designs. These device-level innovations range from ultrasensitive molecular sensors to nanomagnet logic circuits, and they are of particular interest in solar energy applications. Many lines of research appear to be converging on nanostructure-based solar cells that will be vastly more efficient in capturing sunlight (or even heat) and converting it to electrical power. In addition to outlining these promising paths toward higher-efficiency, lower-cost photovoltaics, the symposium will highlight some of the remaining hurdles, including needed advances in fundamental science.
Organizer:
Patrick Regan, Technical University Munich
Co-organizers:
William Gilroy, University of Notre Dame
and Hillary Sanctuary, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL)

On Monday, Feb. 17, 2014,  nanotechnology features in the final plenary session,

John A. Rogers: Stretchy Electronics That Dissolve in Your Body
Plenary Lecture
Monday, 17 February 2014: 8:30 AM-9:30 AM
Imperial Ballroom (Fairmont Chicago)
Dr. John Rogers’ research includes fundamental and applied aspects of nano- and molecular scale fabrication. He also studies materials and patterning techniques for unusual electronic and photonic devices, with an emphasis on bio-integrated and bio-inspired systems. He received a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2005. He has published more than 350 papers and is an inventor on over 80 patents and patent applications, many of which are licensed or in active use by large companies and startups that he co-founded. He previously worked for Bell Laboratories as director of its research program in condensed matter physics. He has received recognition including a MacArthur Fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Lemelson-MIT Prize, the National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Defense, the George Smith Award from IEEE, the Robert Henry Thurston Award from American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Mid-Career Researcher Award from Materials Research Society, the Leo Hendrick Baekeland Award from the American Chemical Society, and the Daniel Drucker Eminent Faculty Award from the University of Illinois.
Speaker:
John Rogers, Ph. D., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

You can find out more about registration and public events for the AAAS 2014 annual meeting here.

Organizer:
Nicholas Bigelow, University of Rochester
Co-Organizer:
Leonor Sierra, University of Rochester
Speakers:
Nicholas Bigelow, University of Rochester
21st Century Tools for 19th Century Nanotechnology

Richard Van Duyne, Northwestern University
Detecting Organic Dyestuffs in Art with SERS

Anikó Bezur, Yale University
Aiming for a Perfect Match: Pairing Collections-Based Scientific Research with Academia

2013: women, science, gender, and sex

2013 seems to have been quite the year for discussions about women, gender, and sex (scandals) in the world of science. In Canada, we had the Council of Canadian Academies assessment: Strengthening Canada’s Research Capacity: The Gender Dimension; The Expert Panel on Women in University Research, (my commentary was in these February 22, 2013 postings titled: Science, women and gender in Canada (part 1 of 2) and Science, women and gender in Canada (part 2 of 2, respectively). Elsewhere, there was a special issue (March 7, 2013) of Nature magazine which had this to say on the issue’s home page,

Women in Science

Science remains institutionally sexist. Despite some progress, women scientists are still paid less, promoted less frequently, win fewer grants and are more likely to leave research than similarly qualified men. This special issue of Nature takes a hard look at the gender gap — from bench to boardroom — and at what is being done to close it.

Shaunacy Ferro in a March 10, 2013 posting on the Popular Science website added to the discussion (Note: A link has been removed)

… Why, even as the demand for STEM education rises, do only a fifth of the physics Ph.Ds awarded in the U.S. go to women, as a new New York Times magazine story asks?

Written by Eileen Pollack, who was one of the first women to graduate from Yale with a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1978, this story is a deeply personal one. Though she graduated with honors after having written a thesis that, years later, her advisor would call “exceptional,” no one–not even that same advisor–encouraged her to go on to a post-graduate career in science.

At that point, it seemed like more than the usual number of articles relative to most years but not enough to excite comment, that is, until the sexual harassment scandals of October 2013.  The best timeline I’ve seen for these scandals was written by the folks at ‘talk science to me’ in an Oct. 21, 2013 posting by Amanda. I offered an abbreviated version along with a more extensive commentary in my Oct. 18, 2013 posting and there was this Oct. 22, 2013 posting by Connie St. Louis for the Guardian science blogs which includes an earlier Twitter altercation in the UK science communication community along with the .scandals in North America. Jobs were lost and many people were deeply distressed by the discovery that one of the main proponents of science and social media, Bora Zivkovic  (Scientific American editor responsible for that magazine’s blog network, founder of Science Online, and tireless of promoter of many, many science writers and communicators) had stumbled badly by committing acts  construed as sexual harassment by several women.

In the end, the scandals provoked a lot of discussion about sexism, sexual harassment, and gender bias in the sciences but whether anything will change remains to be seen. While these discussions have taken on a familiar pattern of decrying male sexism; it should be noted that women, too, can be just as sexist as any man. In my Sept. 24, 2012 posting about some research into women, science, and remuneration, I noted this,

Nancy Owano’s Sept. 21, 2012 phy.org article on a study about gender bias (early publication Sept. 17, 2012 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) describes a situation that can be summed up with this saying ‘we women eat our own’.

The Yale University researchers developed applications for a supposed position in a science faculty and had faculty members assess the applicants’ paper submissions.  From Owano’s article,

Applications were all identical except for the male names and female names. Even though the male and female name applications were identical in competencies, the female student was less likely to be hired, being viewed as less competent and desirable as a new-hire.

Results further showed the faculty members chose higher starting salaries and more career mentoring for applicants with male names.

Interestingly, it made no difference on hiring decisions as to whether the faculty member was male or female. Bias was just as likely to occur at the hands of a female as well as male faculty member.

I tracked down the paper (which is open access), Science faculty’s subtle gender biases favor male students by Corinne A. Moss-Racusin, John F. Dovidio, Victoria L. Bescroll, Mark J. Graham, and Jo Handelsman and found some figures in a table which I can’t reproduce here but suggest the saying ‘we women eat their own’ isn’t far off the mark. In it, you’ll see that while women faculty members will offer less to both genders, they offer significantly less to female applicants.

For a male applicant, here’s the salary offer,

Male Faculty               Female Faculty

30,520.82                    29, 333.33

 

For a female applicant, here’s the salary offer,

Male Faculty               Female Faculty

27,111.11                    25,000.00

To sum this up, the men offered approximately $3000 (9.25%) less to female applicants while the women offered approximately $4000 (14.6%) less. It’s uncomfortable to admit that women may be just as much or even more at fault as men where gender bias is concerned. However, it is necessary if the situation is ever going to change.

As for the two women involved in the sex scandals, both as whistle blowers, The Urban Scientist, DN Lee continues to write on her blog on the Scientific American (SA) website (her incident involved a posting she wrote about a sexist and racist incident with an editor from Biology Online [who subsequently lost their job] that was removed by the SA editors and, eventually, reinstated) while Monica Byrne continues to write on her personal blog although I don’t know if she has done any science writing since she blew the whistle on Bora. You may want to read Byrne’s account of events here

I think we (men and women) are obliged to take good look at sexism around us and within us and if you still have any doubts about the prevalence of sexism and gender bias against women, take a look at Sydney Brownstone’s Oct. 22, 2013 article for Fast Company,

These ads for U.N. Women show what happens if you type things like “women need to” into Google. The autocomplete function will suggest ways to fill in the blank based on common search terms such as “know their place” and “shut up.”

A quick, unscientific study of men-based searches comes up with very different Autocomplete suggestions. Type in “men need to,” and you’ll get “feel needed,” “grow up,” or “ejaculate.” Type in “men shouldn’t,” and you might get, “wear flip flops.”

Those searches were made in March 2013.

The October 2013 science blogging scandals and an emerging science blog aggregator/community in Canada (Science Borealis)

As I noted in my post earlier this week (Oct. 15, 2013), there are a lot of lovely things about the internet and concomitant media we use to interact with each other but there are also more difficult aspects as those of us who blog about science have discovered anew this last week or so. There have been a number of dramas being enacted and while there are websites which offer more comprehensive timelines, I feel obliged to offer something here otherwise my comments won’t make much sense to someone new to the situation.

It stated last week (Friday, Oct. 11, 2013) with DN Lee, a science blogger on the Scientific American blog network (SciAm blogs). She posted a piece about an interaction she had with a Biology Online editor who’d asked her to contribute as a guest blogger. She asked if she’d be paid and on hearing ‘no’ said something along the lines of ‘thanks but no’. The response from the editor, this is a direct quote, was this  “Because we don’t pay for blog entries? Are you an urban scientist or an urban whore?” DN Lee then wrote about this incident in her Oct. 11, 2013 posting which was deleted within one hour of its publication by SciAm Editor in Chief and Senior VP,, Mariette DiChristina. (Arturo R. García offers a full timeline [up to his posting’s publication date] and commentary about the incident and the SciAm editor’s story as to why the posting was deleted [it has since been restored], along with an embedded video of DN Lee responding to the ‘whore’ comment, in his Oct. 14, 2013 posting on Racialicious.)

As far as I can tell, there was an online uproar which drove this incident to its current conclusion with Lee’s post reinstated and the Biology Online editor fired. I am making a point of mentioning this because it appears that the SciAm blogs editor (who has changed her story as to why the post was deleted in the first place) was pushed into reinstating Lee’s post due to the uproar and not because of any considered reflection. (For another take on these incidents with DN Lee, you can read Greg Laden’s Oct. 12, 2013 posting, on the SciBlogs website, where he partially contextualizes it with the Pepsigate incident, on SciBlogs some years ago, and how it was handled.)

It’ll be interesting to see what DN Lee does in the next few months as she continues to process and respond to what happened to her. She’s handled the situation with grace and offers some excellent advice about establishing your own bottom line in her video.

Ordinarily the story would end here, more or less. video. However, the furor has set off another set of incidents. First, Monica Byrne, writer and playwright, reposted a piece from the year before, Oct. 9, 2012, about an incident she experienced at some point in 2012 and slowly came to realize was a form of sexual harassment. She was propositioned by a respected, male science writer, blogger, and ‘mover and shaker’ within the science blogging community. It was done in a rather subtle way (it’s subtle when it’s being done to you) which is why it took her a while to understand what had happened.Byrne gives a good description of of the process of slowly realizing what happened and her various reactions to the realization and to Bora.

At the time in 2012 she didn’t name him but, this year, on Oct. 14, 2013, after reading about DN Lee’s treatment at SciAm blogs, she reposted the piece naming Bora Zivkovic as the male in question. For those not familiar with Bora’s prominence within the science blogoshpere, Laura Helmuth in her Oct.17,2013 piece for Slate describes it this way (Note: Links have been removed),

He [Bora Zivkovic] founded an extremely popular conference for science bloggers [Science Online], established science blog networks at various publications, and now (at least as I write) runs the well-respected collection of blogs at Scientific American. His nickname is the Blogfather. One common route into a science writing career in the past several years has been through Zivkovic: He routinely publishes young writers and promotes their stories with his large social media audience. Zivkovic has always been extremely solicitous of young journalists, generous with his time, charming, enthusiastic, gregarious.

Bora’s prominence and popularity meant he got lots of support and at least one person thought Byrne should not have named Bora publicly. Dr. Andrew Maynard (whom I’ve featured here many times and for whom I feel much respect and gratitude; he’s notably active on Twitter, with blogs, and elsewhere in the science blog, etc. community) decided to approach Byrne via email discussing the repercussions for Bora of the public shaming and strongly hinting that she remove Bora’s name from the reposted piece. You can read Andrew’s account of his actions, his email, and the comments he’s drawn from others in this Oct. 15, 2013 posting on the 2020 Science blog and some of his process as he realizes his own issues regarding sexual harassment and likable colleagues.

In retrospect Andrew’s email looks ill considered but he does bring up an interesting point, how do we deal with the sins other people commit upon us, and I’m offering this corollary: how does the sinner deal with those they’ve sinned against? Given that Bryne waited a year before revealing her harasser’s name, she either gave that some thought or had decided that she no longer cared about trying to get work in the science writing field or perhaps it was a bit of both.

In any event, Byrne decided to go forward and Bora offered an apology both in 2012 and in an Oct. 15, 2013 posting on his blog,

I am very ashamed of this incident which happened more than a year ago. Staff at Scientific American spoke to me and Ms. Byrne about our interaction at that time. I asked that my sincere apologies be conveyed to Ms. Byrne for the distress she suffered as a result of my inappropriate remarks and emails to her, and I also expressed my deep regret to the company about acting unprofessionally. The company offered her an apology as well. It was a difficult time for me personally and I made a mistake – I should not have shared my personal issues with her. It is not behavior that I have engaged in before or since. [emphasis mine]

Unfortunately, there have been other incidents according to both the comments attached to Byrne’s blog posting and this Oct.17, 2013 posting by Hannah Wilton on Ladybits on Medium (Note: Links have been removed),

The reaction on Twitter was one of disbelief and anger from his network of science bloggers and friends. “Science blogosphere, I am tweetless… I can’t even retweet what has left me so stunned.” “Enraged children with a persecution complex are out on a witch hunt, it’ll blow over eventually…” “My closest friend is @boraz. I know him better than almost everyone. I would give my life for him. Thought you should know that.”

At first, I was paralyzed. But when I saw the “protect the herd” mentality among my friends, with some doubting that this behavior even qualified as sexual harassment, I had to speak up. I couldn’t leave Monica ridiculed and alone. Bora has been a friend and mentor for years. He recruited me to blog for Scientific American. And yet, even if she hadn’t named him, I would have recognized him from his behavior because I have gone through it too.

There are some voices in this discussion I want to include here, Priya Shetty in her Oct. 15, 2013 piece for Huffington Post condemns the silence about sexual harassment within the science community, Another Sexual Harassment Case in Science: The Deafening Silence That Surrounds It Condones It; Roger Pielke, Jr. in his Oct. 16, 2013 posting gives his perspective on the situation and why he thinks Andrew Maynard was wrong, Talking About Sexual Harassment in Science; and Alice Bell in her Oct. 16, 2013 posting for the Guardian, offers some context about science blogging, the Pepsigate incident, and her belief that this conversation about both incidents (Lee and Byrne), has revealed a dynamic community struggling to come to terms with sexual harassment in particular, Science, blogging, sexual harassment and the power of speaking out; The power of science blogging has always been the community, its members can find strength there.

Before offering a few of my thoughts on the issues. I am stating that In common with many others in the science blogosphere, I have had interactions (three or four?) with Bora. In my case they’ve been through this blog and on Twitter and through my involvement with Science Borealis (an aggregator/community for Canadian science bloggers that will be launched some time this fall (2013). I confess, I liked the man.

For me, the issues centre around Bora’s apology to Byrne and the institutional response (Scientific American) to the incidents. Leaving aside any question about the frequency with which he has met young women at coffee shops or elsewhere to share inappropriate personal stories and hint at a desire for an affair,,he’s had a year to consider the situation with Byrne. This latest  apology seems curiously bereft of any insight into his own behaviour or genuine remorse or empathy for the person he has sinned against. He’s ashamed (the first thing he says is about himself) and it was more than a year ago (so what Bora?). He expresses remorse (briefly) and acknowledges he was unprofessional. The next sentence is where the apology really falls apart, the company apologized too (?). I’m not sure how to interpret that phrase; does this mean the company is behind Bora or that Byrne now has three apologies (one from the company and two from Bora) which is above and beyond what’s necessary in this case?  The reference to the company apology is immediately followed by the statement that he was having a ‘difficult time’ and he made a mistake by sharing personal issues. Really? Sharing personal issues was the mistake?

Pretty much everyone has done this, i.e., offered a nonapology. Part of the problem here is that Bora has had a year to think about this incident so the apology seems a bit flimsy or cheap and, of course, the evidence strongly suggests this apology ends in a lie ” .. not behavior that I have engaged in before or since.”

The whole thing looks like a form of cheap grace, as per Diedrich Bonhoeffer, a Christian theologian, sourced from here,

“Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”

It’s not a perfect quote for this situation but it does touch on a lot of what was going on in Bora’s 2013 apology.

As many people have pointed out the situation between Byrne (and others) brings up questions about power and its abuse. There’s an Oct. 18, 2013 posting on the Guardian which suggests Four ways to avoid becoming a leading sex pest; Be self-aware, recognise the trappings of power, deal with harassment proactively, and appreciate what leadership is really about. Those four points are important with regard to any situation where an abuse of power is possible. Mind you, it’s easy to come up with handy dandy guidelines, the difficulty is and always has been execution.

Who’s going to tell Bora he’s out of line? Until recently, it seems the answer to that is no one. Other than issuing an apology what did Scientific American do? And what will they do now?

Given the evidence, I’m looking at the situation with DN Lee, I’m not encouraged. The female editor at SciAm, Mariette DiChristina,, Editor in Chief and Senior VP, is trying to weasel her and the company out of responsibility for making the rather poor and ill-considered decision to remove Lee’s post. The first excuse, by the way, was that Lee’s piece was not about science. When that was contested by other SciAm bloggers who themselves had posted ‘non’ science pieces, a new excuse was found, they had to confirm the facts. It’s the weaseling that is so irritating. Just admit you folks made a mistake and you need to fix it.

As for the incident with Byrne (and others), it puts everything that Bora has done in terms of hiring and promoting people under a magnifying lens raises questions abut that and everything he’s worked at.

Scientific American may want to consider some kind of audit and ‘transparent’ communication about how they’re dealing with Lee’s situation and with the questions raised by Bora’s actions. Above all else, they shouldn’t indulge in any more weaseling.

Easy to say but as I look at the situation with Science Borealis getting ready to launch, I’m aware of just how easy it is to royally foul things up through an excess of speed, egotism (the certainty that one is a good person … no one is a good person all the time), and the sanctity of one’s own good intentions (I have good intentions so I don’t have to ask for permission; I don’t have time; etc.) or an unwillingness to be the odd person challenging and asking inconvenient questions.

One final thought, too often people think that good leadership means your team does what you want them to do. No,. Good leaders attract disparate and talented people who thoughtfully provide strong opinions based on insight, often painfully acquired. These are difficult teams to lead because those types of people aren’t just going to shut up and follow you. They want to be heard, they want their input to be taken into account, they’re likely to tell you things you don’t want to hear (helping the leader to achieve humility whether or not s/he wants it or not), and they’re going slow things down (helping the leader to achieve patience).

There aren’t too many easy ways to deal with issues of power (sexual harassment usually comes down to power). Self-awareness (both personal and institutional)  helps and that, sadly, is usually gained through bitter experience. Certainly, that’s how I’ve gained most of my self-awareness (such as it is).

I think most of the commentary has played itself out but on the off chance someone feels moved to comment here, I do take the weekends off and won’t be back until Monday, Oct. 21, 2013.

ETA Oct. 22, 2013: According to an Oct. 22, 2013 posting by Connie St. Louis on the Guardian Science blogs, Bora Zivkoovic resigned his position with Scientific American on Friday, Oct. 18, 2013.