Writing a review article is a wonderful way to develop and exercise your scientist skill set. If you dread the thought of writing a review, or if you’re currently stuck trying to write one, hopefully this post will help you get things moving - remember you're becoming an expert in your field and are the perfect person to be writing the review! Doing so is a great way to develop your ability to write, to read efficiently, to search the literature, and to synthesize a large volume of information: basically, a scientist’s tool kit.
This post was contributed by guest blogger, Gary McDowell, executive director of Future of Research.
On December 1st 2016, many postdocs working more than 40 hours per week could expect to see their salary raised to at least a new legal minimum of $47,476 per year, under updates to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This was due to the threshold at which salaried workers receive overtime payment for working more than 40 hours per week increasing from $23,660 to $47,476 per year. This post discusses how a nationwide injunction against the FLSA is affecting universities' decisions to alter postdoc salaries - in some cases reversing these decisions entirely.
Last month there was plenty of excitement at Addgene. Our new viral service has begun to pick up steam (we already have over 70 orders!), we sent Outreach Scientists to Colorado, Berlin, Atlanta, Ottawa, Norwich, and Hannover, we raised money for the Superhero 5k and, of course, we had our yearly Halloween party (see all of our wonderful costumes in the pictures below, yours truly is dressed as Unikitty from The Lego Movie). October was no less busy for the Addgene blog which once again had record readership with over 75,000 views.
This post was contributed by Future of Research Executive Director, Gary McDowell.
On Dec 1st, the threshold at which salaried workers receive overtime payment for working more than 40 hours per week will increase from $23,660 to $47,476 per year, under updates to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
This is having a major effect on scientists within academia, most particularly postdocs working in the U.S., whose current salaries are below the new exemption level (the current average postdoc salary is estimated at around $45,000, but as I’ve discussed elsewhere (slides here) there are many postdocs paid at much lower salaries).
Postdocs (who are not in a primarily teaching role) come under this ruling, regardless of visa or fellowship status, in addition to certain staff scientists and those in technical roles. Therefore, institutions are responsible for ensuring that either all affected scientists are paid above this threshold or for tracking the hours that these scientists work and paying them overtime accordingly.
Addgene Executive director, Joanne Kamens, recently participated in a Reddit AMA (short for “Ask Me Anything”) on r/Science. You can see some of Joanne’s comments on the AMA process below, but we also wanted to share some thoughts on why we decided to do an AMA in the first place and give you some reasons why you should consider using Reddit to share your science. While Reddit isn’t for everyone, particularly if you’re more interested in selling a product than communicating your ideas with people or discussing science, it is a great way to establish yourself as a thought leader and have real conversations with other scientists.