The Black Goat

24
Jan

Creativity and Rigor

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In this episode we explore the relationship between creativity and rigor. Some psychologists have commented that they at odds, others have suggested that you can pursue one independent of the other. We examine the argument that expecting research to be rigorous gets in the way of creativity. What makes a scientific idea creative, and how is that different from creativity in other domains? Can people be creative in the ways they try to be rigorous? Are creative ideas more prestigious than rigorous methods? Have cheap ideas given a bad name to scientific creativity, and have bad criticisms given a bad name to rigor? Also: A letter about whether people requesting data from published articles should have to preregister.

The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at www.theblackgoatpodcast.com, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, or on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com. You can subscribe to us on iTunes.

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on freemusicarchive.org under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license.

This is episode 26. It was recorded January 19, 2018.

10
Jan

Welcome To The Big Leagues

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So you got through the interview. What happens next? If you're lucky, you might get a job offer - and we want you to be ready! In this episode we talk about the process of negotiating for your first job. How should you start preparing (you're gonna start preparing, right?) Who do you negotiate with and what do they actually want? What kinds of things can you ask for, and how should you ask for them? How do you handle exploding deadlines (boo!) and multiple offers (yay!)? We share our experiences on how to approach this important step in launching your career.

The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at www.theblackgoatpodcast.com, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, or on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com. You can subscribe to us on iTunes.

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on freemusicarchive.org under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license.

This is episode 25. It was recorded January 4, 2018.

27
Dec

The Year 2017 in Review

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For our last episode of 2017, we each look back on the year and what stood out for us - besides launching The Black Goat, of course. We talk about how the personal became political in a crazy year for U.S. politics; finding new connections through hobbies; the endings, beginnings, and deepenings of important relationships; and how peak experiences change as we get older. Plus: Our letter of the week is about how to get a toehold on professional networking. And a viral tweet of Sanjay's leads into a discussion of implicit bias and strangers in your Twitter mentions.

The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at www.theblackgoatpodcast.com, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, or on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com. You can subscribe to us on iTunes.

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on freemusicarchive.org under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license.

This is episode 24. It was recorded December 16, 2017.

13
Dec

Whodunnit

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Previously we've talked about judging the scientist by their science. Today we turn the question around: When should you judge a piece of scientific work based on what you know about the person who did it? We examine the arguments for why an author's track record should and shouldn't matter in judging their work. What are the pros and cons of masking authors' identities from reviewers and editors? How do we simultaneously manage validity and bias, and reconcile those things with a broader concept of fairness? And also: This week's letter is about what to do when your findings fail to replicate. 

Discussed in this episode:

The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at www.theblackgoatpodcast.com, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, or on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com. You can subscribe to us on iTunes.

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on freemusicarchive.org under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license.

This is episode 23. It was recorded December 2, 2017.

30
Nov

Significant Feelings

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Everybody's talking about p-values. An important part of the replicability discussion has been about the correct use and interpretation of p-values, and the potentially distorting incentives attached to getting one below .05. And recently, Simine was a co-author on a paper proposing to redefine the interpretive threshold for calling something "significant." In this episode we talk about p-values: our feelings about them, how we were taught to think about them and how that has changed over the years, and the role of thresholds and categorization of evidence in our scientific thinking. Plus: A letter-writer asks if you should put more faith in the "pre-crisis" early work of present-day open science advocates.

Discussed in this episode:

The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at www.theblackgoatpodcast.com, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, or on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com. You can subscribe to us on iTunes.

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on freemusicarchive.org under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license.

This is episode 22. It was recorded November 22, 2017.

15
Nov

We Were Never Cool

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Alexa studies how our beliefs change them over time. Simine studies self-knowledge and what others know about us. And Sanjay studies lifespan development. So this episode we are going to go full me-search and talk about what we were like as kids, how we’re the same and how we have changed into who we are now. Were any of us cool in high school? (Spoiler: No.) And how did going into academia change who we were? And in our letter of the week, we talk about how to keep up with what can seem like a firehose of new methods and practices in science.

The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at www.theblackgoatpodcast.com, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, or on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com. You can subscribe to us on iTunes.

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on freemusicarchive.org under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license.

This is episode 21. It was recorded November 1, 2017.

1
Nov

The Learning Curve

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When you're faculty at a research university, you get mixed messages about teaching: it's a big part of the job, but you get all kinds of not-so-subtle messages that you are supposed to think of yourself as a researcher first. In today's episode, we talk about where teaching fits into our identities and values, and how that has evolved over our careers. Alexa talks about her experiences volunteering to teach in a prison; Simine tells how she found a way to be her quiet, skeptical self in front of hundreds of people; and Sanjay talks about looking for the overlap between rigor and showmanship. Also: In our letter of the week, we answer a question about doing professional service for scientific societies and how that looks on the job market.

The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at www.theblackgoatpodcast.com, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, or on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com. You can subscribe to us on iTunes.

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on freemusicarchive.org under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license.

This is episode 20. It was recorded October 26, 2017.

18
Oct

Disagreeing about Science

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Science is in a period of especially pitched disagreement. Beyond the usual scientific disagreements about theories and studies, we are talking - and disagreeing - about deep questions about the nature and practice of science. In today's episode we talk about how to disagree with people about issues related to open science, replicability, and scientific reform. How do you decide when to pick an argument? How do you disagree constructively? Did the open science movement attract people in the early days who are comfortable with disagreement, and how has that changed? What do you do if you are the only "open science person" in your lab or department, and you have to work with people who are opposed to the way you see things? Plus: Our letter of the week is about being politically conservative in academia. And it was a big week for awards in psychology.

Discussed in this episode:

The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at www.theblackgoatpodcast.com, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, or on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com. You can subscribe to us on iTunes.

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on freemusicarchive.org under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license.

This is episode 19. It was recorded October 13, 2017.

4
Oct

The Meaning of It All (with Anna Alexandrova)

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Scientists often turn to philosophers for answers to the big questions about science: what is the meaning of what we do, what makes it valid, why does it even matter? In this episode we put all our thorniest questions to our guest, Anna Alexandrova. Anna is a philosopher of science at Cambridge University and author of the new book A Philosophy for the Science of Well-Being. We talk about replicability and reform in science, what scientists can learn from philosophy beyond the Popper-Kuhn-Lakatos canon, the important role of norms in scientific discourse, and how you do science on values-laden concepts like well-being. Plus: Simine's dad Hamid drops by, and Alexa and Sanjay try to pry out some embarrassing childhood stories about their cohost. And we respond to listener feedback about our discussion of the two-body problem in our job market episode.

Discussed in this episode:

The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at www.theblackgoatpodcast.com, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, or on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com. You can subscribe to us on iTunes.

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on freemusicarchive.org under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license.

This is episode 18. It was recorded September 26 and 28, 2017.

20
Sep

All Your Idols Have Clay Feet

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Many scientists are inspired by other scientists - people whose work and careers they admire and want to emulate. But sometimes our idols turn out to be flawed as scientists or as people. How do you cope when that happens? Is it a problem to even have idols at all - and what would be the alternative? Plus: We respond to a letter about getting help for your psychological struggles when your classmates work at the counseling center. And should first-time teachers tell their students that they are new?

The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at www.theblackgoatpodcast.com, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, or on Facebook at facebook.com/blackgoatpod/. You can email us at letters@theblackgoatpodcast.com. You can subscribe to us on iTunes.

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on freemusicarchive.org under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license.

This is episode 17. It was recorded September 1, 2017.