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Showing posts from 2006

PostDoc Unionization in UC!

It Ain't Over Till It's Over
Beryl Lieff BenderlyUnited States1 December 2006
The campaign to unionize the postdocs at the University of California (UC), already one of the strangest such sagas in memory, took another unexpected turn last month. After filing for recognition with the state's Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) in September, the union that is trying to organize the UC system's 5800 to 6000 postdocs withdrew its petition in early November.


Why Do We Have Reservations Based on Caste?

Why did our forefathers moot the idea of implementing reservations in Indian education system and employment?

The idea of reservations was mooted to rectify the Indian social system which was far more debilitating than the Indian economic system. For centuries, spanning nearly two thousand years, a majority of India was persecuted, discriminated and ostracized by a minority community on the name of caste. Caste was and is inviolable to all Indians- it was decided two thousand years ago for all generations to come, and nothing one can do to change that. Contrast this with a feudal system- a farmer can become a landlord in 2-3 generations and thus completely change his social status. In a religious system, one can espouse a new religion to escape persecution. But in a caste system, one cannot change his caste and hence will continue to be discriminated for generations. This inviolable and deeply entrenched caste system in India was used to ostra…

GLOBAL WARMING:- How Ignorant ARE we ??

Global WarmingIs this inconvenient truth or truth has been conveniently pushed, pushed to make believe that there is not enough evidence. So, it is more of a Convinient lies told over and over again by the politicians, leaders and the wested interest companies that pay millions to some fake scientists to provide wrong data that there is no evidence for global wrming, why do you need evidence you moron, look around and don't you see the environment is constantly screwed up by humans more than any living or non-living influence on the damaging atmorsphere?. So, it goes.......AT THIS JUNCTURE, WE CAN RATHER TRUST INDIVIDUAL HUMANS TO HELP CLEAN UP THE ENVIRONMENT AND KEEP IT SAFE THAN ASKING THE POLITICIANS AND LEADERS TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT,yes, every concerned human of this earth must do their due duty to protect, safegaurd the environment for the fututre generatiion, we might escape from the huge calamity is waiting to happen,but our next generation will pay for it if we do not …

CHINA-the changing face of Science in China

Science Magazine Article:
Special Feature: Scientific Opportunities in China
Alan KotokUnited States
8 December 2006
When was the last time you saw the word stunning used to describe growth in scientific research spending???

Left: the Yin & Yang
Principles of Chinese science & Medicine

A new report (December 2006) from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) details China's new role as a worldwide scientific powerhouse. According to the OECD, in 2006
China will surpass Japan in total research and development spending, making the United States the only nation that spends more. Dirk Pilat, head of the OECDs Science and Technology Policy division, says in a press release, The rapid rise of China in both money spent and researchers employed is stunning.

University of California- UC PostDocs Unionization

The PostDocs Plight- Latest Union Activity at UC

The most recent news release about UC POSTDOC Unionization depicts as though some great failure occurred in the Unionization effort of University of California Postdocs. In contrast, it is a sensationalistic propoganda of these news reporters who use all these terms like "UC unionization is a bust", UC unionization is a failure, UAW failed to unionize postdocs and what not? to put this unionization heat off, not knowing that it is a great initiative that kicked off few years ago, going at its own speed, an effort like this at this juncture, should not be treated or construed as a failure. It is infact, a very successeful organization effort, because the postdocs are not sitting quite now and sleepaway thinking it is over, they need better respect so they will keep working on that respect it is a successeful effort.

Beyond these media liars lies the reality, postdocs obviously are working together in this effort to push…

Eating Curry & Cognitive Power?.

Curry may keep elderly minds sharp
Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:11pm ET
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A diet containing curry may help protect the aging brain, according a study of elderly Asians in which increased curry consumption was associated with better cognitive performance on standard tests.
Curcumin, found in the curry spice turmeric, possesses potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Genome Dance -Dancing Science & Weslyan University of Connecticut

“The genome dance project got me thinking that there may be many more untapped ways to make science matter to non-scientists.”Emily Jacobs-Palmer
As Ferocious Beauty: Genome draws to a close, the dancers
swirl, surrounded by deep blues, stark whites, and the sounds
of the sea—symbolic of their species' origin. Emily Jacobs-Palmer finds some of today's political and social attitudes toward science appalling. "I want to live in a world that respects scientists and values our work," says the molecular biology and biochemistry major, a senior at Wesleyan University. To create such a world, however, Jacobs-Palmer believes science must become more accessible—more comprehensible and interesting—to the general public. It never occurred to her that one path to that goal might be through dance. Then she met Liz Lerman, winner of a MacArthur Foundation "genius" award and founder of the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. Lerman was spending the year as an artist-in-residence at …

2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine is out!

October 02, 2006 HHMI Investigator Craig C. Mello Wins 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine The Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute announced this morning that the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Craig C. Mello, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and Andrew Z. Fire at Stanford University School of Medicine. The two were honored for their discovery of RNA interference - gene-silencing by double-stranded RNA.

Cal math grad Andrew Fire wins 2006 Nobel Prize in medicine
By Robert Sanders, Media Relations | 02 October 2006BERKELEY – Andrew Z. Fire, the Stanford University geneticist who today (Monday, Oct. 2) shared the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, is an alumnus of UC Berkeley's mathematics department, having whizzed through Cal in a mere three years before moving on to graduate school at the age of 19. http://www.berkel…

Breaking E.Coli News!!!

Simply Avoid Bagged Spinach for the moment, why? Recent illness and one death due to E.coli infection through bagged spinach. Read the following news....
Killer E. coli outbreak spreadsHealth officials are trying to find the source of a multistate E. coli outbreak and they're warning consumers that bagged spinach may be the source. One person has died and dozens of others have been sickened in the 10-state outbreak. The FDA is warning people not to eat bagged spinach and says washing it won't solve the problem because the bacteria is too tightly attached.

Some Tips to Consider!!!

Skype-the whole world can talk for free??.
Sounds like a scam, but this is a real free telephone service, the free service is going to be available till end of this year. All you have to do is to download skype program, call up anywhere within US or Canada free either on a mobile or landline. You can make calls from your PC. I am using right now to make longdistance and conference calls, the voice and lines are terrific, clear and no background noise or interruption. The calls once placed are disturbed in the middle of conversation like those damn paid calling cards or sometime our cell phones, that make croaky frog like noises. You know I go over lots of minutes in cell phone most of the time, then end of miserable to go out to call or add more minutes for a ridiculous, day time robbery by the cell phone companies. A friend of mine once mentioned use skpe, whe she said, I thought very casually about skype, but when I checked the website, I decided to download, it takes just less tha…

Some Tips to Consider!!

I am not realy sure how long this service existed, I found out today that there is something realy free, I used to pay for directory assistance, about a buck and half. But, I checked this company, it is real free directory assitance, they will provide you the telephone number you are looking for in your or any locality. Either call the above number or go online and do the search. I believe that this company might compensate their service expenses by the advertisement that comes after you ask for the number, but you do not need to worry about it, in seconds you will be provided the number you want once you give the city name and name of the business or place. If the automated message can't help you, an attender will respond to you. This is certainly a good service for free....immmmmmmmm there is free lunch in America, though it is very rare???.

PRO/UAW-University of California????

PostDoc World News:
The Union for Postdoctoral Researchers at the University of California
Postdoctoral Researchers Organize/ International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of

So here it is after Uconn Health Center, it is UC...!!
Great news! A strong majority of UC Postdocs statewide have signed up for
the Union. The petition has been filed with the state labor board.
Update: On August 2, the UC's outside, private counsel filed an objection to
our petition at PERB. At no time prior to the filing of these objections did the
University ever contact the Union to verify any of the information contained
therein. Rather, while there are nearly 6000 postdocs in the University of
California system, the University decided to file an objection based on some
unsupported and vague claims of a few individuals. Indeed, the University's
filing includes only 14 affidavits from postdoctoral fellows. Those individuals
allege a range of unclea…


Scientists in the academic areas have various opinions about "UNIONS", especially about PostDoc unions. The views and opinions of unions can vary from either positive or negative perceptions about unions through the observations of the way unions funtion. Some of them agree that unions can help postdocs, some outrightly reject unions and yet another bunch just confused and have no clear idea.

Whatever those thoughts and opinions of the above category of academicians, in truth, all those perceptions and views on union stem from one's personal knowledge about union, one's personal experience or exposures to how unions function, or perhaps due to extremely well informed and throughouly learned thoughts OR due to poorly informed and ill thought feelings about unions.

Whatever?. A change is invitable in the academic structure and policies, because we can't live anymore in academy with the approach of 1870&…

PostDocs-in India??

To my knowledge, there is no PostDoc culture or PostDoc positions in Indian Universities, if at all, it might be rare in few places. So, I was surprised pleasantly to see an article about postdocs in India, the following article discuss issues about postdocs in India. Normally, graduates after recieving their PhD move out of India to west or europe and other places to do their postdoctoral fellowship. There are not much postdoc positions and it is not common few years ago, this article is probably one of the very few I found that talk about retaining the graduates in India and create postdoc position for them in India. Not a bad idea at all, but will it work?. Who will fund them and where is the money?.

Will the graduates stay in India to do a postdoc in India is another question.
March 20, 2006 Volume 84, Number 12 pp. 16-17Keeping Postdocs At Home In IndiaA vibrant postdoc culture could invigorate India's research climate, but recruiting remains difficultAmanda YarnellPhoto by Am…

Hello Postdocs-Are you listening??

PostDocs, here is a lesson for you all postdocs of the world!?.
The following JYI from the website: will explain you about how and when this group of undergraduate started their own scientific journal: "The Journal of Young Investigators". Wow, what a fantastic idea and brilliance of this undergraduates. I am not sure if this postdocs have any such journals for them run by postdocs. In my five year postdoc experience, I hardly seen or heard postdocs getting involved in peer-reviews, manuscript reviews and other editorial related works as experts.

Ever since my first postdoctoral year till date, I got involved in peer-reviews, project proposal reviews, manuscript and even postdocs candidate selection reviews. It is important for postdocs to get involved in such areas that will help them to become better communicators in writing and handling research publication related issues. The PIs are not going to worry about if you know any of these or not, as long as you…

The Gazzette!! News & Views

""THE WORLD IS CHANGING RAPIDLY" this is exactly what the 24 member faculty committee recognized in their recent committee meeting, the meeting was held to discuss issues around education and research, especially to bring out improvements in undergraduate education and research at Harvard. The plan is to enhance the current undergraduate education system with hands on experience. This is a new concept that is making way into education and higher education these days. So, the need to change the teachng and learning aproach of science subjects is finaly reaching the right places, initially it was debated that school children's must be provided chances in hands on experience, it now slowely spreading from the secondary school education level to the undergraduate level courses. Especially considering the amount of interests student will develop by doing few basic scientific experiments or involving in this "the hands on" approach. I believe it is a good id…

PostDocs-Best Places to Work

PostDocs #1. The David J. Gladstone Institutes at the UCSF.

Interesting to note that J.David Gladstone Institute is picked up by the scientist survey as the best places for postdocs to work, infact the number one among the first places for postdocs. I was in University of California, Berkely campus a couple of years ago for a postdoc meeting, this was the first ever national level postdoc meeting that was organized by UC postdocs and postdoc wellwishers at this place, I found these postdocs are quite outspoken about the problems and issues of postdoc community, they are courageous and forward thinking to bring ideas into action, this is not at all surprising that they got the first place in the survey. I believe that the president and administrators here at the Gladstone are doing a pretty good job in helping and shaping postdocs for their future.

PosDocs- NewZealand

New Zealand-NZ

In the postdocs around section, this page will update news and happenings in NewZeland and the postdoc world in NewZeland.
The New Zealand Science and Technology Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme is intended to foster the development of New Zealand's emerging scientists and future science leaders. It complements other Government initiatives to develop a knowledge society which will assist New Zealand to compete successfully as a knowledge economy. Funding is available for postdoctoral fellowships and to provide bridge to employment support.


**The Latest News about Postdoc union:
UAW Petition Filed with the University of California | | | Attention UCLA Postdoctoral Scholars:The United Auto Workers (UAW) has filed a petition with the University of California for exclusive representation of postdoctoral scholars on all ten UC campuses and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. As a condition of the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), the attached notice must be posted conspicuously on all employee bulletin boards in each facility where postdoctoral scholars are employed.
**NIH-NRSA fellowship is added with extra cash for New Medical Health insurance coverage??
Notice of New NIH Policy for Funding of Tuition, Fees, and Health Insurance on Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service AwardsNotice Number: NOT-OD-06-090Key Dates
Release Date: August 4, 2006Issued by
National Institut…

PostDoc Activities & Organizations

PostDocs often left out without proper channels of advice and support, however there are some good local associations that provide some basic help, some of them are listed below.

1. Baylor Postdoctoral Association

Baylor College of Medicine is one of several research centers where the postdoc community is quite big, lots of postdocs work at Baylor. They have got this sense of helping each other through this association. PostDocs will be able to find information related to visa, travel, jobs and other social activities using this site.

2. Brown University Postdoctoral Association

The association in short called BUPA?. Again, the site provides assistance to postdocs for housing in Providence, RI. Benefits, visa, international student relations and other postdoc related information. The following report and points from BUPA's recent meeting will tell the story that postdocs are struggling to fix i…

Links & Resources of News

UK Graduate Union
PostDocs are associate members of graduate union, though postdocs do not have their own union.
t=431&sid=0f561835b08d08235cf2570091e24574 What's PdOC About? PdOC is looking for motivated people with innovative ideas to join us and help both current and future generations of Postdocs at Cambridge. We are a young organisation run by Postdocs for Postdocs. Established in 2001, in the years since its inception PdOC has flourished and grown, establishing a strong track record in achieving goals that have been identified university-wide by Postdocs.
PostDocs in Canada, PostDocs fate? Dismantling the trapSo how do we end this shameful waste of talent? Some have suggested that granting agencies should waste less money on students, since many students must eventually abandon their careers or leave the country. However, this approach does nothing …


Slaves to science
For post-docs, finding a supernova is easier than finding a job.
- - - - -By William Speed Weed Feb. 28, 2000
[If you never read this article, it is worth spending some time in reading, an insightful article about postdocs, I admire William Speed Weed for his courage to tell the truth about postdocs are treated like slaves in the academia!?. Here is the link for the article.

This Blog:-

Who are these Little Mas…