A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.
Category: Science (Page 1 of 6)
(This post was first published on the AmNat150.org website)
The American Naturalist was first published in March 1867. Over the last 150 years, AmNat has had 16 different covers. Below is a gallery of those covers, with the dates they were used. Click on any image to bring up the full-sized gallery.
One of the fascinating features to trace through the covers is how the motto of the journal changed through the years.
I used to be the Editor-in-Chief of the American Naturalist, one of the oldest scientific journals in North America. The American Naturalist published its first issue two years before Charles Darwin published the Origin of Species, and I think that AmNat, as it’s affectionately called, is the world’s best journal for papers in evolution (and ecology and behavior).
Today, our Managing Editor, Trish Morse, brought to my attention some of the best evidence of AmNat‘s significance. AmNat is number 113 on the list of sources most cited by the Oxford English Dictionary. Only 6 other scientific publications are ahead of us on the list. That seems like a much better measure of the importance of a scientific journal’s contribution to knowledge than Impact Factors or other so-called measures of importance.
I was sitting in church a couple of weeks back on Christmas Eve waiting for the service to start. As I usually do to pass the time, I picked up the Bible (what else are you going to do in church?), and I had a revelation about what I work on – namely evolution.
This revelation came to me in the form of a simple question. Where in the Bible does it say that evolution does not happen?
I am now planning the next offering of a Generalized Linear Mixed Models course that I sometimes teach to our graduate students. I’m teaching the next offering next spring. All our graduate students are clamoring for a course in R, and I am sure I’ll get much pressure to teach this course using R.
Posted by The Baltimore Sun on Thursday, September 8, 2016
This is hugely valuable advice. If one is to teach what students need to know, one really has to just simply do it!
One of the foundational concepts in modern ecology is the formulation of the “niche” by G. Evelyn Hutchinson. Hutchinson defined his conception of the niche famously as an “N-dimensional hypervolume” of environmental variables that describe where a species can maintain a population. You can find a (pirated) pdf of this seminal paper here or the Cold Spring Harbor site if your conscience is bothering you and want to pay for it because you don’t have a library subscription.
When I read this paper in graduate school, I was dumbfounded to find one of the most glaring typographical errors I had ever seen in the scientific literature. In this paper, the plain text on the page says that the realized niches of co-occurring species are non-interesting.
Here’s the Presidential Address I gave at the 2016 American Society of Naturalists annual meeting in Austin, Texas.