Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Collecting some of my comments about Sacramento County's poor response to COVID19

Posted this rant on March 9

And then another rant
And this one
And then Placer and Yolo County came out with their somewhat more aggressive plan
And more
And this
And another And this And another And another

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

My posts about #UCDavis and #Covid19

Going to use this page to keep track of some of what I have been posting about what is going on at UC Davis in regard to the coronavirus.  Will add more later ... but just going to use this to keep track.

February 26

Things blew up at @ucdavis with reports that the 1st community acquired case of COVID19 was at our hospital. I received an email about this that I eventually posted to Twitter (I waited to post until I saw others reporting this)
Tons of stories came out over the next few weeks about this and I will add some links to them. But eventually, attention went elsewhere as the 1st large clusters of cases that were detected in the US ended up being in other locations.

March 7.

Actions from UC Davis announced regarding COVID19 was, well, better than nothing but pretty limited.

March 10. 

UC Davis expanded actions.

Monday, March 09, 2020

Some of my favorite books about infectious disease, viruses, bioweapons in relation to #Coronavirus #COVID19

I posted some pics of my books I brought home from work to look over in relation to the current coronavirus outbreak and some people asked if I could post a list. So here is a collection. I will update with other books.

I used Amazon links here b/c, well, that was really simple.

Infectious Diseases


Biological Warfare


General Information about Viruses


Thursday, March 05, 2020

What's worse than not cancelling your conference during #COVID19? How about a #MANEL #YAMMM during #COVID19.

Well got invited to this meeting "Non-Coding RNAs In Biology & Medicine Conference".  And I looked up the meeting so I could see if the meeting was still on and if yes, to then encourage the organizers to encourage them to postpone the meeting to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus going around.

And alas, the meeting still on - April 2-4, 2020
As a side note, it is around the corner from where I used to work (it is in the same general area as where TIGR used to me).

And, alas, on top of the meeting apparently still being on, it is also what appears to be a MANEL - a meeting with a highly skewed gender balance of speakers.  I say "what appears to be" since I just do not have time right now to do what I frequently do which is to look up people's personal websites to see how they describe themselves in terms of gender.  So I am basing this entirely on names and appearance but it does not look like a good balance.

Not a good look Johns Hopkins and USUHS,

#1 - due to #COVID19 this conference should be cancelled
#2 - due to the apparently extreme gender skew for the speakers, this conference is one I would encourage people to not attend anyway.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Reading Relevant to Contributions to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statements (by Prof. Dawn Sumner)

Dawn Sumner, a colleague and friend of mine who is a Professor at UC Davis, sent me this document she has written up on readings of relevance to DEI statements and I thought it would be useful broadly and offered to post it here.  See below:

Reading Relevant to Contributions to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statements
By Dawn Sumner

Summary: the state of knowledge on diversity, equity and inclusion in universities, with all their intricacies: “An Inclusive Academy – Achieving Diversity and Excellence” by Stewart and Valian. This is a long read at something over 400 pages. It is very good and presents the issues with nuance and discussions of what unknown.  The library provides free digital access: https://direct.mit.edu/books/book/4114/An-Inclusive-AcademyAchieving-Diversity-and

Chapter 5 is specifically about faculty hiring. It includes a good list of design principles for avoiding bias in hiring. Diversity statements are mentioned as one aspect. It also explains the context for why there is such a huge drop between the available pool of underrepresented candidates and those who actually apply to faculty jobs at UCD.

Morality and Diversity:This article describes 3 moral approaches to diversity, including the intrinsic conflict between 2 of them that reflect the debate we are currently having over DEI statements. The third (new) approach is to focus on the virtues/skills that someone needs to have to do their job well and the values of the organization to shape fair practices that promote excellence. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10551-012-1434-z

What’s in DEI Statements?Some of the arguments against requiring DEI statements relate to their contents. Here are some analyses of what's in real statements from applicants. (Note that I saw on twitter tonight some complaints about plagiarized DEI statements - so it is certainly true that there are problems.)
To me, the combination of using a virtues-and-values–focused framework for considering diversity, placed in the context of understanding how academic processes are discriminatory with an understanding of what’s communicated in diversity statements shows: 1) the potential value of DEI statements; and 2) how they should be used appropriately to help inform the process of finding colleagues who possess the skills (virtues) to promote our values (as we express them).

DEI statements can help us find the best colleagues. Misusing them can be very damaging. We need to work on setting appropriate standards for how to effectively use DEI statements to level the playing field, promote equity, and ensure excellence.

Saturday, February 01, 2020

A month of #DailyINat - observations posted to @inaturalist every day for January 2020

I posted a thread to Twitter about this topic. See
if you want to see this on Twitter but am reproducing it here.

OMG I pulled it off. I did daily observations that I posted to @inaturalist for all of January - see my Calendar - this was not trivial since I was on jury duty for almost three weeks (with some time off in the middle) 1/n


In total I made 1841 observations for the month - see inaturalist.org/observations?d - might go up a little as I got through a few more pictures #DailyiNat 2/n


My observations were predominantly (97%) of birds (for those who KNow me I am sure you are shocked, shocked by this) inaturalist.org/observations?d #DailyiNat 3/n


All of these observations were in the general area near #DavisCA and #SacramentoCA #DailyiNat 4/n


Most amazing to me was that I reported >120 species of birds during this time - including a few lifers #DailyiNat inaturalist.org/observations?d 5/n


Incredibly grateful to @inaturalist @LMGerhart @ReaderMeter @ShannonSkalos @talonDNA @tvanlaarmicro @calacademy and many many others for inspiration and all the people doing IDs to help me out inaturalist.org/observations?d #DailyiNat 6/n


One of my favorite observations during this time: Prairie Falcon - inaturalist.org/observations/3 my 1st time seeing one #DailyiNat 7/n


Also seen a few ferruginous hawks which are becoming one of my favorite birds - inaturalist.org/observations?d #DailyiNat 8/n


Also fun - my 1st pics of a golden crowned kinglet inaturalist.org/observations?d #DailyiNat 9/n