Top 5 Errant Science posts of 2015

This year has been pretty fantastic for Errant Science. My content has been picked up in more places that ever and my weekly returning readership has more than doubled this year *waves*. If you want to know what keeps most bloggers going then the answer is seeing people actually interested in our content – it’s massively rewarding!

In place of a regular blog post in this quiet week between Christmas and New Year, I have compiled a list of the 5 most popular blog posts of this year on Errant Science. Have a look, re-read or enjoy for the first time if you missed them when they originally came out. Happy merry, new year, holiday thingy!


1. How to measure a scientist

“I’ve just received a nice e-mail telling me that it’s time for my annual judging session – also know as my Personal Development Review. This kind of thing has so many different titles (performance review, appraisal, etc) but they all amount to the same basic thing – I sit down with my boss and we talk about all the things I’ve done this year, and then we try to work out if that was too much or too little, against the latest random-measurement yard sticks passed down from upper management…..” [Read more]


 

Combination2. Academia in not very ‘aspirational’ posters

“So this week, an unnamed university has put up several ‘aspirational’ posters around its campus. These include phrases such as “Confident & Ambitious” and “Agile & Responsive” – great aspirational buzzwords devoid of any actual meaning. So I figured what we needed was some more realistic academic posters that better match reality…..” [Read more]


 

3. An Open letter to lab supply companies

“Dear Lab supply companies.

Over my decade in science and research I have had call to order things from many of you. Your supplies are the almost literal life blood of my experiments… if the word ‘literal’ didn’t mean something else. I have over the years funnelled tens of thousands of monies into you to a varying degree and I’m a fairly frugal researcher. And I’m not alone, every lab in the country pours huge chunks of their research money in to your online stores in exchange for weirdly shaped glassware….” [Read more]


 

Hamsters4. How to deal with data errors – a ‘Text Adventure’

“Welcome to an Errant Science text adventure. This text adventure is designed to fully test your ability to handle data in a lab environment. You will be faced with choices that will interrogate the very core of your understanding of data…. well, one choice. But that choice is so crucial that from it, we will be able to gaze into your very soul….” [Read more]


 

 

5. A cynics guide to academic papers

“Academic papers cynically explained via an infographic break down showing the key contents that all academic papers should have. A handy reference for every budding academic…” [Read more]

Footnote: I’m slightly pleased that only 2/5 of my top 5 posts are cartoons/infographics. About mid-way through this year I was very close to ditching articles all together and only posting cartoons. I made the right choice apparently.

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