Archive for March, 2009

Gender Trends in Science and Medical Writing

As a medical writer, I’ve noticed that most medical writers I meet are female. A quick Google search using the keywords‚ “freelance medical writer‚” produced seven female and three male writers (approx. 2:1 ratio) from the first 10 eligible results. While it is difficult to draw statistically relevant conclusions from such a small sample size, it certainly implies a trend.

The American Medical Writers Association is the leading professional organization for medical communicators, with over 5,500 members from around the world. The ratio of female to male members is 4449:1227 (approx. 4:1), mirroring the trend observed with the Google search.

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Analiese’s Reading 3/9

Franken/Coleman recount updates, what happened to the General Motors pension funds, 10 reasons why conservatives’ fiscal ideas are dangerous, and the last stronghold of free-market economics: academia?

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Rebecca and Shawn Lawrence Otto

I am reluctant to use the term “power couple” in reference to a pair of Minnesota leaders in the area of science and politics, but considering the contributions of Rebecca and Shawn Lawrence Otto, the term moves past cliché and into double entendre. Rebecca is the Minnesota State Auditor, an elected constitutional office that I consider to be second only to the governor in terms of authority and importance. Shawn has been one of the key figures involved in the organization Science Debate 2008, originally formed to spur the large field of 2008 presidential hopefuls to have at least one debate on the role of science in making public policy.

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Scribbling in the Margins

Perfectionism is the least of the behaviors that are encouraged in art but need to be set aside if the artist wants to be fully accepted in “polite society.” Artists need the obsessiveness to see a project through with little feedback (or despite feedback). They need enough pride to believe that their ideas are worth executing. They need to be mercurial enough to suit their thinking to a new and very different project from their last. They need to ask uncomfortable questions and set aside polite fictions. They need to be willing to upset people. They need to be willing to manipulate their audience.

In many ways, art is antisocial behavior.

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Analiese’s Reading 3/5

The RNC lawsuits begin, the criminalization of the United States, good news for U.S. manufacturing, a gun law upheld in court, and the advantages provided by having good glass.

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Y’all Play the Music. I’ll Just Have a Beer.

During my personal musical eclipse, after the novelty of the stereo and before I ever met Carl, my brother had a band. This was eventually to become a sort of secret band. He and at least some of the other band members had regular jobs, like working for the state, etc., and I’m not sure whether everybody they worked with knew that on weekends they would go home, dress in shiny white lamé suits, and play rock and roll at one or two high schools.

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The Picture

Considering the times, you might think these two played cowboys and Indians after school, or war games, or maybe even ranchers and rustlers. Everybody else did, at least if they were boys. But these two developed their own game, an after-the-war game, and not even WWII, recently ended, but the Civil War. They never actually gave it a name. It was just the game they always played with each other.

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Analiese’s Reading 3/3

A special ecological edition: the costs and requirements of large-scale agriculture, tracking the endangered, eco-friendly design anda step forward in reducing mercury pollution.

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e + God Equals m Times c Squared

For me, the value of inserting religion into science is that we can see we are inserting an extraneous variable into our statistics and our mathematical equations. The formula most beloved by people who are interested in science is the famous “e = mc².” It is useful in understanding the relationship between energy, mass and the conversion thereof. It has been tested and verified through the observation of matter and light in the labs and in astronomy’s galactic lenses.

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Analiese’s Reading 3/1

This week in the Senate recount hearing, Bobby Jindal’s past—the lies and the truth, and someone who will actually be missed—Minnesota writer Bill Holm.

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