Quickies: 12 year old scientist’s lionfish research, sexist leadership camp, and Bigfoot hair analyzed

  • 12 year old girl credited with breakthrough in lionfish research – “Her research showing that venomous, highly invasive lionfish can survive in nearly fresh water was ultimately replicated and expanded upon by ecologists, who cited her in their published, peer-reviewed study on the topic.” From Sarah.
  • Robin Thicke publicity stunt goes horribly wrong – Or horribly right, depending on how you look at it. From Petr.
  • Leadership convention for teen boys takes a sexist turn – “Boys who attend are guided into forming mock political parties complete with platforms, campaigns, and elections. But according to people who were there, what is supposed to be a primer in American democracy quickly devolved into a celebration of proud chest thumping sexism and idiocy (which, to be fair, is kind of what American democracy is), complete with a campaign speech that consisted entirely of the words “Cold beer and titties” and mock campaign posters that featured, simply, the name of the party running for office scrawled over a disembodied boobs from a fashion magazine.” From Mary.
  • “Bigfoot” hair samples analyzed – They were all from known species, surprise surprise. But may lead to some interesting research into bears! From Mary.


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. Strictly speaking, the “Bigfoot” legends are more often bear-like features rather than more primate-like ones. And in Ojibwe, the name is a corruption of the French word for werewolf.

  2. Unfortunately, it looks like Lauren Arrington’s science fair project may have been badly mentored by her father; in particular, it appears to duplicate prior work by a graduate student, Zack Jud, without properly crediting him. Her father was listed as a co-author of a relevant paper of Jud’s that predated the science fair project.

    On the other hand, it’s not yet clear to me whether the initial claims that her project was a breakthrough in lionfish research may just be the result of bad reporting. Either way, I hope that this does not end up putting Arrington off any dreams she has of pursuing a scientific career.

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