On Statistical Progress in Ecology | Ecological Rants

There is a general belief that science progresses over time and given that the number of scientists is increasing, this is a reasonable first approximation. The use of statistics in ecology has bee…

Source: On Statistical Progress in Ecology | Ecological Rants

A blog post by Charles Krebs complements my previous posts on P-values and reminds us that statistical analysis and models are tools in our search for understanding. In the end what matters are the “new insights” as Krebs writes, or more boldly as I sometimes say “ideas are what matters, data just let us imagine and assess those new ideas.”

A new book on LaTeX

Book cover imageDo you use LaTeX for typesetting? Do you already know the basics of LaTeX? Then a book just published by Packt Publishing will make your life a lot easier!

I haven’t yet tested any of the code snippets, but the book gives recipes for 90% of what I normally do, but in most cases going a few steps further. It also gives recipes for doing things that I have wanted to do for some time, but until now had been too time consuming to find good instructions for.

If I had had this book at hand since January, it would have saved me quite a few hours of Googling, and I would have been able to avoid the typesetting compromises I made because of lack of time.

One of the virtues of the book is that it is not encyclopedic: it is based on a relatively small set of packages and classes that work well together, each one covering a relatively broad range of needs. The result is that although the book provides recipes for “gourmet cooking” at the same time it should be useful and comprehensible to relatively inexperienced LaTeX users, as the author supplies a gradation of recipes from simple to advanced.

I need to qualify the previous paragraphs by saying that I started using TeX and LaTeX more than 30 years ago, and I have been regularly using them since then. I have typeset my PhD thesis, many manuscripts, an edited book, a journal, conference posters, overheads for conference presentations and for use in teaching and still I am sure I will find this book useful on a daily basis.

Disclosure: I have bought and paid for this book myself, although I have in the past received free review copies of a couple of other books from the same publisher.

Writing competition

An international competition from the UK with participation of the BBC looks very interesting. If you have ever thought of writing a short piece in English explaining to the general public why your research subject will help change the world for better, this is a good opportunity for getting recognition and being published in a journal with large readership.

Science Writing Competition 2015