Wednesday, 28 January 2009

New names

Apart from the vast backlog of unsorted names at the bottom of my list, a few new names have popped up that I've taken the time to look up, find home page and stats, and some interesting new names have popped to the top in my sort order.

The top two spots now are both recent additions:
new #1 name: Dr. Stuart Pimm of Duke Univ. in Durham, NC, with a striking 682 cites to his fourth-most-cited paper.
new #2 name: Dr. William Schlesinger of the Nicholas School and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, NY. I've heard Dr. Schlesinger's warm baritone voice on several of the excellent podcasts posted by the Nicholas Institute on their site and via iTunes U. Here's one sample and a listing of many.

I find podcasts of conferences and lectures via "iTune U" (as in university) a great source for some extra learning that fits in with commuting by subway and walking between home, office and the station. If they are giving a PowerPoint presentation and you've just got the audio, it can be frustrating not having the slides to watch - do your best to infer/imagine. Some conferences now also post the slides and/or a video.

Also new at #7 is President Obama's newly appointed head of NOAA, Dr. Jane Lubchenco of Oregon State U., with impressive citation stats which have vaulted her to the top female researcher on my list.

I have added a column in my Excel source file of all this to note which authors are women. I haven't thought through how to present that data point visually yet - my spreadsheet shows 172 women that I've noted so far, out of just over 1800 names in all - just under 10%. This reflects a broader gender imbalance in physics and math studies in general. With more time and more complete data gathered such as year of PhD, I might be able to look for any trends toward less imbalance in more recent graduates, but I don't have that yet.

I've also added President Obama's pick for science advisor and Director of the OSTP, John Holdren. Since his academic work is in science policy, the citation stats (landing him in the mid 400's of my list) are not really comparable with those working in 'hard' sciences, which tend toward higher numbers of shorter published works, versus fewer but much longer pieces in social science field such as policy analysis.

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