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developmental and stem cell biologists

Pablo Astudillo

Posts by Pablo Astudillo

Don't forget about the big picture

Posted by , on 20 April 2011

Live organisms are complex systems. Understanding the complexity underlying the development and growth of organisms seems a daunting task, but developmental biology is an essential field of study to accomplish, ...

Postdoctoral position in Regenerative Biology in Xenopus

Posted by , on 1 March 2011

A postdoctoral position is available in the Laboratory of Dr. Juan Larraín, at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile. The project involves the study of regenerative biology in ...

Ernst Haeckel and the recapitulation of an "early" biological debate

Posted by , on 8 December 2010

Scientists don’t spend free time to think about the changes that made possible the birth of a new way to make research. For example, how we moved from a world ...

V International Meeting of the LASDB

Posted by , on 20 November 2010

Being at the end of the planet Earth and organizing an international meeting is not easy. Even harder is to prepare and hold a course intended for an international audience. ...

Recent comments by Pablo Astudillo

Dear Thomas: I share with you all your concerns. I have been following the UK's situation quite close. I am working in an advocacy initative similar to Science is Vital here in Chile. We suffer almost the same problems here: low payments for scientists, long working hours (even receiving often the speech about "your life as a scientists must be 24/7"), a denialism for science in government and the citizenship, poor equipment, and a competitiveness performance falling fast when compared with Argentina, Brasil, Peru and other South American countries. I can understand this in countries less developed as mine (Chile), but I am scared of reading so often these claims about UK science. I have been looking forward to do a post-doctoral stay in your country, considering myself well trained and with good skills for science, but I am worried about the reality depicted by young scientists. I was thinking about writing here regarding this same topic, and I am glad nonetheless to see that this is an important issue for young researchers. Pablo
by Pablo Astudillo in The profession that isn’t on September 12, 2011
You're welcome, Eva. I got the feeling that it was, indeed, a very good meeting and, as you said, also a beautiful and quiet place.
by Pablo Astudillo in V International Meeting of the LASDB on November 20, 2010
For start, one huge mistake that should be corrected soon for the main journals is this: supplemental methods should not exist. Many journals forget the main idea of a paper: an instrument to other scientist, in the most complete form in order to be independently replicated by other scientists. Today, a paper, more than an instrument, seems like a commercial product, and many scientists try to hide relevant information, and many journals try to hide the methods to give more space to ads and more papers in the printed version. A paper should include complete information about the methods, and references included in this section should be verified by the editors (for example, the classic "Microinjections were performed as previously described in reference 7", and then you go to reference 7 and find that you have to go now to the reference 9 in the paper cited in 7, and so on, until getting into the paper describing the method; that's annoying). About supplemental figures, yes, there should be a limit in the number, and precise rules about the content of them. For example, validation of siRNAs and knockouts, the set-up of a technique, and so on. Trying to demonstrate in a supplemental figure that a specific treatment, not fully discussed in the main article, has a given result just to ensure the novelty of a finding, is not enough and should be eliminated from the article.
by Pablo Astudillo in Supplementary? on August 19, 2010
Problems with scientific funding are widespread, I guess. Here we have the serious problem that the Chilean Agency giving funding for science, is giving to the graduate students applying to funding to attend courses and meetings outside Chile, the news that they have to wait -fellowships were going to be awarded un July, but now, the results will be published in October-, making impossible to attend meetings for the students. About the question, well... Some non-scientist people would argue that a postdoc is indeed a more advanced job and hence, postdocs should be fully integrated into the economic system (just imagine that one idea here in Chile is to eliminate fellowships for doing a PhD and to make prospective PhD students to look into the banks for loans to pay the PhD). I disagree, obviously, specially because science is still bad-paid and the benefits of research are for all the people, not only for the researcher. It's a strange job, being a scientist.
by Pablo Astudillo in Changes in Canadian postdoc funding on August 19, 2010
I always wondered if someone kicked Jorge Cham for his jokes. Seriously, I would like to know how was being artist and scientist at the same time (I honestly believe that, in most places, grad students don't have enough time to do both). When and why he started with PhD Comics, and when he will come to some place in the South Hemisphere.
by Pablo Astudillo in Node update on July 30, 2010