Copying Storify of Phil Campbell talk at UC Davis

Philip Campbell of @nature talk at @ucdavis met w/ some skepticism …

Philip Campbell of @nature talk at @ucdavis met w/ some skepticism …

Sir Philip Campbell gave a talk at UC Davis on “Challenges for Research Group Leaders”. A few people Tweeted during his talk. Here is a recap. I threaded all my Tweets with my first one below so it might be better / easier to follow the discussion if you just go directly to that Tweet.

  1. At @ucdavis: Philip Campbell of @nature talking about “Challenges for research group leaders and the support they need”
  2. @ucdavis @nature Sir Philip Campbell at @ucdavis: been on a tour of universities to push for more discussion about the “health” of research groups
  3. @ucdavis @nature Sir Philip Campbell at @ucdavis: demands on PIs have never been greater and set to grow – and system is doing less than justice to grad students, PIs, post docs, etc
  4. @ucdavis @nature Sir Philip Campbell at @ucdavis: thinks that we need to shift how we evaluate academics away from impact factor towards personal narratives and selection of key products
  5. @phylogenomics @ucdavis @nature LMFTFY Campbell will speak on “Challenges for WHITE MALE research group leaders and the support they need” Maybe a toss away slide for POC/Women
  6. @ucdavis @nature Sir Philip Campbell at @ucdavis: discussing benefits of preprints but also pressures that come to PIs after publications
  7. @ucdavis @nature Sir Philip Campbell at @ucdavis: supports post publication review but says some aspects of places like PubPeer can be very harsh
  8. Hey @PsyArXiv - you're in Philip Campbell's talk (EiC of Nature). He's encouraging authors to use preprint servers. @improvingpsych

    Hey @PsyArXiv – you’re in Philip Campbell’s talk (EiC of Nature). He’s encouraging authors to use preprint servers.
  9. When @nature editor Campbell was in MN giving a similar talk, multiple women said he spent downtime joking about “women in the kitchen” and such. HILL-arious. 
  10. @ucdavis @nature Sir Philip Campbell at @ucdavis: going through list of many of the new @nature journals (though I am not sure what the point of this list is)
  11. @ucdavis @nature Sir Philip Campbell at @ucdavis: says he thinks @nature adds value to publications (peer review, editing, distributions, visibility, amplification, permanence, etc)
  12. @ucdavis @nature Ugh – Sir Philip Campbell at @ucdavis just gave props to Kent Anderson of Scholarly Kitchen – says he is worth reading – I disagree
  13. Apparently I’m just going to sit here from afar and heckle @phylogenomics twitter stream on @nature editors blah-blah about promoting science.
  14. @McLNeuro @nature please continue – I am trying for now to post what he is saying and don’t have time to heckle much
  15. @ucdavis @nature Campbell at @ucdavis: making claims about the editorial process at @nature and says they have a strict focus on the significance of the research not other values (though I don’t believe this ..)
  16. @phylogenomics @ucdavis @nature Pressures on PIs like needing to have 4 post docs work for 4 years to get a @nature publication? Like that kind of pressure?
  17. @ucdavis @nature Campbell at @ucdavis: claims that they don’t think about citations when reviewing papers (again, I don’t believe this) ..
  18. Wait….sprinkle some holy water on Sir Phillip and see if he burns for this lie! Also, WTF is up with their dumbass editorials and mansplaining? 
  19. @phylogenomics Sure, not when reviewing; when deciding to send out to review 🙂
  20. Editor in Chief of Nature: editors don't consider who author is, "authorship is not the point" (See pic) But double-blind review is optional

    Editor in Chief of Nature: editors don’t consider who author is, “authorship is not the point” (See pic) But double-blind review is optional
  21. @ucdavis @nature Campbell at @ucdavis still spending a lot of time praising the @nature review system and nothing about research groups and the support they need …
  22. Tell me more about the values of @nature editors who doxx pseud female bloggers. 🍿🍿🍿 
  23. This doesn’t work. Editors and reviewers are human. You can’t just tell them to ignore who the authors are. 
  24. Only someone who hasn’t read Anderson, or tried to argue in good faith with him, could say that. Than again, Nature is a for-profit anti-science scam so perhaps ol’ Phil believes his own bullshit. 
  25. @ucdavis @nature Campbell at @ucdavis: discussing most cited and least cited papers from 2010 (again, not sure of the point here)
  26. Don’t forget the @nature thought piece where they let a @UofR male faculty member speak out about…using the word ‘obviously’. While neuroscience women were being harassed and silenced by their administration. 
  27. @ucdavis @nature Campbell at @ucdavis: now discussing other demands on PIs including refereeing papers (note – I recommend nobody review for @nature doe to their #closedaccess policies)
  28. Also, the submission and publication fees to glam journals – those will set a new PI back a bit! 
  29. At @ucdavis talk by Nature editor in chief. Can’t wait for Q & A – pretty sure @phylogenomics will make it interesting.
  30. @ucdavis @nature Campbell at @ucdavis: editorial preoccupations at @nature – multidisciplinary, reproducibility, pressures on younger researchers, mentoring
  31. Editor in chief of Nature: survey results, what would improve reproducibility? "Journals enforcing standards" towards the bottom 🤔

    Editor in chief of Nature: survey results, what would improve reproducibility? “Journals enforcing standards” towards the bottom 🤔
  32. @phylogenomics @ucdavis @nature Are you KIDDING ME??? Nature publishes all the punching down editorials on trainees about how there are no jobs, they need to work more – UGH. @nature is the problem.
  33. I bet Campbell isn’t even at UCDavis and @phylogenomics is just tweeting to make me have a stroke.
  34. @siminevazire @ucdavis @phylogenomics You should make it interesting. They are notoriously anti-female, beat down on trainees and driven by money not science.
  35. @phylogenomics @ucdavis @nature So…he’s just making a list of problems that @nature contributes to? Is that a fair summary of his talk thus far? Let’s get to some solutions there, Sir Phillip
  36. @phylogenomics @ucdavis @nature I did think they had dropped it from their advertising tho.
  37. @ucdavis @nature At @ucdavis Campbell says should ask who is setting the pathological incentives for publishing in @nature – implies @nautre has 0 to do with this
  38. @sennoma @siminevazire @ucdavis @phylogenomics I’m an assistant professor. You never have enough power, money or friends. I don’t get paid enough to not have an opinion when people are being punched down on.
  39. @sennoma @McLNeuro @siminevazire @ucdavis @phylogenomics Is @phylogenomics willing to communicate questions from the Twitter audience? 😈 The speaker should know that the world is watching & listening….
  40. Editor in chief of Nature: "Everyone complains about incentives. Who is in charge of incentives?"

    Editor in chief of Nature: “Everyone complains about incentives. Who is in charge of incentives?”
  41. @JoshFessel @sennoma @siminevazire @ucdavis @phylogenomics Actually, it’s just the five of us who are riled up. Everyone else is on about the royal wedding.
  42. @McLNeuro @siminevazire @ucdavis @phylogenomics I may have misread and/or miscommunicated. I meant that I didn’t feel right telling someone they should stir shit, when it’s them not me who’s going to live with the fallout. But I’m 100% pro-shit stirring!
  43. @ucdavis @nature At @ucdavis: Philip Campbell lists some solutions to PI challenges – none of which seem to involve any changes by @nature
  44. @phylogenomics My favorite quote so far: every year we give a mentor award in a different country, last year was in the west coast. CA, OR, WA. Ha! The #bluewall has begun.
  45. @ucdavis @nature At @ucdavis: Philip Campbell says people can apply pressure to make change (e.g., refs using Athena SWAN system for awarding grants but then says Nature would not use such information to decide on papers
  46. @phylogenomics @ucdavis @nature If decisions abt promotion, tenure, & funding continue to be at least in part “outsourced” to high impact journals, that means @nature is in a powerful position as a change agent.

    How is @nature going to use that power to the benefit of scientists & science? Help us.

  47. @ucdavis @nature At @ucdavis: Campbell – I asked what @nature is doing in regard to better support advancement of minorities and women
  48. @ucdavis @nature At @ucdavis: Campbell in response to my ?? mentions the whitewashing Editorial and says it was bad … and then is now discussing the editorial I referred to 
  49. @ucdavis @nature Now @siminevazire following up my question saying that there almost certainly is status bias and other biases in review and suggests they should address that
  50. @ucdavis @nature Also @siminevazire points out that @nature is partly responsible for the problems for PIs even though Campbell implied otherwise
  51. @ucdavis @nature Question for Campbell – asking about gaming the system and bad papers in high profile journals – those people benefit from this
  52. Mindless data-crunching made bearable with 2nd monitor showing live tweet commentary by @phylogenomics during Nature’s editor-in-chief talk at @ucdavis. I feel like I should pay for this entertainment.
  53. @phylogenomics @ucdavis Not to take anything away from the serious issued being raised though. Just loving the approach…
  54. @phylogenomics @ucdavis @nature Q re: overhyped writing style you sometimes see in Nature. How do you keep editors from rejecting papers that are conservatively written?
  55. @phylogenomics @ucdavis @nature A: point me to papers you think are overstated and we’ll take a look.
    [His email is]
  56. @phylogenomics @ucdavis @nature Doesn’t answer question about how to give cautiously written papers a chance, which is great question.
  57. In response to my Q, editor in chief of Nature says they’re now trying to make desk reject decisions w/o editor knowing author’s identities.
  58. All journals/editors should do this, in my opinion. Perhaps the easiest change we can make with potentially big impact. 
  59. @McLNeuro @phylogenomics Oh gawd that gif brings back memories.
    “Ya hear that Elisabeth? I’m coming to join ya honey!” Lol #GoogOldDays
  60. I like the phrase “credibility revolution” – it captures both openness/transparency & reproducibility/rigor goals 
  61. Like this thread @phylogenomics but Pro-Tip: You don’t have to call him “Sir” every time just ‘cos some hereditary rich old cow across the pond 🇬🇧 says so! 
  62. @PSBROOKES I stopped it a few Tweets in – I think I copied that from somewhere and just pasted it in for a few tweets and then felt embarrassed …
  63. @phylogenomics @ucdavis @nature As a former Nature imprint interviewee I LOL hard at this. It was obvious from the interview what they were looking for (not that it isn’t blatantly obvious…)


Author: Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. (see my lab site here). My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis

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