Marginally Significant is a podcast discussing life in academia, issues with scientific research, and current events. Marginally Significant is hosted by Andrew Smith, Twila Wingrove, Andrew Monroe, and Chris Holden. These four psychologists were all trained at research-focused institutions, but now teach at a comprehensive university. Their unique experiences and shifting roles within their university allow them to see academic life from a particular perspective—a perspective that, although shared by many researchers, teachers, and academics, is often not represented by academics from elite universities. Listen to Marginally Significant to hear their opinions and insights, let them know when you agree or disagree, and contribute to the diversity of perspectives about scientific research and teaching in higher education.
April 7th, 2020 | 1 hr 6 mins
academia, higher education, psychology, quarantine
How has quarantine affected us as academics? What's quarantine like for our personal lives? How are we handling the rest of the semester with the transition to online? We answer these questions (while maybe getting a little distracted) in our first-ever Zoom episode!
January 31st, 2020 | 1 hr 5 mins
Cleaning out the file drawer is an idea that has been floating around on twitter, but is it feasible? What does it mean for past studies? Is there a way in which we could get a sense of how many studies are in file drawers? Also, we discuss writing letters of recommendation and how we evaluate the ones we read.
November 14th, 2019 | 1 hr 14 mins
Many people are on the academic job market right now. In this episode, we discuss our experiences being on the market, tips for success at a wide variety of universities, and our thoughts now that we've been on hiring committees.
October 16th, 2019 | 1 hr 6 mins
We are often required to judge people, whether it is students applying for graduate programs or faculty members going up for tenure. In this episode, we talk about two forms of evaluations: GRE scores and student evaluations of teaching.
September 26th, 2019 | 1 hr 4 secs
Is it worth the time and effort to apply for grants when only a small percentage are funded? A recent paper suggests grant competitions are not worth it. We weigh in on our thoughts about the paper as well as grant funding, in general.
August 31st, 2019 | 1 hr 13 mins
Is open science open to everyone? Are there potential costs to engaging in open science practices? Should diversity be a core value of open science?
August 10th, 2019 | 1 hr 2 mins
Having larger sample sizes is certainly a good thing, but this emphasis is likely to impact certain people and research areas more than others. In this episode, we discuss whether this is an issue for the field. We also talk about whether we've gone far enough.
July 24th, 2019 | 1 hr 1 min
Most academics go to conferences, but who are they good for? Are there disparities in who can attend and who benefits from conferences? In this episode, we talk about one potential factor contributing to disparities--differences in travel funding available at different universities.
July 7th, 2019 | 1 hr 1 min
Collaborations are the norm, but can sometimes be a challenge. In this episode, we discuss issues we've had and ways we've dealt with collaborating with faculty members, students, and previous advisors.
June 13th, 2019 | 51 mins 7 secs
As professors, we often serve in many different roles: teacher, researcher, mentor, administrator, program director. With so many jobs, how do we define ourselves? With which role do we most identify? In this episode, we talk about our academic identities.
May 31st, 2019 | 56 mins 52 secs
How do we mentor and train graduate students so we don't simply churn out intellectual clones? How do we help students with mental health issues? In this episode, we talk about our mentoring philosophies and experiences.
May 11th, 2019 | 59 mins 26 secs
Research designs and the required statistical analyses are getting more and more complicated. Does the lead researcher have an obligation to know how to run, interpret, and describe the analyses in their research projects?
May 4th, 2019 | 48 mins 38 secs
Evolutionary Psychology has been criticized as simply generating "just-so" stories—plausible explanations that lack evidence. In this episode, Chris expertly defends evolutionary psychology while Smith and Monroe inexpertly criticize it.
April 21st, 2019 | 53 mins
Are implicit and explicit attitudes separate constructs, or are implicit and explicit measures simply different ways to measure the same construct?
April 13th, 2019 | 50 mins 26 secs
Can lab meetings be used for more than just discussions of our research? In this episode, we talk about what we do in our lab meeting, but also what we could be doing to enhance the learning experience for our students.
April 7th, 2019 | 49 mins 57 secs
Don’t email us with questions about this episode until you’ve read the syllabus! Students often ask questions that could easily be answered if they read the syllabus. In this episode we talk about whether it is a realistic expectation that our students read the syllabus before asking questions, what information we put in a syllabus, whether our policies sometimes deviate from what the syllabus states, and if the syllabus does—or at least should—act as a contract between the professor and the students.