Marginally Significant

Four psychologists from a comprehensive university provide a unique perspective on life in academia, issues with scientific research, and current events.

About the show

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.

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Episodes

  • On the Market

    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.

  • Judging People

    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.

  • Are Grants Worth It?

    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.

  • Diversity in Open Science

    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?

  • We Need More Power

    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.

  • Who are Conferences Good For?

    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.

  • Let's Collaborate

    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.

  • Acolytes of Knowledge and Truth

    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.

  • Intellectual Clones

    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.

  • Trust the Statisticians

    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?

  • The Evolution of "Just-So" Stories

    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.

  • My Explicit Attitude against Implicit Attitudes

    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?

  • What are Lab Meetings Good For?

    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.

  • Read the F*!&ing Syllabus

    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.

  • Teaching Students that Nothing Replicates

    March 30th, 2019  |  26 mins 57 secs

    How do we teach students about the replication crisis in a way that is honest but also doesn’t completely undermine their trust in psychological science? In this episode, we describe what we’ve done in the past and discuss possible strategies we can use in the future.

  • I Feel Triggered.

    March 23rd, 2019  |  37 mins 35 secs

    In this episode, we discuss our experiences with teaching about political, religious, and other potentially sensitive topics in our classes. We talk about ways that we’ve handled these topics in the past, issues that have come up, and give suggestions about how to mitigate potential problems.