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Marilyn Said:

Which oil companies is it okay to accept funding from?

We Answered:

First of all, even if a "scientific" group is directly funded by a fossil fuel industry, although it brings their motives and biases into question, their actual research still warrants assessment for its own merits.

The problem is that the argument doesn't hold up under even simple scrutiny. That various isolated geographic locations were warmer during some timeframe between 800-1300 AD than they are now is not controversial. When you cherrypick those locations and make a qualitative rather than quantitative argument that the MWP was warmer than today, that's where your argument fails.

If the MWP were warmer than today, a *global* temperature reconstruction would show it. There has been no such reconstruction published in any peer-reviewed journal. If the folks at co2science wanted to claim otherwise, the correct process would be to put together a paper and submit it to a peer-reviewed journal. The reason they don't is because they don't have a scientific leg to stand on. They're using an uncontroversial set of data to make a false conclusion that it does not support.

You might wonder why they would do such a thing - what their motives are. And perhaps their funding from Exxon has something to do with it. But regardless, the bottom line is that their data doesn't support their conclusion.

As for Shell funding a student research program, personally I think the difference is obvious. Providing millions of dollars of funding to an organization which solely makes AGW "skeptic" arguments vs. funding a student research program - if you can't see the difference, you have your denial blinders on.

*edit* bravozulu jumps in with the strawman claim "Exxon tends to give a little more money to Republicans"

I know you can't differentiate between science and politics, but we're not talking about Republicans, we're talking about right-wing think tanks and other purportedly scientific groups. Exxon has to document its donations, and records show they've given tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars to these AGW denial groups.

Stephen Said:

Job application: Do these things even matter?

We Answered:

In a lot of ways, I agree with you. Expertise in a field is great and I think your advisor may be emphasing the wrong things.

On the other hand, it is good to have balance in your life. Balance means that you have a life away from your work. Having outside activities shows that you enjoy life away from your job. I would encourage you to look to the future about what kind of life you want to live. It's great that you enjoy research, but there is life beyond the laboratory and you may be cheating yourself out of some great relationships and experiences by focusing so hard on your career.

You sound very intense. Maybe it's time to downshift and make time for some people (girlfriend, pals, parents, brothers and sisters) who can make life richer for you.

Your resume is just a small issue here. There are greater issues to be considered.

As you complete your resume, try to analyze all of the aspects of each position you have held. Were any of them "public relations" related? Did you have to talk to others in meetings or seminars?
Did you help manage other people and give them direction and support in their efforts?

I hope I have been helpful to you.

Discuss It!

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Your resume is just a small issue here. There are greater issues to be considered.

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