The good news

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has just announced that 47 colleges have been awarded big grants via their Science Education Initiative, and the University of Minnesota Morris is among them. I’m the program director here, which means I get to be an administrator of our $1.2 million grant. Yay me!

Wait…administrator? Work? Why did I write that thing again?

Oh, well. The bulk of the award is going to be used to sponsor undergraduate research, as well as outreach to local schools and the community at large, so I guess it’s all worth it. It’s just…work. <shudder>


  1. says

    There is this odd ritual garb that grant administrators are, I believe, expected to wear — at least most of the time. Have you heard of the ensemble known as “coat & tie”? Yes, I think it’s called something like that. (Sounds awful!)

    At least the name implies that the pants are optional.

  2. Phledge says

    Conga rats, PZ! And how fortunate that the grants went to real science and not some horseshit quackademic medical center. You go show ’em how to blow a cool million on SCIENCE! :)

  3. blindrobin says

    undergraduate research
    Let’s hope those conducting such have adequate protection against infection. Ewwwww

  4. ohioobserver says

    Congrats! You’re in the big time now. Some of us (high-school level) actually have to work and don’t get to use that much money in our entire careers. Go for it!

  5. raven says

    Wait…administrator? Work? Why did I write that thing again?

    Delegate, Delegate, Delegate.

    Hopefully you have some other perhaps younger faculty there who can help out. Give them a fancy title and a desk.

  6. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Yeah, but it’s not really science if you didn’t wear a lab coat, write numbers on a clipboard, and work on a computer that goes beep beep boop as it crunches your data ;)

    Kicking ass and taking names, Squidly OL! You go! If any of those undergraduates are looking for a Masters degree at the end, I could use a student whose fangs are sniny.

  7. MG Myers says

    Congratulations to all of the grant recipients! This is excellent news for the small college and university grantees as well as society. Investing over 50 million dollars to enable “schools to work together to create more engaging science classes, bring real-world research experiences to students, and increase the diversity of students who study science” can powerfully influence science education. Kudos to HHMI for creating this important initiative!

  8. Louis says


    I’d like to offer you and UMM my congratulations for all your hard work, but since there are a plethora of hoggling PZ-Haters who consider our every word to be important enough to dissect in their totally-not-obsessive dedicated threads, I am afraid I cannot.

    After all, if I offer you my congratulations for all your hard work, success, and scientific work, then it looks like I am playing on some sort of team and worshipping you as blog owner. And we can’t have that now can we? Because, as we all know, there could be NO OTHER REASON AT ALL for celebrating people getting grants. I couldn’t be happy that, for example, I consider these grant awards to generally be a good thing and just as I would congratulate any friend or acquaintance on a success in their life, I would similarly congratulate you for this. It cannot be an entirely innocent thing, it MUST be a cult of personality, identity thing, breakdown, issue of allegiance, obsequious act of wanton arse kissing or some such.

    Worse than that, these grants are clearly nothing to do with Real Science™. So we shouldn’t even be allowed to congratulate you, especially you, or anyone for getting them.

    So I just want all that on record as the only reason I am not congratulating you and cannot congratulate you. I am very sorry for the emotional and psychological distress this lack of effusive congratulations will cause you, and I apologise to you, your colleagues, your institution, your family, your friends, your neighbours, and indeed the pets of the respective groups for any and all distress caused.

    Thank you for reading, I now go to explicitly not congratulate Danny Schechtman for his 2011 Nobel prize for the discovery of quasicrystals because doing so would, in the eyes of conspiracy theorists the world over, render me a shill and pawn of the global space lizard/Jewish/Bilderburger/Illuminati conspiracy to control the planet, make my teeth hurt, anally probe innocent people in Kansas, and withhold the cure for cancer.


  9. LightningRose says


    I hope this gives you a good opportunity to thumb your nose at your university’s Department of Woo.

  10. says

    Louis, weren’t you told? Worshipping me is required if you want to comment here! (ignore those shouts of “poopyhead!”; the perpetrators will be shot in the morning.)

  11. DLC says

    Poopyhead ? I thought that was your official Title.
    Grand Moth Myers, Imperial Poopyhead. or something.

    Congrats on the grant, PZ!

  12. geocatherder says

    Undergraduate research? Yes! Community outreach? Yes! Go get ’em while they’re still in high school — or even younger.

    Congratulations! The work will be worth it.

  13. Louis says

    PZ, #22,

    Worshipping you AND no bad puns about shitzus?


    I could take one, but BOTH? It’s inhumane, it’s worse than genocide, it is literally the most hyperbolic figurative thing I can come up with.

    I shall, of course, be instigating a rebellion.

    You will never know when, you will never know who, and you will never know how.

    Fear us, for we are legion.


  14. says

    Gee, I thought it was pretty neat that they would send me posters and DVDs for free, but this is far better. Good news. I hope this money goes far and helps a lot of students.

  15. says

    Should I let the smug code monkeys know that I get fed all their comments as direct HTML? And I’ve got an edit button?

    Nah, don’t want to ruin their fun.

  16. Louis says

    PZ, #28,

    OH NOES! You mean you already knew? I am shocked, shocked I tell you. I completely didn’t think of that.

    Hmm we will have to be more cunning.


  17. carlie says

    Huzzah! Great news. Congratulations – it will be a bear to run, but should be definitely satisfying. :)

  18. Louis says


    Indeed. I have been lead to understand these things have their uses.


  19. A. R says

    Ek het que nos utilizzare più langues à Verwechseln Sie die lort allan o PZ!

  20. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Too late PZ, the Pullet Patrol™ flash mobbed spelling out “PZ is a poopyhead”. Maybe if you bribed them with grog soaked corn…

  21. DLC says

    Clearly Louis would like to be known as a cunning linguist.
    Or something of that sort. Perhaps he’s had a drop too much shandy. There, the first and last time I do anything like that. Thank Dr Horrible.

  22. Louis says

    SHANDY? Is someone suggesting I drink shandy?

    Right, outside. NOW!

    I’ve got a case of shandy in the car, we can split one. ;-)


  23. DLC says

    Half a pint of shandy ? I think John Stuart Mill was particularly ill from that.

  24. Louis says

    Okay, I’ll confess to occasional shandy drinking, but halves. There are limits.

    Good song choice though.


  25. Sili says


    I forgot to say so in Köln.

    <engage troll>But what have you done lately?</troll>