Images matter.

I am a data person.

I gravitate towards aggregated measurements. I use words like ‘gravitate’ and ‘aggregated’ when I do it.

I am delighted when these measurements explain something useful. I complain when they are incorrect.

Sometimes the complaining has been loud, and then someone writes about me…


People are claiming their COVID-19 vaccines are making them magnetic, and they’re out there in the digital world sticking stuff to themselves to prove it.

So, let’s think that through, It’ll be a laugh.


I worked as a circus strongman for a while. …

… In Producing Unreliable Research

I found this one in the archives.

I think I never bothered to publish it because it felt a bit … mean spirited. I know people who work at OSU. I trust them. I’d read their work out of reflex. I don’t like the damned-by-association aspect of this at all.

The stupid coda to a stupid story

September ‘20: I wrote this god knows how long ago and never published it. Presumably after this dreadful, glib article was published, which was … mid ’19 I believe.

As I’ve said before, this happens frequently. …

I do peer review and I want you to pay me four hundred and fifty dollars. I’ll even say please.


It’s amazing how quickly a perspective can change.

I thought I’d be an academic forever, maybe longer.

That was Plan A.

For all its ridiculous foibles, and the resulting incipient…

The COVID Files #2

July, ’20: Written a few months ago and not published, as usual, because it felt meaner than I had intended when I started. …

And I’m OK With That

I’m leaving academia.

I will still do science.

That is, I will start a job, at a company, doing something a lot like science, very soon. I have signed a contract.

It was popular a few years ago to write about this experience. We called…

The COVID Files #2

The above was the first thing I stumbled over which predicted the present donnybrook over the now notorious preprint on seroprevalence in Santa Clara county.

It feels like it started in about 2017. It was three weeks ago.

That tweetlethread is about as good of…

The COVID Files #1

I want to tell you a story about cancer. I promise you it’s relevant.


High-dose chemotherapy is brutal.

The side effects you can feel include diarrhea, vomiting, nerve damage, horrible nausea, hair loss, etc.

The side effects you can’t feel are in many ways a lot worse. The primary one…

There are four archetypal figures you can meet studying scientific fraud. I’ve met them. Now you can, too.

Old Nick has a snarky response he delivers almost by reflex whenever researchers (and psychologists in particular) suddenly discover that their lives and careers are directly affected by the things they ostensibly…

James Heathers

I write about science. We can probably be friends.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store