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Solving the Two-Body Problem, Twice

Writing for the New York Times style section as part of its "Modern Love" series, Boston College professor Caroline Bicks describes her two-body problem that was resolved, but only to return. The author and her husband successfully found tenure-track positions in the same city after working apart for some time, she writes, though a few years later her husband was denied tenure, while she was awarded it. (The author calls this the "tenure-track equivalent of the 'Romeo and Juliet' ending.") Rather than search for another tenure-track position elsewhere, Bicks' husband "viewed his forced exit with a kind of relief. Although he enjoyed his teaching and research, he'd long chafed at the myopic isolation and slow pace of the academic world," she says. He eventually landed a career in finance, Bicks says, adding that "it's given us a lot more breathing room, since we aren't endlessly comparing our jobs, progress, and institutions."

Blogger Female Science Professor highlights the gender issues raised in the article. When interviewing for tenure-track positions, search committees had asked Bicks' references whether her husband was "going to be a problem," while her spouse was hardly questioned about his wife. FSP says that, conversely, her husband was often asked about her during his interviews. "Hooray for equal-opportunity unethical questioning by hiring committees?" she writes.

The Scan

Guidelines for Ancient DNA Work

More than two dozen researchers have developed new ethical guidelines for conducting ancient DNA research, which they present in Nature.

And Cleared

A UK regulator has cleared former UK Prime Minister David Cameron in concerns he should have registered as a consultant-lobbyist for his work with Illumina, according to the Financial Times.

Suit Over Allegations

The Boston Globe reports that David Sabatini, who was placed on leave from MIT after allegations of sexual harassment, is suing his accuser, the Whitehead Institute, and the institute's director.

Nature Papers on Esophageal Cancer, Origin of Modern Horses, Exome Sequencing of UK Biobank Participants

In Nature this week: genetic and environmental influences of esophageal cancer, domestic horse origin traced to Western Eurasian steppes, and more.