Academia

Category archives for Academia

There’s a piece in Inside Higher Ed today on yet another study showing that student course evaluations don’t correlate with student learning. For a lot of academics, the basic reaction to this is summed up in the Chuck Pearson tweet that sent me to the story: “Haven’t we settled this already?” The use of student…

Advice for New Faculty, 2016

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to speak on a panel about teaching during Union’s new-faculty orientation. We had one person from each of the academic divisions (arts and literature, social science, natural science, and engineering), and there was a ton of overlap in the things we said, but here’s a rough reconstruction…

Periodically, some scientific celebrity from the physical sciences– Neil deGrasse Tyson or Stephen Hawking, say– will say something dismissive about philosophy, and kick off a big rush of articles about how dumb their remarks are, how important philosophy is, and so on. Given that this happens on a regular basis, you might wonder why it…

When I was going through the huge collection of photos I have from the Forum in Rome, I kept running across pictures containing two young Asian women (neither of them Kate). This isn’t because I was stalking them, but because they were everywhere, stopping for long periods in front of virtually every significant ruin and…

I’ve had this piece by Rick Borchelt on “science literacy” and this one by Paige Brown Jarreau on “echo chambers” open in tabs for… months. I keep them around because I have thoughts on the general subject, but I keep not writing them up because I suspect that what I want to say won’t be…

Noted grouchy person John Horgan has found a new way to get people mad at him on the Internet, via a speech-turned-blog-post taking organized Skeptic groups to task for mostly going after “soft targets”. This has generated lots of angry blog posts in response, and a far greater number of people sighing heavily and saying…

It’s been a few weeks since my last summary of physics posts I’ve been doing at Forbes, so here’s the latest eclectic collection: — Football Physics And the Myth Of The Dumb Jock: In honor of the Super Bowl, repeating the argument from Eureka that athletes are not, in fact, dumb jocks, but excellent scientific…

March Appearances

I’ve been really, really bad about using this blog to promote stuff I have coming up, but I’ll be doing two public-ish appearances in the month of March, and I probably ought to announce those here: 1) Next week, on Wednesday, March 2, I’ll be giving the Physics Colloquium at the University of Illinois, on…

On Faculty Mentoring

One of the evergreen topics for academic magazines like Inside Higher Ed and The Chronicle of Higher Education is faculty “mentoring.” It’s rare for a week to go by without at least one lengthy essay on the topic, many of which recirculate multiple times through my various social media channels. The latest batch of these…

In yesterday’s post about the lack of money in academia, I mentioned in passing that lack of funding is part of the reason for the slow pace of progress on improving faculty diversity. That is, we could make more rapid progress if we suddenly found shitloads of money and could go on a massive hiring…