Two Cultures

Category archives for Two Cultures

Technology Is Science, Too

Via a retweeted link from Thony C. on Twitter, I ran across a blog post declaring science a “bourgeois pastime.” The argument, attributed to a book by Dierdre McCloskey is that rather than being at the root of economic progress, scientific advances are a by-product of economic advances. As society got more wealthy, it was…

In my darker moods, I sometimes suspect that all academics, regardless of their specialty, are engaged in the same pursuit: searching out and exposing the systematic oppression of… whatever department or program the faculty member speaking at the moment happens to belong to. No matter what field of study they work in, faculty seem to…

Science Is Our Human Heritage

In which I get a little rant-y about yet another proud display of ignorance from the Washington Post’s education blog. ———— Some time back, I teed off on a school board member who couldn’t pass a simple math test, who proudly told the world about his ignorance via a post at the Washington Post‘s education…

(Note: This was not prompted by any particular comment. Just a slow accumulation of stuff, that turned into a blog post on this morning’s dog walk.) It’s been a couple of years now that I’ve been working on writing and promoting How to Teach Physics to Your Dog, so I’ve had a lot of conversations…

Survey-Related Inadequacies

I recently participated in a survey of higher education professionals about various aspects of the job. It was very clearly designed by and aimed at scholars in the humanities and social sciences, to the point where answering questions honestly made me feel like a Bad Person. For example, there were numerous questions about teaching methods…

Two Cultures Defining Research

I was initially puzzled by the headline “Research-Assignment Handouts Give Students Meager Guidance, Survey Finds,” and the opening sentences didn’t help much: Most research-assignment handouts given to undergraduates fail to guide the students toward a comprehensive strategy for completing the work, according to two researchers at the University of Washington who are studying how students…

Back in one of the communications skills threads, Karen comments about science and humanities: It’s easy enough for a humanities major to avoid doing much science in school. The converse is not true. It strikes me that for those earlier scientists who attended univeristy, both their early education and university years were more suited to…

Two Cultures Publishing Journals

I hate to keep highlighting silly articles in Inside Higher Ed, but they keep publishing silly articles, like Jeffrey DiLeo’s argument that humanities journals cannot be ranked because they’re all unique and precious flowers too specialized: Another reason for the roaring silence regarding the ranking of humanities journals regards the high level of sub-disciplinary specialization.…

A great clip from his World Science Festival appearance the other night, especially the bit toward the end: “One thing I think that as a nation we should be embarrassed by is that the scientists– you can do this experiment yourself, I’ve done the experiment– the scientists, by and large, know more liberal arts than…

Required Reading in Science

Over at Inside Higher Ed they have a news report on complaints about the content of required reading for students entering college. This comes from the National Association of Scholars, a group dedicated to complaining that multiculturalism is corrupting our precious bodily fluids pushing aside the shared heritage of Western civilization, so most of it…