Two Cultures

Category archives for Two Cultures

Science Is Interested in You

A few days ago, I complained again about the relative lack of science books in the New York Times “Notable Books of 2008” list. Yesterday, one of the big stories was CNN axing its entire science unit, such as it was, which drew comments from lots of blogs (and more whose links I can’t be…

Science: 3.8% Notable

Last year, around this time, I posted a rant about the lack of science books in the New York Times‘s “Notable Books of 2007.” While I was out of town last week, they posted this year’s list. So, have things improved? Yes and no. They do, in fact, have two books that are unquestionably science…

Innumeracy on Parade

Via Physics and Physicists, a breathtaking blog at the Washington Post proudly proclaiming the author’s ignorance of algebra: I am told that algebra is everywhere – it’s in my iPod, beneath the spreadsheet that calculates my car payments, in every corner of my building. This idea freaks me out because I just can’t see it.…

What Humanists Think

Last weekend’s post, The Innumeracy of Intellectuals, has been lightly edited and re-printed at Inside Higher Ed, where it should be read by a larger audience of humanities types. They allow comments, so it will be interesting to see what gets said about it there. I may have some additional comments on the issue later,…

Two Cultures Round-Up

Because I am a Bad Person who thinks and types relatively slowly, I have been lax about following up to the many excellent posts that have been written in response to this weekend’s two cultures posts. Let me attempt to address that in a small way by linking a whole bunch of them now: My…

Interdisciplinarity

Timothy Burke has some interesting thoughts about the College of the Atlantic, which represents a real effort to build interdisciplinarity on an institutional level. “Interdisciplinary” is the buzzword of the moment in large swathes of academia, and the College of the Atlantic, which doesn’t have departments and works very hard to make connections between disciplines,…

Two Cultures and Expertise

Academics of all sorts are highly protective of their scholarly territory. It’s an unavoidable consequence of the process of becoming an academic– I’ve often joked that getting a Ph.D. requires you to become the World’s Leading Expert in something that nobody else cares about. To make it through grad school, no matter what discipline you’re…

We had our annual undergraduate research symposium this past weekend, which included presentations from students doing work in all different disciplines. We have enough physics and astronomy majors these days that I spent most of the day Friday listening to them talk, but I did have a break in the morning when I saw a…

Labs vs. “Real” Courses

One final Steve Gimbel note. Toward the end of his anti-lab post, he writes: If you want to see a science professor get angry, just tell them that they teach all those labs to get out of teaching real courses. You’ll see faces get flush, veins pop out of heads and necks, and receive a…

Academic Links Dump

Two quick links from yesterday’s Inside Higher Ed that a browser crash kept me from posting yesterday: 1) A story on a professor at Idaho who asks students to sign a waiver acknowledging that they may be offended by some of the material in his film studies class. There’s a bit of discussion of whether…