Politics

Category archives for Politics

Men, Women, and Graduation Statistics

There was a great big New York Times article on women in science this week, which prompted no end of discussion. (I also highly recommend Bee’s response at Backreaction.) It’s built around the personal story of the author, Eileen Pollack, a physics major at Yale who decided not to go to grad school, and her…

On Corrective Incentives

SteelyKid’s kindergarten teacher is big on incentives and prizes– there are a number of reward bags that get sent home with kids who excel in some particular area. I’m not entirely sure what’s in these, because SteelyKid hasn’t gotten any yet. This isn’t because she misbehaves– from all reports, she’s very good– but she’s in…

On Class and Skills and Education

In a comment to yesterday’s post about the liberal arts, Eric Lund makes a good point: The best argument I have ever heard for doing scholarship in literature and other such fields is that some people find it fun. I single this out as a good point not because I want to sneer at the…

September 11, 2013

In one of those Information Supercollider moments, two very different articles crossed in my social media feeds, and suddenly seemed to be related. The first was this New York Post piece by a college essay consultant: Finally, after 15 or so years of parents managing every variable, there comes the time when a student is…

Adam Frank has an op-ed at the New York Times that tells a very familiar story: science is on the decline, and we’re living in an “Age of Denial”. IN 1982, polls showed that 44 percent of Americans believed God had created human beings in their present form. Thirty years later, the fraction of the…

White People Only Have 2.8 Friends

There was some buzz Thursday about a poll showing that 40% of white people don’t have any friends of a different race. Ipsos/Reuters include a spiffy “data explorer” where you can make graphs like the one above. It does not appear to provide an easy way to get at the actual wording of the question,…

Thursday’s tempest-in-a-teapot was kicked off by an interview with Dan Vergano in which he suggests science reporting is a “ghetto:” The idea, and it comes from the redoubtable Tom Hayden, is that science reporting has largely become a secret garden walled off, and walling itself off, from the rest of the world. Instead of reporting…

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…

One of the great frustrations of my intellectual life, such as it is, is the problem of the disappearing quote. This is a function of having acquired a broad liberal education (in the sense of “liberal arts college” not the sense of “person to the left of Rush Limbaugh”) in a somewhat haphazard manner. My…