Society

Category archives for Society

A collection of miscellaneous stuff with an academic inclination from the past week or so: – We gave an exam last night in introductory E&M (I’m teaching one of five sections this term), so we’ve spent a lot of time this week on exam review. One thing that might be worth mentioning here is the…

On Exclusivity

Yesterday’s frat boy post prompted some interesting discussion, one piece of which is a response from Matt “Dean Dad” Reed (also at Inside Higher Ed), who overlapped with me at Williams for a year, but had a very different reaction to the social scene there. His take mirrors mine from the other side, though, which…

I was invited to a dinner last night hosted by one of the umbrella organizations for fraternities on campus, with a stated goal of improving communication between faculty and frats. It ended up being kind of a weird crowd– most of the non-students there were Deans of one sort or another; I think there was…

Food Takes Time

Kevin Drum and Aaron Carroll report on a new study of the effect of new grocery stores opening in “food deserts” in poor neighborhood. The study is paywalled, so I can’t speak to the whole thing, but both of them quote similar bits making the same point: no statistically significant effects on the BMI of…

When I wrote about Benjamin Bratton’s anti-TED rant I only talked about the comment about the low success rate of TED suggestions. That was, admittedly, a small piece of his article, but the rest of it was so ludicrously overheated that I couldn’t really take it seriously. It continues to get attention, though, both in…

The Sagan Thing

I am crushingly busy right now– massive book rewrites needed, papers to grade, etc.– so I’ve actually been fairly happy with the general lack of topics that inspire a deep desire to blog. which of course, was promptly upset this morning, when a brief outburst of hating on Carl Sagan erupted on Twitter just as…

On Private Science Funding

A couple of weeks back, DougT won this year’s Nobel betting pool, and requested a post on the subject of funding of wacky ieas: could you comment on this: http://www.space.com/22344-elon-musk-hyperloop-technology-revealed.html and the phenomenon of the uber-rich funding science in general. It seems to me that there used to be more private funding of science, and…

What Does Science Online Want to Be?

The ongoing mess over Bora Zivkovic’s harassment of women writers in connection with his editorial role at Scientific American and Science Online has moved into the “What is to be done now?” phase. The most prominent and linkable of these are from Maryn McKenna and Kelly Hills, though I’ve also seen the edges of more…

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…