Society

Category archives for Society

Sheldon Cooper and Alfred Nobel

Last week, before we headed out for the weekend, I had a brief exchange with Ben Lillie on Twitter, prompted by the following set of tweets: OK, here's a thing. I'll often hear people complain that Hollywood gets science wrong because there's *1* scientist who does everything 1/3 — Ben Lillie (@BenLillie) September 27, 2013…

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…

Gender Gap Update

The JCC day care is closed today for one of the fall cluster of Jewish holidays, which means I’m spending the morning with The Pip before Kate comes home to take the afternoon shift so I can teach my class. Thus, this is more of a tab clearance sort of exercise than a thoughtful examination…

Education Is Chaotic

While I’m quoting other people saying smart things, Timothy Burke has another great post on the failures of economic models of higher education There is a lot of information that you could acquire about courses or about colleges that you could reasonably use to assemble a decision matrix. What size is the class or the…

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,…

More Kids and Conferences

The kids and conferences issue, discussed here a while ago has continued to spark discussion, with a Tenure She Wrote piece on how to increase gender diversity among conference speakers and a Physics Focus blog post on a mother who wound up taking her toddler to a meeting. There are some good points in both,…

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…

On Kids and Conferences

Kate had to leave at 7am this morning to go to a “retreat” for her office, so I took the kids to Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast. That got us all out the door at the same time, avoiding the freakout from The Pip if he saw Mommy leave without him. Kate will be late getting…