Society

Category archives for Society

In the comments to yesterday’s post about college admissions, Joseph Yoon quoted my statement that “I’m somewhat sympathetic to claims that Asians have a difficult position in higher education,” and shot back with: I wonder if you will feel more strongly about this in 10 years when your kids are near college. Will you advise…

In which we compare a couple of different systems for evaluating teachers, looking at what’s involved in doing a fair assessment of a teacher’s performance. ——– Another casualty of the great blog upgrade, in the sense of a post that was delayed until the inspiration for it has been forgotten by most of the people…

Trickle Down Science

A week or so ago, lots of people were linking to this New York Review of Books article by Steven Weinberg on “The Crisis of Big Science,” looking back over the last few decades of, well, big science. It’s somewhat dejected survey of whopping huge experiments, and the increasing difficulty of getting them funded, including…

Bad Reporting About Women in STEM

This is apparently my day to be annoyed at the reporting of pieces about gender differences in STEM, because a bunch of people are linking to this PBS NewsHour article about women in engineering, which is linked to an interview with Maria Klawe of Harvey Mudd College, who I ran across a few weeks back…

Somebody on Twitter linked this article about “brogrammers”, which is pretty much exactly as horrible as that godawful neologism suggests. In between descriptions of some fairly appalling behavior, though, they throw some stats at you, and that’s where it gets weird: As it is, women remain acutely underrepresented in the coding and engineering professions. According…

Via Joerg Heber on Twitter, a great post on gender divisions in STEM by Athene Donald: As children try to work out their personal identities, the difference between ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ is as fundamental and omnipresent as it gets – and they receive the clear messages that collectively society gives out about the attributes implicitly…

EBooks and Agencies

The big publishing news this week is the US Department of Justice bringing an anti-trust suit against the major book publishers and Apple for allegedly colluding to force the “agency model” of ebook pricing on Amazon and other retailers, resulting in higher prices for consumers. I already links dumped an article about the detailed charges,…

Over in Scientopia, SciCurious has a nice post about suffering from Impostor Syndrome, the feeling that everyone else is smarter than you are, and you will soon be exposed as a total fraud. Which is nonsense, of course, but something that almost every scientist suffers at some point. The post ends on a more upbeat…

I was thinking about attitudes toward physics the other day, and realized that whenever I meet somebody (not a physicist) for the first time and tell them that I’m a physicist, their initial responses most frequently fall into one of three general categories: “You must be really smart.” “I hated that when I took it…

I mentioned this in the Links Dump this morning, but Timothy Burke’s post on the inherent tensions in the residential part of small college life is really excellent stuff, and deserves more than the 1000 characters I can quote in Delicious: At Swarthmore this semester, for example, some students were deeply annoyed that the administration…