Academia

Category archives for Academia

More on graduation rates

In answer to requests from the previous post on graduation rates, here’s the same data broken down by race. African Americans still lag whites in graduation rates, but have made impressive gains in high school graduation rates, though graduation appears more likely to be delayed. African Americans are making impressive gains in grad school, but…

Education is the silver bullet

While answering a question for Science and Religion Today (“Is it of greater importance for America to have more scientific experts or less scientific illiteracy” ? short answer: both, but if I must, I’d choose scientific literacy), I started toying around with these data on graduation rates in different generations:      Based on the General…

Who is a scientist?

T. Ryan Gregory asks this important question: Who is a scientist? It’s a followup to a post titled: “Graduate students are not professional scientists. Discuss,” which – briefly – argued that grad students are scientists in training, not yet scientists-full-stop. In the later post, he explains: Here are the criteria I threw out off-handedly for…

AAAS Day 3: Social media in science

Bora Zivkovic is telling the scientists here how to make social media work for them. His big point is that there’s no longer a relevant difference between blogs and traditional media – the war between blogs and print journalists is over. The existence of quacks on blogs doesn’t invalidate the enterprise of good bloggers, any more…

But it’s OK in Louisiana!

The endlessly entertaining Zero out of Five collects catastrophically wrong test answers. This one got 0 points, but I think that a recently passed law in Louisiana (and similar laws introduced in Oklahoma and elsewhere this year) might make that grade illegal: I think that illustration was copied from a Discovery Institute meteorology textbook. Surely…

Did they invest with Madoff, too?

Tough economic times are squeezing university budgets in Europe, creating tension between sceintists and their governments. French President Nicolas Sarkozy is unhappy with French scientists. In a recent speech Sarkozy lambasted the [French] research system as “infantilizing and paralyzing,” argued that French scientists aren’t productive enough, and announced that after decades of failed attempts at…

Carl Zimmer Live Blogging The Mars Methane Mystery: Aliens At Last?, reports that: 2:14 Lisa Pratt of Indiana University is talking biology. She is stoked. 2:15 Okay, I mean as stoked as scientists get at press conferences where they talk about photic zones. You can see it in the rise of her eyebrows. Now, a…

Bailing out the sciences

Science’s policy blog reports: [T]he House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee has invited not only noted economists Martin Feldstein, Mark Zandi, and Robert Reich [to discuss the economic recovery bill] but also Maria Zuber, a professor of geophysics of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and principal investigator on GRAIL, a NASA mission to measure variations…

Mike the Mad Biologist is, well, mad. In writing about Obama’s science team, I commented that: scientists often distinguish [technical challenges] from the challenges in testing our broad conceptual understanding of the laws of nature. While “test tube jockeys” often produce important results, there tends to be a certain skepticism of their work. Similarly, medical…

Science reporting takes a hit

CNN shutters its science/environment/technology unit: [Longtime CNN anchor/reporter Miles] O’Brien’s departure comes as the network dismantles its science, space, environment and technology unit in Atlanta. That includes O’Brien as well as six producers. O’Brien has been CNN’s chief technology and environment correspondent since being replaced as anchor of American Morning in April 2007. Before, during…