College Affordability Study Finds Dismal Results

There’s a new study out by the Institute for Higher Education Policy that looks at the affordability of 2000 colleges for a number of hypothetical students representing different family and economic situations. There’s a nice summary of the study at the Atlantic. Here’s the take-home message: Of the more than 2,000 colleges analyzed, IHEP found …

Op-ed piece on the Alignment of Science and Other Truth-Tellers

Out yesterday in The Scientist is an op-ed piece by yours truly. The basic thrust is that, in an era when facts and expertise and the very nature of reality are under attack, scientists need to recognize that they are part of a larger community of truth-seekers and truth-tellers that includes social scientists, artists, journalists, …

Python for the Life Sciences Interviews

Last year, Research Scholars Gordon Webster and Alex Lancaster published Python for the Life Sciences through Leanpub. Last month, Leanpub posted interviews with each of them. Here’s a snippet of Gordon’s interview, published on Feb 17: I mean, I think the one thing I would say is that – yes – that lay people do …

Timothy Snyder on American Democracy

Discussion of politics and policy tends to be dominated by journalists and partisan political operatives. However, scholars often have a different set of insights that come from deep study and that are less distorted by market and ideological pressures. Of particular relevance at this particular moment in American history are scholars of authoritarianism. Last week, …

Politics, Diversity, and the March for Science

On April 22, there is a March for Science in Washington, DC, with satellite marches around the world. The march is in response to recent acts by the US government (such as the silencing of government scientists, anti-science cabinet appointments, restrictions on international movement of scientists, and a general rejection of facts and expertise), as well as concern about …

Excellent and Important Data Visualization on White Supremacist Violence

The website http://www.monroeworktoday.org/ has some really great data visualization for lynchings in the United States between 1835 and 1964. The interactive map and timeline show the locations and dates of lynchings, and many of the thousands of markers link to additional information about the crimes and victims. There is also a ton of historical information about lynching and …

Interdisciplinarity and Productivity

In a blog post at the London School of Economics, University of Arizona Sociology Professor Erin Leahey describes some of her recent work on the costs and benefits of interdisciplinary research for productivity and impact metrics in science. The basic pattern is that interdisciplinary work tends to receive more citations (a common metric used to judge …

Narcissism in Science

For some reason, I guess narcissism was on people’s minds last Friday. Hannah Devlin had a story in the Guardian about a lecture given by immunologist Bruno Lemaitre about the crisis of narcissism in science. “Many great scientists are narcissists. It’s a bit sad, but it’s a fact,” he said. “This might surprise an external observer, …

Updates to Landry’s Work on Metaphysics

Ronin Institute Research Scholar Forrest Landry‘s essays on Analytic Metaphysics are available at http://uvsm.com. Recently, Forrest has updated some of those essays, converting them to dialog form. Details follow, but Forrest notes that he welcomes comment particularly on the new dialog on the Incommensuration Theorem. So, those of you with an Analytic and/or Metaphysical mindset, have at …

Duerr Chapter(s) in New Book on Curating Research Data

Just published by the American Library Association is Curating Research Data, a two-volume collection edited by Lisa Johnston. Research Scholar Ruth Duerr writes: Karen Baker and I wrote the first chapter in Volume 1 – Chapter 1. Research and the Changing Nature of Data Repositories.  Karen and I both have a long history with all …