Monthly Archives: November 2012

Scientists discover water ice on Mercury

Mercury, the smallest and innermost planet in our solar system, revolves around the sun in a mere 88 days, making a tight orbit that keeps the planet incredibly toasty. Surface temperatures on Mercury can reach a blistering 800 degrees Fahrenheit — hot enough to liquefy lead. Now researchers from NASA, MIT, the University of California […] … learn more→

What is offshore wind power?

Offshore wind power is wind energy on the sea. No secrets here. However, offshore wind power is in many ways very different from wind power on land. I’m going to go through the most important differences in this article. First of all, the wind power technology on land has had a much longer time maturing […] … learn more→

To MOOC or not to MOOC?

It seems at present that nearly every American college and university is wrestling with the question of whether to offer MOOCs (massive open online courses). There is something irresistibly seductive about the idea of simultaneously reaching thousands of students everywhere in the world, effectively seating them in an infinite virtual lecture hall. Indeed, the idea […] … learn more→

With \’Social Reading,\’ books become places to meet

Stephen Duncombe thought he knew what he was going to do with his time off. \”It was my sabbatical year, and what you do during a sabbatical year is you sit down and write a book,\” said Mr. Duncombe, an associate professor of media and culture at New York University. \”I had a book planned, […] … learn more→

Looking the other way?

A former instructor in Southern Utah University’s English as a Second Language program has raised a variety of concerns about the quality of the program, including the toleration of plagiarism, low academic standards, and a preponderance of instructors without extensive training or experience teaching English as a second language. According to information provided by the […] … learn more→

Project to tackle teaching of Christianity in the classroom – Research

A YouGov poll commissioned by Oxford University\’s Department of Education has found widespread support in England for the teaching of Christianity as part of Religious Education. The survey was undertaken as the initial part of a national intervention project by Oxford researchers to support teachers tackling the subject of Christianity in schools. In the poll […] … learn more→

How to use deliberate practice to improve your writing

Last week, as one of my last duties as research fellow at RMIT before I take up my new role at ANU, I hosted two seminars – one from Prof Anthony Pare from McGill and the other from Prof Helen Sword, the writer of the wonderful “Stylish Academic Writing”. Helen and Anthony had many interesting […] … learn more→

How scholars can improve international relations

Something is seriously wrong in the relationship between universities and the policy community in the field of international relations. The worlds of policy making and academic research should be in constant, productive conversation, and scholars and researchers should be an invaluable resource for policy makers, but they are not. One hears perennial laments from those […] … learn more→

A useful Liberal Arts

In my 14-year tenure as president of Dickinson College I have often been asked to define and defend the notion of a \”useful\” liberal arts education. The general public has difficulty associating the liberal arts with anything useful. That obstacle prompts them to dismiss liberal arts colleges as repositories of graduates with majors such as […] … learn more→