Monthly Archives: July 2013

Southern Ocean life is unique and needs protection

On the 16th of July, Russian delegates blocked proposals to create a marine protected area (MPA) in Antarctica’s Southern Ocean. The area involved, the Ross Sea, is often nicknamed “the last ocean,” as it is one of the largest and least touched areas of biodiversity in the world. Russia’s veto meant that plans to protect […] … learn more→

Want healthy kids? Feed them the same as what you eat

A major new study has called into question the traditional view that family meal times should be enjoyed together around the dinner table if youngsters are to pick up good eating habits. Having children eat the same foods as grown-ups appears a more important guide to kids developing healthy eating habits. The habit of eating […] … learn more→

Mitch Daniels responds to Purdue faculty

Mitch Daniels wrote a response to the 90 Purdue professors who wrote to him about the controversy over Howard Zinn. Daniels claimed, “I have never made any suggestion that any university cease teaching whatever its faculty pleases, or cease using any book.” He apparently does not recall his demand in the original emails that the […] … learn more→

Does my PhD have to save the world?

Perhaps you’re one of those people who have always known exactly what you wanted to study. I suspect, though, a lot of researchers are like me: interested in many things at once. This wasn’t a problem in my earlier academic years because I was surrounded by other interdisciplinary students and researchers who held similarly broad […] … learn more→

Fossil fuel use pushes Carbon Dioxide emissions into dangerous territory

Increasing global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), a heat-trapping gas, are pushing the world into dangerous territory, closing the window of time to avert the worst consequences of higher temperatures, such as melting ice and rising seas. Since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels have grown exponentially. Despite wide […] … learn more→

How Google rediscovered the 19th Century

Around 2008, I began to notice an interesting fact: Google Books was reshaping the way I did research. I was on sabbatical and had more time than usual to pursue various projects. Like most historians, I went to libraries and archives in search of paper evidence, but I also delighted in digital discoveries, happily downloading […] … learn more→

New threats to whistleblowers

Do you believe that an employee working at a Defense Department commissary holds a position “sensitive” to our national security? If you answered, “No,” think again. Recently a federal judge held that someone who works at a base commissary could get valuable information about troop movements by observing how many sunglasses were ordered. Really? I […] … learn more→

Ten questions Presidents should ask their Enrollment Deans

Admissions is hard, grueling and anxiety-filled work today. It is as much an art as a science. The best enrollment leaders must have great gut instincts that allow them to see the relationship among strategic planning, university budgets, friend and fund raising, federal and state regulations, and a common vision set by the president and […] … learn more→

The long history of \’Eurasian\’ identity

In 2001, a Time magazine story heralded a “Eurasian Invasion” in the United States, symbolized by multiethnic celebrities such as golfer Tiger Woods and model Li Jiaxin. People of mixed Asian and Western descent, the piece stated, had become “the poster children of globalization” at the turn of the millennium. Perhaps, although as MIT historian […] … learn more→

Ask the experts: will robots take over the world?

Robots can do a lot for us: they can explore space or they can cut our toenails. But do advances in robotics and artificial intelligence hold hidden threats? Three leaders in their fields answer questions about our relationships with robots. The origins of robotics go back to the automata invented by ancient civilisations. The word […] … learn more→