Monthly Archives: August 2013

Pause for thought on Syrian chemical attacks — and reprisals

As the United States and its allies — including Australia — move closer to intervening in the Syrian civil war, more questions are emerging over the chemical weapons attack which is the pretext for that intervention. Challenging questions are being asked about the motive behind the attack, as well as the consequences of a response […] … learn more→

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and pluralism: The advantage of holding multiple worldviews

After UCS posted an image with a quote from Dr. King on its Facebook page, all hell broke loose. The quote in question? “Science investigates; religion interprets. Science gives man knowledge, which is power; religion gives man wisdom, which is control. Science deals mainly with facts; religion deals mainly with values. The two are not […] … learn more→

China weighs the value of American Liberal Arts

In August, New York University officially started its Shanghai program, welcoming nearly 300 undergraduates—150 from China, 100 from the United States, and 45 from other parts of the world. As NYU-Shanghai begins in earnest, let’s examine why China has enticed American universities to its shores. Chinese universities are already changing the world and will become […] … learn more→

Big $$$ Foundations are driving the policy train

We like to think experts who weigh in on the direction of American higher education are steeped in researchabout what works and have real-world experience with actual students. We like to assume that elected officials, who are accountable to the public, listen to those experts—particularly those who labor in the educational “trenches”—when they make their […] … learn more→

3D printing market is booming as the buzz catches on

3D printing stocks jumped early this week following analyst Kenneth Wong’s assertion that the market could triple in the next five years. But why the sudden attention? The possible economic impact of 3D printing is indeed significant. Currently, the size of the industry for 3D printing equipment and services is estimated at around £1.43 billion […] … learn more→

U.S. Bike-sharing fleet more than doubles in 2013

The opening of the San Francisco Bay Area bike share on August 29, 2013, brings the combined fleet of shared bikes in the United States above 18,000, more than a doubling since the start of the year. The United States is now home to 34 modern bike-sharing programs that allow riders to easily make short […] … learn more→

Givers and takers

How much do you help people as part of your day to day job? If you’re an academic, do you try to hoarde every precious minute for your research, or do you shower your time upon students like confetti? Or, like me, are you conflicted about it? Adam Grant’s book Give and Take considers the […] … learn more→

Miracles and the “Bad” teachers who can’t perform them

Miracles. That’s what the American public has been conditioned, this last decade, to ask from educators. No matter the level, not matter the economic background, no matter the differences in abilities, no matter the preparation of the students, teachers are expected to vastly improve them in a short period of time. In a recent post, […] … learn more→

The highly useful crisis in the Humanities

The cartoon cover of a 1935 issue of The Princeton Tiger humor magazine showed Depression-era graduates lined up at commencement to be handed a loaf of bread with every liberal-arts diploma. A few months later, the university\’s alumni magazine reported on students\’ shifting academic interests in a table titled, \”Trend Away From the Humanities.\” Majors […] … learn more→

Choosing real-world impact over impact factor

My annual report for the 2012-13 academic year stares at me from an undisturbed corner of my desk. I’m tempted not to fill it out. It’s not that I’ve spent the past year in blissful inactivity. It’s just that what I’ve produced has no place on this form. To list my activities, they must be […] … learn more→