Monthly Archives: February 2014

The disconnect of Higher Education

Thank goodness for online news. There, it’s easy to find a major disconnect between what mainstream media presents, and reality: you just have to read the comments. “a tall white guy wearing a ski mask and a skull cap” –a line from a news article discussing the attackers at mall. For example, the above snippet […] … learn more→

Colleges need free speech more than trademarks

What’s in a trademark? To many people in higher education, mention of the term—which denotes the legal protection afforded words or other devices that identify a good\’s or service’s source—leads to bewildered looks. \”You mean the designs on shirts sold in the bookstore?\” Trademarks in higher education encompass institutional names, logos, and insignias, the iconography […] … learn more→

After the cull: badger and cattle vaccines are still needed to fight bovine TB

Bovine tuberculosis (TB) is the biggest threat to the livestock industry in England and Wales. At present, bovine TB is still not under control in parts of these countries, and there is no single measure that on its own is likely to change the situation dramatically. Vaccination of cattle or badgers, or both, could make […] … learn more→

Faceless Facebook reps help bereaved families Look Back

Facebook’s Community Operations team has announced it is changing the privacy settings on accounts for deceased users to reflect the settings they chose in life. Facebook introduced “memorialisation” in 2009, which allowed the family members of deceased users to turn their profile into a page for remembering them. Others could continue to visit the profile […] … learn more→

Academic tribalism

When I was a younger scholar, a very famous cognitive psychologist came to my office to visit me during his colloquium trip to my university. I mentioned with pride that I had just written a new textbook in cognitive psychology. His quick response was, “Bob, you’re not a cognitive psychologist anymore.” I was deeply hurt. […] … learn more→

Demise of Mt Gox exposes the shaky foundations of Bitcoin

The Mt Gox Bitcoin exchange, the most high-profile market for the online currency, has suspended trading on its systems. It shut down on 24 February after noticing “unusual activity” and is yet to reopen. Reports suggest that Mt Gox failed to notice a sustained hack that has cost it hundreds of millions of dollars worth […] … learn more→

The toddler’s guide to doing a PhD

The last time I posted, I mentioned in passing that I am the proud dad of a toddler (and, by the time this goes out, a new baby too!). As any parent will tell you, you learn as much from your children as they learn from you. It just so happens that in the past […] … learn more→

To understand Science, study History

I love the sciences. Because my father was a scientist, I grew up surrounded by talk of running gels, western blots, and poorly calibrated centrifuges. I desperately wanted to be a scientist. First and foremost, to prove to my dad that I could—he was convinced that science was not for me. But also because its […] … learn more→

Some principles to guide the changing face of College athletics

Seldom have the shifting sands upon which college athletics are built been more apparent than today. For those of us who have an interest in college sports, including millions of loyal alumni, the choice of an athletic conference is roughly tantamount to “the company that you keep.” At innumerable colleges and universities, nothing stirs alumni […] … learn more→

Low carb, high protein diets improve fertility

The results of a study examining the effects of a low carbohydrate, high protein diet on fertility were announced at the Annual Clinical Meeting of The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in New Orleans. Dr. Jeffrey B. Russell headed the research at the Delaware Institute for Reproductive Medicine (DIRM) in Newark. An evaluation of […] … learn more→