Monthly Archives: April 2017

How electro and techno could help to revolutionise school music lessons

How electro and techno could help to revolutionise school music lessons

For many British children, the music they grow up listening to with friends, family, parents and relatives is often not reflected in school music lessons. So while their teacher is trying to get them to listen to Mozart, Bach or Beethoven, back home in their bedrooms the radio is often tuned into a very different […] … learn more→

Seven spiritual lessons I’ve learned from doing a PhD

Seven spiritual lessons I’ve learned from doing a PhD

Much of PhD work is about organizing logic and reason through research. This is the domain of the Intellect. When I’m not engaged in making my research intelligible, I devote part of my day to spiritual practice and I engage that part of my mind where reason and logic are not required. While I grapple […] … learn more→

Citizen scientists discover new type of aurora

Citizen scientists discover new type of aurora

A collaboration between aurora-hunting citizen scientists and a team of professional researchers has resulted in the discovery of a completely new type of aurora. The finding was made possible thanks to photos taken by aurora enthusiasts from across the globe which scientists could then compare with data from satellites. The aurora, more commonly known as […] … learn more→

Researching on someone else’s project – it’s a relationship

Researching on someone else’s project – it’s a relationship

From jobbing researcher to PI: Nick Hopwood I was struck by the patter series about working on someone else’s project. The posts took me back to my time as a newly minted PhD, and nudged me into thinking about my position now – as someone whose research other people work on. In the second half of […] … learn more→

CSU: Milk is racist

CSU: Milk is racist

  I don’t mean to pick on California, but they just keep making standout innovations in insanity that I feel the need to highlight. Today I see an article from California State University’s Long Beach student paper and…well, let’s just get to it, with the article beginning with the usual claptrap It may not surprise […] … learn more→

Defending science: How the art of rhetoric can help

Defending science: How the art of rhetoric can help

Science seems to be under attack in America, so much so that scientists and their supporters are marching in the streets. President Donald Trump has publicly called climate change a Chinese hoax abetted by greedy scientists. He has linked vaccines to autism despite overwhelming scientific consensus against these claims. Vice President Mike Pence has denied […] … learn more→

Standardized test bubble to pop?

Standardized test bubble to pop?

“Fill in the bubble” tests have been a fact of life in our government-run school system for a generation or two now. I certainly remember taking them every few years, and then the biggie, the SAT, in my last year of high school. Like everything government-run (see also: vaccinations), the bureaucracy has imposed ever more […] … learn more→

EN and me

EN and me

I write a lot about co- writing and the particular people I work with. But there’s one co-writing situation I don’t talk much about. And I should own up. I have been in a writing relationship with EN – full name EN Dnote  – for over twenty years. I confess that I have very occasionally […] … learn more→

Is the traditional research university doomed to extinction in a digital age?

Is the traditional research university doomed to extinction in a digital age?

Looking back on 40 years in universities as I retire next week, I recall being witness to many brilliant advances in human knowledge. But my career has also spanned a gradual undermining of the research university ideal. The modern research university arose out of a vision of students learning through their own empirical observations. Its […] … learn more→

The myth of the college dropout

The myth of the college dropout

When Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was asked to give this year’s commencement address at Harvard, he asked for advice from Bill Gates. Zuckerberg said, “They know we didn’t actually graduate, right?” To which Gates replied, “Oh, that is the best part! They actually give you a degree!” This recent exchange between two famous Harvard dropouts […] … learn more→