Monthly Archives: August 2017

Working with literatures? take a hands on hips stance

Working with literatures? take a hands on hips stance

Hand on hips. That’s the stance to take with literatures work. Hands on hips is a metaphor. Think about times when you have put your hands on your hips, stood back and looked at something. Your gaze is not neutral and neither is your thinking. You are summing up. What does this thing in front […] … learn more→

Doctors, lawyers and ministers all take a professional pledge: here’s why teachers should too

Doctors, lawyers and ministers all take a professional pledge: here’s why teachers should too

What do these occasions have in common: a wedding, a witness about to give evidence in court, and a citizenship ceremony? All are public occasions, all require witnesses, and – most importantly – all require those at the centre of the occasion to make a vow, swear an oath, or make a binding pledge. Such […] … learn more→

Bland peer review needs a pinch of salt

Bland peer review needs a pinch of salt

Research funding agencies face a daunting task when deciding which proposed research project to fund. It takes a great deal of expertise to distinguish between what investor Warren Buffett once called the “three I’s”: innovators, imitators and idiots. The anonymous peer review system that has emerged as the universal and unquestioned tool for assessing research […] … learn more→

The rise in personalised story books and what it means for children’s privacy

The rise in personalised story books and what it means for children’s privacy

When was the last time you read a good book? If it was quite a while ago you might want to head to the library or the nearest bookstore, because research shows that reading makes you happier. In fact, adults who read books regularly are on average more satisfied with life, and more likely to […] … learn more→

How well do students perform when retaking courses?

How well do students perform when retaking courses?

Ah, September is almost here. A new school year beckons, with new courses, new books and new students. Except … some of the students are not new. They are retaking courses they had previously failed, or barely passed. They may be doing that to boost their marks, qualify for advanced courses, maintain scholarships or just […] … learn more→

NO₂ – not as bad as we thought?

NO₂ – not as bad as we thought?

Air pollution has been found to cause hundreds of thousands of deaths every year around the world. As a result, there has been growing public concern about the health impacts of roadside air pollution – especially in the wake of the 2016 Volkswagen scandal, when investigations found that almost a million tonnes of excess pollution […] … learn more→

The UK is rethinking university degrees and Australia should too

The UK is rethinking university degrees and Australia should too

There are growing calls for a debate about the role of post-school in society, both in Australia and overseas. After 30 years of constant expansion, some complain that universities have become too vocational in nature – too focused on jobs, not enough on the art of inquiry. At the same time, the vocational education sector […] … learn more→

Conference small talk – the definitive guide

Conference small talk – the definitive guide

Making small talk with someone who’s just given a talk, whether at a conference or at a colloquium or invited talk, can feel intimidating, especially if you’re a student or early in your academic career. But as someone who’s currently spending a lot of time on the opposite side of that divide, I’ve realized that […] … learn more→

Doping among amateur athletes like CrossFitters is probably more common than you’d think

Doping among amateur athletes like CrossFitters is probably more common than you’d think

Earlier this month the 11th annual CrossFit Games took place in the US. While the event has come a long way from humble beginnings, the prizemoney and fame now attached to it have led to concerns that competitors may be doping to gain an unfair advantage. CrossFit is a fitness regime practised by people all […] … learn more→

Admin lies to keep conservative from campus

Admin lies to keep conservative from campus

I know my title is unsurprising on two levels, since administration lies about everything, always, and it’s well known that conservative thinkers aren’t allowed to speak on our campuses now…but the title says so much all the same. Even if conservatism is fundamentally wrong, fundamentally flawed, the worst thing that ever happened to humanity…conservatives should […] … learn more→