Trigger warnings about war graves do not molly-coddle archaeology students, they are essential

Trigger warnings about war graves do not molly-coddle archaeology students, they are essential

This semester, I’m teaching my history undergraduates about the Falklands War. As I prepared for one recent class, I gathered examples from my own collection of British tabloid newspapers from 1982 as a primary source. I was however concerned about six copies of the Daily Star, which included photos of topless women. Determined not to […] … learn more→

Putin’s cyber play: What are all these Russian hackers up to?

Putin’s cyber play: What are all these Russian hackers up to?

Russia has been implicated in many breaches of U.S. networks in recent months, most notably the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee hacks, whose data were subsequently dumped to the whistleblowing site WikiLeaks. On Sept. 28, FBI Director James Comey told a congressional hearing that Russian hackers have been testing cyberdefenses of […] … learn more→

The amazing careers of the 1%

The amazing careers of the 1%

While certainly the student loan scam is a big factor in the debasement of higher education, I fear I’ve overlooked how much the plundering “leaders” of higher education are a factor here. A century ago, the President or Chancellor or whoever ran an institution of higher education viewed himself as a steward: a guardian and […] … learn more→

A new “MicroMasters” online learning program offered by major universities

A new “MicroMasters” online learning program offered by major universities

A new kind of credential has entered the crowded market for online learning. EdX, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit that provides online courses, announced last week the creation of 19 “MicroMasters” courses, a new type of online educational program. These courses are tailored master’s degree-level classes that can help students hone skills that will be immediately useful […] … learn more→

Finishing the #PhD – clean-up to get clearer

Finishing the #PhD – clean-up to get clearer

It’s the beginning of the end. You’ve done your research. You’ve generated data. You’ve done the analysis. And now … And now you’re about to start writing. One of the things that can help you with the writing is to – not write. This might sound silly, I know. But it is actually helpful, before you begin […] … learn more→

The age of the crap artist

The age of the crap artist

Some years ago, we arrived at the age of the “news clown.” It’s the age of realization of characters such as Philip K. Dick’s once fictional newscaster Jim-Jam Brisken, someone who runs for president in a flaming red wig. But we’re past that, now. No, not past Philip K. Dick; we’ve simply moved to another […] … learn more→

World’s oldest muscle-fibre fossil reveals the origin of legs

World’s oldest muscle-fibre fossil reveals the origin of legs

It looks like a tattered surgical stocking with legs. But this millimetre-long fossil is one of the best preserved animal fossils from the Cambrian period, 500m years ago. With no mineralised hard parts, worms like this would normally rot and decay long before the processes of fossilisation could get to work. But this exceptional one-off […] … learn more→

Why America needs the virtues of humility

Why America needs the virtues of humility

In a recent speech full of allusions to Bible verses and Christian hymns at the National Baptist Convention in Kansas City, Hillary Clinton focused on Christian humility. She acknowledged that “Humility is not something you hear much about in politics.” But, she said, it should be. Those who truly understand “the awesomeness of power and […] … learn more→

How universities can help to support student-parents

How universities can help to support student-parents

With student tuition fees in the UK increasing, part-time study for young and mature students might start to become a more viable and feasible option, particularly for those students who have children. “Student-parents” are usually working part-time, with many juggling studies, family life and maybe other caring responsibilities. This all means that student-parents might fall […] … learn more→

The wrong questions are being asked in the Sth African free higher education debate

The wrong questions are being asked in the Sth African free higher education debate

The main brief of the Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education and Training (The Fees Commission) demands that it enquires and makes findings on the feasibility of fee-free higher education in South Africa. The problem with the brief is that it is asking the wrong question. Firstly, there is no such thing as “free higher […] … learn more→