Scientists have a word for studying the post-truth world: agnotology

Scientists have a word for studying the post-truth world: agnotology

As we watch Donald Trump take on the most powerful position in the world, many of us are left asking how a man who has consistently lied to his public could get so far. Some pundits are calling this the dawn of a new era. They say we now live in a post-fact or post-truth […] … learn more→

Who will keep predatory science journals at bay now that Jeffrey Beall’s blog is gone?

Who will keep predatory science journals at bay now that Jeffrey Beall’s blog is gone?

For aficionados of bad science, the blog of University of Colorado librarian Jeffrey Beall was essential reading. Beall’s blog charted the murky world of predatory and vanity academic publishers, many of which charge excessive fees for publishing papers or have dysfunctional peer review processes. I’ve seen rubbish on chemtrails, alien life, climate, HIV-AIDS and vaccines […] … learn more→

Colleges attack “toxic” masculinity

Colleges attack “toxic” masculinity

As a white male, it’s been long made clear to me that I have little future in higher education….my skin color and gender preclude advancement, you see. I’ve mentioned the “white” part of campus bias before, but I want to address the “male” part a bit more today. It isn’t just evidenced at the faculty […] … learn more→

Dwindling US international student numbers? Don’t blame Trump!

Dwindling US international student numbers? Don’t blame Trump!

This year will be an auspicious year for many reasons. Russia will celebrate the centenary of the Bolshevik revolution. Canada will celebrate its 150th birthday. But there are also portents of a year of change and disruption for higher education throughout the world. The election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States will […] … learn more→

In face of failing financial model, what’s a College to do?

In face of failing financial model, what’s a College to do?

There is a basic, fundamental truth about the American college or university operating model: It doesn’t work. In the second half of the 20th century, America’s colleges and universities moved toward a similar operating model, depending upon their size, purpose, and funding source. Some scaled up to the research powerhouses that we know today. A […] … learn more→

Why we teach our students to read between the lies

Why we teach our students to read between the lies

As an unabashed lover of print texts and an avid lifelong reader of fiction, I have learned that storytelling can be terribly unreliable. Wise readers should never believe a first-person narrative in a novel or short story unless they find ample proof that the narrator can be trusted. We in the US are living in […] … learn more→

How can we predict the hottest year on record when weather forecasts are so uncertain?

How can we predict the hottest year on record when weather forecasts are so uncertain?

NASA and NOAA jointly reported that 2016 was the warmest year on record. That’s no surprise, as the first six months of the year were all exceptionally warm. Yet the news is significant for what it says about global warming: Before 2016, the 10 hottest years on record occurred since 1998. And last year was […] … learn more→

Why we need to collaborate with ‘generation snowflake’ to improve universities

Why we need to collaborate with ‘generation snowflake’ to improve universities

University students have been called many things over the years, and the most recent term “snowflake”, is now being used to characterise a whole generation of “overly sensitive students”, more often labelled millennials. The word “snowflake” was both a Financial Times and Collin’s Dictionary “word of the year” for 2016, with the definition given as: […] … learn more→

The morass of big-time College football

The morass of big-time College football

Remember that widely circulated map illustrating how in 39 of 50 states the highest-paid state employee is a public university football or basketball coach?  If you don’t, here it is: According to USA Today‘s annual survey, in 2015-16 some 72 college football coaches were paid over a million dollars annually, not including bonuses, with Michigan’s […] … learn more→

Trumpus Andronicus? What the Byzantine Empire can tell us about the rise of populist leaders

Trumpus Andronicus? What the Byzantine Empire can tell us about the rise of populist leaders

The approaching Donald Trump presidency has taken quite a battering from historians. Comparisons have abounded with the 20th century’s greatest villains, including Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, even if some have questioned how useful such parallels are. But there is an era that lends itself rather closer to comparison than the tired fascist comparison. And […] … learn more→