Monthly Archives: June 2012

Two Views of Our Future

No previous civilization has survived the ongoing destruction of its natural supports. Nor will ours. Yet economists look at the future through a different lens. Relying heavily on economic data to measure progress, they see the near 10-fold growth in the world economy since 1950 and the associated gains in living standards as the crowning […] … learn more→

(Human) ethics applications with a minimum of pain

If you wander into a university tea-room and say you are writing an ethics application, you are sure to attract sympathetic looks and a range of horror stories. Everyone seems to know of someone who took 27 tries and two years to get their application through, and a number of researchers are firmly convinced that […] … learn more→

Morality prevents crime

A landmark study of criminal activity in teenagers indicates that some never see crime as a course of action while others are vulnerable to environmental inducements to crime. The study reveals factors that explains why some young people are ‘crime-prone’ and others ‘crime-averse’, and explains why crime hot spots occur. … learn more→

How is computing changing the architect’s job?

In 1957, when local officials in Sydney, Australia, were judging entries in a competition to design their new opera house, they settled on an unusual plan by a Danish architect, Jorn Utzon. In Utzon’s vision, the building would feature a series of curving segments, evoking the billowing sails of a ship, an apparent homage to […] … learn more→

What not to wear: academic edition

It can be really tricky figuring out what to wear as an academic, or a post-grad research student. We are attempting to balance the competing demands of a profession that requires us to look knowledgeable and trustworthy (aka ‘read my work, I know what I’m talking about!’) as well as approachable to our students. This […] … learn more→

Human carrying capacity and our need for a parachute

The issue of human overpopulation has fallen out of favour among most contemporary demographers, economists, and epidemiologists. Discussing population control has become a taboo topic. The silence around overpopulation prevents us from making the necessary link between the planet’s limited ability to support its people (its carrying capacity) and health and development crises. Human carrying […] … learn more→

Will application essays survive?

Application essays are perhaps the most romantic fixture of the admissions process. Although many colleges do not require them, some selective institutions ask students to write two or more. Such requirements allow applicants to reveal their true selves and help admissions officers see inside students’ heads and hearts. At least that’s long been the idea. […] … learn more→

Arab winter

In less than a week, Egypt has witnessed a reversal of many of the gains it made during the course of the 16-month revolutionary period. The interim military body guiding the transition period since Hosni Mubarak\’s ouster has consolidated its power by dissolving the Islamist-led parliament, introducing a new charter stripping presidential powers, and hand-picking […] … learn more→