Monthly Archives: January 2013

Crash course on socializing at a scientific conference dinner

You didn’t meet anybody new at the last scientific conference. You paid high registration fees, travelled to the other side of the world, listened to boring talks, nobody came to your poster. At least you met interesting people at the conference dinner, didn’t you? Well, it’s kind of hard when you are hanging out all […] … learn more→

Why don\’t they apply what they\’ve learned, Part I

For two years I taught in a special program in which the same cohort of students took two consecutive courses with me: freshman composition in the fall and introduction to literature in the spring. In the composition courses, I worked hard to help students move beyond the standard strategies they had learned in high school […] … learn more→

\’\’I will ruin him\’\’

Some years ago, I found myself, to my surprise, the victim of a campaign of malicious e-mail stalking and online defamation by a former M.F.A. student. Nasreen (all names here have been changed) was a talented writer, and she had an interesting story to tell about her family\’s experiences in Iran at the time of […] … learn more→

Is the end in sight for international copyright laws?

Late last year, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) held what might be its most a productive meeting for some time. In Geneva, delegates from about 160 countries moved one step closer to ending a worldwide famine. But it is by no means a done deal. Powerful corporate interests oppose the treaty that is designed […] … learn more→

Peer review isn’t perfect … and the media doesn’t always help

Peer review is an essential part of science. Journal editors recruit scientists to provide expert opinion on manuscripts submitted by other scientists. Reviewers are expected to identify major errors and determine if an article presents new and significant science. And while peer review is essential, it can fail. Peer review prevents many, but not all, […] … learn more→

Striking a balance

The study released this week at the NCAA’s annual meeting showing that annual spending on sports by public universities in the six big-time conferences like the SEC and the Big 12 passed $100,000 per athlete raises some interesting questions that colleges and universities must address. It is less what the large conferences – call them […] … learn more→

Surviving the next Apocalypse: a modest curriculum

There\’s nothing like an apocalypse to renew our feelings of optimism. I remember looking forward to Y2K on New Year\’s Eve in 1999; I stayed up late, waiting for civilization to end, but nothing happened. Windows 98 went on working, as well as it ever did. Apocalypticism goes back a long way in the Christian […] … learn more→

1+1 equals less than 2: Sustaining overseas programs

Another overseas programs appears to be biting the dust. The University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) is not renewing its contract with the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT). This brings into question yet again why universities pursue these overseas ventures when they are rarely profitable and difficult to sustain. At the very least these initiatives […] … learn more→

Is Hillary really going?

It may be that the process is so unruffled that many people won’t notice, but the woman who has presided over a major shift in US foreign policy – Hillary Clinton – has left her job. Not only has she left her position as US Secretary of State, she has also left with a stunning […] … learn more→

Low risk cocaine dependence people have a differently shaped brain to addicts – Research

People who take cocaine over many years without becoming addicted have a brain structure which is significantly different from those individuals who developed cocaine-dependence, researchers have discovered. New research from the University of Cambridge has found that recreational drug userswho have not developed a dependence have an abnormally large frontal lobe, the section of the […] … learn more→