Monthly Archives: May 2013

Is teaching \’junk science\’ protected by academic freedom?

Ball State University is embroiled in controversy over a course offered by its physics and astronomy department, called \”The Boundaries of Science.\” The Freedom From Religion Foundation has complained that the course isn’t science but religious indoctrination, and that because Ball State is a public university, offering the course violates the church-state separation required by […] … learn more→

The inevitable climate catastrophe

Climate change has almost extinguished life on earth on three occasions. Some 250 million years ago, a series of volcanic eruptions in Siberia altered the earth\’s atmosphere, wiping out 90 percent of plant and animal species. Next, 65 million years ago, an asteroid struck what is now Mexico and created an atmospheric catastrophe that eliminated […] … learn more→

Cyberbullying revenge: Parents and legislators fight back

Cyberbullying is catching nationwide attention. Legislators aren’t taking the virtual bullying lightly. In Florida, a cyberbullying bill was passed by Governor Rick Scott after in April 2013. The bill grants disciplinary actions to students who use technology, like cellphones and computers, to bully other students, states on the Miami Herald. Children have more exposure to TV […] … learn more→

Outsourced lectures raise concerns about academic freedom

Students at Massachusetts Bay Community College this year got a rare opportunity to take a computer-science course designed and taught online by some of the top professors in the field. The 17 students in a programming course at MassBay\’s Wellesley Hills campus watched recorded lectures and completed online homework assignments created by professors at the […] … learn more→

Name-dropping during an interview

Usually knowing someone at a company where you’re seeking employment is a good thing. But dropping their name without any tact could rub a human resources official the wrong way and it might even cost you the job. “HR folks can sabotage a search if they feel one-upped,” said career coach Kelley Rexroad, a former […] … learn more→

Interview with Seth Rosenfeld

Investigative reporter Seth Rosenfeld’s 2012 book Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power draws on thirty years of research and three hundred thousand pages of documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to tell the story of the FBI’s covert operations in Berkeley during the 1960s. Focusing on […] … learn more→

Ways to fund your narrative nonfiction project

Few writers are known for their wealth. More often, we’re known for our day jobs. Williams Carlos Williams was a doctor. Charlotte Brontë was a grossly underpaid governess. Faulkner worked as a mailman, Kurt Vonnegut at a Saab dealership, Douglas Adams as a security guard. Nowadays we’re baristas, sales clerks, bartenders and bookstore employees. I […] … learn more→

Probiotics cut respiratory tract infections in athletes

Athletes undertaking endurance training over the winter months could benefit from a daily probiotic drink to cut their risk of colds and other similar infections according to the results of a recent cliinical trial. The term probiotic refers to foods or dietary supplements that contain beneficial bacteria which are normally found in the body. Fermented […] … learn more→

France’s debate over English misses the point

The French government has introduced legislation that aims to attack some of the greatest weaknesses of the national higher-education system, including the fragmentation of public universities and the chronically high failure rate of undergraduates. These problems have been analyzed and agonized over for years, so you might think that the public debate over the passage […] … learn more→

Academia needs a porn journal: here’s why

The launch of a new academic journal doesn’t usually grab popular media interest. But the first journal of Porn Studies seems to have bucked the trend. For the most part, media coverage has contained more than a little nudge, nudge, wink, wink; although some journalists have recognised the rationale for the journal. Perhaps more surprisingly, […] … learn more→