Monthly Archives: September 2013

Is the Cognitive Revolution here yet?

I’m in the heart of London for a few days attending a British Academy conference headlined “The Cognitive Revolution 60 Years On.” The cognitive revolution we are supposed to be reflecting on was not specified, but no linguist would be in any doubt about it: They mean the one that Noam Chomsky is commonly held […] … learn more→

As you fill out your College application . . .

Freshmen move-in day is over. This year’s crop of students has begun classes. On college campuses, it’s already time to think about next year’s class. This means you. For prospective students, application season has begun. Here are some tips as you sit down and begin the application. Get started on them. Dream big dreams. Think […] … learn more→

A brief history of climate science

Climate change is often seen as a recent phenomenon, but its roots are actually far older – the effects of human activity on the global climate have been discussed for more than 150 years. In the 1820s, the French mathematician Joseph Fourier was trying to understand the various factors that affect Earth’s temperature. But he […] … learn more→

Change requires discipline

Today, approximately seven out of every ten instructional faculty members at nonprofit institutions of higher learning are employed off the tenure track; nearly half of all faculty members providing instruction in nonprofit higher education hold part-time appointments. The characteristics that distinguish tenure-track from non-tenure-track faculty members are not limited to the latter’s lack of eligibility […] … learn more→

In Europe, contradictory messages about teaching and research

Recently in Europe, as in many other countries, there has been a growing focus on research to the detriment of teaching and learning. There are some signs, however, that the pendulum may be beginning to swing back—ever so slowly. In June, the European Union published the first report from its high-level group on the modernization […] … learn more→

Oh great, Facebook wants to know you’re being sarcastic

You might think social networks couldn’t possibly gather more information on you than they already do. That in a world where your every move is tagged, flagged and logged, there is nothing more that could possibly be gleaned from your digital footprints. You’d be wrong. It was revealed this week that Facebook has followed Google […] … learn more→

Extraordinary ‘missing link’ fossil fish found in China

A spectacular new “missing link” fossil has been unearthed in China. The 419 million year old armoured fish, called Entelognathus, meaning “complete jaw” solves an age-old debate in science. For palaeontologists this fish is as big as finding the Higgs-Boson particle because of its immense significance to our understanding of early vertebrate evolution. This is […] … learn more→

The regressive politics of quantitative easing

When financial markets stood on the verge of collapse in the summer of 2008, two of the world’s most important central banks, the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England, began considering unorthodox policy measures. They turned to Quantitative Easing, or QE: injecting money into the economy by purchasing assets from the private sector, […] … learn more→

How to write faster

In a blog post a while back I suggested being a fast writer can be a career ‘edge’. Afterwards a surprisingly large number of people wrote to me wanting to become faster writers, or questioning whether learning to write faster was possible. I was a bit taken aback by the questions as I assumed there […] … learn more→