Academics are nasty: dinosaur edition

The author seems surprised at how nasty academics are; clearly she has never worked with faculty. Good read about a scientist’s persistence with her research: Keller’s resistance has put her at the core of one of the most rancorous and longest-running controversies in science. “It’s like the Thirty Years’ War,” says Kirk Johnson, the director…

Why faculty are so miserable

Raj Raghunathan: If you take the need for mastery—the need for competence—there are two broad approaches that one can take to becoming very good at something. One approach is to engage in what people call social comparisons. That is, wanting to be the best at doing something: “I want to be the best professor there…

Why are professors “poorly paid”?

As an aside, his analysis of American Time Use Survey diary data demonstrates those lazy professors work almost 50 hours a week during the academic year, and 40 hours a week during the summer (see his Table 2). I have documented a large pay disadvantage of academics behind otherwise identical doctorate-holders. Part of this disadvantage…

The political affiliation of college faculty

This guy actually tracked down the party registrations of almost 9,000 faculty members! Interestingly, he finds almost a quarter of faculty at liberal arts colleges aren’t registered to vote. If you assume these individuals are relatively apolitical, then the numbers would look quite a bit different. These are ratios of registered Democrats to Republicans: According…

How to handle criticism, via the Beatles

… as when a reporter in L.A. says, “In a recent article, Time magazine put down pop music. They referred to ‘Day Tripper’ as being about a prostitute and ‘Norwegian Wood’ as being about a lesbian. And I just wanted to know what your intent was when you wrote it, and what your feeling is…

The social justice mob is now censoring research

Hard to believe this is happening in the U.S., you’d expect this kind of stuff from totalitarian regimes like China or North Korea. The end result will be scientists censoring themselves, especially graduate students and junior faculty who do not have the luxury of tenure. That’s really the goal of the mob: intimidating faculty into…

The “chart of the century”?

A thought-provoking chart, but I’m not sure this is the single-best chart of the century so far: Various observations that have been made about the huge divergence in price patterns over the last several decades include: a. The greater (lower) the degree of government involvement in the provision of a good or service the greater…

10% of reviewers are responsible for 50% of peer reviews

Data from the Global State of Peer Review report for 2013–17 68.5 million hours spent reviewing globally each year 16.4 days is the median review time 5 hours is the median time spent writing each review 477 words is the average length of review reports 10% of reviewers are responsible for 50% of peer reviews…

Beware the algorithm

One of my doc students studied Aviso‘s predictive analytic system on his campus, and compared their predictions to actual academic outcomes for students: he found almost no relationship. I suspect most of the early-alert systems being peddled in higher ed also have low predictive ability. But they sound cool! Law enforcement’s eagerness to use an…