U Chicago president caught voting for Republicans

This is actually a news item from the U Chicago student paper: University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer voted in Illinois’s Republican primary in the 2016 election, according to public voting histories. He turns out to have done some naughty things: Zimmer has long been coy about his politics, declining to answer a question on…

Insiders vs. outsiders in economics

Outsiders have their own form of confidence. When they look at the Insider, they think that they see a naked emperor. They understand the Insiders’ methods well enough. But the Outsiders are convinced that these methods are narrow-minded and limiting. During the housing bubble, when he wanted to confirm his hypothesis that home buyers were…

Graduate school is bad for your mental health

A new study by a team of Harvard-affiliated researchers highlights one of the consequences of these realities: Graduate students are disproportionately likely to struggle with mental-health issues. The researchers surveyed roughly 500 economics Ph.D. candidates at eight elite universities, and found that 18 percent of them experienced moderate or severe symptoms of depression and anxiety.…

Turning to AI to help with peer review

A handful of academic publishers are piloting AI tools to do anything from selecting reviewers to checking statistics and summarizing a paper’s findings. In June, software called StatReviewer, which checks that statistics and methods in manuscripts are sound, was adopted by Aries Systems, a peer-review management system owned by Amsterdam-based publishing giant Elsevier. And ScholarOne,…

Another big replication project has disappointing results

Over the past few years, an international team of almost 200 psychologists has been trying to repeat a set of previously published experiments from its field, to see if it can get the same results. Despite its best efforts, the project, called Many Labs 2, has only succeeded in 14 out of 28 cases. Six…

Teachers don’t find educational research relevant

Depressing but not surprising. From the Director of IES: For starters, many teachers view research as a search for bright shiny objects pushed by administrators without adequate attention to the needs and skills of teachers. Many told us they felt that their professional knowledge is all too often neglected in education research and, to use…

Academia is a cult

I “blew out” of the cult — to use its own lingo for leaving — after my senior year to attend a Catholic university 20 miles away. I still read the Apostle Paul, but Jane Austen and James Joyce, too. Then I earned a PhD in English at the University of Minnesota, where I rehearsed…