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Sociology journals did not fall for the dog rape culture hoax

Most of the news coverage missed this: There are many fields of academia that have absolutely no patience for nonsense. While the hoaxers did manage to place articles in some of the most influential academic journals in the cluster of fields that focus on dealing with issues of race, gender, and identity, they have not penetrated the leading journals of more traditional disciplines. As a number...

Contrary to common belief, memories are just not dependable

This was one of my main points in critiquing college student surveys: we can’t ask students questions as if they have a computer hard drive in their head. A similar study conducted in 1988 yielded similar results. Researchers showed participants slides depicting a burglar stealing a hammer from someone’s office. Then they read a brief report of the incident. Some of them were given reports...

You know those presenters who always go over time?

It’s not just your imagination boring speakers drone on. At least according to a small study reported in a letter to Nature: “I investigated this idea at a meeting where speakers were given 12-minute slots. I sat in on 50 talks for which I recorded the start and end time. I decided whether the talk was boring after 4 minutes, long before it became apparent whether the speaker would run...

HARKing: Hypothesizing after the results are known

This article considers a practice in scientific communication termed HARKing (Hypothesizing After the Results are Known). HARKing is defined as presenting a post hoc hypothesis (i.e., one based on or informed by one’s results) in one’s research report as if it were, in fact, an a priori hypotheses. Several forms of HARKing are identified and survey data are presented that suggests...

He’s a Professor of Bhang, not a drug dealer!

Why, oh why, won’t the cops leave us alone? The life of an academic is tough enough already. I’m curious where he received his PhD. Are they hiring? A 46 -year-old man was arraigned in court after he was allegedly found with 25 rolls of bhang. Police said they arrested Ibrahim Mutuku with bhang valued at Sh500 on September 5 in Nairobi’s Highrise estate. The suspect however stunned...

Faculty life is crazy: reference letter edition

Writing a reference letter is very bad! Administrators at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire are forcing an education professor to undergo sexual harassment training. The professor, Michael Fischler, isn’t accused of sexual misconduct or of violating Title IX—the statute that mandates sex equality in education. He’s not accused of doing anything wrong at all. He merely wrote a...

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 of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural...

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 is,” or something like that. There are many problems with that, but one big problem...

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 is a compensating pay differential arising from the more...

“These 3 NC colleges drastically dropped tuition. The result was like a ‘booster rocket.’”

A new, lower tuition rate is drawing more students to three UNC campuses, resulting in record undergraduate enrollment growth this fall. The NC Promise program, funded by the legislature at $51 million this year, allowed Elizabeth City State University, UNC Pembroke and Western Carolina University to decrease their tuition to $1,000 a year for in-state undergraduates and $5,000 a year for out-of...

About me

Stephen

Professor and quant guy. Libertarian turned populist Republican. Trying to learn Japanese and play Spanish Baroque music on the ukulele.

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