Category Archives: science

Thumb on the PayScale

In my last post, I took issue with the PayScale college rankings, as well as with how economics reporters framed these rankings, citing their low calculated Return on Investment as evidence that these colleges “make” students poor. Jordan Weissmann has graciously responded to my critique. … Continue reading

Posted in education, higherEd, psychology, science | Tagged , , , | 19 Comments

The Absurdity of Ranking Colleges by Graduate Salaries

Jordan Weissman has moved from the Atlantic, and is now covering economics at Slate. He has a post up provocatively titled (it is Slate, after all) “What College Will Leave you Poorest?” which covers the Payscale college salary rankings, in which … Continue reading

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Grit and Galton: Is psychological research into traits inherently problematic?

Is all psychological research on individual differences racist? Can psychologists ever separate our shameful past of scientific racism from the methods, techniques and questions that have grown from it? A recent post criticizing the concept of “grit” (and Angela Duckworth, … Continue reading

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On Treating the Unprepared as if they were Unmotivated and Unworthy

An academic job market story yesterday reminded me of the perils of interpreting lack of preparation with lack of worth. A philosophy candidate for a job at Nazareth College in Rochester was offered the job, made some fairly common requests, … Continue reading

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Oh I get tenure, with a little help from my friends

To continue from my last post, one of the elements that disturbed me about defining scientist as “gets grants, has groundbreaking ideas” is not just that this narrow definition of scientist excludes worthy people, but also that it excludes certain … Continue reading

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Tents, Tribes and Lonely Islands: Who Gets to Be a Scientist?

A recent post by thoughtful, charismatic, and talented friend Scicurious on how the “system” of science training failed her, but should have failed her sooner has gotten me thinking a lot about my role in the science “system.” Sci’s argument … Continue reading

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On the Benefits of “Overreaction” – #IStandwithDNLee

First, a few of my beliefs, to clarify the provocative title and scare quotes: Our society doesn’t react strongly enough to the subtle racism, sexism, and generic cruelty experienced by minorities in many communities. The reaction to the specific situation … Continue reading

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Student Learning and Labor Policies, follow up

My piece for the Atlantic ran yesterday, on how student learning is not directly connected to exploitative labor policies. I had some interesting conversations, on twitter and over email, so I thought I would share those with my readers. It … Continue reading

Posted in higherEd, politics, science, teaching | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Simple, general solutions to college problems (just add data)

“Get some burgers, get some beers data, a few laughs, Dude, our troubles are over.” http://www.metacafe.com/watch/an-KDCB4bbmbh24m/the_big_lebowski_1998_walters_plan/ I thought of Walter’s line in the Big Lebowski while reading Dylan Matthews piece in the Washington Post wonkblog on college costs (part X: … Continue reading

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Why is the “Ideal English Major” uncurious and anti-intellectual?

Why choose to be an English major? Why choose to study language and literature? According to University of Virginia Professor of English Mark Edmundson, one big reason is to be able to find new ways to say you are better … Continue reading

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