Posts

October 18, 2014

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4:15 PM | Body spills into the brain
This quarter I’m TAing for a class called Distributed Cognition, which explores a bunch of ways that cognition might not be something that happens exclusively in the brain. This week we looked at different flavors of embodiment, the idea that the body is crucial for cognition. For example, we talked about one study showing that people […]
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3:53 AM | Here's One Way to Cut Student Debt
Just stop offering the loans. President Barack Obama has a plan to rate colleges based on things like tuition, graduation rates, debt and earnings of graduates, and the percentage of poor students in the colleges. Eventually he intends that the federal government will distribute federal money at least partially based on this information. One of the concerns some in higher education have raised about this is that there are different ways colleges can react to a system that gives them higher […]

October 17, 2014

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6:10 PM | The earthquake that interrupted The World Series 25 years ago,...
The earthquake that interrupted The World Series 25 years ago, the Loma Prieta Earthquake shook through the bay area and caused severe damage and death. Due to the coverage of the 1989 World Series, it became the first major earthquake in the United States that was broadcast live. Since then researchers at UC Berkeley have developed early warning systems. Its believed that had this system been around then, San Francisco would have had a 20 second warning to duck and cover.  There were many […]
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5:15 PM | Hey! You don’t want to miss that intensive course: Cardiovascular Ultrasound in Health & Exercise Sciences
Are you a grad student, postdoc or researcher who would like to develop/improve vascular, cerebrovascular and/or cardiac ultrasound skills ? Well, you cannot miss that intensive course during which you will gain knowledge and practical skills related to the use of ultrasound applications. This summer school will be held from July 13th to 17th 2015 […]
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2:42 PM | Open Science News – 17 October 2014
Due to a small technical issue, we missed last week’s round-up of open science news, so this one is a bit longer. It’s also a very busy time of year for open science, with both Open Access Week and MozFest just days away! Read on for this, and more news. Next week is Open [...]
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2:34 PM | Comments on the CollegeNET-PayScale Social Mobility Index
The last two years have seen a great deal of attention being placed on the social mobility function that many people expect colleges to perform. Are colleges giving students from lower-income families the tools and skills they need in order to do well (and good) in society? The Washington Monthly college rankings (which I calculate) were the first entrant in this field nearly a decade ago, and we also put out lists of the Best Bang for the Buck and Affordable Elite colleges in this year’s […]
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2:26 PM | Tracing School Funding Inequities All the Way Down to the School
Almost every education policy debate serves as a partial proxy for something else. Debates about expanding pre-K access are often really about disagreements regarding the scope of the federal government and/or money. Debates about school choice are often about protecting the real estate-based privileges of neighborhood school boundaries or efforts to blur church-state boundaries. Debates about the Common Core State Standards are often secretly about the Muslim Brotherhood, the United Nations, […]
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12:58 PM | Hello there !
Good morning dear readers, Just to let you know that I am now around and should remove the dust from this blog soon ! cheers!Filed under: Uncategorized
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11:22 AM | Friday links: new p-hacking data, grant lotteries, things ecologists will never experience, and more
Also this week: a blogging anniversary, betting on replication, Shakespeare vs. dead animals, Brian and Jeremy have a link fight, and more. Also terrible philosophy puns. From Brian (!): Does which countries whose researchers you coauthor papers with affect the … Continue reading →
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11:00 AM | No ‘No-bel’ Burnell
The Nobel prize train has left the station for another year and – oh well – yet again myself, and admittedly many others, are left standing on the station platform looking forlornly as Science-fame chugs off over the horizon. Keep on dreaming eh? Inevitably there is focus on the winners this year, but what about those who […]

October 16, 2014

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11:01 PM | A tern-up for the books
The last two years have seen successive record breeding seasons for Little Terns (Sternula albifrons) on the Irish east coast, with over 350 pairs breeding in 2013 and over 400 pairs in 2014. These record years are the result of 30 years of dedicated efforts to rescue Little Terns as an Irish breeding species, after population collapses in the 1980s and 1990s. As part of the BirdWatch Ireland team involved in these two exceptional years, we reflect on the conservation success story which has […]
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8:18 PM | Inherited Memories: Too Good To Be True?
In December last year, researchers Brian Dias and Kerry Ressler made a splash with a paper seeming to show that memories can be inherited. This article, published in Nature Neuroscience, reported that if adult mice are taught to be afraid of a particular smell, then their children will also fear it. Which is pretty wild. […]The post Inherited Memories: Too Good To Be True? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.

Francis G (2014). Too much success for recent groundbreaking epigenetic experiments., Genetics, 198 (2) 449-51. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25316784

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6:00 PM | The Public School Execution Strategy
What’s the future of American public elementary and secondary schools going to look like? For most of America’s history the story has been one of increasing access to free public school. It’s now offered to everyone, and everyone has to go. Concern about equity, particularly in the last century, now means that the country at least aspires to providing reasonably high quality instruction to children, regardless of their class, race, or geographic location. But maybe this is […]
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4:03 PM | The benefits of ugly carrots and failed lemons Would you eat a...
The benefits of ugly carrots and failed lemons Would you eat a “hideous orange” or a “ridiculous potato”?  The produce above may look odd, but tastes just the same. Grocery stores commonly throw away anywhere from 20-40% of their fruits and vegetables simply because of the way they look. This is just one of the steps in the “farm to fork” process where food is unnecessarily thrown away. In fact the United States wastes almost 40% of food to landfill. If […]

October 15, 2014

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8:30 PM | Harvard Professors Object to New Sexual Assault Policy
Professors at Harvard Law School are urging the university to revoke new procedures addressing on-campus sexual misconduct, saying the rule goes too far. In July, Harvard announced a new university-wide policy to prevent sexual violence, lowering the burden of proof necessary to find someone guilty. It also created a central office to investigate sexual assaults. Since then, the federal government has been pushing all universities receiving public funds to embrace similar policies, and this […]
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7:13 PM | The Video Game Scholarship
Well, finally this happened. There's now an academic scholarship in that thing you spent your afternoons doing instead of homework. According to an Associated Press article, we now have scholarships for video games: Once regarded as anti-social slackers or nerds in a basement, gamers have become megastars in what are now called esports. In professional leagues, they compete for millions of dollars in prizes and pull in six-figure incomes for vanquishing their enemies in what have become huge […]
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6:12 PM | The Virtual Reality Cave KeckCAVES is a space at UC Davis that...
The Virtual Reality Cave KeckCAVES is a space at UC Davis that uses virtual reality and 3-D images to visualize data and walk around the surface of Mars. This new technology enables researchers like geologist Dawn Sumner to investigate things we can’t easily see in the real world. In this demo, each spot represents an earthquake —a lot of them occur below the surface because part of the ocean’s crust is sinking into the interior of the earth.  Follow us on Vine →
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5:44 PM | Does your campus allow Federal Work Study awards for undergraduate research?
I used to have Work-Study students doing research in my lab, when I was visiting faculty at Gettysburg College. Then I got a job somewhere else, and I couldn’t do that anymore. The university where I now work does not assign Work-Study students to work with professors, just like my previous employer. There was a clear…
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4:44 PM | Do Student Loans Result in Tuition Increases? Why It’s So Hard to Tell
One of the longstanding questions in higher education finance is whether access to federal financial aid dollars is one of the factors behind tuition increases. This was famously stated by Education Secretary William Bennett in a 1987 New York Times editorial: “If anything, increases in financial aid in recent years have enabled colleges and universities blithely to raise their tuitions, confident that Federal loan subsidies would help cushion the increase. In 1978, subsidies became […]
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4:10 PM | John Deasy and Keeping Students Front and Center in the Political Battles of LA
Los Angeles Unified School District recently announced a 15-point increase in its graduation rate. This is cause for immense celebration as more students are on their pathways out of poverty. George David Kieffer Yet the headlines in Los Angeles are consumed not with recent successes but with reports of board and superintendent conflict. RELATED: When it comes to school leaders, stop waiting for Superman What gets lost in all of the political maneuvering is the very real progress that Los […]
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2:57 PM | No Food. No Sex. No (Ecosystem) Service.
Hi All! Sorry for the delay in posting. I have recently started taking a science outreach course through SciFund. Because that and a few guest talks have taken up my time earmarked for ‘outreach’, I’ve been slow to post. But never fear! My colleagues at SciFund have done a great job helping me refine my blogging […]
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9:42 AM | UK science: look at the state we're in | Stephen Curry
Briefings published today by the Campaign for Science and Engineering highlight science policy issues that should be debated vigorously before next years electionThe conferences are over and with only seven months to go before the election attention is focusing on the policy platforms that will differentiate the major political parties. For now there is a disproportionate clamour over the disruption that may or may not be caused by the UK Independence party (Ukip). But for the research […]
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4:00 AM | Laugh in the Face of Deadlines! Write That Research Paper with a Smile on Your Face!
Your latest western blot may be worth a thousand words but you will need to write1,000 words to go along with it. So how to choose which 1,000? To help with the essential task of writing up your latest research, we found some free advice (which will offset the cost of “free” open access publishing). ASCB photoYour latest western blot may be worth a thousand words but you will need to write1,000 words to go along with it. So how to choose which 1,000? To help with the essential […]

October 14, 2014

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11:01 PM | Demonstrating: getting the most out of undergraduate teaching
One of the benefits of doing research in an academic institution is the opportunity to interact with undergraduate students. Students benefit from being taught by leading researchers while staff have the opportunity to inspire the next generation of scientists. Practical lab classes are usually a focal point of this direct interaction between student and researcher. However, due to the logistics and practicalities of managing large class sizes, PhD students are playing an increasingly important […]
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7:12 PM | Diversity and mathematics
Mother Jones, last year: According to a new psychology paper, our political passions can even undermine our very basic reasoning skills. More specifically, the study finds that people who are otherwise very good at math may totally flunk a problem … Continue reading →
Editor's Pick
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5:23 PM | The King Herself Egypt’s Pharaoh Hatshepsut had presided over...
The King Herself Egypt’s Pharaoh Hatshepsut had presided over her kingdom’s most peaceful and prosperous period in generations. Yet 25 years after her death, much of the evidence of her success had been erased or reassigned to her male predecessors. Even after 20th-century archaeologists began to unearth traces of the woman who defied tradition to crown herself as king, Hatshepsut still didn’t get her due, a UCLA Egyptologist argues in a forthcoming book. “She’s […]
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5:00 PM | Being Black Is Not a Risk Factor
I participated in the National Black Child Development Institute’s State of the Black Child report forum and release on Oct. 11. The report, “Being Black is Not a Risk Factor: Statistics and Strengths-Based Solutions from the State of Michigan,” responds to disquieting numbers in ways the title suggests. Black people aren’t broken; systems and policies are the risky propositions. We still hear the insidious misnomers “endangered species,” “at-risk […]
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1:48 PM | Why Spirituality?
One very important aspect of recovery is the “maintenance of our spiritual condition”. Now, as a person who is not religious and not even particularly spiritual in any traditional sense (though I used to be), I have to consider deeply what that means. Why do we associate sobriety with spirituality? How does that help me […]
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1:00 PM | New iBiology Videos Explore the Link Between Discovery and Medicine
"Interest in biology has never been higher,” says Louis Reichardt, emeritus professor of physiology at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). And yet, as federal research funding declines, Reichardt worries that many graduate students are despairing of their prospects for productive research careers. “It takes some ingenuity now to find future opportunities in science,” he says. In recent years, Reichardt has devoted his own ingenuity to helping students find these […]
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12:50 PM | Ri staff page
My staff page at the Royal Institution is up! http://www.rigb.org/about/organisation/team/schools-and-christmas-lectures/michelle-reeve Very excited to be working here and to be part of this wonderful team. Also, did you know that the Ri has a blog of its own, too? Check it … Continue reading →
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