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Posts

April 17, 2014

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10:39 PM | Teachers Have a Respect Problem. Guess Why?
There’s big lawsuit in California. With the backing of a group called Students Matter, nine public school students from across the state are suing, in Vergara v. California, arguing that state laws make it so hard to to fire bad teachers in public schools that many students, especially black and Hispanic ones, can't get a "basic" education. Plaintiffs says this is about ensuring teacher quality. The opponents say this is about the labor rights of teachers. But there’s a problem […]
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9:40 PM | The Political Attractiveness of "Last-Dollar" Scholarships
The old adage about there being no such thing as a free lunch may hold true regarding a turkey sandwich on rye bread, but free lunches can happen in the world of higher education. An example of this is the growing number of “last-dollar” scholarships, in which private entities or state/local governments agree to cover students’ remaining tuition and fees after all federal grants have been provided. (Note that it does not cover room and board or living expenses—an […]
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8:38 PM | Public higher education is not a reward for hard work
Here in California, there was a measure to officially restore affirmative action to the public university admissions process. (The movement navigated through our state senate, but then the popular narrative is that the Asian-American community tanked it before public had a chance to vote on it. More here.) Whenever white folks (or non-Hispanic European, or whatever […]
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6:33 PM | Education Reform and "Teacher Haters"
I’ve been writing publicly about politics for a few years now, so I’ve become accustomed to a pretty steady stream of hate mail. It appears to come with the territory. And nothing—nothing—lights up my inbox with insults like writing about education reform. It would be one thing if folks objected to the substance of what I write—but most of the time, the emails are pure ad hominem attacks. They impugn my motives or call me a “teacher […]
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3:20 PM | New York Kicks Off a New ELLs Conversation
New Yorkers are famous for their narcissistic myopia. Talk to a long-time resident, and you’ll hear just as much parochialism as any small-town stalwart. New Yorkers take it for granted that they embody the cutting edge. If you make it in New York, sure, you can make it anywhere, but—once you’ve made it—why would you bother leaving? And while this is almost always bluster beyond any semblance of reality, when it comes to education policy, New York has been grabbing all […]
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2:00 PM | The Easier, Softer Way.
I have found that the only path to freedom from addiction is in embracing it. That’s not to nullify others’ experiences, everyone is welcome to their own. But my experience, and that of many others that I know who have recovered by taking the same path I have, is that the only true release from […]
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1:12 PM | Officially official (sort of)
From Farley Katz, of the New Yorker. After a lengthy wait I've finally been informed that my university is recommending me for tenure, which will take effect in a couple of months. I've gotten positive feedback throughout the process, but it was good to finally get the word. Amazing to think that I've been blogging […]
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12:24 PM | The biggest problem on the planet
A couple months ago the National Science Foundation released some surprising stats about what Americans do (and don’t) know. One in four of us, apparently, believes that the sun revolves around the Earth. That made me cry a little on the inside when I first read it. But in a lecture on science, society, and education on Tuesday, […]
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11:41 AM | A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Prejudice Go Down
I wasn’t really paying attention to the radio. I was busy cooking, but it sounded to me as if the question Clive Anderson asked the film-maker Andrea Calderwood on Saturday’s episode of Loose Ends amounted to ‘how come a nice … Continue reading →
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11:41 AM | #13 ‘Super Charismatic Nicholas’
‘Charisma’ and ‘Science’ – to many that might seem to be a contradiction in terms, but I don’t know – you only have to turn on the TV these days to realise how popular, popular-Science has become – programs invariably fronted by dishy science-friendly presenters, ladling out dollops of ‘shot-on-location’ charisma to satiate our need for our living room science […]
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11:24 AM | When a series of entirely reasonable decisions leads to biased outcomes: thoughts on the Waterman Award
The National Science Foundation just announced the winner of the 2014 Alan T. Waterman Award, the highest award it gives to a scientist or engineer under the age of 35. The winner is Feng Zhang, a molecular biologist at the … Continue reading →
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10:45 AM | Tobacco industry-funded research, peer review, and nannying | Richard P Grant
Another journal bans research funded by the tobacco industry. It's time to stop treating us like childrenAside from the occasional cigar (once every five years or so), I'm one of those smug "never smoked" gits. You then might think that I'm all for plain packaging, not publishing tobacco industry-funded research, and completely against the "normalization" of smoking via the evidently evil medium of e-cigarettes.The truth is, as I've said before in this column, as long as I'm not forced to […]
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9:25 AM | How To Fool A Plagiarism Detector
Should you trust plagiarism detection software? In my view, no – we should never treat an automated plagiarism report as definitive evidence, whether positive (as proof of plagiarism) or negative (as proof of innocence.) These tools are useful for rapidly screening texts to raise red flags, but once a suspicion is raised, only old-fashioned manual […]The post How To Fool A Plagiarism Detector appeared first on Neuroskeptic.

April 16, 2014

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9:59 PM | Using Better Metrics to Build Better Schools
Envision runs a group of three charter high schools in the Bay Area. They champion, as many schools do these days, “deeper learning” and “21st century skills.” Envision enacts this philosophy through a “Know-Do-Reflect” process that uses projects, portfolios and presentations to integrate assessment with learning. They prompt students to turn the lens both inward and outward. The students are asked to self-assess their own progress, and through the portfolio […]
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9:30 PM | "Chance favors the prepared mind."
“"Chance favors the prepared mind."” - Louis Pasteur (via ucsciencetoday)
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7:33 PM | Getting ready for #xBio 2014 !
Experimental Biology is approaching ! I am looking forward to meet and chat with old friends, new friends, collaborators and future collaborators ! We have so much to talk about…the last few months have been really interesting in terms of cerebrovascular physiology ! Again, have a look at the exciting program from the International Research […]
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3:59 PM | The Bearding
How is variation maintained in populations? This is a bit of a poser for evolutionary theory, especially in the realm of sexual selection. If males or females of a certain type always score highest in contests of mate choice, genes … Continue reading →
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2:57 PM | Our People— A Special Society, a Prestigious Medal, and a Big Promotion
ASCB Women in Cell Biology committee member Ora Weisz, of the University of Pittsburgh, was inducted last week into Johns Hopkins University's (JHU) Society of Scholars. The Society recognizes accomplished former JHU postdoctoral fellows or visiting faculty who have gained marked distinction elsewhere. Just over 600 people have been inducted into the society since 1969. Weisz joined distinguished academics from around the world for an induction ceremony at JHU's Peabody Institute on April […]
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1:41 PM | CBO Finds Third Consecutive Year of Good News on Pell Costs
Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office announced some more good news for members of Congress: For the third consecutive year, the Pell Grant funding cliff is smaller and further away than we thought. After a few shaky years of funding during the recession, the updated CBO baseline will surely come as welcome news to lawmakers facing midterm elections and a tight budget. But should Congress start celebrating just yet? Not quite. The new CBO estimates prove Congress has bought some time, but […]
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1:31 PM | Cerebrovascular physiology – article alert #74
Blood gas management strategies and the brain 369- Influence of α-Stat and pH-Stat Blood Gas Management Strategies on Cerebral Blood Flow and Oxygenation in Patients Treated With Therapeutic Hypothermia After Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest: A Crossover Study – Voicu et al. Cerebral autoregulation 370- Relative Contributions of Sympathetic, Cholinergic, and Myogenic Mechanisms to Cerebral Autoregulation – […]
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12:00 PM | Our expert advice remains unheeded
Once in a while, tropical biologists get bot flies. We sometimes find this out while were are in the field. But on five occasions, my students have returned to the US, and then discovered that they are hosting a bot. They all contacted me for advice. I told them a few things, but the most important one was: Whatever […]
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11:58 AM | Our least-read posts
Just for fun, I just looked up our least-read posts. Some of what I found was unsurprising, but other things were kind of interesting. Any of you who are thinking of starting your own blogs might find some useful tips … Continue reading →
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11:00 AM | Behind closed jaws
Today at Au, we’re hearing from Nicola Ann Miller, a postgraduate researcher here at the University of Aberdeen. She talks to us about her way into science, and what the voice means to her! World Voice Day Today is the World Voice Day. In this time of texts and tweets, take a moment to reflect …
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9:19 AM | The Brooke: Creating a true academic social network
Earlier this year, we had the chance to meet with Polly Compston and members of The Brooke and do some collaborative training. The Brooke is an animal welfare organization, dedicated to improving working conditions for horses, donkeys, mules and their owners, in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The Brooke both does practical on-the-ground programs and […]
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8:15 AM | Debt, Pensions and Capitalisation: Funding schol comms innovation
One of the things that has been bothering me for some time is the question of finding the right governance and finance models for supporting both a core set of scholarly communications infrastructures and shared innovation spaces. In this post I wanted to think about how we bridge the funding gap from promising pilot to community infrastructure and how debt financing might play a role.
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3:59 AM | OYM 30: The Irreproducible Joe Rochford
This week on the On Your Mind Neuroscience podcast we’re excited to share our microphones with Dr. Joe Rochford.  He’s the Associate Director (or as he prefers Ass. Director) of the Neuroscience program at McGill and the Director of Academic Affairs at the Douglas Hospital Research Center and he’s sharing his thoughts on the importance ...read more The post OYM 30: The Irreproducible Joe Rochford appeared first on On Your Mind Podcast.

April 15, 2014

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10:14 PM | CCDBG Reauthorization a Must for House Republicans
At least in recent years, Congress is usually where educational improvements go to die. But last month, the Senate passed a reauthorization bill for the Child Care and Development Block Grant. Senators sent the bill over to the House, where Education and Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) held a hearing. But what happens next remains to be seen. This week, I published an op-ed in The Hill urging House Republicans to give the bill a second look. I listed four reasons the members […]
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7:19 PM | California Among the Worst in Awarding Degrees to Hispanics
With a population more than twice as Hispanic as the national average, California has a lower-than-average proportion of Hispanics with college or university educations, and no institution among the top five for awarding them degrees, according to a new study. The state is 38 percent Hispanic, compared to the national average of 17 percent. But only 16 percent of adults aged 25 or older have degrees, compared to the national average for Hispanics of 20 percent, the study, by the advocacy […]
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5:01 PM | Usefulness of my article alert…
Dear readers, I have a simple question for you today: Do you find my posts entitled “Cerebrovascular Physiology – Article alert” useful or should I relay this information on twitter ? Your feedback would be appreciated! Many thanks !Filed under: Uncategorized
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4:59 PM | Boulder blitz
Last week I got to spend a couple of days in lovely Boulder, CO for a meeting (fortunately right before Sunday’s snow). The meeting (which was for the Thriving Earth Exchange’s Advisory Board – keep an eye out for updates!) kept us inside a lot, but the NCAR facility that hosted us has some fantastic views of Colorado’s Front Range and the famous Flatirons. The boulders in the foreground and …
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