Category Archives: Academia

A Personal Narrative

I was very pleased to learn that I’m among this year’s recipients of a Guggenheim Fellowship. The Fellowships are mid-career awards, meant “to further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Personal | 41 Comments

Norms for Respectful Classroom/Seminar Discussion

David Chalmers is compiling a useful set of guidelines for respectful, constructive, and inclusive philosophical discussion. It makes sense to concentrate on a single field, like philosophy, since customs often vary wildly from one discipline to the other — but … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 16 Comments

Troublesome Speech and the UIUC Boycott

Self-indulgently long post below. Short version: Steven Salaita, an associate professor of English at Virginia Tech who had been offered and accepted a faculty job at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, had his offer rescinded when the administration discovered that … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Humanity | 76 Comments

Effective Field Theory MOOC from MIT

Faithful readers are well aware of the importance of effective field theory in modern physics. EFT provides, in a nutshell, the best way we have to think about the fundamental dynamics of the universe, from the physics underlying everyday life … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Science | 15 Comments

The Common Core: How Bill Gates Changed America

James Joyner points us to a Washington Post article on how Bill Gates somewhat single-handedly pulled off a dramatic restructuring of American public education, via promoting the Common Core standards. There is much that is fascinating here, including the fact … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 54 Comments

Talking Back to Your Elders

When I was young and as yet unformed as a theoretical physicist, cosmology was in a transitional period. We had certainly moved beyond the relatively barren landscape of the 60’s and 70’s, when pretty much the only things one had … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Science | 59 Comments

On Templeton

A few recent events, including the launch of Nautilus and this interesting thread on Brian Leiter’s blog, have brought the John Templeton Foundation (JTF) back into the spotlight. As probably everybody knows, the JTF is a philanthropic organization that supports … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Religion, Science and Society | 124 Comments

Snowmass Young Physicists Survey

Modern experimental particle physics is a high-budget, long-time-scale operation, which requires a great deal of planning. Fortunately there is a process in place, dubbed Snowmass after the scenic location in Colorado where meetings were traditionally held. (Funding agencies subsequently decided … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Science | 1 Comment

Online Complexity Course from Santa Fe

MOOCs are all the rage these days. That would be Massive Open Online Courses, for those of you still stuck in 2007. Apparently Bucky Fuller was pushing the idea back in the early Sixties? These days, with everyone spending most … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Internet, Science and the Media | 11 Comments

Guest Post: Marc Sher on the Nonprofit Textbook Movement

The price of university textbooks (not to mention scholarly journals) is like the weather: everyone complains about it, but nobody does anything about it. My own graduate textbook in GR hovers around $100, but I’d be happier if it were … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Guest Post, Words | 40 Comments