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Tag: academia

War on Academia

Salon.com: We need our universities, public and private, to be places where academics feel free to pursue whatever line of thought they want. If that pursuit spills over to action, we should be careful about what restrictions we try to enforce. Better, by far, to err on the side of freedom, because that, theoretically, is what this country is all about.

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Humanities, For Sake Of Humanity

Inside Higher Education: Nugent [Georgia Nugent, president of Kenyon College] argued that the American public has become too easily persuaded by numbers — even when those data are biased, flawed or wrong. Invoking Albert Einstein’s famous dictum — that everything that can be counted does not necessarily count, and that everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted — she said the public has started to rely too much on quantitative methods. “Some stories cannot be told by numbers,” she said, citing health and education as two areas in which data offer what she called “the illusion of control.” The alternative,… Read Humanities, For Sake Of Humanity

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Blogging and Freedom

Last week’s guest post on the digital humanities and the classics really got me thinking about academic outreach (both from inside academia to those outside and spreading information about digital tools and projects within academia). Dan Cohen furthered my thinking with a good post about blogging as a medium and the resistance of blogging academics to take on the blogger moniker. While these posts encourage academics to venture into the “public sphere,” one recent news item (William Cronon and the Wisconsin GOP’s inquiry into his emails) highlights the dangers of academics moving outside the ivory tower and the importance of… Read Blogging and Freedom

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Academic Blogging

Dan Cohen on blogging being a dirty word for one academic who writes on a blog: There is no reason a blog has to be quickly or poorly written; also a must read is Rob Nelson’s Comment on the post: you appear to be time traveling back to confront the Dan Cohen of 2005 who wrote the first entry on this blog (http://www.dancohen.org/2005/11/14/welcome-to-my-blog/) … I agree with you that Nunokawa’s comment is too dismissive in that it contributes to a bias against the medium. At the same time, if he wants to characterize his online writing as essays or you… Read Academic Blogging

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AHA and DH

Anthony Grafton: Lieberman-Aiden and Michel [of the Google N-Gram/”culturomics” research project] immediately saw the force of this objection [lack of any humanists on their research team]. Over time, they will find historians and other humanists to work with, and historians will test and use their method. More significant than this glitch are the two larger points, connected but by no means identical, that it suggests. The first is simple: apparently, historians have not established, in the eyes of many of their colleagues in the natural sciences, that they possess expert knowledge that might be valuable, or even crucial—even when a… Read AHA and DH

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Gates Friend of Some of the Humanities?

The Chronicle: That meeting led Mr. Gates, founder of Microsoft, to support a free online syllabus of Mr. Christian’s unusual course, called “Big History,” that gives a sweeping multidisciplinary overview of world history from the Big Bang to the Industrial Revolution. Another educator chosen by Mr. Gates to speak at TED was Salman Khan, a financial-industry worker who started an online university from the closet of his bedroom, where he has produced more than 2,000 short educational videos. Mr. Khan described his vision of education in which professors assign lecture videos as homework, freeing up class time for more personal… Read Gates Friend of Some of the Humanities?

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Future of Academic Editing

The Aporetic: But peer review is a crush­ingly slow, turgid process. Estab­lished in the age when mail was deliv­ered in horse cars, and no one expected or any­thing like fast com­mu­ni­ca­tion, it coasts along on an ear­lier generation’s low expec­ta­tions. Peer review is hard work for the reviewer, and more impor­tant, it’s both uncom­pen­sated and, for the most part, extremely unre­ward­ing. You get noth­ing for your efforts except per­haps some books and a thank you. It’s a pro­fes­sional oblig­a­tion, not a pro­fes­sional pleasure. … Sup­pose the edi­tor were more like a moderator–someone who set an agenda, or a sub­ject, and… Read Future of Academic Editing

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Gates No Friend of the Humanities

Inside Higher Ed: During a sprawling talk in which he emphasized the importance of using data-based metrics to figure out how to increase educational attainment while bringing down costs in both K-12 and higher ed, Gates said that when the governors are deciding how to allocate precious tax dollars, they might consider the disparity between how much the state subsidizes certain programs and how much those programs contribute to job creation in the state. … Only the assembled governors were permitted to ask follow-up questions, and those who did focused on K-12, so Gates did not elaborate on what might… Read Gates No Friend of the Humanities

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Social Media & Publishing

The Chronicle: participants say social media are “being used as an alternative to the existing system by young researchers who feel frustrated” by the tight control that senior scholars and traditional publishers have over the selection and dissemination of research. Good papers increasingly turn up in the social-media networks, according to people in these focus groups. “They’re even beginning to question peer review,” Mr. Nicholas said. “They were honestly saying it’s more important to contact and connect with loads of people than simply pay homage to one or two authorities.” Some publishers who provided contact information for the survey have… Read Social Media & Publishing

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