Friday essay: where are the female academics on film?

Posted in Research on October 12th, 2018 by steve

“The 2016 science-fiction drama Arrival, starring Amy Adams as linguistics professor Dr Louise Banks, was a ceiling-shattering moment for female academics. The film, directed by Denis Villeneuve, presented Adams’ character in a race against time to avert a war by finding a way to communicate with extraterrestrial visitors …” (more)

[Tom van Laer, The Conversation, 11 October]

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Business, Enterprise and Innovation Committee to discuss Irish membership of CERN

Posted in Research on October 11th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Ireland’s potential membership of CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, will be discussed on Tuesday, Oct 16, at the Joint Committee on Business, Enterprise and Innovation …” (more)

[Houses of the Oireachtas, 11 October]

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Govt still failing to meet R&D strategy expenditure targets

Posted in Research on October 10th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Ireland now appears further away than ever from meeting one of the key targets of its innovation strategy – significantly increased spending on research and development, according to new figures released by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 10 October]

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What the ‘Grievance Studies’ Hoax Means

Posted in Research on October 10th, 2018 by steve

“Over the summer, the Wall Street Journal’s Jillian Kay Melchior became suspicious of a bizarre-sounding academic journal article, ‘Human reactions to rape culture and queer performativity at urban dog parks in Portland, Oregon,’ published in the journal Gender, Place and Culture. She started investigating …” (more)

[Chronicle of Higher Education, 9 October]


The shoddy, absurd and unethical side of academia

Posted in Research on October 10th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Last week, three academics – Helen Pluckrose, James Lindsay and Peter Boghossian – revealed a project they had been working on for a year. By writing 20 hoax articles, which they submitted to academic journals for peer review, they set out to show that ideology and poor scholarship abound in academic fields that they characterise as ‘grievance studies’ …” (more)

[Laura Kennedy, Irish Times, 10 October]


Expensive Academic Books Put A Price Tag On Knowledge

Posted in Research on October 9th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“It goes without saying that a university’s library is one of its most important institutions. Without a functioning library, the very idea of a university becomes untenable. From an academic standpoint at least, libraries are at the heart of what colleges do …” (more)

[Jack Synnott, University Times, 8 October]

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Scholar Who Pulled Off Publishing Hoax Defends It: ‘Papers Are Either Sound or They Aren’t’

Posted in Research on October 6th, 2018 by steve

“Three academics – Helen Pluckrose, editor of the webzine Areo; James A Lindsay, an author and mathematician; and Peter Boghossian, an assistant professor of philosophy at Portland State University – spent 10 months writing 20 hoax papers that illustrate and parody what they call ‘grievance studies’ and submitting them to ‘the best journals’ in the relevant subfields. Seven were published …” (more)

[Alexander C Kafka, Chronicle of Higher Education, 5 October]

UK universities hiring ‘superstar’ professors to boost research rankings

Posted in Research on October 5th, 2018 by steve

“British universities are imitating Premier League football clubs by poaching ‘superstar’ talent, rewarding an elite group of professors with higher pay in order to boost their research rankings, according to a study …” (more)

[Richard Adams, Guardian, 5 October]

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Government investment in Research and Development amounts to over €750m in 2018 – Minister Halligan

Posted in Research on October 5th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation and Research and Development, John Halligan TD, has welcomed the latest figures on Government investment in research and development (R&D) published today by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, which show that over €750m is estimated to have been invested in R&D in 2018 …” (more)

[Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, 5 October]

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Science Foundation Ireland Grants

Posted in Research on October 4th, 2018 by steve

IrelandSeán Sherlock (Cork East, Labour): I thank the Minister of State with responsibility for this issue for coming before the House today. I want to raise the issue of the defunding of the INFANT research centre, a perinatal healthcare centre in University College Cork. It is a Science Foundation Ireland funded research centre that is led by female investigators and the only one of its kind in the State. The centre deals specifically with ensuring better health outcomes for pregnant women and their children and babies, both in utero and after birth …” (more)

[Dáil debates, 3 October]

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‘Sokal Squared’: Is Huge Publishing Hoax ‘Hilarious and Delightful’ or an Ugly Example of Dishonesty and Bad Faith?

Posted in Research on October 4th, 2018 by steve

“Reactions to an elaborate academic-journal hoax, dubbed ‘Sokal Squared’ by one observer, came fast and furious on Wednesday. Some scholars applauded the hoax for unmasking what they called academe’s leftist, victim-obsessed ideological slant and low publishing standards. Others said it had proved nothing beyond the bad faith and dishonesty of its authors …” (more)

[Alexander Kafka, Chronicle of Higher Education, 3 October]


Expert quit centre role after ‘flawed’ funding assessment

Posted in Research on October 3rd, 2018 by steve

Ireland“A leading expert in the health research landscape said she quit her governance position at a perinatal research centre because the university where it is based failed to challenge Science Foundation Ireland’s decision not to fund it …” (more)

[Catherine Shanahan and Elaine Loughlin,, 3 October]

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We Need More Men in the Humanities

Posted in Research on October 2nd, 2018 by steve

“Around the turn of the millennium, American society realized a looming crisis: the lack of female representation in STEM fields. But today we are witnessing a crisis of male leadership in a variety of workplaces. From the president to CEOs of major companies to actors and power players in Hollywood, the past several months have exposed the toxic work environments they preside over or worsen in scandal after scandal …” (more)

[Christine Henseler, Inside Higher Ed, 2 October]

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SFI decision to pull funding from INFANT centre follows ‘robust’ process

Posted in Research on October 1st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) said its decision not to provide a new round of funding for a high-profile research centre was made following a robust process. SFI has decided not to provide a new round of funding to the University College Cork-based INFANT centre once its current allocation comes to an end next year, RTÉ reported on Monday …” (more)

[Vivienne Clarke, Irish Times, 1 October]

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Must academic evaluation be so citation data driven?

Posted in Research on September 30th, 2018 by steve

“For the past quarter-century, I have reviewed cases for academic tenure and promotion in many disciplines in many countries. Usually what is required is an evaluation of the candidate’s research record. Teaching and, increasingly, public engagement are also mentioned as factors to weigh …” (more)

[Steve Fuller, University World News, 28 September]

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Cern membership ‘vital for Irish universities’

Posted in Research on September 29th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Ireland must apply for membership of the world-renowned European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Cern) in order to combat the effect of Brexit and boost university rankings. That is according to Cork senator Colm Burke as the campaign to join Cern gains momentum, after Ireland recently became a member of the European Space Observatory …” (more)

[Pádraig Hoare, Irish Examiner, 29 September]

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Science and the value of broad horizons

Posted in Research on September 26th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Dr Patrick Prendergast’s article provides an excellent argument for the value of national investment in fundamental research (‘Fundamental research key to Irish culture of innovation’, Opinion and Analysis, September 24th). Advances in science, and in its applications, rarely come solely from brilliant individuals; rather they emerge from teams and networks, often crossing borders of nations and companies …” (more)

[Miles Parker, Irish Times, 26 September]


Brexit deal: DCU institute to be backed by Grant Thornton

Posted in Research on September 26th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Grant Thornton has signed a three-year deal to sponsor the DCU Brexit Institute. Under the partnership, Grant Thornton joins AIB and Arthur Cox as an official sponsor of the Institute at a time when Brexit negotiations are intensifying …” (more)

[Independent, 26 September]

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€22 million manufacturing research centre to be hosted in UCD

Posted in Research on September 25th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys TD and Minister for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development John Halligan TD have launched a new advanced manufacturing research centre which is to be hosted in UCD in partnership with 5 other higher education institutes …” (more)

[Brían Donnelly, University Observer, 25 September]

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Cork’s Tyndall Institute secures €7m in Horizon 2020 funding

Posted in Research on September 25th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“As one of Europe’s leading research centres and Ireland’s national institute for high-tech hardware, Tyndall has been awarded over €7 million for research projects in the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme …” (more)

[Irish Examiner, 25 September]

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