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Peter Higgs: I wouldn’t be productive enough for today’s academic system

Posted in Research on December 6th, 2013 by steve

“Physicist doubts work like Higgs boson identification achievable now as academics are expected to ‘keep churning out papers’ …” (more)

[Decca Aitkenhead, Guardian, 6 December]

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Scientific publishing: How to fix peer review

Posted in Research on December 4th, 2013 by steve

“Peer review, many boffins argue, channelling Churchill, is the worst way to ensure quality of research, except all the others. The system, which relies on papers being vetted by anonymous experts prior to publication, has underpinned scientific literature for decades …” (more)

[The Economist, 4 December]

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Student performance improves in science

Posted in Teaching on December 3rd, 2013 by steve

“The triennial Pisa (Programme for International Student Assessment) project always delivers a wealth of data and statistics that can be somewhat difficult to digest …” (more)

[Dick Ahlstrom, Irish Times, 3 December]

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UK science is under threat – from English higher education policy

Posted in Research on November 29th, 2013 by steve

“The UK science base must be protected from poorly thought out and badly implemented English higher education reforms …” (more)

[Kieron Flanagan, Guardian, 28 November]

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Defend the University, Defend Science

Posted in Governance and administration on November 28th, 2013 by steve

“Right now, Irish excellence in scientific research and education is diminishing. The current government seems intent on dismantling the university system – where the vast majority of the scientific research and higher education is conducted …” (more)

[Paul A Higgins, Love Irish Science, 27 November]

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Pupils ‘have lost interest in science by time they’re eight’

Posted in Teaching on November 21st, 2013 by steve

“Children as young as eight are already switching off from science and maths, a government education adviser warned as a major review of teaching in these key subjects was launched …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 21 November]

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Science loses credibility if studies can’t be replicated

Posted in Research on November 21st, 2013 by steve

“My task today is difficult. I must discuss a serious internal problem in science – it seems that a significant fraction of the results published in the scientific literature is unreliable …” (more)

[William Reville, Irish Times, 21 November]

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Minister Sherlock announces launch of STEM Education Review Group

Posted in Teaching on November 20th, 2013 by steve

“The Minister for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock TD, today announced the launch of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics STEM Education Review Group. The STEM Education Review Group will be chaired by Professor Brian Mac Craith, President of DCU …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 20 November]

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Move over, IT crowd: there’s still a loud call for humanities

Posted in Life on November 13th, 2013 by steve

“One of the most frequently asked questions of business representatives is: ‘Where are the jobs of the future?’ The truthful answer is that, in the medium to longer term, we cannot be too precise …” (more)

[Tony Donohue, Independent, 13 November]

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Seanad report: Seán Sherlock notes low interest in science

Posted in Governance and administration on November 13th, 2013 by steve

“Research has revealed that those between 18 and 24 years do not consider science and technology industries interesting, Minister of State for Education and Skills Seán Sherlock told the Seanad …” (more)

[Michael O'Regan, Irish Times, 13 November]

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Are students interested in science?

Posted in Life on November 8th, 2013 by steve

“One of the pitfalls of being a lecturer is that you tend to assume that students are like you. Many of us who teach science and engineering are naturally curious about scientific matters and probably keep abreast of developments in science generally …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 8 November]


Academic: Yes vote a threat to Scottish science

Posted in Research on November 4th, 2013 by steve

“Scottish universities’ reputation for ‘world-leading’ innovation could be put at risk by independence, one of Scotland’s academics today warns …” (more)

[Kate Devlin, Herald Scotland, 4 November]

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Why physics students are optimists

Posted in Research on November 1st, 2013 by steve

“Physics students are taught to look to the future, so are naturally optimistic; economics students learn from mistakes of the past – no wonder their world is full of gloom …” (more)

[Theo Hobson, Guardian, 1 November]

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Our science teaching ‘out of touch with world trends’

Posted in Teaching on October 28th, 2013 by steve

“The teaching of science to Junior Cert students has not kept pace with what is happening in other countries …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 28 October]

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Third Level Courses Completion Rates – Science Courses

Posted in Governance and administration on October 26th, 2013 by steve

Deputy Patrick O’Donovan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the numbers of students who entered university degree courses in science in 2007 and 2008; the number that continued to second and subsequent years of study; the numbers of those students who were conferred with science degrees; the number of those that did not progress from year to year; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil Éireann Written Answers, 24 October]

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End harassment

Posted in Legal issues on October 22nd, 2013 by steve

“The past week has seen an outpouring of online comment on the subject of sexual harassment in science and its satellite careers such as science journalism and communication …” (more)

[Nature, 22 October]

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Do engineers and scientists give a sh**?

Posted in Governance and administration on October 21st, 2013 by steve

“The DCU-led ‘Defend the University’ petition is gathering pace and has over 130 signatures at this point. I had a look at who has been signing the petition …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 21 October]

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Problems with scientific research: How science goes wrong

Posted in Research on October 18th, 2013 by steve

International“A simple idea underpins science: ‘trust, but verify’. Results should always be subject to challenge from experiment. That simple but powerful idea has generated a vast body of knowledge …” (more)

[The Economist, 18 October]

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Impact factors are clouding our judgement

Posted in Research on October 17th, 2013 by steve

Nature has an interesting news feature this week on impact factors. Eugenie Samuel Reich’s article — part of a special supplement covering various aspects of the rather ill-defined notion of impact — explores whether publication in journals such as Nature or Science is a game-changer for scientific careers …” (more)

[Stephen Curry, Reciprocal Space, 17 October]

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Mass disgruntlement among scientists is growing

Posted in Research on October 16th, 2013 by steve

“This popped into my inbox today, and probably into those of every other American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology member. Life made easy – no need to blog my disgruntlement – it’s all been done for me …” (more)

[Steve Caplan, No Comment, 15 October]

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