Lawyers, Guns and Money (for Science & Education)

“Send lawyers, guns and money.  The shit has hit the fan!” – from a song by Warren Zevon I have come to terms with the results of the presidential election, such that I no longer wake up expecting to find Hillary preparing to take office.  Donald J. Trump will be …

FeaturedHigher Education

Sorry Bernie – Tuition free college can’t ever come back!

In the not too distant past, your average college student could get a degree in four years and walk away with no debt from almost every public university.  Whatever the costs where, they could be offset with a summer job and maybe a few hundred bucks from the parents.  In …

Photo of a balding man pointing angrily at the camera.

The difficulty of difficult colleagues.

Geoff Marcy, a world-renown astronomer, has also been revealed to be a career serial harasser of women.  People are calling for his professional scalp.  Nicole at Skepchick has issued a manifesto that we all should be proactive – call out such behavior for what it is, regardless of whatever esteemed …

CultureHigher Education

God and Dan at BYU: (Discriminatingly) On the Market III

Dan refuses to honor Brigham Young University with his application for a position because of its required policy for faculty to be hostile to non-monogamous, non-heterosexual life choices. How ineffectual!  Here’s what he should do instead. Apply to BYU.  Get himself interviewed.  Wow the entire faculty and get the job …

Critical ThinkingPolitics

Why I like Donald Trump. Or, how can something so wrong feel so right?

I am a bit of a political junkie. Thus, I watched the first Republican debate even though it is about 99.99% likely that I’ll vote Democrat for president. However, since there is more than a 0.01 chance that the next president will be a Republican, it made me wonder which …


Tim Hunt and the crying scientist.

I’m late to the party of, “Is Tim Hunt an ass or just really bad at trying to be funny?” I’m not sure there really is a difference there and I’m not trying to parse it anyway. The one part of the affair that has bugged me is the “women …

tap with label fear
Critical ThinkingLesson PlansPedagogy

Rape is a sex act – can I say that?

This is not an article about rape, or even sex.  It is about what we as teachers can or should say about controversial issues when we present them in class.  Or if we should even try to present them in class. As someone who has spent the majority of his …

Critical ThinkingEducationPedagogySecondary Education

Is Bill Nye teaching creationism? Should debates on origins be forbidden in science classrooms?

Brandon Pettenger is (was?) an Arroyo Grande High School science teacher in the Lucia Mar Unified School District of California.  Apparently he had students watch a recording of the recent Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate as to whether or not creationism is a legitimate scientific alternative theory to evolution by Natural …

Critical ThinkingHigher Education

Should colleges and universities require students to take courses on diversity?

Here at UCLA, we faculty voted some months ago to add a “diversity” course requirement for graduation.  Such a course could be taken from any number of departments on campus, as long as the course substantially addressed issues of diversity in cultures (everything from literature to religion), human populations, behaviors …


Top 10 Comparisons of Academic versus Website Writing.

A new directive has come down for us School of Doubters: publish or perish.  Get a new posting up every 2-3 weeks, or be replaced by someone else who can.  Sound familiar?  Academia, perhaps?  If you don’t publish as a grad student, you won’t get that great postdoc.  If you …