A computer displaying an image of a padlock
Higher Education

On the Market II: You in cyberspace

One of the ramifications of the internet age is that “you” as a presence in a variety of databases may actually outlive “you” as a physically present entity. For the job hunter, this raises a quandary – how much of yourself should you reveal on social media such as Facebook …

Higher Education

On the Market I: Brown M&M’s

Dan is doing an amazing service by documenting his process (to hopefully a well-deserved and intellectually stimulating tenure-track position). So, I thought I would add a counter-point to his. The view from across the table, as it were. What is it that a job search committee is looking for when …

EducationHigher Education

Active learning: does depth outweigh breadth?

The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.  (attributed to the Greek poet Archilochus) A friend recently sent me to a NY Times article on teaching science in the universities, whose lead-in point was, of course, how often it is done poorly.  The article went on …


Open access or open wallet academic publishing?

One of the expected duties of an academic career is to publish one’s work. This involves, of course, careful preparation and execution. The last major step is (or used to be the last one!) to submit a finished manuscript to a reputable journal to be carefully vetted by one’s peers. …


How should you behave at a conference?

Academics, scientists, famous skeptics all behaving badly at conferences.  Depressingly often, we’ve being reading about this.   But it got me to thinking, what is “good conference behavior”?  Is it simply not harassing or being boorish?  As you mature in your field, do your responsibilities change? As someone who has reached …

Dorchester High School Science
Higher EducationPedagogyPrimary EducationSecondary Education

Is there a difference between teaching and having an impact?

I just finished doing a guest lecture in a class on animal behavior. It went well. The class was attentive and I got through all my planned material clearly, with enough humor tossed in to keep people from falling asleep. The format, however, was very “old school”. Indeed, looking more …

Critical ThinkingReligionScience

Can evolution and God coexist? Yes.

The Higgs boson, the so-called God particle, really exists. But what about the namesake? Well Higgs certainly exists, but does God? This, my last in a series on evolutionary science and religion, is not going to answer that to anyone’s satisfaction. Instead, it begins as an indulgence to briefly become …

A pile of US $100 bills
Higher EducationScience

Is it okay to dance with the devil for a good cause – like funding your graduate students?

Summer is conference time for scientists and I just got back from a fantastic one in Australia.  The Great Barrier Reef  science was quite fun and educational.  In between seminars as we are wont to do, we talked funding and how tight things are these days.  One’s chances of getting …

Higher EducationPrimary EducationSecondary Education

Tenure! Is it vitally important or an obsolete concept?

The recent court decision throwing out seniority as the be all and end all of who gets pink-slipped in the Los Angeles public schools has stoked a firestorm of discussion.  Seniority in universities and public schools is often equated with being tenured.  Roughly speaking, all faculty fall into two categories: …

Classroom of student from the late 1800's
Critical ThinkingEducationScience

Part 4: Creationism – when you teach science there is no controversy.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by animal behavior.  At the age of six I embarked on a career path from which I never wavered.  Except once. Almost. As a sophomore in college I took two semesters of Astronomy to round out my non-biology science electives.  …