Category Archives: Research

Academic researchers and their ideas.


Watch John Oliver Blast Exaggerated Scientific Findings

John Oliver, the comedian and host of the HBO show Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, has perfected the art of the searing, outrage-induced explanatory monologue. The topic for Sunday’s show? Scientific studies.

It’s no secret that trumpeted scientific findings often range from misleading to outright false. Remember the University of Maryland study that found that chocolate milk could help prevent concussions in athletes — research that was partly financed by a company that makes chocolate milk…


College Chief Apologizes After Controversy Over Student’s Research Poster

The University of Maryland-Baltimore County’s president has apologized for the decision to move an undergraduate’s research poster, which featured a large image of the female reproductive anatomy, during an annual symposium.

The controversy arose during an event known as the Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day, a showcase for student-led research projects. Near the entrance to the event was a student’s poster portraying “an artistic rendering of the female anatomy,” said Lisa Akc…


Justice Dept. Changes Counterespionage Tactics After Wrongful Arrest of Temple U. Professor

The U.S. Justice Department has announced a new national-security protocol meant to prevent cases like those that have misidentified Chinese-Americans as spies, The New York Times reports.

Last September the department dropped such charges against Xi Xiaoxing, a Temple University physicist who was accused in May 2015 of selling secrets to his native China.

Mr. Xi was at least the fifth Chinese-American arrested and wrongfully suspected of economic espionage in a little more than a year.

Now, acc…


Scholars Sue American Studies Association Over Boycott of Israel

[Updated (4/20/2016, 2:57 p.m.) with a statement from the association.]

Four professors have sued the American Studies Association over its boycott of Israel’s academic institutions, saying the move exceeds the scope of the organization’s charter, according to a news release issued by the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law.

The association’s 2013 vote to approve the boycott, in protest of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, provoked a backlash from scholars who said it posed a s…


Tenured Professor Says Blog Post Cost Him His Job

A philosophy professor at Dickinson College who says he was fired for a post on his personal blog was not dismissed but is no longer employed there, the institution said on Monday. Crispin Sartwell, who was tenured, was not terminated, according to the Pennsylvania college’s director of media relations, Christine Baksi. She would not elaborate further, saying it was a personnel matter.

Mr. Sartwell was placed on temporary leave last month, The Dickinsonian reported. Through posts on his blog, Mr…


More Professors Say Undergraduates Need to Hone Research Abilities, Survey Finds

Report: “Ithaka S+R US Faculty Survey”

Authors: Christine Wolff, Alisa B. Rod, and Roger C. Schonfeld; Ms. Wolff and Mr. Schonfeld are at Ithaka S+R, the consulting-and-research arm of the nonprofit group Ithaka, which focuses on technology in academe; Ms. Rod is associate director of the Empirical Reasoning Center at Barnard College

Summary: This latest edition of a survey that is conducted every three years found an uptick in faculty members who believe undergraduate students are arriving at …


U. of Maryland Backs Away From Maligned Study on Chocolate Milk and Concussions

The University of Maryland has acknowledged “shortcomings” in its handling of a highly criticized study that prompted news releases claiming that athletes could see benefits from a brand of chocolate milk produced by a company that helped fund the research.

Following public criticism of the news releases, the university convened a panel to examine how the study had unfolded. In a news release on Friday, Maryland said it had found no wrongdoing by the company. But it said it was returning the mo…


Controversial Researcher With Ties to Coke Steps Down as Head of University Wellness Center

The director of a University of Colorado-affiliated wellness center, who came under fire last year for a lucrative connection to Coca-Cola, has stepped down from that position, The Denver Post reports.

James O. Hill drew scrutiny last year, when The New York Times published an article stating that the organization he led, which sought to shift the blame for obesity from excessive consumption to lack of exercise, had received a $1.5-million donation from Coca-Cola. Mr. Hill, then president of the…


Graduation Rates for Black Students Aren’t Increasing at Same Pace as for Other Students

Report: “Rising Tide II: Do Black Students Benefit as Grad Rates Increase?”

Authors: Andrew Howard Nichols, Kimberlee Eberle-Sudré, and Meredith Welch

Organization: The Education Trust

Summary: Graduation rates at higher-education institutions are broadly on the rise, but overall data do not take into account completion rates among students of different races. Of the 232 four-year, public institutions that improved their overall graduation rates from 2003 to 2013, 70 percent also had increased…


Here Are 15 Indispensable Academic Twitter Accounts

Twitter. It’s great for yelling at airlines, executing flawless DM slides, and keeping tabs on the Republican presidential debates after promising yourself you wouldn’t turn on the TV. But can it be used for good?

It depends on whom you follow. On the occasion of Twitter’s 10th birthday, I asked others here at The Chronicle as well as my Twitter followers to name that one tweeter in academe whom they just can’t live without. Here’s a selection of their responses, listed in no particular order: