Category Archives: Research

Academic researchers and their ideas.


3 Higher-Education Leaders Urge Lawmakers to Raise Research Funding

Three higher-education leaders are urging federal lawmakers to repeal sequestration and increase research funding in the budget for the 2016 fiscal year.

In a letter on Friday, the presidents of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, the Association of American Universities, and the American Council on Education wrote that continued limits on federal investment in scientific research and higher education would threaten the position of the United States as the world’s top economic…


Review Finds Flaws in U. of Minnesota’s Handling of Vulnerable Human Subjects

An external review of the University of Minnesota’s research practices has found flaws in its handling of human subjects, particularly patients who are at risk of impaired decision making or are otherwise vulnerable, the Pioneer Press reports.

The release on Friday of a report describing the review’s findings followed years of controversy over the death of Dan Markingson, a schizophrenia patient who was participating in a drug trial at the university. Mr. Markingson committed suicide in 2004 at …


Congressman Wants to Know Who Pays for Climate Skeptics’ Research

A Democratic member of Congress is digging into the funding of a handful of researchers who have questioned the prevailing view on the causes of climate change, The Washington Post reports.

Arizona’s Raul M. Grijalva, the top Democrat on the House of Representatives’ Committee on Natural Resources, wrote letters to seven university presidents asking for information about the funding sources for researchers at their institutions who have publicly questioned whether man-made pollution is to blame…


Universities Urge Lawmakers Not to Make Patent Defense Too Costly

More than 100 universities are urging federal lawmakers not to pass legislation that would make it too costly for them to defend their patents. One hundred and forty-four universities wrote to leaders of the U.S. Senate’s Judiciary Committee on Tuesday to air their concerns about pending legislation that would go “well beyond what is needed to address the bad actions of a small number of patent holders.”

At issue, the universities wrote, are two aspects of the possible legislation: mandatory fee…


Justice Dept. Seeks New Research on Campus Sexual Assault

The U.S. Department of Justice is asking for new research on how colleges deal with allegations of sexual assault. Acting on recommendations from a White House task force, the department’s National Institute of Justice and its Office on Violence Against Women are seeking research “related to the investigation and adjudication of sexual assaults on college and university campuses.”

The federal government has for years handed out grants to fund colleges’ efforts to stop sexual assault. Application…


Boston College’s Belfast Project Lands in Court—Again

[Updated (2/9/2015, 4:45 p.m.) with comment from Ed Moloney, former director of the project.]

A Boston College oral-history project on Northern Ireland’s 30-year civil conflict has again found itself in court. On Monday a British judge ruled that the Police Services of Northern Ireland has the right to retrieve interviews given to Boston College by Winston Rea, a former loyalist paramilitary member and a participant in its Belfast Project. Mr. Rea had tried to block the handover of his interview…


2-Year College’s President Is Accused of Plagiarism

The president of a two-year college in Minnesota has been accused of plagiarizing her dissertation amid faculty criticism of her decision making, the Pioneer Press reported.

A post published on Wednesday on a blog known as Save South Central College purports to show evidence of plagiarism by an unnamed campus leader in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. The newspaper said the passages matched the dissertation of Annette Parker, president of South Central College, a two-year in…


Wisconsin Governor Stirs a Debate Over What Professors Actually Do

Just what do university professors do all day?

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin has been hearing plenty on that topic since he remarked this week, during a discussion of his proposal to cut state appropriations for the University of Wisconsin system by $300-million over two years, that the universities “might be able to make savings just by asking faculty and staff to consider teaching one more class a semester.

The governor’s comment, writes the Journal Sentinel, a newspaper in Milwaukee, bares…


Dispute Among Scholars Dooms Gift to Russian-Studies Group

A controversy among scholars of Russian studies has resulted in the death of a proposed gift to a major association that would have provided much-needed financial support for the discipline, The New York Times reports.

The dispute concerns the Russia scholar Stephen F. Cohen, who is an emeritus professor at New York and Princeton Universities. Mr. Cohen’s views about American foreign policy in Ukraine are controversial, and he has been described as an apologist for Vladimir V. Putin, Russia’…


Academics vs. ‘Ballghazi,’ Round 2

News outlets are no longer the only ones asking academics about the science of deflated footballs. Investigators for the National Football League have approached physics professors at Columbia University to help them understand how footballs supplied by the New England Patriots might have lost two pounds of air pressure during the first half of a conference championship game last week.

After first calling the university’s physics department, a representative of the law firm hired by the league…