Category Archives: Research

Academic researchers and their ideas.

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U. of Illinois Doctors Face Scrutiny Over Surgical-Robot Ad

The University of Illinois is investigating the circumstances of how doctors at its hospital and health-sciences system participated in a magazine advertisement for a surgical robot, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The newspaper found that some of the doctors did not at first disclose their financial ties to the company that makes the robot, as required by the institution’s conflict-of-interest policies.

The university said the company, Intuitive Surgical Inc., had paid for the advertisement, and …

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Canada Pledges $1.5-Billion for Research That Fosters Competitiveness

As part of a new federal budget, the Canadian government has created the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, which will provide 1.5 billion Canadian dollars (about $1.4-billion) over 10 years to support university research that contributes to the country’s long-term economic competitiveness. The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada hailed the move as well as modest increases in other research funding, praising “the government’s recognition of university research as a significa…

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National Academy of Engineering Elects 78 New Members and Foreign Associates

The National Academy of Engineering announced on Thursday that it had elected 67 new members and 11 foreign associates, bringing its total membership in the United States to 2,250 and the number of foreign associates to 214. Election to the academy is an honor recognizing outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice, or education. A list of the new members and foreign associates accompanies the academy’s announcement.

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After Backlash, Scholarly Group’s Chief to Seek Review of Proposed Blog Ban

The president of the International Studies Association said on Wednesday that he would seek a committee’s review of a proposal that would bar editors of the association’s journals from blogging, after that proposal drew widespread criticism from scholars.

The proposal stemmed from a meeting of the association’s executive committee, and is on the agenda for the group’s governing council, which meets the day before the ISA’s annual meeting, in March. Any changes in the ISA’s policies must win the …

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FBI Investigates Alleged Fraud at Oklahoma State U. Lab Company

The FBI is investigating allegations that millions of dollars were fraudulently diverted from a laboratory company that is owned by Oklahoma State University and is engaged in sensitive national-security research, The Oklahoman reported.

Lawyers representing the university and its research company have asserted in a lawsuit that the leaders of another company that ran the lab under a contract improperly directed money into their own enterprises for personal gain.

No federal or state money was in…

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U. of North Carolina Suspends Researcher’s Work on Athletes’ Literacy

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has suspended the work of a researcher who has studied the literacy levels of college athletes, the News & Observer reported.

A CNN investigation this month cited work by the researcher, Mary Willingham, indicating that more than half of 183 Tar Heel athletes screened for their reading skills over an eight-year period could not read beyond an eighth-grade level.

The university said its institutional review board had found that Ms. Willingham had re…

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U. of Texas Drops Olympic-History Project Amid Legal Fights

The University of Texas at Austin has pulled out of a project that sought to catalog and digitize a trove of materials concerning the history of the Olympics, amid legal fights over the collection between the university and donors, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

Under a 2011 agreement with Canada’s McGill University, the Austin campus sought to digitize the archive so that some of the materials could be made available for research. McGill lacked the resources to process the materials.

A…

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Including Women on Meeting Teams May Help Careers of Female Scientists

Including women in the groups that organize scientific symposia can help the careers of female scientists, because teams that have at least one woman are much more likely than all-male teams to invite women to speak at those gatherings, suggests a new study published in the journal mBio.

The study examined symposia involving about 2,000 speakers at meetings sponsored by the American Society for Microbiology from 2011 through 2013. The authors found that, on average, the proportion of female spea…

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U.S. Names 3 Universities as Test Sites for Drones

Three universities are among the six sites selected by the federal government to test drone aircraft, according to a statement released on Monday by the Federal Aviation Administration. They are: the University of Alaska system, Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi, and Virginia Tech.

According to The New York Times, the kinds of aircraft to be tested include tiny helicopters that could be used to inspect power lines, and Styrofoam planes that could fly over fields to look for agricultural pes…

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American Council on Education’s President Condemns Israel Boycott

The American Council on Education’s president, Molly Corbett Broad, has denounced recent moves by some scholarly associations to endorse a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

In a written statement, Ms. Broad called those actions “misguided and greatly troubling,” saying that they threaten academic freedom and adding that the council has opposed such boycotts throughout its history.

“Many of these same scholars would decry efforts by trustees, governors, or state legislators to infringe on…