From the Discovery of the Century, a Journal Gets More Than 15 Minutes of Fame (and a 404)  

The stunning announcement that researchers had detected gravitational waves threw the scientific world into a frenzy on Thursday. At the center of it was one journal and an editor.



Flagging Disciplines Reclaim Their Relevance  

Facing stagnant enrollment, some foreign-language departments remake the curriculum to demonstrate their value to students and colleges. They may have lessons for other beleaguered programs as well.



Fallout at Mount St. Mary's Spreads as Scholars Protest Firings

The American Association of University Professors and free-speech groups are among those condemning the university’s abrupt dismissal of two faculty members this week.


How to Teach the Super Bowl

At Syracuse University about 100 students will be watching Sunday’s game with an eye toward its societal, economic, and cultural implications.



U. of Wisconsin Faculty Members Fear Gutting of Tenure  

Faculty leaders are criticizing proposed policies that were devised to replace job protections stripped out of state law. They say the proposals leave professors far too vulnerable to layoffs.



When a Faculty Candidate Has Been Investigated for Harassment, What's a Hiring Committee to Do?  

That’s a thorny question, as the resignation of a molecular biologist at the University of Chicago demonstrates. Without hard evidence or standard practices, professors struggle to balance the presumption of innocence with a desire to protect their own grad students.



Northwestern U. Loses Round Over Unauthorized Patient Testing  

The university's teaching hospital and its chief of cardiac surgery remain as defendants in a lawsuit that alleges a lack of informed consent.



The Water Next Time: Professor Who Helped Expose Crisis in Flint Says Public Science Is Broken

Marc Edwards, a professor of civil engineering at Virginia Tech, has become something of a folk hero for his role in identifying lead in the city’s water. But he says he takes no pleasure in the attention. Instead he worries that university research is "no longer deserving of the public trust."



Evangelical Colleges’ Diversity Problem  

A black professor’s tense tenure at Wheaton College of Illinois has raised uncomfortable questions for a movement that has long struggled to reconcile tradition and diversity.


Scholars Criticize Proposal to Charge Authors for Recommendations

The social network for sharing academic papers says the idea is just under consideration, not a done deal, but the critics have responded with outrage on Twitter.



How Fresh Funding Structures Could Support Research With Impact  

Government structures for financing science may make sense for reasons of professional development, but they're not necessarily built for optimal problem-solving. New ideas might change that.



A University Softens a Plan to Cut Tenured Faculty, but Professors Remain Wary  

Facing a dire budget situation, Western Illinois University had proposed to lay off more than 40 professors. It has taken a dozen tenured faculty members off the list, but that hasn’t allayed concerns about its process or goals.



How Christian Colleges Might Pick Their Battles More Wisely  

The author of a new book on Christian colleges and academic freedom says the institutions could uphold their faith without unnecessary clashes with instructors.



On Climate Change, Are University Researchers Making a Difference?  

They’ve studied it and written about it, but some experts say scientists haven’t done enough to shape public opinion on what may be the most important issue of our time.



Teaching Young Engineers to Find Problems, Not Just Solve Them  

A new wave of campus programs encourages undergraduates to think broadly, aggressively, and across disciplines about how they can help with real-world challenges.



What It's Like to Teach Islam 101 When Anti-Muslim Rhetoric Runs High  

Heated debates about terrorism and immigration are making many Muslims wary. The charged climate is a challenging backdrop for a course meant to introduce undergraduates to the religion.



Data Could Help Scholars Persuade, if Only They Were Willing to Use It  

Companies that exploit personal information could offer a model for researchers who seek to turn their work into meaningful policy. But many scholars are wary.



Is University Research Missing What Matters Most?  

As a nation, we’re getting good at turning professors’ work into marketable products. But is that enough for some of our society’s biggest problems?


What It Might Take to Tackle the Most Important Problems

Here's a sampling of experts' suggestions of what universities, governments, journals, and private funders of research could do to ensure that they're making the greatest possible efforts toward solving society’s most pressing issues.



Prominent Medieval Scholar’s Blog on ‘Feminist Fog’ Sparks an Uproar

A post that attacks feminism and paints men as victims has been widely condemned in the field as an unwelcome window back to a time when it was less open to women.



Pythons, GIFs, and Naked Family Portraits: the Weirdest Things on Students’ Screens

We asked instructors about the oddest things they’ve caught students looking at in class. They did not disappoint.


Dearth of Faculty Diversity Leaves King Award Recipient ‘Neither Thrilled Nor Honored’  

Naomi Zack says she’s embarrassed by the lack of minorities among senior faculty members at the University of Oregon.



From a Red House Off Campus, Georgetown Tries to Reinvent Itself  

The effort’s successes and failures hold lessons for other colleges interested in transformation from within.


Graduate Students

Science-Diversity Efforts Connect Grad Students With Mentors  

The National Institutes of Health, for one, is building a national database to link minority students to informal advisers at other universities or within companies, with plans for training in "culturally responsive mentoring."



Cooperation Emerges as Central Theme of Obama’s Cancer ‘Moonshot’  

Details are scarce on the renewed war on the disease that the president proposed, but researchers can expect pressure on academic silos.