Also this week: bringing
sexy everything back in sociology, times are changing and so are tenure and promotion criteria, Bitcoin vs. university finances vs. bushels of wheat, statistics vs. the Millennium Village Project, and more.
Why politicians campaigning for election mostly don’t draw on directly-relevant political science research telling them what works and what doesn’t. Basically because most “relevant” research actually isn’t relevant. Good accessible piece; I bet the same issues crop up any time scientists in any field try to do policy-relevant research.
I’m late to this, but here’s how capitalism saved the honeybees. Yes, the title’s clickbait, and yes the source has an agenda (that it’s up-front about). And I don’t know enough about the pollination industry or alternatives to commercial honeybee pollination to either endorse or reject the linked article’s broadest claims. Hopefully more informed readers can comment. But as someone who had the casual impression that the entire US commercial honeybee population was in imminent danger of complete collapse, creating an urgent need to reduce our dependence on it (e.g., via encouraging crop pollination by wild pollinators), I found the article thought provoking.
Galin Jones on how the School of Statistics at the University of Minnesota changed their tenure & promotion criteria to reflect changes in the field. They want to be better able to hire candidates who contribute to (and influence the direction of) the field in non-traditional ways. Do others have similar stories to share?
Everything old is new again in sociology–but only fairly recently. Interesting text-mining exercise showing that since the mid-to-late 90s sociologists have increasingly been trying to bring back old, purportedly-neglected ideas. Apparently Hollywood isn’t the only place that’s really into remakes these days. I have two questions. First, to what extent is this just an artifact of increasing total numbers of papers being published these days? Second, assuming it’s not an artifact, is it a Good or Bad thing? Also, the rvest package they used to do this looks like a really powerful and fun tool. (ht @kjhealy)
New School professor of political and social theory Andrew Arato has been banned from campus and had other restrictions placed on his professional activities for bullying his colleagues. He denies the accusations but agreed to the restrictions. (ht @kjhealy)
American Economics Association statement on an AEA officer candidate who has apparently been accused of creating a hostile work environment and is the subject of an ongoing institutional investigation. In future, AEA plans to ask potential nominees if they are the subject of ongoing investigations. (ht Marginal Revolution)
The Millennium Villages Project sounds like good potential fodder for an intro biostats course. Many of the criticisms of the study design and analyses, especially in its early stages, are basic issues accessible to intro biostats students.
This is a bit old but still good: the social sciences are becoming more nuanced.
Remember back in the the olden days, when you could pay your college tuition in, like, grain or farm animals? (yes, really, though I think I read somewhere that this practice was common much earlier?) Here’s the modern equivalent. Or maybe not, if back in the 18th century or whatever colleges received grain and farm animals all the time and knew what to do with them.
And finally, what’s the best caption for this? 🙂 (some options below quoted from the linked Twitter convo)