Category Archives: Research

Academic researchers and their ideas.

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Journal Publisher Says Controversial Essay Did Pass Peer-Review Process

The publisher of Third World Quarterly, a journal of international studies, said on Wednesday that its recent controversial essay, “The Case for Colonialism,” did not fail the peer-review process.

The essay — by Bruce Gilley, a political scientist at Portland State University — argues that “Western colonialism has a bad name.” Its publication prompted 15 scholars to resign from the journal’s 34-member editorial board. Among other sharp criticism of the essay and the journal’s decision to publish…

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15 Members of ‘Third World Quarterly’ Editorial Board Resign

Fifteen scholars on the editorial board of Third World Quarterly have resigned over the publication of a controversial essay, according to the their resignation letter. Their departures leave the journal, which publishes essays from the field of international studies, short nearly half of its editorial board.

The essay is by Bruce Gilley, a political scientist at Portland State University, and is titled “The Case for Colonialism.” It argues that the idea that Western colonialism harmed colonized…

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Dartmouth Professors Show Support for Lecturer After Antifa Interviews

More than 100 faculty members at Dartmouth College have signed a letter to Philip J. Hanlon, its president, asking him to retract a statement that disavows comments by Mark Bray, a lecturer. Since this month’s deadly rally in Charlottesville, Va., Mr. Bray has conducted a series of interviews with national news outlets about antifa, an abbreviation of the term “anti-fascist” that refers to radical far-left groups.

Antifa groups have engaged in protests of far-right speakers and demonstrations th…

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UC-Berkeley’s Former Chancellor Will Be Paid $434,000 on Leave

Nicholas B. Dirks, a former chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley, will be paid $434,000 during his coming year on leave, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Mr. Dirks announced in August 2016 that he would step down from his leadership position.

Under the university’s policy, Mr. Dirks qualifies for a year off with pay before returning to the classroom as a history professor. Executives must work in the university system for at least five years to receive full pay during a yea…

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‘Driverless’ Van Turns Out to Be Va. Tech Researcher Costumed as Car Seat

The van appeared to be driving itself on the streets of a Virginia neighborhood this month, but in reality a person dressed as a car seat was in control as part of an experiment conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

That news came to light on Monday thanks to a video that went viral. It showed Adam Tuss, a reporter for the NBC television affiliate in Washington, D.C., trying to question the van’s driver. Only the driver’s hands on the steering wheel are visible in the video,…

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NFL Player, an MIT Grad Student, Will Leave Football After Widely Reported Brain-Trauma Study

Updated (7/27/2017, 10:04 p.m.) with additional information about the study.

John Urschel, an offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens who is pursuing a doctorate in mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will leave the National Football League, his team announced on Thursday.

ESPN reported the decision stemmed from a recent high-profile study that found a high percentage of more than 100 brains of deceased football players showed signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, …

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Iran Sentences Princeton Ph.D. Student to 10 Years in Prison

A doctoral candidate in history at Princeton University who was doing research in Iran has been sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of spying for the United States, The New York Times reported on Sunday.

The student, Xiyue Wang, a 37-year-old U.S. citizen, disappeared months ago on a field trip to Iran. His arrest and conviction were only now officially made known by the Iranian judiciary.

A spokesman for Princeton said the university had already been aware of the arrest and had been work…

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After Professors’ Criticism, Group Updates List of Google-Funded Scholars

A group that created a list of scholars who’d received money from Google has updated the database in response to critics, including professors who said they didn’t belong on the list. In some cases the Campaign for Accountability, the creator of the dataset, defended putting professors on its list; in others, it clarified why scholars had been included; and in others, it removed academics from the list altogether.

“There’s no single way to do this, and we’re necessarily limited by the info…

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Many Academics Have Taken Money From Google Without Disclosing It, Report Finds

The tech giant Google has paid academics up to hundreds of thousands of dollars to research topics that support the company’s business practices, according to an investigation by The Wall Street Journal, based on data compiled by the Campaign for Accountability, an advocacy group that has received funding from companies that compete with Google.

The newspaper reported that Google at times compiled “wish lists” of academic studies, complete with titles and abstracts, and then searched for aca…

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What Trump’s Proposed 2018 Budget Would Mean for Higher Ed

Updated (5/23/2017, 2:19 p.m.) with details on the budget proposals for scientific and medical research.

The Trump administration on Tuesday released its budget proposal for the 2018 fiscal year. All told, the budget would cut federal education programs by more than $10 billion. The Department of Education’s total operating budget would be slashed by $9 billion, and spending on secondary-education programs would be redirected to school-choice initiatives — the chief policy goal of Betsy DeVo…