Life as an academic is hard, if you discount the summers off and the whole tenure thing. Assuming you’ve ever submitted a piece of research for publication, chances are you’ve had to go through the process of peer review—an often soul-crushing ordeal during which you and your ideas are metaphorically flayed by a jury…
Last week, a Serious Academic™ exhausted hundreds of words denouncing the use of social media by his colleagues while insinuating that selfie culture poses an existential threat to academic life. The social media backlash from other serious academics was swift and on point, reminding us that many scientists are…
Britain is saying goodbye to the European Union, a monumental decision that’s triggering some serious alarm bells among the country’s researchers. Here’s why they have a right to be worried.
Go Phoenixes! Plenty of colleges offer the occasional course on science fiction, but now at UW Green Bay, you can actually major in science fiction studies. Including making your own movie!
There are many ways to judge the quality of a University: the results of its students, the research it produces, perhaps even the number of Nobel prizes it boasts. But how about using Wikipedia citations instead?
Geoff Marcy, the prominent astronomer found guilty of sexually harassing several female students between 2001 and 2010, has resigned from his tenured position on the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley. The action comes in the wake of a growing outcry over the university’s lack of sanctions against him…
The number of postdocs is growing, but academic positions are scarce. What's a recent graduate/PhD candidate/prospective grad student to do? Kendall Powell surveys the status of the postdoctoral landscape, in a feature for Nature that should be required reading for anyone in – or considering entering – academia.
Reason number 5,000,000,000 to wish you'd gone to MIT... There's a great article in MIT News Magazine about the MIT Science Fiction Society, with its incredibly awesome library. Which started with a wooden crate dragged between dorm rooms in 1949 and is now a massive storehouse of awesome.
A small group of elite science journals get the lion's share of citations and media attention, but that dominance is eroding as it becomes easier for scientists to find obscure but relevant papers. In 1995, only 27% of citations pointed to articles published in non-elite journals. That portion grew to 47% by 2013.
With over 34 thousand followers, it's likely that you're already following the excellent Lego Academics twitter account, which'll celebrate its one-month anniversary next week. If you aren't, you should.
Everybody knows Kim Kardashian is "famous for being famous." But one researcher worries that some in the scientific community are likewise "renowned for being renowned." How could you tell if a scientist has an overblown public profile? Meet the Kardashian Index.
I love the highly-specific title of this academic paper by Melissa Tatum, Robert Spoo, and Banjamin Pope: "Does Gender Influence Attitudes Toward Copyright in the Filk Community?" It combines three hot-button issues: copyright, gender, and fandom. It's a like a powder keg of things people have very strong opinions on.…
Can you tell the difference between a chatbot and a PhD thesis advisor? PHD Comics puts college professors to the Turing Test, and they fail hilariously.
Readers of XKCD may already be familiar with "Every Major's Terrible," Randall Munroe's cynical ode to undergraduate indecision, but there's a good chance you've never seen or heard it performed by an actual person – let alone an entire chorus. That's where the Simon Fraser University Choir comes in.
If you've ever been at a science fiction or fantasy convention late at night, you've heard people singing ballads based on their favorite stories and characters. That's the magic of filking, and at last a university library will be collecting materials related to this time-honored custom.
"Summing up years of work in one sentence." That's the tagline for Lol My Thesis, where PhD candidates (Edit: and undergrads) make fun of their own theses by reducing them to just a sentence or two.
It's a tale as old as time: College co-eds get together on a Saturday night. Drinks are flowing. Hearts beat fast with excitement. The wall starts pounding with the steady thump-thump-thump of passion. You know, because some masters and doctoral students decided to see what happens when you toss a bunch of Lego bricks…
In a few short years, China has metamorphosed from a middling contributor to scientific knowledge into one of the most prolific research entities on the planet. But the country's meteoric ascent to scientific prominence – widely attributed to a flawed incentive system – has given unintentional rise to a lucrative…
Though page number is obviously far less important than the content and quality of one's work, it is nevertheless very common for PhD candidates to obsess over the length of their theses. How many pages should it be? How long are other people's theses? Short answer: it varies. And by more than you may realize.