The Move to Online College is Hitting Adjunct Professors the Hardest
Non-tenure track faculty at community and city colleges across the country told Motherboard they have not received sufficient pay, training, or equipment to teach classes online-and the consequences could be devastating for students.
NSF Marshals Data Science, Blockchain to Streamline Federal Grant Processing
The National Science Foundation is testing a creative mix of machine learning, blockchain technology and data science to tackle a stubborn challenge: How to better evaluate more than 60,000 grant applications it receives each year.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) is in the midst of digesting public comments toward finalizing a data sharing policy. Although the draft policy is generally supportive of data sharing, it needs strengthening if we are to collectively achieve a long-standing vision of open science built on the FAIR principles.
EPA Proposes Broad Science Restrictions in Midst of Coronavirus Pandemic
The Environmental Protection Agency moved today to restrict the types of research that can be used in public health protection decisions and scientific assessments. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the agency is recklessly giving the public just 30 days to comment on this sweeping proposal.
While scientists are trying to share facts about the epidemic, the administration either blocks those facts or restates them with contradictions. Transmission rates and death rates are not measurements that can be changed with will and an extroverted presentation.
Get Political Reporters off the Coronavirus Story Because They Don't Distinguish Between Right and Wrong
News organizations should take political reporters – and perhaps even more importantly, political editors – entirely out of the loop on this story. It’s too important to be covered as a two-sided battle over who’s winning the narrative.
Graduate students at the University of California, Santa Cruz, shut down campus Thursday as part of their ongoing strike for a cost of living adjustment, and all other system campuses saw their own one-day protests. Santa Cruz graduate assistants went on a grade strike in December, then a full labor strike this month. Tensions mounted last week when the university fired or disqualified 80-some grads from spring assistantships for continuing to withhold undergraduate grades. Graduate assistants blocked all entrances to the Santa Cruz campus before dawn, forcing the university to cancel classes, except those offered online. Many faculty and undergraduate supporters joined the picket lines on that campus and across the UC system starting midmorning. As of last week, graduate assistants at the Santa Barbara campus are also on a labor strike for a COLA, and assistants at the Davis campus are on a grade strike. Systemwide, graduate instructors make about $2,400 pre-tax, per month, for nine months out of the year. Strikers say that they need between $1,400 and $1,800 extra per month to be able to secure housing in California's expensive rental markets and have anything left over for utilities and food. The United Auto Workers, with which UC's graduate workers are affiliated, has urged the university to reopen their contract to bargain for a COLA. This week it authorized a systemwide strike vote for April on the grounds that the university has committed unfair labor practices. The university has filed a similar claim against graduate workers. The system said in a statement that it "values all our graduate students, including academic student employees (ASEs) who are essential to UC's teaching mission, supporting the university as teaching assistants, readers and tutors. However, that mission is in jeopardy when ASEs refuse to fulfill their teaching obligations." The system noted that these assistants are striking in violation of their union contract, negotiated in 2018, and said it's "unfortunate that the UAW has resorted to announcing a strike authorization vote as the university continues pursuing opportunities to engage productively with graduate students on housing affordability and other issues."
Metrics of Inequality: The Concentration of Resources in the U.S. Biomedical Elite
Academic scientists and research institutes are increasingly being evaluated using digital metrics, from bibliometrics to patent counts. These metrics are often framed, by science policy analysts, economists of science as well as funding agencies, as objective and universal proxies for scientific worth, potential, and productivity.
EPA Can't Kick Scientists Off Science Advisory Panels, Court Says
In a victory for science and public health, a federal court determined that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cannot exclude scientists who have received EPA research grants - who happen to be mainly academic scientists from research universities - from serving on its advisory panels.
Academic systems rely on the existence of a supply of "outsiders" ready to forgo wages and employment security in exchange for the prospect of uncertain security, prestige, freedom and reasonably high salaries that tenured positions entail.
What Should the Next President Do to Restore Science to Decisionmaking?
The new report, Presidential Recommendations for 2020: A Blueprint for Defending Science and Protecting the Public, outlines a suite of recommendations that the next president can take to protect the health and safety of the public through restoring science to government decisionmaking processes. The report focuses on strengthening three major principles underlying science-based decisionmaking: independence, transparency, and free speech.
Trump's Dismantling of Environmental Regulations Unwinds 50 Years of Protections
President Donald Trump has repeatedly vowed to "ensure" that the United States has the "cleanest air" and the "cleanest water," but his administration's efforts to slash environmental regulations have been extensive.