Category Archives: education

Nice BBC show on science communication; Dawkins and Deborah Kelemen talk about evolution

I’m just going to steal reader Colin’s email, which called my attention to a 42-minute BBC4 program featuring several people, although, as usual, Richard Dawkins gets top billing (see screenshot below). I’ve just listened to the show and recommend it. Here’s what Colin wrote me: The program is now be available here. It discusses with Richard […]

A public university is preparing to throw a massive natural history collection away to make more room for the track team

by Greg Mayer In a Washington Post piece by Sarah Kaplan, I learned of the following disaster– read this tweet, by John Overholt of Harvard University, and weep. A public university, @ULM_Official, is preparing to throw a massive natural history collection away to make more ro… twitter.com/i/web/status/8…— John Overholt (@john_overholt) March 29, 2017 And this […]

A theocracy in America? Influential conservative group calls for injecting God into American public schools

Two days ago, the Washington Post ran an article warning of the dangers of theocratic incursions into American public education, “Influential conservative group: Trump, DeVos should dismantle Education Department and bring God into classrooms.”  Well, we don’t want that, do we? It certainly violates the First Amendment, and even a staunch originalist, like Scalia was and […]

The fox in the henhouse: Creationist leads Trump’s education task force

I’m a few days late with this news, and needn’t say much about how ridiculous this is, but last Thursday, Liberty University, a fundamentalist Christian school in Lynchburg, Virginia, announced that its President, Jerry Falwell, Jr. would head up an “education task force” for President Tr*mp. (Fallwell, Jr. is the son of the notorious Jerry […]

Heather Hastie on the declining state of American education

I call your attention to Heather Hastie’s new post, “Has the US education system been set-up to fail?” It paints a dire picture of what’s happening in U.S. schools, discusses Trump’s appointment of Betsy DeVos (probably a creationist) as his education secretary, and explains why DeVos’s and Trump’s emphasis on “school choice” as a solution to […]

UC Berkeley cancels free online courses because they weren’t accessible to the deaf

This is a crummy situation and I don’t know what to do about it. But what’s clear is that everyone in this situation is a loser. What happened is that the University of California at Berkeley provided free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to students, a real bonus to those who lacked either funds or […]

The newest microaggression: Mispronouncing someone’s name

A reader sent me a link to reason.com, a right-wing libertarian website, describing the newest form of microaggression: mispronouncing someone’s name. (They, in turn, took most of their story from a CNS News report (also a conservative site) by Amy Furr. As you’ll see, the reader was dismayed to have to find this stuff on right-wing […]

Do we need religious education in schools?

Although the posts on this site go straight to Twi**er, and I occasionally post something else there, I don’t follow the tw**ts of others. That’s mainly for lack of time: I can’t write on this site and tw**t at the same time. But I still parasitize my friends and readers who sent me tw**ts, and […]

Mission accomplished

Tomorrow is graduation, and it might be a weather disaster given the 60% chance of thunderstorms predicted. The University of Chicago has no inside alternative: they just pass out plastic rain ponchos to keep you dry. I couldn’t help but feel a twinge as I walked home by the empty venue, which tomorrow morning will fill […]

Kristof on the Authoritarian Leftism of universities: Part deux

On May 8 I wrote about one of Nicholas Kristof’s New York Times columns, “A confession of liberal intolerance.” There he promoted the idea of increased diversity in universities: not just diversity of ethnic minorities, but diversity of ideas. In particular, he called for hiring more conservative professors, since, by and large, academia comprises Leftists. Kristof didn’t favor […]