Archive for 17 April 2009

NIH Releases Draft Guidelines on Funds for Stem-Cell Research

Posted in research with tags , , on 17 April 2009 by Steve

USA“Following President Obama’s executive order last month overturning restrictions on federal funds for research on human embryonic stem cells, the National Institutes of Health released draft guidelines today governing the ‘ethically responsible, scientifically worthy’ use of federal stem-cell dollars. Under the guidelines, federal funds may be spent on research involving human embryonic stem cells created for reproductive purposes, in what Raynard S. Kington, acting director of the NIH, called an ‘incredible opportunity for the scientific community’. But research using stem cells derived through other methods — including somatic-cell nuclear transfer, parthenogenesis, and in vitro fertilization solely for research purposes — will not be eligible for federal money …” (more)

[David Shieh, Chronicle of Higher Education, 17 March]

End of an era for Lampeter, the oldest university in Wales

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 17 April 2009 by Steve

Wales“Wales’ oldest university, Lampeter, is to merge and lose its name in a move that union officials fear may lead to half the staff being made redundant. The governing bodies of Trinity University College and the University of Wales Lampeter decided yesterday to merge, after starting negotiations in December last year. The two will become one institution – the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David – by July this year, and be led by Dr Medwin Hughes, Trinity’s current principal. The loss of a separate identity for Lampeter after 187 years follows a long period of decline at the oldest – and smallest – degree-awarding institution in Wales …” (more)

[Anthea Lipsett, Guardian, 17 April]

The Appeal to Dire Consequences

Posted in teaching with tags , on 17 April 2009 by Steve

USA“Having been a professor for quite some time, I have seen various gambits played by students in the hopes of passing a class or getting a better grade. One common gambit is what I call the appeal to dire consequences. The idea is this: a student who does not have the grade he wants will contact the professor and assert that he should either be given that grade or be granted special treatment that will enable him to get that grade. As a reason for this assertion, he will point out the dire consequences he will suffer should he not get the grade. For example, I had a student copy a paper word for word from the web, thus resulting in a zero on the paper. My policy is that the zero is non-negotiable …” (more)

[Michael LaBossiere, A Philosopher’s Blog, 17 April]

FEE press release on today’s occupation

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 17 April 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Over 30 college students from the Free Education for Everyone (FEE) staging a direct action protest at the Department of Finance on Merrion Street upper. Students from FEE have occupied the building itself while more have blockaded the entrances to the department as part of the protest. This is in protest against the Government’s recent budget and the planned reintroduction of college fees. Julian Brophy, a student from UCD and one of involved in the peaceful protest commented: ‘This protest is taking place in order to highlight the shameful action on the part of the government in its recent budget, the implications of which will see unbearable strain placed on young people, students and college workers …’” (more)

[Indymedia Ireland, 16 April]

‘Educate to be Free’ Forum in Dublin – Bígí Linn!

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 17 April 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Ógra Shinn Féin are hosting a forum on education next weekend as part of their current national campaign. The ‘Educate to be Free’ forum which is being held in The Teacher’s Club, Parnell Square, Dublin, on Saturday 25 April between 2 – 5pm will look at the main issues in Education across Ireland at present. As well as a talk on the issue of student fees, their will also be a video presentation on the campaign, and a debate on free education …” (more)

[Ógra Shinn Féin, 17 April]

Yes, science needs funding. But arts research will be equally important to our economic recovery

Posted in research with tags , on 17 April 2009 by Steve

UK“Science alone cannot tackle the serious global challenges that we face. To give the British economy the best chance of coming strongly out of the global economic downturn, the government has understandably enhanced and protected funding for research in science, technology, engineering and maths (the STEM subjects), which clearly support important sectors of the economy, encourage technological developments and drive economic growth. However, to compete in the new global economy, the UK also urgently needs to invest in new ideas and support world-leading research in culture, languages, arts, social sciences and humanities (CLASSH subjects) to bolster trade and understand national priorities …” (more)

[Paul Wellings, Guardian, 17 April]

The Bear Grylls Approach to Research

Posted in teaching with tags , , , on 17 April 2009 by Steve

Ireland“An impressive-sounding new programme of research has been announced by the Research Councils in the UK: ‘Digital Economy Research in the Wild’. This is apparently a call for multi-disciplinary research ‘aimed at realising the transformational impact of ICT’ (love this amazing use of jargon). I think what they are getting at here is that there are users of technology ‘out there’ (beyond the walls of academe), whose lives could potentially be changed through a different sort of technology, and they want researchers to go out there and find these people and change their lives. It’s all very worthy. But calling it ‘digital economy research in the wild’ is a stroke of genius …” (more)

[Summa cum laude, 17 April]