Archive for June, 2010

Stem-cell furore erupts

Posted in research with tags , on 29 June 2010 by Steve

“Long-rumbling hostilities between stem-cell researchers in Germany exploded into a blazing public row last week, after Nature published a critical reanalysis of data from a high-profile 2008 article …” (more)

[Alison Abbott, Nature, 29 June]

Parents warned over exam binge drinking

Posted in Life with tags on 29 June 2010 by Steve

“More than a third of parents plan to provide 16 and 17-year-olds with drink for summer breaks, it was disclosed. Of those, around half said they would buy sons or daughters five or more bottles of wine or spirits – well above the recommended weekly alcohol intake for adults …” (more)

[Graeme Paton, Daily Telegraph, 29 June]

Why e-books will never replace real books

Posted in Life with tags on 29 June 2010 by Steve

“Because we perceive print and electronic media differently. Because Marshall McLuhan was right about some things. In case you don’t recall one of the more influential thinkers of the late 20th century: McLuhan was an academic media theorist who ended up being called a ‘high priest of popular culture’ …” (more)

[Jan Swafford, Slate, 29 June]

Universities of the future

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 29 June 2010 by Steve

“My daughter is 4 years old. In October 2023 she will probably go to university. What will that university look like? Where will it be? Will it be anywhere? The 20th century was good to universities, marching them from an elite fringe to the very heart of the information economy. They are the coal mines and steel mills of the information age …” (more)

[Robert Cosgrave, University Blog, 29 June]

Scientists identify antidote to hospital superbug

Posted in research with tags , on 29 June 2010 by Steve

“Scientists from University College Cork and Teagasc have, together with Canadian colleagues, identified a new antibiotic which combats the potentially fatal hospital-acquired superbug, Clostridium difficile …” (more)

[Barry Roche, Irish Times, 29 June]

Is it time to enter the ‘real world’?

Posted in Life with tags on 29 June 2010 by Steve

“As he enjoys a trip to Malaysia, recent Trinity graduate Jonathan Wyse talks to friends back home about what happens next – more study or entering the workforce …” (more)

[Irish Times, 29 June]

Accreditation and Assessment: The Corregidor Position

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 29 June 2010 by Steve

“… The state reserves the power to decide who can and cannot hand out degrees, or even who can call themselves a University. The University of Rob would soon find its letterbox full of troubling legal correspondence. This is the weakest link. One keen populist or neo-liberal politician, one piece of legislation, and it’s gone. If I ran the circus (after the Revolution, you know) I would sweep this away with the stroke of a pen, just to see what would happen. What would happen, exactly? …” (more)

[Robert Cosgrave, Tertiary21, 25 June]

Students union demands action on exams reform

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 29 June 2010 by Steve

“Students are seeking an urgent move to reform the Junior and Leaving Certificate exams and how young people are tested throughout their second-level education …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 29 June]

4th International Plagiarism Conference

Posted in Legal issues with tags on 29 June 2010 by Steve

“I attended the 4th International Plagiarism Conference in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, this week, and presented a paper on my test cases for testing plagiarism detection systems … The papers are not online (yet), but here are some comments about some of the papers I listened to …” (more)

[Copy, Shake, and Paste, 26 June]

Supreme Court Upholds Law School Anti-Bias Policy Challenged by Christian Group

Posted in Legal issues with tags on 29 June 2010 by Steve

“A bitterly divided US Supreme Court held today that a California public law school did not violate the First Amendment in denying official recognition to a Christian student group that effectively excluded homosexual students from membership based on their beliefs and behaviors …” (more)

[Peter Schmidt, Chronicle of Higher Education, 28 June]

First Woman Professor in Ireland or Great Britain

Posted in Life with tags on 29 June 2010 by Steve

“UCC today celebrates the centenary of the appointment as professor of Mary Ryan, the first female in either Ireland or Great Britain to be appointed to a professorship …” (more)

[UCC Media and Communications, 28 June]

Don’t do Strategic planning on tactical timescales

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 29 June 2010 by Steve

“Most Universities conduct strategic plans with a five year time horizon. This is too short. Most degrees take three or four years (allowing for repeats, long medical degrees, interminable PhDs etc) so five years is a little bit longer than one ‘product cycle’. A car takes, perhaps, a few weeks at most including components. Could you imagine Ford or Toyota having a 3 month strategic planning horizon? …” (more)

[Robert Cosgrave, Tertiary21, 25 June]

Today’s students

Posted in Life with tags on 28 June 2010 by Steve

“I attended two events with several business leaders over the past couple of weeks, and in the course of the discussions on both occasions a number of them expressed the view that recent Irish graduates were not of the same quality and did not demonstrate the same standards as those of previous cohorts a decade or two ago …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 28 June]

Taking the truly smart approach

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 28 June 2010 by Steve

“The government’s vision for Ireland’s knowledge society is commendable, but its strategy for science, technology and innovation defines the ‘smart economy’ too narrowly. In addition to the specified priority areas, the arts, humanities and social sciences – as well as the sciences in general – also create new knowledge and underlie economic growth and the creation of sustainable high-quality jobs …” (more)

[Colm Kearney, Sunday Business Post, 27 June]

UCD’s pet project allows vets put old cat scan machine to good use

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 28 June 2010 by Steve

“A CT scanner is showing pets and sick animals in a whole new light. Injured cats, dogs, calves, foals, birds and even a seal have all been passed through the scanner at the UCD Veterinary Hospital …” (more)

[Breda Heffernan, Independent, 28 June]

Irish life science guide to create ‘smart’ jobs and new technologies

Posted in research with tags , on 28 June 2010 by Steve

“The Minister for Technology and Innovation, Conor Lenihan TD, today launched a new Irish guide aimed at helping firms in the life science sector to partner with college researchers in the creation of ‘smart’ jobs. The Enterprise Ireland publication, The Irish Life Sciences Research Guide, is a collation of the life science research capability in our third-level institutions …” (more)

[Finfacts, 27 June]

Academic Nihilism

Posted in Life with tags on 28 June 2010 by Steve

“… Academic nihilism is, I believe, something experienced by all truly critical thinkers who spend enough time behind the walls of universities. It is what comes after the realisation that what one is doing, all that heartfelt critical thought, all that deep probing for truth, and digging under the illusions of common sense, that it all adds up to very little …” (more)

[Necessary Agitation, 27 June]

TCD: research cuts will cost 1,000 jobs

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 27 June 2010 by Steve

“Trinity College Dublin (TCD) is predicting that its new funding for research will collapse in the next five years, cutting spending on research by three quarters and leading to the loss of almost 1,000 research positions. A confidential document being prepared by the college also predicts that the combined fall in research staff and students could affect the college’s standing in international rankings …” (more)

[Martha Kearns, Sunday Business Post, 27 June]

Department of Finance run by arts graduates

Posted in Life with tags on 27 June 2010 by Steve

“More senior staff in the Department of Finance have degrees in general arts than in economics and finance, the Sunday Tribune can reveal. Seventy-six staff at the government’s most key department have either degrees or masters degrees in arts, while just 75 hold degrees or masters degrees in economics or finance …” (more)

[Martin Frawley, Sunday Tribune, 27 June]

Not enough cooks in the DIT kitchen

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 27 June 2010 by Steve

“It is regarded as one of the world’s top culinary colleges producing a menu of top chefs from Richard Corrigan to Darina Allen and Michelin starred Kevin Thornton. But things have turned sour at the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) when last week, ’embarrassed’ staff at the celebrated School of Culinary Design refused to attend a college open day …” (more)

[Mark Hilliard, Sunday Tribune, 27 June]