Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Damning Revelations Prompt Social Science to Rethink Its Ties to the Military

The Chronicle of Higher Education
July 15, 2015

Subject. Patron. Source. Siren.
For social scientists, the state can play many roles. As long as researchers have studied humanity and the systems we create, they have struggled to define their relationship with power. And in the United States, since World War II, that tension has centered especially on the military and its spy agencies.
The dangers of that relationship came into high relief late last week, with the release of a report detailing how the American Psychological Association, a century-old scholarly group, had colluded with the U.S. military to shield practitioners of torture a decade ago. The report painted a small group of leaders as beholden to its military patrons, eager to "curry favor," whatever the long-term cost.

Monday, July 6, 2015

What are the Chances of Getting Funded?

National Institutes of Health's Extramural Nexus
Dr. Sally Rockey
June 29, 2015


What are the chances of getting funded? We frequently talk about the different ways of analyzing NIH funding. Let's revisit the topic so I can provide you with the latest numbers. 

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Researchers Complain About Changes in Amazon Tool Used for Surveys

The Chronicle of Higher Education
June 23, 2015

This week Amazon changed the terms for a service that has become a standard tool in social-science research, and many scholars are complaining that it will mean higher costs to conduct surveys.
The service is called Mechanical Turk, and it is a marketplace that connects people on the Internet looking for paid piecework with anyone who has a small task and is willing to pay someone to do it. The concept is known as crowd-work, and many researchers have used it to pay strangers small amounts to take part in social-science surveys.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Congress May Finally Offer the NIH More Money — at a Price

The Chronicle of Higher Education
June 12, 2015

The good news for the National Institutes of Health and its university researchers is that after some 14 years of flat budgets, Congress may be about to loosen the purse strings.
The bad news is that the scientists might not like the terms.
Evidence of a possible break in the budgetary logjam is headed by legislation, expected to reach a floor vote this month in the House of Representatives, that would give the NIH an extra $2 billion a year in each of the next five years.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Ford Shifts Grant Making to Focus Entirely on Inequality

Philanthropy
June 11, 2015

The fight against inequality will take center stage at the Ford Foundation under a sweeping overhaul announced today by the nation’s second biggest philanthropy.
Not only will Ford direct all of its money and influence to curbing financial, racial, gender, and other inequities, but it will give lots more money in a way grantees have been clamoring for: It hopes to double the total it gives in the form of unrestricted grants for operating support. The doubling of general operating support to 40 percent of the foundation’s grant-making budget, projected to be in excess of $1 billion over five years, will enable Ford to create what its president, Darren Walker, calls a "social-justice infrastructure" reminiscent of the support it provided nonprofits during the civil-rights era.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Studying Politics or Playing Politics? Scholarly Experiments Sometimes Blur the Line

The Chronicle of Higher Education
June 5, 2015

Before it fell apart, Michael J. LaCour’s study of political canvassing tactics was timely not just for what he supposedly discovered, but for how he discovered it.
In order to figure out whether gay-marriage advocates could actually change people’s minds about the issue by having brief conversations on their doorsteps, Mr. LaCour, a University of California at Los Angeles graduate student, designed an experiment.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Like Sleeping Beauty, Some Research Lies Dormant for Decades, IU Study Finds

I.U. Bloomington Newsroom
May 25, 2015


Why do some discoveries fade into obscurity while others blaze a new trail the moment they are published? More mysteriously, why do some research papers remain dormant for years and then suddenly explode with great impact upon the scientific community?
The last group, dubbed “sleeping beauties,” is the subject of a new study from the Indiana University Bloomington School of Informatics and Computing's Center for Complex Networks and Systems. It was released today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.