Wednesday, December 21, 2016

'Blueprint 2017' Warns of Dangers to Civil Society

Philanthropy News Digest
December 15, 2016

The "big ideas that matter" for 2017 include the need for clearer boundaries between philanthropic and political activities and a larger role for civil society in shaping digital systems and technologies, leading philanthropy scholar Lucy Bernholz argues in Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2017 (40 pages, PDF).
Published by GrantCraft, a service of Foundation Center, the eighth edition of Bernholz's annual forecast highlights two trends that civil society will need to address in the new year — the blurring of boundaries between politics and philanthropy, as the civil-society norms of privacy and anonymity are used to hide political activity; and the threat to free expression and association posed by the commercial ownership and government surveillance of the digital infrastructure on which civil society heavily depends.
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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

As the Drive to Share Data Intensifies, Can Standards Keep Up?

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Paul Basken
December 20, 2016

Patrick J. Curran struggles with the problem when studying alcoholism in families. Quynh C. Nguyen sees it when analyzing housing-voucher programs. And the Nobel laureate Harold E. Varmus encounters it while developing genomic databases for cancer patients.

Their trouble isn’t with sharing their data — all three professors are eager participants in the open-data revolution.

Instead, the problem is confidently sharing and interpreting data — huge amounts of it — with relevance and accuracy.
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Friday, December 16, 2016

After Trump’s Election, Political Scientists Feel New Urgency

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Fernanda Zamudio-Suar├ęz
December 16, 2016

Since Donald J. Trump was elected president, Yascha Mounk, a lecturer in political theory at Harvard University, has fielded calls from reporters, government officials, and think tanks.

Some callers are interested in the factors that fueled Mr. Trump’s victory, but most have a more existential concern: Is liberal democracy under threat?
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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Strategies for Success in Working with a Foundation

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Kathryn Masterson
December 11, 2016


Before You Approach a Foundation
Do your homework. Research foundations. Read their guidelines, and stay current, as they change over time, with new board members or shifts in mission. The guidelines will often detail what the foundation does and does not support. The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, for example, will not invite a college to apply for a grant if that college’s president has been in office less than a year.

Focus one person on foundations. If you can, structure your development office so that one person concentrates on this work. That person can keep up on guidelines, look for opportunities to meet foundation officers, and lead the stewardship of grants. Nancy J. Cable, who worked in senior administration posts at several colleges and is now president of the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, says, "It’s worth paying staff to do that. It increases your chances of getting grant funding."
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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

How to Court a Foundation

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Kathryn Masterson
December 11, 2016

The grant that will help Emory University experiment with a new model of doctoral education started with a conversation over dinner two years earlier.

Lisa A. Tedesco, dean of Emory’s graduate school, and David Nugent, a professor of anthropology and director of Emory’s master’s program in development practice, had been chewing over a big question. In a time when a growing number of students are not finding jobs in academe, how could they make graduate education more relevant? Specifically, could they prepare graduate students to use their knowledge in a more practical way, to combine theory and practice to help solve some of the world’s problems?
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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Letting Researchers Choose Their Peer Reviewers Gets Another Shot

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Paul Basken
December 12, 2016

Seven years after a widely mocked paper about caterpillars and butterflies raised doubts about allowing authors to take shortcuts in the peer-review process, another prominent publisher is about to give it a try.

In an option to be made available next month, the open-access microbiology journal mSphere will let authors choose two willing colleagues and then submit their reviews to the journal with the promise of an answer on acceptance within five days.
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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Senate Passes Landmark 21st Century Cures Act — but It Will Take Years to Implement

STAT News
Sheila Kaplan
December 8, 2016

WASHINGTON — It took nearly three years for Congress to pass the 21st Century Cures Act. The next question is: How long will it take the Food and Drug Administration to implement it?

The legislation, designed to accelerate the introduction of new medical treatments by speeding up some FDA approval processes and boosting federal funding, passed the Senate Wednesday by a 94 to 5 vote on Wednesday. The House passed it last week, and President Obama is expected to sign it into law.
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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Research Universities Hope Trump’s Infrastructure Plans Could Be a Boon to High-Speed Communications

Chronicle of Higher Education
Paul Basken
December 6, 2016


When Donald Trump promises to rebuild U.S. infrastructure, he mostly means highways, bridges, and airports. Might he also mean better high-speed internet for research universities?

The incoming administration hasn’t yet made its plans clear, but there’s at least some hope in the research community. And a leading candidate for assistance could be Internet2, a dedicated high-speed, high-volume link serving scientists at more than 300 universities.
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