Year: 2017

Science vs. 2017: Five Essential Reads

2017 may well be remembered as the year of alternative facts and fake news. Truth took a hit, and experts seemed to lose the public’s trust and scientists felt under siege as the Trump administration took office. Five stories, from The Conversation, showcase where scholars and scientists stand in this new climate and various ways to consider the value research holds for society.

2 years ago
66

Close Encounters with Behavioral Economics: Four Essential Reads for 2017

The year 2017 turned out to be the start for mainstream behavioral economics after a leading practitioner in the field won a Nobel prize for his work. Throughout 2017, The Conversation asked experts in economics, psychology and other areas to address the power of this burgeoning field, as well as its potential for misuse. Here are some articles for your consideration.

2 years ago
58
No drones sign

How Do We Head Off the Collateral Damage of Big Data?

Hamish Robertson and Joanne Travaglia argue that big data quantification is now not only a mechanism for extracting information but has become an idea with social and political power in its own right. The lack of critique of quantitative methods and their application contributes to the existing and potentially coercive power of digital information systems and their attendant methods, and enhances the potential for collateral damage.

2 years ago
67

Sexual Harassment and Universities

Developing an effective response to sexual harassment in the academic industry — by no means a new phenomenon, notes Robert Dingwall — requires us to consider questions about institutional memory, occupational cultures, and organizational silos, rather than badly behaved individuals.

2 years ago
124
Bob Hauser

Holiday Gift Idea: Hauser Fund Supports Bringing Evidence to Policy

The Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, or DBASSE, of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine has an idea for giving social science a little extra oomph on the policy front — giving a gift to the Hauser Policy Impact Fund.

2 years ago
50
christmas-in the mall

The Social Science of Holiday Marketing, er, Shopping

By drawing on a plethora of psychological and sociological research, marketers subtly give us permission to buy and not to think too much, or too deeply, about why we’re buying. Not thinking all the time is a very efficient way for us to get by. It conserves energy, and allows us to live relatively easily by responding to our psychological predispositions, social norms, and general cognitive imperfections.

2 years ago
75
Campaign_to_Stop_Killer_Robots_opt

Report Offers Guidelines for Ethics of Technology Design

The big questions posed by our digital future sit at the intersection of technology and ethics. This is complex territory that requires input from experts in many different fields, including the social sciences, if we are to navigate it successfully. A new report makes an effort to give a first draft of that necessary input.

2 years ago
51

Putting Big Data to Big Use

The applications of big data provide a very mixed picture about its uses and abuses, in government, academe and private industry. And while where you stand on the net impact depends, as the cliche goes, on where you sit, a panel at the recent ESRC Festival of Social Science came out qualitatively optimistic about the future.

2 years ago
429
Nehring Corporate bug

Tinkering With Symptoms: Why Britain’s Debate About Vice Chancellors’ Salaries Is Misguided

The last few weeks have seen a growing public debate about the pay packages of Britain’s academic CEOs. The vice chancellors at a number of universities, including Birmingham, Bath, Bath Spa and others, have come under heavy pressure to justify salaries that far exceed £100,000, Oddly, all the arguments for and against this start with the assumption that universities are just like any other business.

2 years ago
84
Social Science news bulletin

Washington and Social Science: Evidence-Based Policy Bill Advances

The House and Senate approved their respective versions of a tax reform package (the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act). The House also approved the Protecting Seniors Access to Medicare Act, the Community Health and Medical Professionals Improve Our Nation Act, and the 21st Century Flood Reform Act. The House and Senate also cleared the final House-Senate conference report to the fiscal year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.

2 years ago
35
Lichter.Monnat.Partridge.Ziliak

Archived Webinar: Understanding America’s Rural-Urban Interface

America’s rural-urban divide, it seems, has never been greater, a point reinforced by large geographic disparities in support for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. But it is also the case that big cities and rural communities are more tightly integrated than ever and are increasingly interdependent, both economically and socially. That was the starting point for a recent webinar which is archived here.

2 years ago
70
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