Month: January 2020

Guelph-eugenics-document

How One University Shared Its Oppressive Past

For the first time, a Canadian university — the University of Guelph — is reconciling with its history of teaching eugenics. Few universities in Canada have looked closely at their historical involvement in oppressive research, teaching and practice. Fewer still have made their archives accessible.

9 hours ago
68
Climate march

Analysis: A 10th of Climate Change Research Funding Goes to Social Science

A new analysis published in the journal Energy Research & Social Science finds that funding for social science climate-change research is not only unhealthy but downright anemic at roughly 10 percent of the total spend. Meanwhile, total spending on climate-change research in total, regardless of discipline, comes to just 5 percent of all competitive research grants funded between 1950 and 2018.

3 days ago
203

We Asked for Impactful Social Science. The World Responded

Our debut writing contest for impactful social and behavioral research drew entries from around the globe, both institutionally and where fieldwork occurred. With entries ranging from Albania to New Zealand, we saw no lack of desire from practicing researchers to share the exciting news that their work matters in “real life.”

4 days ago
407
Old map with dragons

Lying With Maps and Census Data

Geographer Frank Donnelly notes that census geography and maps are not automatically reliable – they can be used to intentionally skew research findings.

5 days ago
251

Why Academic Writing is Dry and Boring by Necessity

The necessity of rigorous if uninspiring academic writing is perhaps best illustrated with the story of a prominent 18th-century intellectual named Franz Anton Mesmer. He believed that illnesses were caused by blockages that interfered with the healthy flow of magnetic fluid through the body.

5 days ago
202
Australia flag outline

Assessing Australia’s Poor Record of Impact Assessment

Over the years, Australia has had a confused relationship with the impact agenda, with much of this grounded in the vagaries of government. When the idea of a national exercise to evaluate research was first touted in the form of the Research Quality Framework, the focus was to be on both quality and…

6 days ago
178
cloned sheep

How Bibliometrics Incentivize Self-Citation

Using bibliometrics to measure and assess researchers has become increasingly common, but does implementing these policies therefore devalue the metrics they are based on? Here researchers present evidence from a study of Italian researchers revealing how the introduction of bibliometric targets has changed the way Italian academics cite and use the work of their colleagues.

2 weeks ago
362

Susan Michie on Behavioral Change

While you might think that the essentials of human behavior are pretty similar, one of the things Michie quickly tells interviewer Dave Edmonds in this Social Science Bites podcast is that it can be unwise to jump to conclusions when studying behavior (or trying to change it).

2 weeks ago
605

Dickens’s Heart of Darkness – Not Your Muppet Christmas Carol

If you missed the broadcast of the new BBC/FX version of A Christmas Carol, it is well worth tracking down on a streaming service. While the production is occasionally bonkers, it brilliantly captures Charles Dickens’s passionate anger about social injustice in Victorian Britain.

2 weeks ago
383
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