Bookshelf

Making Sense of Data in the 2019 General Election

Statistics are not the final objective answer to things. They can be interpreted in lots of different ways, even when none of those ways is wrong per se. That opens up a space for public debate, which is good news, but it also opens up a space where statistics can either be lauded as the truth (when they are not), or dismissed out of hand as ‘biased’.

6 hours ago
169
Exploring census cover

What is Census Data?

When most Americans think of the census, they think of the 10-year or decennial census that is used to gather basic data about the total population. The decennial census is an actual count of people and housing units, and it serves as the baseline for measuring and generating other census data-sets…

1 day ago
136
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.

2 weeks ago
419
Popular Science: Spot Crooks by their Ears!

Would Popular Science Books Benefit from a Rating System?

Standing in a powerful pose increases your testosterone levels. Ten thousand hours of practice leads to mastery and high achievement. Eating out of large bowls encourages overeating. These are just a few examples of big ideas that have formed the basis of popular science books, only to be overturned by further research or a closer reading of the evidence…

1 month ago
520

Book Review: Research Impact and the Early Career Researcher

Research Impact and the Early Career Researcher presents chapters that reflect on the experiences that ‘early career researchers’ have had in relation to research impact. The collection is not a manual or textbook on how to achieve impact, but instead presents different voices on how researchers experience and react to the demand for impact.

1 month ago
674

Book Review: Higher Education and Social Inequalities

The higher education system rests on the principle of meritocracy, with entry into the ‘top’ Russell Group universities supposedly the product of ability. This is despite growing attention to the over-representation of independent school students studying at the ‘top’ universities, with state school students and disadvantaged groups less likely to secure admission.

2 months ago
455
Various arrows

Sizing Up a ‘One Size Does Not Fit All’ Mass Media

If you were going to create an encyclopedia about “mass media,” your first task likely would be to define both words in the term. Doing so was immeasurably easier in the 1920s, when the term “mass media” first started making the rounds, but it’s grown corresponding harder as both the popular conception of ‘mass’ has mutated and the very media itself has evolved from purely paper to heavily broadcast to OMG online.

2 months ago
472

Book Review: Writing a Watertight Thesis

How you structure the thesis itself is only one part of the overall structure of your doctorate. In their new book, Mike Bottery and Nigel Wright discuss the importance of three different areas in which a good structure is crucial to your success…

2 months ago
513
Credibility puzzle

Why Faith in Science Is Critical: Five Questions for Naomi Oreskes

Science journalist Hope Reese speaks with Naomi Oreskes, author of the new book ‘Why Trust Science?’ about how to trust science that may conflict with our moral or religious values and what we can do to prevent bias in scientific communities, and methodological fetishism, among other topics.

3 months ago
381
Slow Professor book cover

In Praise of Becoming a ‘Slow Professor’

After a friend gave the reviewer a copy of ‘The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy’ by Maggie Berg and Barbara K. Seeber, it gave him lots of food for thought: Working at a university, after several years of postdoctoral fellowships, why, indeed, not slow down?

5 months ago
691

Opening the Door to Allow All Truly Gifted Students Entry

Joni Lakin takes a look at David Lohman’s seminal 2005 work in Gifted Child Quarterly. His paper addresses the issue of underrepresentation while tackling a well-intentioned myth that nonverbal tests are the most equitable way to assess students who come from racial, ethnic, or linguistic minorities in the U.S.

6 months ago
299

Writing Social Science Fiction in the Age of the Metrix

Burned out by the hamster-wheel of academe and the regime of metrics, John Postill decided the tonic would be to write a spoof spy thriller about a Spanish nerd with a silly name who moves to London in 1994 and accidentally foils a terrorist plot by an evil anthropologist.

7 months ago
349