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kme : academia   48

ethics - How can I avoid inadvertently offending my female peers and getting into trouble for it? - Academia Stack Exchange |
When I step on someone's foot in a crowded subway, I apologize, even if I didn't do it on purpose. I don't refuse to say I'm sorry, I don't imply in a sarcastic way that the other person should have gotten their foot out of the way, I don't suggest that it cannot have hurt all that much, and I don't tell them they should relax, it's just a prank.

If you read the full story, you will see that Prof X's problems really started when he reached out to Prof Y to tell her she was wrong and had no right to complain, and even further refused to formally apologize when asked to. When you read the organization's reasoning, you see that they also consider that it is not so much the intent of the actions that matters, but rather the consequences and hurt they caused.

So I would suggest apologizing if someone tells you that your actions hurt them, instead of telling them that they had no right to feel hurt. Showing that you are a human being capable of empathy helps, usually. I have never witnessed an attempt at going down the second route that worked out well.
apologizing  academia 
january 2019 by kme
HOWTO: Get tenure |
Simpler advice would be: “Find a problem where your passions intersect society’s needs.” The rest will follow.

Doing a good job with teaching is perversely seen as a cardinal sin in some departments.

Focusing on teaching gets interpreted as a lack of dedication to research.

Let’s be clear: refusing to improve one’s teaching is morally unacceptable.

Torturing a captive audience every semester with soul-sapping lectures is criminal theft of tuition.

On metrics

Pre-tenure professors are often bombarded with metrics, targets and benchmarks to hit for tenure.

Everyone has heard horror stories of departments obsessing over specific metrics for tenure, and of the golden yet square pegs that failed to fit into round holes.

Goodhart’s law applies:

“When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.”

And, a quote I once heard on NPR:

“We can’t measure what counts, so we count what we can measure.”

Good departments will find a way of side-stepping metrics to judge what counts.

I realize that few patients or parents have the ability to do what I did, and they never will, until all of academic medicine goes open access.

In computer science, academic paywalls stifle.

In medicine, academic paywalls kill.
science  academia  tenure  phd  highered  advice  education  teaching  openaccess  publishing 
october 2018 by kme
Should I share my horrible software? - Academia Stack Exchange |

Yes, you should.

First, most scientific software is terrible. I'd be very surprised if yours is worse than average: the mere fact you know design patterns and the difference between recursion and loops suggests it's better.

Second, it's unlikely you'll have the incentive or motivation to make it better unless, or until, it's needed by someone else (or you in 6 months). Making it open gives you that incentive.

Potential upsides: possible new collaborators, bugfixes, extensions, publications.

Potential downsides: timesink (maintaining code or fixing problems for other people), getting scooped. I'll be clear: I don't take either of these downsides very seriously.
software  devel  crapsoftware  academia  research  publishing 
september 2018 by kme
What facts about the United States do foreigners not believe until they come to America? - Quora
Strong ethics — everyone has a lot of integrity. If someone cannot submit their completed assignment in time, they will turn in the assignment incomplete rather than asking for answers at the last minute. People take pride in their hard work and usually do not cheat. This is different from students from India and China as well as back home in India, where many students collaborate to the extent that it can be categorized as cheating.

In the academic context, the lesser obsession with grades and more emphasis on learning what has been taught. Most courses in the university level are oriented around this theme and the professors actually take an interest in teaching and take pains to make sure the students have grasped the concepts.

It is also very surprising that how aloof and sheltered most americans are from the harsh realities prevailing over most countries in the world. One of my friend who was a TA for a Biology course told me that most students in his class had never heard of a disease named Malaria!

I lived in Seattle for five years and people in Ballard (where I lived) really don't have any opinions one way or another about people who live on Queen Anne hill. The wealthy, even in the extreme are largely not despised. People in Seattle don't compare themselves to people in Tacoma or Spokane. People from Washington don't compare themselves to people in Idaho or Oregon, and Americans as a whole don't compare themselves to other countries. It's charming in it's humility and acceptance, but it really kills a great deal of pub talk. What's an evening spent getting pissed good for if you can't unload on your neighbours?

Asian education emphasizes conformity and discipline, and people generally have a strong sense of duty and professionalism in the tasks that they are assigned whether they are the CEO or the janitor of a company. In Asia, I have rarely faced the frustration I have felt when dealing with service people in the US.

On the other hand, US education generally values individuality and free-thinking. People are less judgmental and are not scared of being different, and those that are motivated will grow up daring to dream and may even go on to achieving great things.
america  perspective  academics  academia  education  culture 
april 2017 by kme
teaching - How to deal with a very weak student? - Academia Stack Exchange
@Malvolio Unfortunately, in theoretical courses, cheating tends to be fairly rampant among all students. The university administration tends to turn a blind eye towards it too, because 1. it would affect most students, and 2. unless there are concrete evidence, it is very hard to prove that the student was cheating. So instead, many people make the homework worth very little of your grade, 10-15%, and the rest are tests. – Sana Oct 1 '16 at 14:30

I haven't seen this point mentioned yet:

She is a transfer student from a community college, and no one else has any data on her as this is her first semester

When she does not understand a concept, she bring her notes and says that the class was unclear and that I should explain it again to her

her idea of academic improvement is to consistently show up to my office hour and listen to me talk

She is doing things that work well in secondary school (a.k.a. high school) - she's working hard on her homework and making maximum use of your office hour, and so on. She probably thinks she's working hard and doing well. In school, the exam questions tend to test whether you've learned exactly what was told, not more.

But at some point a student has to learn that university isn't secondary school. It's much more about working on your own than about absorbing from a teacher. Not everybody knows that when they start. She doesn't realize she needs to change her way of studying.

So I think you could also have a conversation on that, she's there in your office anyway.
teaching  learning  studying  education  academia  cheating  insightful  forthecomments 
january 2017 by kme
California State University, Long Beach Psychology Professor Kevin MacDonald Publishes Anti-Semitic Books | Southern Poverty Law Center
MacDonald’s three-volume set of books on Jews and their destructive tactics is devoured by anti-Semites the world over. Not since Hitler's Mein Kampf have anti-Semites had such a comprehensive reference guide to what's wrong with "the Jews."

MacDonald's basic premise is that Jews engage in a "group evolutionary strategy" that serves to enhance their ability to out-compete non-Jews for resources. Although normally a tiny minority in their host countries, Jews, like viruses, destabilize their host societies to their benefit. Just last April, MacDonald explained on the anti-immigrant hate site how Jews have sapped the power of the American white majority. "Despite the fact that Jews constitute less than 3 percent of the US population, the Holocaust has become a cultural icon as a direct result of Jewish activism and influence in the media, Israel has become a sacred cow in American politics, and the role of Jewish organizations in helping unleash massive multiethnic immigration into the U.S., as well as engineering the current American involvement in Iraq, goes unmentioned in public debate," MacDonald said.
antisemitism  academia 
september 2016 by kme
She Wanted to Do Her Research. He Wanted to Talk ‘Feelings.’ - The New York Times
The evasion of justice within academia is all the more infuriating because the course of sexual harassment is so predictable. Since I started writing about women and science, my female colleagues have been moved to share their stories with me; my inbox is an inadvertent clearinghouse for unsolicited love notes. Sexual harassment in science generally starts like this: A woman (she is a student, a technician, a professor) gets an email and notices that the subject line is a bit off: “I need to tell you,” or “my feelings.” The opening lines refer to the altered physical and mental state of the author: “It’s late and I can’t sleep” is a favorite, though “Maybe it’s the three glasses of cognac” is popular as well.

From the comments:
While sexual harassment is horrible, it is not the only problem. I left science as well, despite never having been sexually harassed. The problem is that if you're feminine and quiet, if you avoid the limelight and make sure you never clash with anyone or make anyone uncomfortable, you don't get ahead because you're seen as not brilliant enough. If, on the other hand, you show your brilliance, you inevitably make certain insecure men -- men who can't stand women who are smarter than they are -- uncomfortable. Such men hold grudges; they will spread lies about you behind your back, or they will push your buttons until they stumble upon something with which they can accuse you of unprofessional behavior. An argument with a co-worker over a trivial matter, which would be considered completely natural for a man, can ruin a woman's reputation and her career.

Women who make it in science tend to have a senior male protector -- a mentor who defends them from sexist attacks by more junior men. Women who are not so lucky get pushed out.

Male scientists are hypocritical to complain that there are not enough female scientists to promote to the higher levels when they are actively pushing women out at the lower levels. I am not the only woman I know who left science for reasons having nothing to do with competence or love of the subject matter. The playing field will favor men as long as women are expected to be brilliant and universally non-threatening at the same time.

There is an important special feature of the scientific enterprise that can lead to the sort of bad behavior discussed here: Many young people who devote themselves to science do so at the expense of learning how to behave socially. The excitement of learning how the physical (or biological) world works can be all-encompassing, and can lead to both neglect and disdain of social interaction. At least in math and in theoretical physics (which I know best) the young scientist can largely work on his/her own throughout most of his/her undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral training. Social maturity may consequently never happen. If and when this young scientist becomes a faculty member and is asked to supervise others, social immaturity can then lead to bad behavior.
womeninscience  sexism  science  academia  harassment  forthecomments 
june 2016 by kme
» Who Do We Write For? Global Anthropology
This situation is largely a product, I believe, of the tenure system in American anthropology, whereby each new generation of anthropologists must be seen to be doing something very different from its recent forebears in order to gain lifetime employment as professors. Ethnography-driven books are of less value in this pursuit than theory-driven books, since the latter can demonstrate an apparent advance over anthropological forebears, however fictitious this advance may be upon closer examination. This is also why, in a broader arena, music and art have also become progressively less comprehensible to the layperson: they have been increasingly confined to the academy, to departments of music and art in universities, where specialists produce work comprehensible only to fellow specialists. The Anglo-American academic world in the arts and soft social sciences seems, in its emphasis on specialists, to privilege incommunicability with the world beyond the academy.
anthropology  academia 
april 2014 by kme

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