• Education

    Seven steps higher ed must take to keep pace with the changes in our society (opinion)

    American higher education is undergoing a transformation as the nation hurtles from a national, analog industrial economy to a global, digital knowledge economy. The Industrial Revolution was the only other time in American history when the country and its colleges experienced change of this scope, duration and magnitude. A look back in history reveals how our colleges and universities are likely to change in the near future. It will be through a seven-step process that reveals how far we need to go to ensure that academe keeps pace with the changes taking place in our society. This step-by-step framework provides us the ability to keep score and determine what can…

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  • Science

    The Droning Preacher of Mitochondrial Ecstasy | Office for Science and Society

    Sometimes a highly credentialed person steeped in the sciences has a misleading epiphany and makes a 90-degree course correction, building a large following of people who resonate with their new guru’s pseudoscientific ideas. Social media and our collective hunger for easy solutions allow these charismatic leaders to thrive. One can only imagine how double-Nobel-Prize-winner Linus Pauling would behave on the Internet of 2021 with his belief that megadoses of vitamin C could cure many illnesses: the podcasts he would guest on, the YouTube seminars he would give, the supplements he would sell on his website. Dr. Zach Bush fits the above profile and given his religious upbringing and the spirituality…

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  • Science

    How cartoonists skewer tensions between science and society

    James Gillray’s 1802 illustration explores fears about using cowpox to vaccinate against smallpox.Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division Patricia Fara, a historian of science at the University of Cambridge, UK, has written for decades about subjects from Isaac Newton to the women who worked as researchers during the First World War. Along the way, she’s collected illustrations. In a yet-to-be-published project, Fara has curated 42 scientific cartoons and caricatures from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, mainly from the United Kingdom and the United States. During this period, artists such as William Hogarth and James Gillray skewered the social and political tensions around emerging scientific, medical and technological ideas,…

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  • Science

    We Need Release from “Science By Press Release” | Office for Science and Society

    Chances are that most of you had not heard of colchicine before recent headlines excitedly hyping its potential as a treatment for COVID-19. Unless you suffer from gout. Then you surely recognize colchicine as a reliable friend, capable of soothing the excruciating pain caused by the buildup of uric acid in joints. This compound, a natural component of the autumn crocus, has played that role for over 3000 years! It already earned praise for alleviating the distress of gout in the Ebers Papyrus, the famous Egyptian compilation of medical treatments dating to around 1500 BC. Of course, that was long before colchicine was known as a pure compound. The remedy…

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  • Jobs

    All work and low pay: are we too devoted to our jobs? | Society books

    If the past year has made us ask one question, it must surely be: how is it that our society so often chooses to place the least value on the work it needs the most? One effect of the pandemic has been to strip away some of the mythologies of the labour market to reveal its bare essentials, what we have come to know as our “key workers”: that extraordinary frontline army in the NHS, the indispensable “caring professions”, the teachers who have tried to manage their children at home and our children on Zoom, the refuse collectors and transport workers and shop assistants and delivery drivers who have risked…

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  • Science

    Incoming White House science and technology leader on AI, diversity, and society

    Technologies like artificial intelligence and human genome editing “reveal and reflect even more about the complex and sometimes dangerous social architecture that lies beneath the scientific progress that we pursue,” said Dr. Alondra Nelson today as part of the introduction of the Biden administration science team. On Friday, the Biden transition team appointed Nelson to the position of OSTP deputy director for science and society. Biden will be sworn in Wednesday to officially become the 46th president of the United States. At its core, Nelson said in a televised ceremony, science is a social phenomenon, a reflection of people, their relationships, and institutions. So it really matters who’s in the…

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  • Exchange Student

    Society helps students exchange their ideas | News

    Richard Petrosyan has always had a passion for exploring new questions and knowledge.  However, as an undergraduate at the University of Southern California, he found there wasn’t a particular platform that allowed students to exchange ideas and ask questions. “A lot of the organizations have, as a purpose, to execute something—some task, some activity that is dictated by an executive committee,” said Petrosyan, a third-year neuroscience student at USC. This led Petrosyan to create the Philologos Society at USC, an altruistically oriented intellectual society, in July 2019. “This (society) really enables the student to, whatever their interest is, to explore it, to delve into it and produce some work ……

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