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Where Academics Succeed, Where We Fail

Holden Karnofsky’s take from the latest 80,000 Hours podcast on where academics provide the most value and where they could be doing much better aligns a lot with my own, especially as I get ready to write a book that will sum up a lot of the cutting-edge work others have done on US healthcare and try to explain what it all means. 1,444 more words


On Not Going to AWP

This year, I will not be attending the AWP conference in Tampa. I will not receive a tote bag, nor will I peruse the book fair and return with conference swag like pins or bookmarks or back copies of cool literary magazines. 440 more words


Why I spent my morning on a picket line

This week I am on strike, for the first time in my life. I spent four hours this morning in the freezing cold handing out leaflets in front of New College, the building where I usually work. 548 more words


Into the world of the Houses of Parliament: writing, writing, writing

And suddenly, it’s all over! After three months working at POST, I’m now sat back in the Exeter office and back to PhD life. I can’t believe that I finally have a… 975 more words


Assessing Assessors

Another facet of the “college isn’t really worth it” mindset has shown up in an op-ed by Molly Worthen in the New York Times. The op-ed itself complains that assessments of learning in colleges are, as implemented at present, a waste of time and effort. 1,102 more words


Moving for academic careers is not ‘just like other jobs’

Recently, I’ve been hearing a recurring argument for why academic relocation is not a big deal compared to other jobs, usually in response to early career researchers discussing how often, and how far, they’ve had to move for work (e.g. 689 more words


Masquerade Funhouse?

A thread on an AGU mail group lately has gone back and forth on whether peer-review of proposals by U.S. federal agencies is fair. Some have asserted that retribution exists in the system, but many of those who have participated have argued it is about as fair as any other activity involving humans, downplaying the possibility of massive collusion to punish an individual. 1,874 more words