Peer Review, a Tarnished “Gold Standard”

I recently submitted a manuscript to an education journal, a review essay of another scholar’s work. It opened with a compliment of the author’s “highly-praised and influential work.” To that statement, one reviewer of my manuscript asserted that I used “emotionally loaded language of incredulity, dismissiveness, and hyperbole.” More “tone policing” comments riddled the review, … Continue reading “Peer Review, a Tarnished “Gold Standard””


How ‘Experts’ Abused Science to Saddle America with the Microaggression Mania

The need to combat “microaggressions” has recently saturated America. In higher education, business, and government, programs and policies have been implemented to deal with a supposed problem that almost no one recognized until a few years ago. Microaggressions are statements by non-minority individuals that convey racist ideas to minority hearers, thereby supporting the white power … Continue reading “How ‘Experts’ Abused Science to Saddle America with the Microaggression Mania”


Higher Education Takes Aim at ‘Colonialist’ Music

“Woke” academics have taken to attacking almost everything that’s traditional in our culture. Math and science are denounced for their “whiteness,” and Shakespeare has to be replaced by writers from “marginalized groups.” Now, it’s music that is on the chopping block. As reported in The Post Millennial, “woke” professors at Oxford University are advocating a … Continue reading “Higher Education Takes Aim at ‘Colonialist’ Music”


Who Is Responsible for the Loss of Faith in Science?

In an essay in the liberal UK broadsheet The Guardian, multiple authors chart out the most important task for the incoming Biden administration: to “restore the faith in science.” “Joe Biden’s most important promise to the American people was a policy platform taken for granted prior the Trump presidency: believe science,” the article suggests, adding … Continue reading “Who Is Responsible for the Loss of Faith in Science?”


Science and Its Discontents: Too Few Jobs—or Too Many Scientists?

“The United States is producing more research scientists than academia can handle,” so begins a July 2016 article by respected New York Times science reporter Gina Kolata. It turns out that new PhDs in science have a hard time getting a job like their mentor’s: tenured faculty in a research university. Fifty years ago, in … Continue reading “Science and Its Discontents: Too Few Jobs—or Too Many Scientists?”


Tribal Politics Is Turning Us Against Each Other—and Science

If you’ve spent much time on a college campus you’ve probably heard the claim that conservatives are anti-science. If you’re a liberal who doesn’t interact with many conservatives, you might have believed it. If you’re conservative, you probably felt frustrated and misrepresented. This view of conservatives as anti-science has been broadcast beyond the college campus. … Continue reading “Tribal Politics Is Turning Us Against Each Other—and Science”


Bad Incentives Undermine the Scientific Process

The scientific process is broken. The tenure process, “publish or perish” mentality, and the insufficient review process of academic journals mean that researchers spend less time solving important puzzles and more time pursuing publication. But that wasn’t always the case.


Science and the senator: missing the point about government waste

About to retire, Oklahoma senator Tom Coburn, M.D., has just released his 107-page 2014 Wastebook, a tabloid-type listing of over a hundred wasteful government-funded projects. Coburn continues the tradition of the late William Proxmire, the Wisconsin senator who, more modestly, chose just one or two “Golden Fleeces” each year.


An Imaginary Crisis

Conventional wisdom has it that America desperately needs more STEM graduates, but “it just ain’t so.”