Recommended reads #174


Here is a piece of educational research on the relationship between undergraduate research and depression, another product Brownell lab at ASU. The article includes specific recommendations for those doing research with undergraduates to promote inclusive research experiences for students with depression. Sounds like a must-read for all of us with undergrads in our (currently virtual) labs.

When universities start teaching in the Fall, what choices does the pandemic give us? Here’s a full taxonomy of fifteen options. (Including HyFlex, which seems to be popular even though it’s also perhaps the most difficult for faculty to pull off well?) What is your university saying it will do, and what do you think they will actually do when the Fall arrives?

As if you didn’t know this, but: Colleges that are reopening are making a big mistake.

Stephen Heard has some things to say about leveraging intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation in our teaching. I think I disagree to some extent, but I’ll save that for a post, when I am up to it. As you can tell by browsing this site, I have not been up to much on here lately. Sorry, y’all.

By the way, have you read Stephen’s new book on how species are named? It’s called Charles Darwin’s Barnacle and David Bowie’s Spider. It’s a delight. I’m digesting it slowly in the midst of other reads, as a treat.

In the latest meeting of Chevron shareholders, a majority of voting shares supported disclosure of expenditures on climate change lobbying, with an explanation of how they align with the Paris agreement. Wow. It passed by a narrow margin, and was backed by major asset management firms, including CalPERS (which manages my the pension fund for many California state employees, including myself). So some of my retirement funds are invested in oil, but at least they’re voting against management on this issue? Not sure how I feel about this?

Why do universities (still) have endowments? [highlighted read] This essay is so good, and crystallizes a lot of things I’ve been trying to say about higher education on here, and then says a lot more, and really well. If you’ve been interested in my thoughts about how well-endowed and prestigious institutions reinforce status quo and how efforts to recruit minoritized people are window dressing rather than an actual attempt at transformation, then I bet you’ll find this very insightful. And if you’ve been inclined to not agree with me because my words are weak sauce, then I think you can benefit from reading this too.

I think it’s super cool that Braiding Sweetgrass is now becoming a bestseller, after the book has been around for so long. It’s definitely a rarity in the book world. But then again, it’s a very special book that deserves a wide audience. Here’s a nice interview with the author, Robin Wall Kimmerer, that covers ground on the pandemic, compassion, and plant rights.

Here is a great piece of science writing about a recent paper on the founding of new colonies of naked mole rats. The science itself is cool, too.

Academia in the time of COVID: an ethics of care: “The global COVID-19 pandemic is affecting people’s work-life balance across the world. For academics, confinement policies enacted by most countries have implied a sudden switch to home-work, a transition to online teaching and mentoring, and an adjustment of research activities. In this article we discuss how the COVID-19 crisis is affecting our profession and how it may change it in the future.”

John Houghton, one of the founders of the IPCC, has died. Here’s a nice obituary in Nature.

Have a safe weekend, y’all.

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