Category Archives: Economics & STEM Research

The effect of economic/business considerations on science, technology, engineering, & mathematics policy and outcomes.

New Editorial at Springer by Luciano Floridi

Sometimes, we may forget how much we owe to flakes and wheels, to sparks and ploughs and to engines and satellites. We are reminded of such deep technological debt when we divide human life into prehistory and history. That significant threshold is there … Continue reading

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The Case for Breaking Up With Your Parents

While Lambert, author of “Nonstop,” admires the multitasking undergraduates Harvard attracts, he also worries about the intellectual and emotional costs of such all-consuming busyness. In a turn toward gravitas, he quotes the French film director Jean Renoir’s observation that “the … Continue reading

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Happiness: No longer the dismal science? | The Economist

They argue that happiness can be measured objectively; that it differs systematically across societies and over time; that happiness has predictable causes and is correlated to specific things (such as wealth, income distribution, health and political institutions); and that therefore it should be possible for … Continue reading

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Amazon vs. Apple: Competing Ecosystem Strategies

This shift from products to solutions matters to everyone. In industries ranging from consumer electronics to construction and from media to mining, the firms seizing the lead are those that can best align ecosystems of offers and partners. An interesting … Continue reading

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Legislator Berates NSF for Rising Gas Prices – ScienceInsider

Thanks to @Ananyo on Twitter for pointing out Jeffrey Mervis’s report on last week’s hearing on NSF’s 2013 budget request: Legislator Berates NSF for Rising Gas Prices – ScienceInsider. Mervis draws our attention to a question from Representative Andy Harris … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Broader Impacts, Economics & STEM Research, Metrics, NSF, Peer Review, STEM Policy, US Science Agencies | Leave a comment

Census Finds Bachelor’s Degrees at Record Level

More than 30 percent of American adults hold bachelor’s degrees, a first in the nation’s history, and women are on the brink of surpassing men in educational attainment, the Census Bureau reported [last] Thursday. The figures reflect an increase in … Continue reading

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Scientists have sold their souls to business | Ananyo Bhattacharya | Science | guardian.co.uk

A reactive attitude toward impact: The assumption that the lack of evidence for impact is evidence for lack of impact permeates Whitehall and the Swindon-based research councils charged with funding science. The research councils continue to demand impact statements with … Continue reading

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The Brain Drain in Spain … We Should Feel their Pain

I’ll briefly summarize the article from Nature by Amaya Moro-Martin: Spain’s ministry of science no longer exists, having been absorbed, along with a substantial cut in funding, by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. Spain’s university system is so backward … Continue reading

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Martin Luther King: Science Advocate

@livingarchitect, Rachel Armstrong, passes along this great piece. It is a wonderful reminder of why reason & faith should not be seen as mutually exclusive. And captures some real insights on how an mindfully open science that is divorced from … Continue reading

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Other Posts on the Research Works Act

John Dupuis at scienceblogs.com has done a nice job of collecting some of the better blogs discussing the RWA, including the discussion by our own J. Britt Holbrook. Around the Web: Some posts on The Research Works Act : Confessions … Continue reading

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Blue-sky bias should be brought down to Earth : Nature News & Comment

Daniel Sarewitz’s latest column in Nature dispels the myth that applied research will always drive out basic research. Blue-sky bias should be brought down to Earth : Nature News & Comment. Perhaps it is not just the basic science funding … Continue reading

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Quietude: The Wave of the Future…

…and of course what every great philosopher since the beginning of recorded history has ever told us. In barely one generation we’ve moved from exulting in the time-saving devices that have so expanded our lives to trying to get away … Continue reading

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Innovation & the Internet

Thanks to @Neilstephenson for sharing this article on Twitter. The ethos of the Internet is that everyone should have the freedom to connect, to innovate, to program, without asking permission. No one can know the whole of the network, and … Continue reading

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Heretical Economics & the Blogosphere

These three schools of macroeconomic thought [the neo-chartalists, the market monetarists, & the "Austrian"school] differ in their pedigree, in their beliefs, in their persuasiveness and in their prospects. Yet they also have a lot in common. They have thrived on … Continue reading

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Neopythagorean Technoscience Mythos

Our cyberpunk STEM folks certainly do not appear to be losing their very deep steampunk roots. The Demiurge of Plato that became the Watchmaker of Galileo is now the MetaSteveJobs of the Cosmos… wow, those technoscientists really know how to … Continue reading

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Driving Students into the Arms of For-Profit Schools

But despite her efforts to complete the coursework in the ensuing four years, Nelson is still not a nurse. California’s budget cuts have forced the state’s community college system to scale back the availability of crucial science classes. Nelson found … Continue reading

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The Useless PhD?

Thanks to Senior Fellow @ProfSteveFuller for tweeting this article: ON THE evening before All Saints’ Day in 1517, Martin Luther nailed 95 theses to the door of a church in Wittenberg. In those days a thesis was simply a position … Continue reading

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Democratizing Science

Senior Fellow Steve Fuller publishes a new piece in Logos & Episteme: The question in the title is addressed in three parts. First, I associate the democratisation of science with the rise of ‗Protscience‘ (i.e. ‗Protestant Science‘), which pertains to the long-term … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Broader Impacts, Economics & STEM Research, Public Philosophizing, Science and technology ramifications, STEM Policy, TechnoScience & Technoscientism, Transformative Research | Leave a comment

measuring impact

I’m at a workshop in Brussels, listening to people talk about metrics, bibliometrics, and the measuring of research impact. The conversation turns to metrics so quickly, rather than dwelling on the question, what is impact? Reminds me of the forgetfulness … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Broader Impacts, Economics & STEM Research, Metrics, Public Philosophizing, Science and technology ramifications, TechnoScience & Technoscientism | 1 Comment

Militarized Millipedes?

Thinking about the broader impacts of an “army of cyborg insects” is probably worth doing…and not just because of NSF funding criteria.  There’s some pretty wild hubris in the BBC article below – most likely a mix of sensationalistic journalism … Continue reading

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Escaping Neo-Liberalism: Degrowth economics

If the South is to attempt to create non-growth societies, it must rethink and re-localise. Southern countries need to escape from their economic and cultural dependence on the North and rediscover their own histories – interrupted by colonialism, development and … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Degrowth Economics, Economics & STEM Research, Environmental policy, Public Philosophizing, Science and technology ramifications, Sustainability, Risk Management, & Long-Term Security | 4 Comments

The On-Going Wilderness Debate

…among the economically/financially inclined thinkers. Economist Debates: Wilderness.

Posted in Economics & STEM Research, Environmental policy, Public Philosophizing, Science and technology ramifications, Sustainability, Risk Management, & Long-Term Security | Leave a comment

Interview With Economist Jerry Epstein | Truthout

Possibly instructive on how to leverage a new clearing for publicly engaged philosophy that is at home behind the walls of the academy and within the open spaces of the public common. What Are Economics for? Interview With Economist Jerry … Continue reading

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Unsustainable “Sustainable Development”

It would seem that there is nothing sustainable about decimating a region’s social fabric. But somehow displacing 20,000 Ugandans to develop a British tree plantation is considered “sustainable development” under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism. This incident, brought to … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Climate Change, Economics & STEM Research, Environmental policy, Open Access, Science and technology ramifications, STEM Policy, Sustainability, Risk Management, & Long-Term Security, TechnoScience & Technoscientism | Leave a comment

Meet the New Draco – Same as the Old Draco

The term draconian, meaning ‘excessively harsh,’ traces back to an ancient Athenian statesman from the late 7th century BCE – Draco.  In response to social strife generated by an economic crisis, he instituted laws whose very severity was supposed to … Continue reading

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