York University

Doing Public Science with Let's Talk Science & Science Rendezvous

Here's my belated June 1st post: I've always believed that learning, teaching and doing science should be fun. Amazingly, while I've been having fun with this over the last 35 years, I've received many disapproving looks from science teachers, professors, and "serious" research scientists.  I have concluded, that they have absolutely no sense of humour, and I've simply ignored their frowns, […]

#WinterTerm2016 is a wrap: some of what went down

It's Friday of Week 13, and next Monday is the last day of classes, before final exams begin, next Wednesday. York University's Winter Term 2016 began earlier than any other Ontario university, so, we finish early, too. Here are some Plant Ecology students today, weary, yet still smiling (ok, I asked them to smile), from left […]

@YorkuScientists project wants you!

Project Page -- Check Availability of Dates -- Sign Up Form Many STEM researchers and teachers have found found Twitter to be an efficient and effective way of communicating about their work with each other, and a broader audience. In addition to individuals tweeting, the institutional account is also a thing. But, as many institutions discover, creating and […]

Ada Lovelace Day 2015 at York University: 26th & 29th October 2015

Ada Lovelace Day was launched in 2009, by Suw Charman-Anderson, as way of drawing attention to and celebrating the under-appreciated contributions of women to STEM fields: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. I first came across Ada Lovelace Day in 2013, when I added a post to the international map (below right), about one of my female mentors, Professor Emerita […]

Academic Citizenship: my authored output in 2015 so far, is 15 references

John Morgan (@JMorganTHE) and Chris Havergal's (@CHavergalTHE) wide-ranging article in the Times Higher Education magazine describes the stresses and strains on the clear glue that holds the global higher education ecosystem together. All of the invisible work that we do beyond our research and teaching can be loosely termed "administration", or community-building, or academic citizenship. […]

Keeping on the bright side: High & Low points of my 2014 #HigherEd year in numbers

An Academic New Year's Resolution list: For 2015, 101 Big And Small Ways To Make A Difference In Academia http://t.co/DCBuVYWyLo — Conditional Accept (@conditionaccept) January 7, 2015 In my experience, what I do remains a mystery to most people both within and outside of Higher Education. When they were young, my daughters told me that […]

Confronting Structural Sexism in #STEM: Pt 3

Given the sexual harassment of female students that I directly witnessed when I was a student doing field work, I've been infuriated by the Jian Ghomeshi debacle with its victim blaming. Although the sexual harassment that I personally witnessed happened 30 years ago, it, too, still makes me cross. So, Clancy et al's 2014 PLOS ONE paper on what appears […]

Perspective on the rise of administrators and audit culture in Higher Education

Update: The books examining and exposing audit culture, the rise of the managerial class in higher education, just keep on coming, e.g .Derek Sayer's forthcoming Rank Hypocrisies. The main proponents of audit culture in higher education often seem to be former academics who've entered the one-way street of administration. They're unlikely to return to active teaching […]

On recognizing the intrinsic multi-dimensional nature of Research & Teaching

Academic policy makers, administrators and many academics simply don't seem to get how to deal with the multi-variate nature of higher education. Despite having access to the tools and statistics to take account of all this, it is generally ignored. In my opinion, the recent attempts by HEQCO , the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, provide […]