Norman Borlaug’s Nobel Prize Lecture – The death of Borlaug, one of the founders of the Green Revolution, sparked numerous tributes (NY Times, WSJ, Guardian). Gregg Easterbrook in the WSJ estimates that Borlaug’s agricultural work has saved more than 1 billion lives and counting. Leave it to GetReligion, however, to highlight the link between his Lutheran roots and his agricultural work. In his 1970 Nobel Prize lecture, Borlaug cites Genesis 41, Isaiah 8 and Isa. 35, Joel 1, and Amos 4 as justification for both his work and his hope in its success. [It reminds me of Walter Bradley’s work that won the Bosscher-Hammond Prize at Following Christ. ~ Mike]
The Game of Ghost Writing – Doug Lederman at Inside Higher Ed reviews a couple of new studies that examine the practice of scientific “ghost writing”: journal articles written by pharmaceutical companies or other corporate interests but published under the names of academics who had little to nothing to do with the research. (Mike’s note: I agree with the commenter who observes that “ghost writing” is hardly the term for this practice.)
More on the challenge of humility. What does it mean “to serve” and “put the interest of others” ahead of one’s own in the context of higher education? Bearing the Burden reviews some recent posts on how
the service burdens are unfairly distributed, falling mainly on academic do-gooders, “who work hardest for the institution” yet “reap the fewest material benefits because they publish at a slower pace.” … academic do-gooders need to learn to just say no. … “those of us who overwork are covering up for and enabling those who under perform. Most universities have no mechanism for forcing tenured people teach better, teach more, show up at office hours, give students responsible advice about their program of study, or do the committee work they have been assigned” — Gabriela Montell, Chronicle of Higher Education, 9/18/2009.
Lots of provoking material in Academic Bait-and-Switch, Part 2 (Henry Adams, Chronicle of Higher Education, 9/15/2009).
- Freshman disinterested in reading, mastering the basics of writing sentences, and earning their grades as the “interesting distinctions between the worldviews of freshmen and graduate students at Elite National U.”
- A summary of the graduate student’s encounter with a parent over the “F” he had awarded their son.
- The final sentence of the essay reads, “If the Blunts didn’t want their son taught by a TA, I wondered why they sent him to Elite National U, but I thought it wise to keep that to myself.”