Driving Force

There are potential risks associated with the use of these new forms of communication. Here are some cautionary tales about social media use as well as some thoughts on how to avoid such problems.

A recent report from the Brookings Institute suggests a better way for new findings in basic research to be translated into economic growth: nurturing university startups. So far it has worked in states with robust economies, but can it work for states and cities with fewer resources?

Recent White House initiatives aim to increase college aspirations for low-income students, but proposed "mismatch" policies could limit admissions of students of color from top universities on the grounds that they are intellectually ill-suited for such a competitive environment.

Adjunct professors now account for half of all faculty members, yet poor compensation and lack of benefits often put them at or below the poverty line. Find out how adjuncts fare at your alma mater.

The ever-growing push for "transparency and accountability," is forcing scientists to conform to a narrow band of criteria measuring their effort and product. Many outcomes are not readily captured, including creativity, risktaking, public advocacy and leadership. This kind of hypocrisy recalls the aphorism of "valuing what is measured" instead of "measuring what is valued."

Many minority faculty experience alienation from their colleagues when they dare to ask "different" research questions. Can the academy recalibrate its climate and reward system to recognize divergent scholarship?

A disability doesn't have to hold you back in your research career — in fact, sometimes a disability can actually be a benefit! A new online resource, PhD(isabled), offers support, firsthand accounts and essays for students with disabilities.

Publishing in high impact factor journals betters one's professional chances of success. However, relying on the impact factor as a mark of great science is considered problematic by most researchers, but good alternatives remain elusive.

That certain universities, laboratories, and investigators are chronically successful while others fall short raises questions of process, but also of the paradigm.

Visual arts professor Benjamin Bratton is getting a lot of attention for his TEDx where he bluntly criticizes TED Talks for oversimplifying the complex and putting too much emphasis on feeling good. Do you agree? What are your thoughts on TED Talks?