Go Phoenixes! Plenty of colleges offer the occasional course on science fiction, but now at UW Green Bay, you can actually major in science fiction studies. Including making your own movie!
The number of postdocs is growing, but academic positions are scarce. What's a recent graduate/PhD candidate/prospective grad student to do? Kendall Powell surveys the status of the postdoctoral landscape, in a feature for Nature that should be required reading for anyone in – or considering entering – academia.
Reason number 5,000,000,000 to wish you'd gone to MIT... There's a great article in MIT News Magazine about the MIT Science Fiction Society, with its incredibly awesome library. Which started with a wooden crate dragged between dorm rooms in 1949 and is now a massive storehouse of awesome.
A small group of elite science journals get the lion's share of citations and media attention, but that dominance is eroding as it becomes easier for scientists to find obscure but relevant papers. In 1995, only 27% of citations pointed to articles published in non-elite journals. That portion grew to 47% by 2013.
With over 34 thousand followers, it's likely that you're already following the excellent Lego Academics twitter account, which'll celebrate its one-month anniversary next week. If you aren't, you should.
Everybody knows Kim Kardashian is "famous for being famous." But one researcher worries that some in the scientific community are likewise "renowned for being renowned." How could you tell if a scientist has an overblown public profile? Meet the Kardashian Index.
I love the highly-specific title of this academic paper by Melissa Tatum, Robert Spoo, and Banjamin Pope: "Does Gender Influence Attitudes Toward Copyright in the Filk Community?" It combines three hot-button issues: copyright, gender, and fandom. It's a like a powder keg of things people have very strong opinions on.
Can you tell the difference between a chatbot and a PhD thesis advisor? PHD Comics puts college professors to the Turing Test, and they fail hilariously.
Readers of XKCD may already be familiar with "Every Major's Terrible," Randall Munroe's cynical ode to undergraduate indecision, but there's a good chance you've never seen or heard it performed by an actual person – let alone an entire chorus. That's where the Simon Fraser University Choir comes in.
If you've ever been at a science fiction or fantasy convention late at night, you've heard people singing ballads based on their favorite stories and characters. That's the magic of filking, and at last a university library will be collecting materials related to this time-honored custom.
"Summing up years of work in one sentence." That's the tagline for Lol My Thesis, where PhD candidates (Edit: and undergrads) make fun of their own theses by reducing them to just a sentence or two.
In a few short years, China has metamorphosed from a middling contributor to scientific knowledge into one of the most prolific research entities on the planet. But the country's meteoric ascent to scientific prominence – widely attributed to a flawed incentive system – has given unintentional rise to a lucrative…
Though page number is obviously far less important than the content and quality of one's work, it is nevertheless very common for PhD candidates to obsess over the length of their theses. How many pages should it be? How long are other people's theses? Short answer: it varies. And by more than you may realize.
Want to find life on other planets but don't know where to begin? Starting in January, the University of Edinburgh will be offering a course on the search for extraterrestrial life. Best of all? You can take the course online for free.
University exams are never anyone's idea of a rollicking time, particularly when your professor rambles on besotted for 23 hours, denies you sustenance and bathroom breaks, and covers topics not on the syllabus, such as her wardrobe and outside business interests.
Very few universities have had realistic "action figures" made of their faculties and staff. One exception is the University of the Ozarks in Arkansas, where Dr. Jesse Weiss (Associate Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies) has produced a collection of them.
A diploma doesn't necessarily indicate expertise. Zoe D Katze, Ph.D., C.Ht., DAPA, for example, has a wall of diplomas, despite being unable to sign her name. She doesn't have the opposable thumbs for it.
Want to spend a few semesters analyzing the Marxist subtext of Scream Blacula Scream? This fall, University of Hertfordshire in England will offer an MA in Vampire Literature. They're also holding a conference next weekend: "Open Graves, Open Minds."
When did robots become more popular than cold fusion? Will nano out pace micro as academia's prefix of choice? PHD Comics charts out the changing popularity of various buzzwords in academic papers over the years.
Do you spend hours analyzing the moral philosophy of Watchmen, the multicultural occultism of Promethea, or what Lost Girls says about storytelling and human sexuality? Consider submitting a paper to an upcoming academic conference on the work of Alan Moore.