Wednesday, July 09, 2014


  1. Heidi Ledford in Nature News: We dislike being alone with our thoughts. "Many people would rather endure physical pain than suffer their own wandering cogitations."

    Here's my cynical take: A fun study makes bold claims in psychology, and gets published in Science. How long will it survive before it gets retracted?

  2. Patricia Fara in Nature: Women in science: A temporary liberation:

    The First World War ushered women into laboratories and factories. In Britain, it may have won them the vote, argues Patricia Fara, but not the battle for equality.

  3. Casey Miller and Keivan Stassun in Nature: A Test that Fails.

    Universities in the United States rely too heavily on the graduate record examinations (GRE) — a standardized test introduced in 1949 that is an admissions requirement for most US graduate schools. This practice is poor at selecting the most capable students and severely restricts the flow of women and minorities into the sciences.

    We are not the only ones to reach this conclusion. [...]


  1. Anonymous said...

    "Universities in the United States rely too heavily on the graduate record examinations (GRE)"

    I am not sure they do. MIT did not use to require the GRE for their graduate admissions. Princeton's engineering schools explicitly say that students only need to clear some undisclosed (apparently very low) university cutoffs. Other places I know of seem to be less explicit, but are (quite rightly) equally dismissive of the GRE.

    To me the GRE seems like a huge scam. Any one can see that it is hardly any kind of predictor for being good at research (learning obscure vocabulary is hardly the kind of stuff researchers do), and its quantitative section has always been a joke. But somehow still, a company keeps making money out of a test whose results many universities simply ignore anyway.

    Similar criticisms hold for SAT. That is why I am surprised when SAT and GRE are presented as a benchmark for the JEE and GATE. There are problems with JEE and GATE, but SAT and GRE is hardly what they should be.

  2. cipher said...

    Why is 5 empty?