There is a sport where two individuals clash in front of thousands of screaming fans. A heated bout where both participants throw jabs at each other and launch haymakers hoping to land a knockout blow; and it’s all for money. A bloody display of barbarism and competition not unlike the violent exhibitions of Roman gladiators. That sport … is called politics. Unlike boxing, … [Read more...] about Election to Electron: How Election Time Inflames the Fight for Federal Funding
Fall 2020 Magazine
In the Shadow of the Valley of Tech
It started with prunes. Long before Silicon Valley was the innovation capital of the world, it was a giant valley of fruit trees and verdant hills. The primary crop in the then called Santa Clara Valley was the French plum, which was sun-dried to turn into the valley’s most popular export and métier: prunes. By the late 19th century, the Industrial Revolution had produced … [Read more...] about In the Shadow of the Valley of Tech
Identity Crisis: Research continuity in the face of an epidemic
Q&A with Alexandra Albinak, Johns Hopkins University January 21, 2020. That was when news first broke that the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, had arrived in the United States. The next three months saw the country scrambling to understand the scale of what was about to happen. In the midst of this, universities began shuttering their campuses and the American academic … [Read more...] about Identity Crisis: Research continuity in the face of an epidemic
Funny You Should Ask: Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words?
This is The Big Idea’s reoccurring segment where we ask some of our top professors from across the University of Houston to weigh in on a truism or idiom – a safe place for them to rant, wax poetic or dazzle us with their clever take on age-old adages. First, a photographer… As most photographers can confirm, when people say a picture is worth a thousand words, they … [Read more...] about Funny You Should Ask: Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words?
From Concept to Commercialization: The Importance of Supporting IP in our Universities
The road to the next life-altering discovery, invention or device often begins with university-imagined Intellectual Property (IP) and ends when an outside company makes the investment to productize the discovery. Is there enough emphasis placed on this pipeline nationwide? The more one looks at this complicated question, we see there are numerous problems; in a rush to publish … [Read more...] about From Concept to Commercialization: The Importance of Supporting IP in our Universities
Some European institutions, according to a recently published Nature article, have started to rely on science integrity inspectors to review papers prior to submission for errors in manuscripts.1 So far, this has not caught on in the United States. The question is, should it? One of the institutes highlighted in the Nature article was the Fritz Lipman Institute (FLI) in … [Read more...] about Science Integrity
Getting (Un)Involved: Climate Change Researchers and The Paris Agreement
We’re not spending money on that anymore. We consider that to be a waste of your money. These words regarding climate change were spoken by Mick Mulvaney, director of the Trump Administration’s Office of Management and Budget. The government has rolled back policies that aimed to slow down climate change and reduce environmental pollution. It has also limited federal funding … [Read more...] about Getting (Un)Involved: Climate Change Researchers and The Paris Agreement
The GI Bill
I started college in 1947. Most of the other students in my classes were returning veterans, ten or so years older than I was. That was just three years after President Roosevelt had signed Public Law 346, The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act. But everyone simply called it the GI Bill. It gave tuition, books, and college living expenses to returning veterans. A predictable … [Read more...] about The GI Bill