Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Today's Random Thoughts

-I've seen write-ups about the new study finding a link between poverty and working memory (the longer kids were in poverty they more stress they reported and the less working memory they had) all over the place. I think the write-up in the Economist is probably the best one I've seen. Unfortunately, I have yet to see any coverage that links to the actual article. I'll be tracking that down shortly and we'll see if I still think the Economist's coverage was good. Here's the article from the Washington Post as well. Update: Here's a link to the article abstract, and I believe anybody can open a pdf version of the full article from the site as well.

-Joseph Nye has an op-ed in the Washington Post expressing dismay that professors of political science are too busy writing about theory and methodology to actually examine real-world policy. Indeed, a friend of mine in a Poli Sci doctoral program says that those who examine public policy are shunned in the field. I suspect that Poli Sci professors are worse at this than in most fields, and that it matters more than in most fields, but the disconnect between academic research and the real world continues to frustrate me (though, to be fair, education policy is more connected to the real world than are the vast majority of academic fields).

-There's a point to my last blog post, I swear.

1 comment:

Stephen Lentz said...

Oh I hear you on the poli sci critique. As a former poli sci major, I often was baffled by some of the garbage that my professors came up with. I literally took the exact number of courses I needed to complete the major, and stopped there.

Conversely, I found my other major, history, to be wildly fascinating and much more grounded in reality. Maybe it was just the benefit of hindsight that brought history to life for me, but the discipline certainly made a more relevant and lasting impression on me than about 90% of the poli sci classes I suffered through.