Why Research Universities Should be Wary of Media Rankings
The Global Language Institute has started a new index that ranks universities by number of media mentions. Below is their top ten universities.
I have a few reservations and cautions about the significance of these rankings. At one level, having comparative benchmarks that provide at least some data about the media profile of the research conducted at universities is better than no data at all. However, there is the risk that these ranking reinforce the marketing and publicity trend among research universities, with science joining athletics as a part of the competitive branding of the university.
Instead of thinking of science communication as a publicity process, research universities need to make sure that they are instead thinking of science communication as an ongoing partnership and trust-building process. Science communication expert Rick Borchelt calls this process "managing the trust portfolio," a key approach he details in a recent book chapter in an excellent edited volume on science communication. (See also powerpoint).
1. Harvard University, MA
2 . Columbia University, NY
3 . University of Chicago, IL
4 . University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
5. Stanford University, CA
6. University of Wisconsin-Madison
7. Cornell University, NY
8 . Princeton University, NJ
9. Yale University, CT
10. University of California-Berkeley
Hat tip to Nanopublic.
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We take fewer mental pictures per second.
- Recent memories run in our brains like sped-up old movies.
- In childhood, we capture images in our memory much more quickly.
- The complexities of grownup neural pathways are no match for the direct routes of young brains.
A consortium of scientists and engineers have proposed that the U.S. and Mexico build a series of guarded solar, wind, natural gas and desalination facilities along the entirety of the border.
- The proposal was recently presented to several U.S. members of Congress.
- The plan still calls for border security, considering all of the facilities along the border would be guarded and connected by physical barriers.
- It's undoubtedly an expensive and complicated proposal, but the team argues that border regions are ideal spots for wind and solar energy, and that they could use the jobs and fresh water the energy park would create.
It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?
- Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
- Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
- Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.
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