Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

What needs to change in academia?

Question: What needs to change in academia?

Harris-Lacewell: The academy has changed, especially if you sort of think about the elite academy, but in a way that I’m not sure is great.  So maybe it’s important, but really imperfect in some important ways.  So I would say the biggest change in our discussion of race is that we talk about race as a social construction.  We keep pointing out that race is not a biological reality.  And except for Skip Gates at Harvard who is taking everybody’s blood sample and determining our DNA relationships around race, and thereby reasserting this kind of “blood is race”, everybody else has moved on past DNA, and past blood, and is thinking much more carefully about how race gets constructed through our laws, cultural practices, common self-understandings, those kinds of things.  And that’s really important, except that it’s not how most people actually experience their lives.  So I’m empiricist, right?  I’m a political scientist who’s out there in the world empirically trying to grasp how people are experiencing their own lives.  And I guess I’d have to say race feels really real on a day-to-day basis even if it’s a socially constructed identity.  When you have to get your hair done and you need a Black barbershop, that feels real, not socially constructed, right?  When you’re pulled over by the police and you’re nervous because he’s a White guy and you’re Black, that feels real.  When Don Imus calls you a nappy-headed ho, that feels real.  That doesn’t feel like, oh, this is just a part of this kind of, you know, fluid notions of human identity that emerge across . . .  Maybe, but I am concerned that part of what happens when the academy shoots off that way is that it fails to be able to talk about people’s life experiences; the kind of humanity with which we understand our race and experience our racialized cells.  That your Black body moving around in New York; your Black body on the train in Mississippi; your Black body sitting on the Beach in California evokes different behaviors, attitudes, opinions than the White body does.  And that, I think, we lose when we focus exclusively on the socio-historical constructions of race.

Race as discussed in academia should not be treated as just a social construct.

The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education

Higher education faces challenges that are unlike any other industry. What path will ASU, and universities like ASU, take in a post-COVID world?

Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Everywhere you turn, the idea that coronavirus has brought on a "new normal" is present and true. But for higher education, COVID-19 exposes a long list of pernicious old problems more than it presents new problems.
  • It was widely known, yet ignored, that digital instruction must be embraced. When combined with traditional, in-person teaching, it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale.
  • COVID-19 has forced institutions to understand that far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student's family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted.
Keep reading Show less

How Hemingway felt about fatherhood

Parenting could be a distraction from what mattered most to him: his writing.

Ernest Hemingway Holding His Son 1927 (Wikimedia Commons)
Culture & Religion

Ernest Hemingway was affectionately called “Papa," but what kind of dad was he?

Keep reading Show less

The biology of aliens: How much do we know?

Hollywood has created an idea of aliens that doesn't match the science.

Videos
  • Ask someone what they think aliens look like and you'll probably get a description heavily informed by films and pop culture. The existence of life beyond our planet has yet to be confirmed, but there are clues as to the biology of extraterrestrials in science.
  • "Don't give them claws," says biologist E.O. Wilson. "Claws are for carnivores and you've got to be an omnivore to be an E.T. There just isn't enough energy available in the next trophic level down to maintain big populations and stable populations that can evolve civilization."
  • In this compilation, Wilson, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, Bill Nye, and evolutionary biologist Jonathan B. Losos explain why aliens don't look like us and why Hollywood depictions are mostly inaccurate.
Keep reading Show less

Masturbation boosts your immune system, helping you fight off infection and illness

Can an orgasm a day really keep the doctor away?

Image by Yurchanka Siarhei on Shutterstock
Sex & Relationships
  • Achieving orgasm through masturbation provides a rush of feel-good hormones (such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin) and can re-balance our levels of cortisol (a stress-inducing hormone). This helps our immune system function at a higher level.
  • The surge in "feel-good" hormones also promotes a more relaxed and calm state of being, making it easier to achieve restful sleep, which is a critical part in maintaining a high-functioning immune system.
  • Just as bad habits can slow your immune system, positive habits (such as a healthy sleep schedule and active sex life) can help boost your immune system which can prevent you from becoming sick.
Keep reading Show less

Live on Tuesday | Personal finance in the COVID-19 era

Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.

Quantcast