Category: LSE Comment

Wages of Sin: Open Access is growing in theory but not in substance.

In an age where every other aspect of academia in the UK is being strangled, how is it that publisher profits have continue to rise? Paul Kirby points to the partial embrace of publishing business models that encourage article processing charges mixed with soft policies that reinforce traditional library subscription models. This is not the picture of an industry under threat. […]

Call to arms for shaking up social sciences relies on false premise that science alone can solve all social problems.

A new form of ‘interdisciplinarity’ may be emerging but has so far failed to devote equal demands on the natural sciences, as well as on the social sciences. Will Davies responds to the calls for a social science shake-up by questioning the status of the social sciences in 2014 as something other than mere understudies to the natural sciences. The shared terrain […]

Five Minutes with Nicholas A. Christakis: “Discovery is greatly facilitated by methodological innovation.”

Managing editor Sierra Williams spoke to Professor Nicholas A. Christakis ahead of next week’s LSE event, Do We Need to Shake Up the Social Sciences? Here he discusses his thoughts on the frontiers in interdisciplinary research, the need for social science departmental re-shuffles, and the radical changes shaping social science’s relevance today. Back in July, your article Let’s Shake Up the Social […]

Podcast: Audible Impact Episode 4: Academics in Exile

In this podcast, we look at what happens when academics turn enemy of the state. Stephen Wordsworth, Executive Director of the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA), talks about the beginnings of the charity first created to assist Jewish academics escaping the Holocaust, and how, 80 years later, academics in harm’s way from Zimbabwe to Syria, still rely on CARA’s support. Refugees from […]

Would paying peer reviewers improve the system? Randomised control trial explores economists’ pro-social behaviour.

The What Works Centres are government initiatives to improve the use of evidence in policymaking. Max Nathan, the Deputy Director of the What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth, turns the experimental table on researchers by exploring how cash incentives might work to improve the efficiency of peer review. The results are clear that small changes in journals’ policies could […]

Say it once, say it right: Seven strategies to improve your academic writing.

Whether writing a research article or a grant proposal, it can be difficult to pinpoint the sections and areas that need further improvement. It is useful to have a set of tactics on hand to address the work. Patrick Dunleavy outlines seven upgrade strategies for a problematic article or chapter: Do one thing well. Flatten the structure. Say it once, […]

Book Review: Can Science Fix Climate Change? by Mike Hulme

As political solutions to climate change have so far had little impact, some climate change scientists are now advocating the so-called ‘Plan B’, a more direct way of reducing the rate of future warming by reflecting more sunlight back to space, creating a thermostat in the sky. In this book, Mike Hulme argues against this kind of hubristic techno-fix. Amelia Sharman is impressed by […]

Immigration, Citizenship and Education: Should students be exempt?

Lord Heseltine has called to question the UK government’s approach to counting non-EU students in its net immigration figures and has argued instead that foreign students should be excluded from government plans to cut net immigration to the UK. Higher Education is a thriving sector largely due to the diverse student body to which it seek to cater. Increasingly restricted immigration policies […]