Inside Higher Ed | A call to embrace silos

An interview with Jerry A. Jacobs, a professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania regarding his new book, In Defense of Disciplines: Interdisciplinarity and Specialization in the Research University (University of Chicago Press). The article also features a short reply by Robert Frodeman, professor of philosophy and founding director of the Center for the Study of Interdisciplinarity at the University of North Texas, and author of Sustainable Knowledge: A Theory of Interdisciplinarity (Macmillan), which critiques ‘disciplinarity’.

Knowledge kills action – Why principles should play a limited role in policy making

This essay argues that principles should play a limited role in policy making. It first illustrates the dilemma of timely action in the face of uncertain unintended consequences. It then introduces the precautionary and proactionary principles as different alignments of knowledge and action within the policymaking process. The essay next considers a cynical and a hopeful reading of the role of these principles in public policy debates. We argue that the two principles, despite initial appearances, are not all that different when it comes to formulating public policy. We also suggest that allowing principles to determine our actions undermines the sense of autonomy necessary for true action.

@adambriggle on fracking

Apologies for never posting any more. I’m not doing much other than finishing ESTE2 — which really is coming soon!

Dangers of fracking prepublication publicity

This short post from Andy Revkin combines several of my interests: fracking, peer review, and scholarly communication.

Philosophers weigh in on the OA sting

Thanks to @thehangedman for tweeting this my way.

Nature on BIS Committee OA Report

Richard Van Noorden is especially good at reporting on the reality of RCUK’s OA mandate in light of the report.

Open and Shut? on BIS Committee Open Access Report

Great coverage by Richard Poynder on the committee’s call for more focus on Green OA.

Reinventing the Wheel, Again

What happens when someone who reads Nietzsche also reads science and technology policy documents? Click on the link to see one answer.

Fracking policy

Comments now open on proposed policy to allow more fracking on public lands.

Why study philosophy?