MIT Professor James Wescoat – YouTube.
MIT’s Aga Khan Professor of Architecture James Wescoat, who specializes in the study of water, uses a decidedly interdisciplinary approach in his research.
Video: Melanie Gonick
Still images: James Wescoat/Aga Khan for Culture, India/Aga Khan Planning & Building Service, Pakistan
To Thomas Lukaszuk:
Hello minister Lukaszuk. We’ve never met. I’m president of the Alberta College of Art and Design faculty association. I hope you don’t mind, but I thought I might help out with this whole post-secondary budget problem.
You seem a little confused, what with the constantly changing information coming out of your office, and let me tell you I am too. So let’s figure this thing out together.
You might not be aware that your request for an across-the-board salary freeze, including faculty salaries, in a letter of April 18 to the college’s board of governors, undermines the principle of collective bargaining as supported by provincial legislation.
My faculty association’s job is to negotiate a settlement with the board of governors you appointed, not to listen to your requests and just agree. Then again, you didn’t make the request to me.
In fact, to my knowledge, while you seem content to make decisions about my livelihood, you’ve never met with faculty representatives in this province.
Your reported suggestion that “teaching loads could also be on the table” — which I assume is code for indirect layoffs — is also puzzling, since I don’t recall you being invited to the bargaining table to begin with. You might be surprised to learn how much teaching loads vary among schools and programs.
via Oped: Schooling minister Lukaszuk.
n a post-speech question-and-answer session at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the minister dropped his usual carefully measured tone to decry leading climate-change scientist James Hansen, recently retired from NASA. Developing the oil sands, Mr. Hansen has said, would mean “there is no hope of keeping carbon concentrations below 500 (parts per million), a level that would, as earth’s history shows, leave our children a climate system that is out of their control.”
The minister said such doom and gloom predictions were “exaggerated rhetoric,” that “doesn’t do the (environmentalists’) cause any good.”
“Frankly, it’s nonsense,” Mr. Oliver said, adding that Mr. Hansen “should be ashamed.”
via Resources minister touting Keystone in U.S. slams climate scientist – The Globe and Mail.
Frankly, its nonsense?? He knows better than the World Bank also?
A short, powerful video on the loss of Arctic Sea Ice via The Anthropocene Journal:
via Arctic Sea Ice Minimum Volumes, 1979-2012 – the anthropo.scene.
In a 2010 interview for BigThink, Brabeck noted: “If Nestlé and myself have become very vocal in the area of water, it was not because of any philanthropic idea, it was very simple: by analyzing… what is the single most important factor for the sustainability of Nestlé, water came as [the] number one subject.” This is what led Brabeck and Nestlé into the issue of water “sustainability,” he explained. “I think this is part of a company’s responsibility,” and added: “Now, if I was in a different industry, I would have a different subject, certainly, that I would be focusing on.”
via Nestlé CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe: “Human Beings Have No Right to Water” by Andrew Gavin Marshall | Dandelion Salad.
Pacific leaders have overwhelmingly rejected a push from the World Bank and New Zealand to free up trade and loosen regulations in the region.About 60 delegates from 18 countries heard World Bank economist Tobias Haque and New Zealand Finance Minister Bill English argue for higher economic growth and smaller governments, during the Pacific Parliamentary and Political Leaders Forum in Wellington this weekend.But a majority of the leaders – representing governments, oppositions and NGOs – have committed themselves to sustainable development over economic growth and to sound and balanced governance over more severe austerity measures.
via Pacific.scoop.co.nz » Pacific leaders reject World Bank, NZ push to free up trade.
Why STEM should care about the humanities
More Sharing ServicesShare | Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on email
Toronto, April 16, 2013—
Kira Hamman, The Chronicle of Higher Education
One need not look far these days to find people skeptical (at best) about the value of higher education. Most of these people particularly question the value of a liberal-arts education, which they view as outdated and elitist. Claiming economic pragmatism, they seek the curtailment or even outright elimination of arts and humanities programs. Liberal arts, they say, are a luxury we can no longer afford, because students who study the liberal arts do not develop the skills they need to succeed in the workplace. This is an absurd and entirely unsubstantiated claim that I will not bother to debunk here (for an excellent takedown of this position, see Brian Rosenberg’s January 30 article in the Huffington Post). Still, absurd though it is, those of us in the sciences may think to let the humanities fight their own corner. What does this have to do with us? we may well ask.
And it’s true: You never hear politicians questioning the value of STEM education. Sure, students may complain about the chemistry class they’re required to take, and everyone loves to hate developmental math, but on a fundamental level most people accept that STEM courses belong in the undergraduate curriculum. People in mathematics, my discipline, are fond of complaining about teaching so-called service courses, but the truth is that we have a kind of job security our colleagues in the humanities could envy. Even the most hardcore of anti-intellectual politicians does not dispute the utility of mathematics, or the necessity of both teaching and learning it. So we’re safe, right? Why should we stick our necks out protecting drama, or music, or women’s studies? Three reasons.
via Council of Ontario Universities – University Success Stories.
Scottish universities employ 88 people who earn the same as the First Minister’s £140,000 (US$213,000) salary or more, reports icScotland. Just two principals across the 18 institutions earn less than the leader of the Scottish government, according to figures from the National Union of Students (NUS).
via Huge university salaries condemned – University World News.
The same may be said for North American universities, most notably the University of Alberta whose salary outranks any other because, it has been said, it is important that the president’s salary reflects the prestige and excellence of the institution.
In an age and time when we value only that for which the highest cost is extracted, outrageously high salaries may be seen as making sense of a particular kind. The question must then be asked about the kinds of values that such institutions wish to and should, uphold and the message they wish to convey about values, morals and society, most especially given their traditional function role as the social, political and moral conscience of the nation.