Archive for June 5, 2020

Public Lectures?

Posted in Education, Maynooth on June 5, 2020 by telescoper

Taking a break from marking examinations and other assignments I was thinking about the next academic year. Although we’re planning to give as much teaching as possible in face-to-face form from September,  it is likely that we will have some material online. In fact I found the short video summaries I did last term were quite popular with students so I may well carry on doing them even if we were to return completely to normal as a supplement to the live experience.

Thinking about this a bit further I reckon I should put all such material on Youtube so that anyone who wants to access it can do so. I don’t think there will be a huge demand for them in the general public, but for me it’s more a point of principle. As my teaching is funded by the public purse, it seems reasonable to me that what I produce should all be in the public domain wherever possible. That obviously excludes some teaching activities (e.g. labs and tutorials) but I don’t see why I shouldn’t do it with lectures or other video content.

If you object on the grounds that students pay a €3000 `student contribution‘ to attend university in Ireland and would be annoyed if I gave away what they’re having to pay for, then I’d reply that that money is not supposed to cover tuition – just student services and examinations.

I know many of my colleagues disagree with this, so I thought I’d do another totally unscientific poll to see what others think. Not that it will change my mind….



Exciting new changes at LGBTQ+ STEM

Posted in LGBT on June 5, 2020 by telescoper

There are some changes at the LGBTQ+ Stem site. In particular they are looking for contributors for their new blog. See this post for details.


Alex Bond & Izzy Jayasinghe

It seems impossible to write about diversity, equity and inclusion, in STEM or in broader society, without thinking about the horrendous racism and police brutality going on in the US, or the impact of Covid-19 on BAME health care workers in the UK. STEM is political, and STEM is people. You simply cannot be for diversity in STEM and not angry, upset, or scarred right now. And that’s ok.

We’re announcing some changes for us as an organization, in what we do, and how we do it. Last November, we celebrated our 5th anniversary and we sought feedback about what folks would like to see from us in the years to come. The feedback has been incredibly helpful, and we’ll be rolling out some new things and addressing some of the issues raised to make us a better, more inclusive organization. We need to be…

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