Academia

The humanities are in big trouble. That's the conclusion drawn by Benjamin Schmidt, an Assistant Professor of History at Northeastern University. He has the data to back it up.

In his analysis, Dr. Schmidt depicts several graphs, all of which show a fairly striking trend: Students are rejecting the humanities. The most striking graph, which includes data for English, Languages, History, and Philosophy, shows that the number of college degrees in these fields awarded as a percentage of all college degrees fell from roughly 7.5% in the 2000s to under 5% today.

While some humanities fields -- such as cultural, gender and ethnic studies -- have escaped the...

There's no nice way to put this. Academia is in the midst of self-destructing, not just in the United States but worldwide.

Recall that, just two months ago, Fresno State Professor Randa Jarrar went on a hate-filled Twitter rant against the recently deceased Barbara Bush. Her diatribe was so vile, that the university investigated the possibility of terminating or disciplining her. But, nothing happened, despite the fact that a video surfaced of her praising airplane hijackings (1:07) and making a sexual gesture at students (2:02).

Just a week later, the University of...

One of the many problems with academia is that it allows nutcases to flourish.

Consider Columbia University. It employs both Dr. Oz, "America's Quack," and Mark Bittman, a former organic food warrior for the New York Times who was once described as a "scourge on science." UC-Berkeley has Joel Moskowitz on staff, a "wi-fi truther" who thinks that...

Last month there was talk of a 20 percent cut in funding for the National Institutes of Health, which is the primary source of academic life sciences grants. Prompted by science media concern, much of the public wondered about the potential impact on biomedical research. Pharmacologist David Kroll of Chemical & Engineering News expressed it well on Twitter:

"Combine the administration's harsh climate toward pharma profits with a proposed 20% NIH budget cut...where will new drugs come from?"

It’s a very common question. People who are not familiar with the drug discovery process often believe that government-funded research is the main driver of innovation. But this is false. Industry invents almost all drugs. When asked about what drugs are discovered in academia,...