Science Education & Policy



By Neil Morris, University of Leeds

Over the past couple of years, massive open online courses (MOOCs) have taken the academic world by storm. Despite much debate about whether the idea of running free online courses for everyone is both a good and cost-effective idea in the long-run, MOOCs are teaching universities valuable lessons about how students want to learn.

A group of ecotoxicologists claim that the US Environmental Protection Agency's evaluations of pesticide safety are inadequate and lead to bias.


Scholars from Tufts University, Harvard University and Boston Children's Hospital are calling for the implementation of taxes and subsidies to improve dietary quality in the United States.  


Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields used to be considered the domain of white men, especially in academia, and that has changed, but universities are criticized because of the pace of change - researchers with tenure cannot just be fired and replaced.



People with life-threatening or incurable diseases may be willing to try experimental drugs and unproven treatments. Credit: juicyrai/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND

By Tina Cockburn, Queensland University of Technology and Bill Madden, Queensland University of Technology


While MOOCs are free, their value lies in providing information about how students. Credit: learnFlickr/Ilonka Talina, CC BY-SA

By Gregor Kennedy, University of Melbourne

Even for experienced readers, mirror-image letters like b/d or p/q can be confusing. Why is it difficult for some to differentiate these letters? 

In almost 20 years, China's Research  &  Development (R&D) expenditure as a percentage of its gross domestic product has more than tripled, reaching 1.98 percent in 2012. 

That is a big improvement, it surpasses all 28 countries that make up the European Union, which collectively managed 1.96 percent. But where is the money going? 


By George Veletsianos, Royal Roads University

The belief that technology can automate education and replace teachers is pervasive. Framed in calls for greater efficiency, this belief is present in today’s educational innovations, reform endeavors, and technology products. We can do better than adopting this insipid perspective and aspire instead for a better future where innovations imagine creative new ways to organize education.

Though the rich get richer and the stock market is booming, which has led to claims by the administration that things are fine, the American public hasn't been this pessimistic about the future since Jimmy Carter was president. Pessimism has instead leaped 40% higher since 2009, when the Great Recession was in full swing.