Science & Society

By Chris Cocking, University of Brighton

The town of Ferguson, Missouri has now seen ten days of almost nightly disorder following the shooting of black teenager Michael Brown by the police. The decision to bring in the National Guard has not quelled the disorder and in fact may be aggravating the situation.

In China, there is no wage disparity for one classification of women but there is pay inequality among similarly classed men, according to a sociology presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association which analyzed economic disparity among obese Chinese adults.

What is the classification? Obese people. When men gain weight, they are penalized in wages compared to thinner men. With women, there is no difference.


14 days are left in my kickstarter and I have $55 in  pledges as of this writing.  However, I have discounts from the publishers.  This kickstarter may have influenced the prospective publishers of my papers to give me about $1000 in discounts.

In the 1950s and '60s, economics in America really had a heyday. Tinkering is easy when the economy is good. By the 1970s, it was realized that economics truly was, as historian Thomas Carlyle labeled it in the 19th century, a "dismal science" - except leave off the science.



Big Data

Big Data

Aug 02 2014 | 1 comment(s)

Nothing boosts the prospects of page hits on a blog – or funding of a grant proposal – like the phrase “big data.” Why are we enamored with “big data”?
The history of World War I - since there was no II then, it was simply The Great War - is well-known. Volumes have been written about why European monarchs, related to each other, nonetheless rolled "the iron dice" and sent millions of young men to their deaths. The technological and medical advances, and America's emergence as the decision-maker in geopolitics, have also been exhaustively examined.

Yet the role of women, not so much. World War II was another matter; from Rosie the Riveter to WACs, empowered female imagery was common. World War I, on the other hand, caused  progress on universal suffrage to go backward, and the role of women challenged the concept of femininity that existed.  

In the 1800s, mentally ill people were in jail. Then they were put in more humane mental hospitals. But then mental hospitals got vilified in mainstream news stories and horror movies and they were closed and now mentally ill people are back in jails, 10 times as many as are in mental health facilities.

Policy makers don't buy that psychology has value any more, and they feel only slightly better about psychiatry. Scrutiny and abuse has led politicians to demand tighter Medicaid policies governing antipsychotic drugs and a new paper links those tighter policies to increased incarceration rates for schizophrenics.