Thursday, May 27, 2010

Greenberg's "Tech Transfer"

Within Nicholas Wade's review of the book "Tech Transfer," one finds a quote about perks of university profs:

“These included annual pay increases, lax to near-non-existent conflict-of-interest and conflict-of-commitment regulations, and ample pools of powerless grad students, postdocs and adjuncts to minimize professorial workloads. As a safety net, the faculty favored disciplinary procedures that virtually assured acquittal of members accused of abusing subordinates, seducing students, committing plagiarism, fabricating data, or violating the one-day-a-week limit on money-making outside dealings.”

In the season finale of CSI: Miami on 24 May 2010 ["All Fall Down"], part of the plotline was of manipulated scientific data in a university research context. The manipulation was by a grad student Melissa Walls, and related to followup studies on the the work of Yale's Stanley Milgram, who conducted an experiment focusing on the conflict between obedience to authority and personal conscience.

As to "ample pools," one must mention the name San Filippo, once of the Rutgers chemistry department, who took the concept to new lows.

As to famous psychology / behavior experiments, a favorite of LBE's is that of Philip Zimbardo at Stanford.
Stanford Prison Experiment:

Zimbardo concluded the experiment early when Christina Maslach, a graduate student he was then dating (and later married), objected to the appalling conditions of the prison after she was introduced to the experiment to conduct interviews. Zimbardo noted that of more than fifty outside persons who had seen the prison, Maslach was the only one who questioned its morality. After only six days of a planned two weeks' duration, the Stanford Prison experiment was shut down.


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