Thomas Malthus

If Amartya Sen deserves to be called a food ethics icon for dismantling the idea that the total amount of food produced provides a good index for understanding the ethics of hunger, we should probably look the source of that idea for our next entry for “food ethics icons month”. Is there anyone out there …

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Embodied Thinking: New article

Rethinking Technology & Creativity in the 21st Century is a series of articles we have been writing for Tech Trends. The latest article in the series has just ben published. This article focuses on Embodied Thinking as a key trans-disciplinary habit of mind often used by creative people across disciplines. Our previous articles have looked at Perceiving, Patterning, and Abstracting. …

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Commencement, Honor vs. Greed

$47,500 to speak at a commencement address. And I thought that the invitation to give a commencement address was an honor in itself. But not for Michigan State University (MSU) and George Will. It will be interesting to see if the market for commencement speakers will be driven higher. There was a similar hubbub in …

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Inclusive Conversations

In a previous column, I described spending a year learning about academic leadership as an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow.  One of the best parts of the experience was talking extensively and honestly with new and experienced administrators from a wide variety of backgrounds, disciplines and institutions. It was fascinating to hear their viewpoints …

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Mapping Michigan’s lake habitats

Our main hypotheses are that habitats affect the the distribution, abundance, diets, and growth rates of Largemouth Bass. How do we get this habitat data? In previous posts I’ve discussed how we catch fish and collect their gut contents, so this article will focus on our vegetation mapping. Vegetation mapping techniques have advanced rapidly in …

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Review: Food Fraud Application of GAO Report on Intellectual Property-Related Customs Exclusion Orders (19 US Code 1337)

The Food Industry could benefit from utilizing the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Exclusion Order rules. At minimum, it is critical that ALL companies register their brands with CBP. If you don’t register your brands then you’re missing out on the possible help of CBP. In November 2015 the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) …

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Is Bigger Better

Michigan State University(MSU) has been on a growth spurt in recent years topping 50,000 students for the first time this past fall. The growth of the student body isn’t the only sign of expansion at MSU. MSU has  been operating under the planning assumption that they will continue to grow into the foreseeable future (MSU …

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Eppur Si Muove

Over the break, I watched a couple of episodes of The West Wing including one about political attacks on science called Eppur Si Muove. It reminded me – a lot – of an experience that I had 20 years ago, back in 1995. As in that episode, I received a phone call while at work that began …

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Instability of Quantum de Sitter Spacetime

New paper! We show that quantum effects (in particular, the horizon temperature originally discovered by Gibbons and Hawking) modify the geometry of de Sitter spacetime. Instability of Quantum de Sitter Spacetime (http://arxiv.org/abs/1501.00708) Chiu Man Ho, Stephen D. H. Hsu Quantized fields (e.g., the graviton itself) in de Sitter (dS) spacetime lead to particle production: specifically, …

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AHA 2015: Data for Historical Research

At Kalani Craig’s invitation I had the great pleasure of joining a rockstar cast of instructors for the AHA Getting Started in Digital History workshop series. During my workshop, “Data for Historical Research” (slides below), I cast a pretty wide net. The general purpose was to: recast common historical objects of inquiry (audio, text, video, …

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Amartya Sen

Amartya Kumar Sen was born in 1933 in a province of what is now Bangladesh. He won the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economics for a pretty diverse portfolio of work, most of which doesn’t concern us here. Let it just suffice that Sen was a major figure in shaking economists out of a dogmatic slumber—even …

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Fukuyama and Zhang on the China Model

This is an interesting discussion between Francis Fukuyama and Zhang Wei Wei on the so-called China Model. Zhang is an apologist but overall the discussion is enlightening. Fukuyama’s perspective is the familiar liberal democratic one so I excerpt Zhang below. ZHANG | … In his presentation, Dr. Fukuyama raised four issues concerning the China Model, …

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