A New Angle on Asian Social Mobility

by bjs | Wednesday, December 5, 2018 - 10:00 AM

Scholars have studied the topic of social mobility for Asian Americans for years. But a collection of essays in the most recent issue of the Journal of Asian American Studies took a special look at the topic, said journal editor Rick Bonus. He joined us for a quick Q&A on the issue , which wrapped up the journal's 21st volume.

How did this collection of essays come together?

This collection of essays came together quite serendipitously. Like all other incoming editors, I presume, I had several submissions already brewing on the burner, so to speak, when I stepped on board. So when the staff and I were putting things together, there was no grand design that was on our minds. We put them together, and then, after I read them over and over, certain themes come up. And “social mobility” rose to the top so unquestionably and rather clearly. I was quite delighted!

What surprised you the most from the submissions you received?

“Social mobility” as a topic in Asian American studies is as old as the field itself. But the essays in this volume...Read More

Adapting to the Importance of the Student Misconduct Investigation

by eea | Friday, November 30, 2018 - 12:00 PM

For colleges and universities, investigating discrimination, harassment, academic dishonesty, and other forms of wrongdoing that undermine the institution’s mission and academic programs has become nothing less than a critical preliminary step in support of disciplinary and/or corrective action. Whether campus leaders are confronted with managing the aftermath of an active shooter incident, sorting through allegations regarding a student-on-student sexual assault, or determining the extent to which provisions within the student handbook or code of conduct may have been violated, post-secondary institutions are subject to increasing scrutiny through a range of lawsuits in state and federal courts and in the court of public opinion. In the face of such scrutiny, the challenge for student misconduct investigations center on executing sound and reliable processes that separate fact from fiction, and truth from falsehoods, without ignoring the legitimate opportunities to restore students in favor of punitive action.

On almost a weekly basis, the systems and processes used among institutions of higher education to investigate troubling incidents regarding student conduct are being tested. For instance, consider the plight of a black student at Yale University who may have been subjected to racial profiling by a report from a white student to police that...Read More

Take One Step Forward – Building Local and Regional Food Systems

by eea | Thursday, November 29, 2018 - 12:00 PM

Wendell Berry has inspired millions of farmers and farm advocates with his assertion that “eating is an agricultural act.” Food advocates and activists today are taking that further and showing that eating is also a political act. We can reclaim personal agency and power from the dominant system of corporate food production, by building and supporting local and regional food systems that give us choices about the kind of food we eat, where it comes from, and whose prosperity our food dollars help to create.

It is well-documented that local sales put more money in the farmer’s pocket. When farmers and food producers do well, they create local jobs, generate local taxes, and reinvest their proceeds in services they buy from others in our community. Local money recirculating in local communities contributes to both community self-reliance and sustainability. It’s kind of like the old rural tradition of barn-raising or the not-quite-so-old urban tradition of rent parties, except easier and with more in it for us.

Surveys and studies show that farmers selling directly to consumers retain from 40 percent to as much as 75 percent of the food dollar, versus just 15.6 percent in the corporate food chain....Read More

Freedom's Laboratory: The Cold War Struggle for the Soul of Science

by eea | Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 12:00 PM

I never intended to write a history of psychological warfare.

The project that ultimately became Freedom’s Laboratory started out as a fairly standard investigation into the life and work of Johns Hopkins geneticist H. Bentley Glass. Glass originally attracted my attention because his reputation as an outspoken champion of scientific freedom simply did not line up with historians’ existing narrative of science and the Cold War. In a context in which American institutions seemed to be more interested in enforcing political consensus that advancing justice, Glass stood out as a low-key hero who defended his colleagues against McCarthyism, spoke out against the dangers of fallout, and participated in civil rights campaigns.

And yet—and this is the fact I found surprising—his career flourished. Glass’s research received generous funding from the Atomic Energy Commission, even as he roundly criticized the agency’s position on fallout and the FBI launched a series of investigations into his political views. In 1959, he was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences. Starting in 1954, he assumed the presidency of one professional group after another, culminating in the presidency of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1969. His...Read More

Ecology and Conservation of the Diamond-backed Terrapin

by eea | Monday, November 26, 2018 - 12:00 PM

The Diamond-backed Terrapin has a long and illustrious history, first as a culinary plight to satiate the masses and then becoming an epicurean fad for the well-heeled. The fad faded in the early 20 th century because populations declined and the demand for terrapin flesh could no longer be met. Populations are thought to have recovered somewhat thereafter, but in the meantime, crab pots were invented and began drowning terrapins, their habitat declined due to development and urban sprawl, and a demand for turtle flesh and pets in the Far East resurrected their harvest. This combination again threatens terrapins throughout their geographic range and the precipitous decline in many populations has alarmed researchers, conservationists, and resource managers. The need for an amalgamation of the past and present of terrapin biology, history, and management dilemmas motivated our book.

Terrapins have a coastal geographic range from Massachusetts to Texas and are the only true estuarine turtle. The variation in environmental conditions experienced throughout their range (semi-tropical to fully temperate) have resulted in broad geographic differences in activity season, life history phenotypes, and coloration; interestingly terrapins remain genetically very similar throughout their extensive range. The estuarine habitat also creates interesting physiological challenges...Read More