What the actual.... I'm an external on a PhD defense and they require the student to pan her entire bedroom, the only room where she can be alone, to *prove* that no one is in there to help her cheat.

She pushed back, rightfully, and the chair was like "its the rules"
How does one even cheat on a doctoral defense in the first place?

JFC why does academia have such disdain for students?
FWIW, what I said was, if this is going to happen, I'm going to sign off and you can let me know when to rejoin because I have no desire to invade her privacy.
Wow this blew up in a good way. Gives me hope!

While you're here, check out Finding Our Niche, my book about sustainability, white supremacy, human nature, and finding win-win scenarios!!

Update: the above exchange was during a run-through of how the event (today) would go. The chair has apparently brought our concerns to the dean, expecting the answer no.

I've just learned that they plan only to ask the student to verbally attest that no one is in the room.
This doesn't undo the stress that the student no doubt left the run-through with. What a terrible thing to have overshadow one's preparations for their defense.

And I don't see how their relationship with the chair isn't ruined because he even considered accepting this.
I mean, I left this meeting furious, and sent a very pointed email expressing my disagreement. I can only imagine how she felt. What a sour note to have years' worth of positive research end on.

BTW: its a WONDERFUL dissertation.

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More from @ConserveChange

5 Apr
The problem with data-centric takes on issues like poverty is that they often mistake the map for the territory. Quantitative indicators can be reductionist and muddled by averages, and trend lines are no substitute for social theory (1/n)
Consider this graph. This is not a graph of poverty, though it is presented here as if it is. It is a graph of income, and income, on its own, is about as bad an indicator of poverty as calories are of the healthfulness of a food item. (2/n)
Here’s the important thing to understand about indicators: indicators help us measure the unmeasurable. They allow us to connect something we can measure (the indicator), to something we can’t (the phenomenon) based on assumptions or theories about their relationship (3/n)
Read 21 tweets
25 Feb
To achieve a sustainable, resilient, regenerative future, we have not one, but two major transitions ahead of us.

The first is to break out of the trajectory of overshoot that we're locked into.

The second is to figure out what's next once we're back out of danger (1/n) Drawing of carrying capacity sigmoid curve with a cartoon of
The picture in the last tweet is from Eugene Odum's tremendously underappreciated book, Ecological Vignettes

We're on a path to wipeout, and we're putting everything we have into staying on that path. The longer we do the more effort it will take to get control (if we can) (2/n)
A variety of societal factors have us locked in to overshoot, not the least of which are tremendous global inequity in wealth distribution and widepread faith in growth as a solution

De-growth is a strategy for dealing with this problem. For getting control of the board (3/n)
Read 7 tweets
24 Feb
All living systems need growth, to a point. Endless growth isn't healthy or sustainable. All living systems transition to a stage of stability and maturity

That's the task we have in front of us. The trouble is, we're figuring this out long after we've grown ourselves into a fix
We are on a trajectory of tremendous overshoot, growth long past growth is healthy. We are set up for a crash. Because we care about people, we don't want to precipitate that crash, which is why so many still grasp on to growth. It's an addiction, but each new fix makes it worse
The other issue we face is dramatic inequity. The social ills we face around the world are not a product of insufficient growth but insufficient equity. That's actually the good news. If we attend to equity, we create a pathway for weaning ourselves off of growth.
Read 7 tweets
23 Feb
This is essential guidance from @IFPRI on how to transition to sustainable agriculture.

Let's look at a couple of best practices they note for empowering producers to adopt more sustainable practices. These are the ones resonate with my experience working with farmers (thread)
1) Balance incentives and outcomes. Adoption of new practices can be very costly. Because gains in productivity and profitability may not be sufficient to compensate farmers for the total investments required
of adoption, incentives must make up the difference.
2) Know your farmers. This seems obvious, but it unfortunately isn't. Policymakers who know farmers can better tailor design of programs by considering the range of personal, political, institutional, and biophysical factors
affecting adoption of new practices
Read 7 tweets
19 Nov 20
This pandemic is spiraling out of control, and while it seems comfortable to blame it on specific people, we have to call it what it is--perhaps the biggest failure of capitalism in our lifetime.

Not the market, per se, but our deep-seeded capitalistic values.
We're so addicted to the notion of capitalism that we've propped it up, over and over again, creating what many call "welfare capitalism."

Corn farmers get better insurance for their crops, from taxpayer dollars, than we can get for our health. That's welfare capitalism.
When we bail out Wall St. but not Main St., that's welfare capitalism--the belief that the system is more important than the people. That the best way to support the people is by propping up the system.

But that system never really gets around to helping anyone but the wealthy.
Read 11 tweets
21 Sep 20
One of my main areas of research is conflict over natural resources.

When conflicts escalate, you invariably see appeals to science as a purportedly impartial way to resolve conflict.

We see that here in this statement from the Chamber of commerce

Spolier: its not (1/n)
The assertion by the CoC is that federal science is necessary to prove whether this "out of season" fishery has negative impacts.

I have "out of season" in quotes because this is a subversive turn of phrase that discursively subjugates the Mi'kmaw to federal authority (2/n)
This "scientization" of the issue is disingenuous because embedded in the call for science is the assertion that
1) the Mi'kmaw are not already using science;
2) that science is the province of the feds (3/n)
Read 6 tweets

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