What We’re Reading: July 28, 2011 Edition
In the news this week, possible changes in IRB restrictions, NAEP “report card” shows students’ geography skills are lacking, and Inside Higher Ed looks at specializations in history. Also, read advice for soon-to-be graduate students and thoughts on Twitter at academic conferences. Then, watch an online C-SPAN documentary on the Library of Congress, learn about George Washington’s obsession with counting, remember the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Machu Picchu, and look back at the Historic 11th St. Bridge Construction in D.C.
- U.S. Proposes Rule Changes for Human-Subject Research
The Washington Post reports on proposed changes for human-subject research. These revisions would change IRB restrictions and could make conducting research much simpler, especially in areas like oral history. You can even submit your own thoughts on these proposed new regulations.
- “Report Card” Shows Students Lagging in Geography Knowledge
The National Coalition for History sums up a new National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) report that finds “one-third of the nation’s students achieve at or above the proficient level in geography.” NAEP released a similar report on U.S. history in June.
- The Balance in History
Scott Jaschik at Inside Higher Ed takes a look at the break out of popular specializations in history, as recently detailed by Robert Townsend in his blog post, “AHA Membership on the Rise Again in 2011.”
- Advice for a Prospective Graduate Student
A humorous and revealing look at one historian’s experiences in grad school at the University of Virginia.
- Tweet Me Right
As if you didn’t have enough to worry about when you present a talk, now you have to worry about Twitter. Will your audience tweet interesting follow-up questions, or comments about your tie? This article offers helpful advice on how to encourage more positive Twitter interactions.
- The Library of Congress–C-SPAN
C-SPAN goes behind-the-scenes at the Library of Congress in this hour-and-a-half-long documentary, looking at collections, presidential papers, and technology at the institution.
- Digital Maps Are Giving Scholars the Historical Lay of the Land
The New York Times takes examines the new field of “spatial humanities,” which looks at history in relation to a physical location. They profile geographer Anne Kelly Knowles, who recently made a digital map of Gettysburg “from historical maps, documented descriptions of troop positions and scenery, and renderings of historic roads, fences, buildings and vegetation.”
- George Washington’s Obsession with Counting
The Guardian sits down with Pete Casazza, a mathematician who’s done research on George Washington and all the things he liked to count.
- 100th Anniversary of Bingham’s Discovery of Machu Picchu
Scientific American recounts Hiram Bingham’s July 24, 1911, discovery of Machu Picchu. “Although it may have been discovered by previous explorers, the young Yale lecturer introduced the world to an ancient archaeological masterpiece—for better and worse.”
- 11th Street Bridge Construction
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) in Washington, D.C., has posted images to its Flickr pool of the Historic 11th St. Bridge Construction.
Contributors: Kelly Elmore, Elisabeth Grant, Vernon Horn, and Robert B. Townsend
This post first appeared on AHA Today.
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