Archive for 'Research News'

Associations: Terrorist attacks and CEOs’ wages [new study]

Monday, August 12th, 2019

“This is an important topic”

– say Yunhao Dai, Raghavendra Rau, Aris Stouraitis and Weiqiang Tan [jointly of the Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China; Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, UK; and the Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong]. The important topic to which they are referring is the question of whether CEOs (Chief Executive Officers) of major US companies might tend to be rewarded with cash-based compensations (e.g. increased salary and bonuses etc.) in the unfortunate event that a terrorist attack happens within 100 miles or so of their office.

According to the results of the team’s research project, they do indeed :

“We show that CEOs employed at firms located near terrorist attacks earn an average pay increase of 12% after the attack relative to CEOs at firms located far from attacks.”

See: ‘An ill wind? Terrorist attacks and CEO compensation’ in press at the Journal of Financial Economics, June, 2019.

The study notes that:

“Other executives and workers do not receive a terrorist attack premium.”

Co-author Rao shared the 2015 Ig Nobel Prize for management with several colleagues, for for discovering that many business leaders developed during childhood a fondness for risk-taking, when they experienced natural disasters (such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and wildfires) that — for them — had no dire personal consequences.

Research research by Martin Gardiner

PhD Fellowship in Meal Detection by Analysis of Bowel Sounds

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

On March 14, 2019, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) posted this ad:

PhD Fellowship in Meal Detection by Analysis of Bowel Sounds

We have a vacancy for a PhD fellowship within analysis of bowel sounds for meal detection in diabetes patients at the Department of Engineering Cybernetics (ITK), Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). The position is affiliated with the Artificial Pancreas Trondheim (APT) research group….

Job description—This PhD project aims to analyse recorded sounds from the upper body (mostly targeted at the intestines/bowel) in order to detect meals in patients with diabetes….

Applicants are required to justify their candidacy by explicitly explaining their personal motivation and academic aptitude for pursuing a doctoral degree within this research field.

The time for this has, however, passed. The ad now bears the advisory: “This job is no longer available.”

(Thanks to John Culvenor for bringing this to our attention.)

 

Should researchers refrain from eating their research subjects? [study]

Monday, August 5th, 2019

If you are a researcher studying, say, concrete bridge structures, or microprocessors, then you probably wouldn’t have to be overly concerned about potential criticism from peers regarding the possibility that you might eat your research subjects. But this is not the case for all academic fields. Take for example, ‘Animal Studies’.

A 2018 paper published in the Animal Studies Journal (ASJ) asks : Should We Eat Our Research Subjects? Advocacy and Animal Studies , ASJ, 7(1), pp.180-205.

“The decision by Animal Studies scholars whether or not to eat their research subjects is, as our survey shows, an indicator of the extent to which Animal Studies scholars are willing to fundamentally challenge established norms, and whether they wish to stringently advance the wellbeing of nonhuman animals.

It is clear that the majority of Animal Studies scholars surveyed believe that the field has an important role to play in advocating for animals. Most of the respondents base their research on a personal interest in and commitment to animal wellbeing and for scholars who identify as vegan this also comes with an added prior commitment to animal advocacy, that in turn appears to shape their expectations for what the field should aim to achieve. However the data also shows that there remains a reluctance by many Animal Studies academics to fully engage with the consequences of human exceptionalism, which is demonstrated by the large number of respondents who still eat meat and other animal products. “

Bonus Assignment [optional] Can you suggest any other academic fields where eating the research subjects might be a contentious issue?

Research research by Martin Gardiner

Innovative Scientists Talk About Their Childhood (12): Olga Shishkov and the flopping fish

Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

Here’s Olga Shishkov talking about some flopping fish who, when she was a child, excited Olga in a way that led to her eventual unusual career. Olga studies how maggots manage to do some of the surprising, impressive things they do.

ABOUT THIS LITTLE VIDEO SERIES—This is part of a series of sessions we (David Hu and I, and a film crew) recorded at Georgia Tech. We assembled a little group of scientists (including David) who are renowned for looking at questions others might overlook, and doing research in inventive, clever ways.

The question we asked them: “What happened when you were a kid that somehow led—much later—to your doing unusual science?

The scientists: David Hu, Suzana Herculano-Houzel, Frans de Waal, Nicole Sharp, Diego Golombek, and Olga Shishkov. Follow the links on their names to begin exploring some of their work!

Innovative Scientists Talk About Their Childhood (11): Suzana Herculano-Houzel and the Ink

Friday, July 26th, 2019

Here’s Suzana Herculano-Houzel, talking about watching some ink have inky adventures in water, when she was a child. That jumping excited Suzana in a way that led to her eventual unusual career. Suzana studies how brains do some of the astounding things brains do.

ABOUT THIS LITTLE VIDEO SERIES—This is part of a series of sessions we (David Hu and I, and a film crew) recorded at Georgia Tech. We assembled a little group of scientists (including David) who are renowned for looking at questions others might overlook, and doing research in inventive, clever ways.

The question we asked them: “What happened when you were a kid that somehow led—much later—to your doing unusual science?

The scientists: David Hu, Suzana Herculano-Houzel, Frans de Waal, Nicole Sharp, Diego Golombek, and Olga Shishkov. Follow the links on their names to begin exploring some of their work!

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!