Academic prestige: Why climb the greasy pole? Getting a job at a top university will not make you a better researcher

Academic prestige: Why climb the greasy pole? Getting a job at a top university will not make you a better researcher

May 10th 2014 | From the print edition

MOST academics would view a post at an elite university like Oxford or Harvard as the crowning achievement of a career—bringing both accolades and access to better wine cellars. But scholars covet such places for reasons beyond glory and gastronomy. They believe perching on one of the topmost branches of the academic tree will also improve the quality of their work, by bringing them together with other geniuses with whom they can collaborate and who may help spark new ideas. This sounds plausible. Unfortunately, as Albert-Laszlo Barabasi of Northeastern University, in Boston (and also, it must be said, of Harvard), shows in a study published in Scientific Reports, it is not true. Read more of this post

Genes and intelligence: The 3% solution; A potent source of genetic variation in cognitive ability has just been discovered

Genes and intelligence: The 3% solution; A potent source of genetic variation in cognitive ability has just been discovered

May 10th 2014 | From the print edition

PEOPLE are living longer, which is good. But old age often brings a decline in mental faculties and many researchers are looking for ways to slow or halt such decline. One group doing so is led by Dena Dubal of the University of California, San Francisco, and Lennart Mucke of the Gladstone Institutes, also in San Francisco. Dr Dubal and Dr Mucke have been studying the role in ageing of klotho, a protein encoded by a gene called KL. A particular version of this gene, KL-VS, promotes longevity. One way it does so is by reducing age-related heart disease. Dr Dubal and Dr Mucke wondered if it might have similar powers over age-related cognitive decline. Read more of this post

Culture and psychology: You are what you eat; Or, rather, what you grow to eat

Culture and psychology: You are what you eat; Or, rather, what you grow to eat

May 10th 2014 | From the print edition

THAT orientals and occidentals think in different ways is not mere prejudice. Many psychological studies conducted over the past two decades suggest Westerners have a more individualistic, analytic and abstract mental life than do East Asians. Several hypotheses have been put forward to explain this. Read more of this post

Exorbitant privilege: American and English law and lawyers have a stranglehold on cross-border business. That may not last

Exorbitant privilege: American and English law and lawyers have a stranglehold on cross-border business. That may not last

May 10th 2014 | From the print edition

IN 2012 ICBC, a state-controlled Chinese company that is the world’s most valuable bank, bought four-fifths of the Argentine subsidiary of Standard Bank, a South African firm. The deal was hailed as a leap forward for “South-South” co-operation—direct economic ties between emerging markets. But one group of rich-world middlemen got a slice of the action: lawyers. ICBC was represented by Linklaters, an English firm, and Standard Bank by Jones Day, an American one. The deal was made under English law, with any differences to be settled in an English arbitration centre.

image001 Read more of this post

Hotel tycoon says Taiwan needs more ‘doers’

Hotel tycoon says Taiwan needs more ‘doers’
Saturday, May 10, 2014
By John Liu ,The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — In a speech given at Academia Sinica yesterday, five-star hotel president Stanley Yen (嚴長壽) pointed out that Taiwan needs more “doers” and has a great need for public servants with international perspectives. Read more of this post

Acer spokesman faces insider trading charges

Acer spokesman faces insider trading charges

CNA
May 10, 2014, 12:00 am TWN

XA

TAIPEI — Two employees of Taiwan’s Acer Inc. (宏碁) and three other people were charged Friday by the New Taipei District Prosecutors Office as part of a probe into insider trading of the PC manufacturer’s shares. Read more of this post

Sun sets on Spaniards’ foiled solar power dreams

Sun sets on Spaniards’ foiled solar power dreams
Monday, May 12, 2014
By Katell Abiven, AFP

ALBACETE, Spain–“The sun could be yours,” the Spanish government promised in 2007, encouraging citizens to invest in solar power. Many who did now wish they could give it back. Read more of this post

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