A Million Dollars for bioethics? Addition

Well, certainly something along those lines.  The US National Institutes of  Health are creating “core centers” with funding from the president’s recovery fund.  One kind of core center is in bioethics.  The grant stresses hiring new tt faculty; that’s what the money is basically for.

The grants are due on May 29, but there should be enough time to write a proposal.  The details  are here.  Don’t worry about the letter of intent; it wasn’t required and it won’t be considered in the  proposal’s review.  It might well be possible to do one that would fit in with a women’s studies group and focus on women and minority issues in health-care.  NIH is aware that diversity is important.  You could end up hiring feminist bioethicists, which would surely be a good thing.

Your administration will love you if you get one.  I’m not sure I can answer questions very intelligently, but I’ll have a go at addressing them.  NIH  gives you a lot of emails and they’re very good at replying.

 I’m organizing one on bioimaging for a neuropsychiatric core center, though I’m trying to convince others that they’ll be a much better PI than I, who has never gotten an NIH grant before.

Addition:  as a colleague reminds me, to get this you’d need a strong tie-in with medical researchers who have good track records with NIH funding.  It might serve feminist needs but it’s relevant to medicine has to be absolutely secure.

“No Child left behind:” Did it work?

No child left behind was supposed to aid minority children in catching up in school with white kids.  It was promoted by Bush as putting a stress on accountability.  That is, it stressed testing to see if the children did learn.  But the NY Times says it did’t work:

The achievement gap between white and minority students has not narrowed in recent years, despite the focus of the No Child Left Behind law on improving the scores of blacks and Hispanics, according to results of a federal test considered to be the nation’s best measure of long-term trends in math and reading proficiency.

But could anything work?  Well, something did make a  lot of difference:

Although Black and Hispanic elementary, middle and high school students all scored much higher on the federal test than they did three decades ago, most of those gains were not made in recent years, but during the desegregation efforts of the 1970s and 1980s.

That might suggest that even a partial equalizing of resourcess makes a significant difference.  Who would have guessed?

Of course, there are still defenders of Bush’s act:

But Margaret Spellings, [the last secretary of ed] under President Bush, called the results a vindication of the No Child law.

“It’s not an accident that we’re seeing the most improvement where N.C.L.B. has focused most vigorously,” Ms. Spellings said. “The law focuses on math and reading in grades three through eight — it’s not about high schools. So these results are affirming of our accountability type approach.”

Texan Armadillo

There really is nothing  like those Texans for persistence in beliefs.  What she’s referring to, though, is the fact that any recent gains appear to disappear in high school.  Hmmmmmm.  We don’t see to have gotten it right yet.

O, this could make one sad: sex ed in the UK

According to the Guardian, there will be compulsory sex ed in the UK, with religious schools free to give  students their own view of sexuality.

Sex education is to be made compulsory in all state schools in England but faith schools will also be free to preach against sex outside marriage and homosexuality, under government proposals.

You know how that goes; homosexuals should never have the sort of close  loving relationship  that provides a nexus for so many of the families aroung them. 

It means that all state secondaries in England – including faith schools – will for the first time have to teach a core curriculum about sex and contraception in the context of teenagers’ relationships, but teachers in religious schools will also be free to tell them that sex outside marriage, homosexuality or using contraception are wrong.

I wonder if they’ll be able to get away with following the pope in maintaining that contraception increases the spread of  AIDS.   If  one could put aside the fear of the damage they will do, it might even be interesting to see if the religious schools can explain what’s wrong with all that stuff without starkly arbitrary (aka factually fantastic) assertions,.   What constraints will be put in  place to keep sex ed anything like accurate?