Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for December 13th, 2022

A banner year for cedar elms

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The leaves of Austin’s many cedar elm trees (Ulmus crassifolia) turn yellow in the fall. The degree to which they do that, as with so many processes in nature, varies from year to year. This has been an excellent one, as you see in these three November 30th photos from Pease Park. The patches of green on the cedar elm in the middle picture are mistletoe (Phoradendron sp.).



I took the last photo inside the Pease Park Tree House,
which I hadn’t even known existed till I came upon it that morning.



(So many things have been going on in nature locally this fall that I decided to postpone the remaining posts from our New Mexico and west Texas trip. They’re already going on two months out of date, so there’s no harm in pushing them down the line a few weeks more to a period that traditionally is less busy here.)



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A year ago I reported on Anna Krylov, an escapee from the old Soviet Union who has lamented the way ideologues are working to turn the United States into a version of the oppressive state she’d fled from. In particular she wrote an article about the way authoritarian ideology is taking over STEM—science, technology, engineering, mathematics—in our universities. Now the National Association of Scholars has issued a report about that based on over 30 GB of data in more than 280,000 files gleaned from “university webpages, university Twitter accounts, annual programs of academic associations, grants of major scientific research funders, and publications of scientific research.”

The study found that “of the 100 university websites we surveyed, the number of webpages that use both STEM and DEI [diversity, equity, inclusion] terms grew from 110 in 2010 to 2,891 in 2021. This finding suggests that DEI is being linked with STEM over 26 times more frequently than it was a decade ago.” In addition, “between 2010 and 2021, scientific publications and preprints that incorporate DEI or antiracist language grew between 3 to 42 times faster than scientific topics in general in the Web of Science. Similar patterns are observed in the data from Google Scholar and PubMed. The number of preprints on arXiv that incorporate DEI or antiracist language has grown significantly in the last two years, with increases varying depending on the DEI or antiracist term.”

You can read the executive summary and the full report.


© 2022 Steven Schwartzman




Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 13, 2022 at 4:26 AM

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