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Science of Science Authors Hope to Spark Conversations about the Scientific Enterprise

A group of interdisciplinary scientists have put the practice of science itself under a microscope to begin quantifying the fundamental drivers of scientific discovery and to help develop tools and policies aimed at improving the scientific endeavor.

An article co-written by 14 researchers from various universities including UC Merced, lays out a framework that could pave the way to improving the current researcher-evaluation system. Many people say the current system stifles younger researchers, especially those working at the intersections of disciplines.

Grad Student Researches Biology Behind Political Views

If you’ve ever wondered why people stand where they do on the political spectrum, science might have at least part of the answer: People can be biologically predisposed to certain feelings toward politics and society.

A new paper lead-authored by UC Merced graduate student Chelsea Coe indicates that physiological factors can predict how someone will react when presented with political scenarios — an idea that demonstrates an emerging area of study, the intersection of biology and politics.

Interdisciplinary Collaborations Broaden Archaeology Research

Archaeologists have been asking where high-elevation populations came from for decades; how they are going about answering the question, however, is new.

“Fifty years ago, I would have consulted other archaeologists,” UC Merced Professor Mark Aldenderfer said. “It used to be the one archeologist who led a dig with assistants. It was much more insulated. Now, you can’t answer interesting questions about the past without a team of scientists.”

Campus Welcomes New Dean of Natural Sciences

Elizabeth (Betsy) Dumont joins UC Merced today as the newest dean of the School of Natural Sciences. She’s the third dean in the school’s history and the second woman to serve in this capacity, after Founding Dean Maria Pallavicini.

Dumont arrives from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where for the past three years she served as vice provost for academic affairs and director of the Interdepartmental Graduate Programs in Life Sciences. She joined the UMass faculty in 2001.


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