Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Why Can't (They) Be Friends?

Massimo at Exponential Book wonders whether teaching and research "go together like a horse and carriage" — or more like "oil and water." He asks: Does teaching make one a better researcher? Does doing research make one more fit to teach? "The longer I am in this profession, the more I become convinced that the two should go hand in hand," Massimo says. This is not his opinion alone, however. Massimo examines student evaluation of instruction — or SEI — data against h-indices, catalogued by Thomson Reuters' Web of Science, for 100 university physics professors in an attempt to provide a more objective perspective. A plot of the data — which has a sample average of 3.2 (SD: 0.8) for RMP SEI and 30 (SD: 15) for h-index — shows an "exceedingly weak correlation" between the two variables, Massimo says, adding that potential methodological weakness aside, "the most direct conclusion" to his pilot experiment "is that the two variables are indeed independent." According to his data, "there is a 50/50 chance that either a good/bad researcher will be a good/bad teacher," he says. Still, having heard colleagues lament over the obstacles that research and teaching pose for on another, Massimo considers other factors that may play a role in the relationship between the two. Culture, for example, could be a key influence. Given American universities' push to publish, he says he's left to wonder whether schools are "short-changing [their] own students by putting in front of them a class of instructors selected mainly based on research potential, who may or not have what it takes to deliver in the classroom."

The Scan

Researchers Compare WGS, Exome Sequencing-Based Mendelian Disease Diagnosis

Investigators find a diagnostic edge for whole-genome sequencing, while highlighting the cost advantages and improving diagnostic rate of exome sequencing in EJHG.

Researchers Retrace Key Mutations in Reassorted H1N1 Swine Flu Virus With Avian-Like Features

Mutations in the acidic polymerase-coding gene boost the pathogenicity and transmissibility of Eurasian avian-like H1N1 swine influenza viruses, a PNAS paper finds.

Genome Sequences Reveal Evolutionary History of South America's Canids

An analysis in PNAS of South American canid species' genomes offers a look at their evolutionary history, as well as their relationships and adaptations.

Lung Cancer Response to Checkpoint Inhibitors Reflected in Circulating Tumor DNA

In non-small cell lung cancer patients, researchers find in JCO Precision Oncology that survival benefits after immune checkpoint blockade coincide with a dip in ctDNA levels.