Danielle Holley-Walker (South Carolina): A New Era for Desegregation. The Failure of American Schools: In his eight years as chancellor of New York City’s school system, the nation’s largest, Joel Klein learned a few painful lessons of his own — about feckless politicians, recalcitrant unions, mediocre teachers, and other enduring obstacles to school reform. The GOP is simultaneously emasculating teachers’ unions while adopting the worst parts of their agenda — the result could be devastating. Tested: LynNell Hancock on covering schools in the age of micro-measurement. Behind the scenes of standardized testing: Jessica Lussenhop goes inside the multimillion-dollar essay-scoring business. Toward a free market in education: School vouchers or tax credits? Why preschool shouldn't be like school: New research shows that teaching kids more and more, at ever-younger ages, may backfire. Once deified, now demonized, teachers are under assault from union-busting Republicans on the right and wealthy liberals on the left — and leading the charge from all directions is a woman most famous for losing her job: the former Washington, D.C., schools chancellor Michelle Rhee. It's school admissions season in New York: Does your 18-month-old have what it takes? Finland's educational success: Joshua Levine on the anti–tiger mother approach. Should public schools fear billionaires, is Finland a poster nation? An interview with Diane Ravitch, the nation's leading education historian. A review of Organizing for Educational Justice: The Campaign for Public School Reform in the South Bronx by Michael Fabricant. False Choice: How private school vouchers might harm minority students. Who's "cool" after graduating from high school? In The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth, Alexandra Robbins finds out the surprising answer (and more).

Michael Quinn (UCL): Post-modern Moments in the Application of Empirical Principles: Power, Knowledge and Discourse in the Thought of Jeremy Bentham vs. Michel Foucault. Religion is a sin: Galen Strawson reviews Saving God: Religion after Idolatry and Surviving Death by Mark Johnston. A link between climate change and Joplin tornadoes? Never! Scientists have begun to focus on how architecture and design can influence our moods, thoughts and health. Often spot-on, sometimes creepy, David Thomson’s masterwork is the most influential book ever written about the movies — and the most infuriating. From New York, Sandy Pope was the daughter of an investment banker; she quit school and became a trucker — now she wants to run the Teamsters and make unions thrive again. The conservative Texas Public Policy Foundations's influence on Texas higher-education policy takes center stage again. In 1986, a young nurse named Sherri Rasmussen was murdered in Los Angeles; police pinned down no suspects, and the case gradually went cold — it took 23 years and revolutionary breakthroughs in forensic science before LAPD detectives could finally assemble the pieces of the puzzle. Joel Warner on Peter McGraw's attempt to explain every joke ever. Taki Theodoracopulos on monarchy, the fairest of them all. A review of Sold on Language: How Advertisers Talk to You and What This Says about You by Julie Sedivy and Greg Carlson. If expensive wines really don’t taste better, then the wine industry has no business model. The Making of Michele Flournoy: She’s a mastermind of the Afghanistan war strategy, and she may be the first woman Secretary of Defense. Blue Urbanism: Timothy Beatley on city planning and the ocean environment. Be specific: Perceived media bias can lead to political action.

Peter Atkins discusses why he thinks science is the only way to make sense of the world. Tools of discovery: Where would science be without them? Meet Science: What is "peer review"? Neuroskeptic looks at the decline and fall of effects in science. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has led the world into the future for 150 years with scientific innovations — what makes the university such a fertile ground for brilliant ideas? Martin A. Schwartz on to the importance of stupidity in scientific research. Scientific reputations emerge in a collective manner, but does this guarantee that fame rests on merit? An article on why the scientific endeavour needs to deliver public value, not just research papers. Mapping the human genome showed how the internet can play a vital part in collective scientific research — now more scientists are collaborating and inviting amateurs and colleagues from other disciplines to get involved. Science writer in profile: Simon Singh. Eclectic, entertaining and educational: Paul Rogers the 21st century science beat. When Hollywood tackles science: How movies map scenarios from the frontiers of science. Who owns Einstein's face? Decades after the genius' death, the question of who controls his publicity rights continues — even his prodigious imagination could not predict the media world of the early 21st century. A review of The Philosophical Breakfast Club: Four Remarkable Friends Who Transformed Science and Changed the World by Laura J Snyder. What gender is science? Maria Charles on how gender equality crops up in surprising places. A review of Philosophy of Science after Feminism by Janet A. Kourany. From The Global Spiral, William Grassie on philosophy of science in the comedy club. An article on the curious world of zombie science.

Ewan Sutherland (Witwatersrand): Coltan, the Congo and Your Cell Phone (and more). Pelin Ekmen (UCL): From Riches to Rags: The Paradox of Plenty and its Linkage to Violent Conflict. Do we have the Congo rape crisis all wrong? We've long understood the country's horrifying rate of sexual assault — on average 48 rapes per hour — to be a function and tool of conflict, but it may be something very different. Rediscovering Congo: Two decades in, the world wakes up to a tragedy — so what are we going to do about it? A review of Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa by Jason Stearns (and more). From Mental Floss, here is a brief history of the Congolese space program. Kayumba P. David (Nkumba): State Sovereignty Versus Individual Rights in the Case of the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda. Is Rwandan leader Paul Kagame a visionary statesman, or a blood-stained tyrant? Hotel Rwanda: The once genocide-torn nation is rebuilding its tourism industry by focusing on wealthy wildlife lovers. From LRB, Stephen W. Smith on Rwanda in Six Scenes (and more at Dissent). Welcome to Juba U.: Southern Sudan's premiere university, relocated to the north during years of civil war, is finally back — is it up to the task of training a new country's next leaders? Abraham Awolich on the joy in Juba and the birth of a new nation. Eric Reeves on the promise and peril of an independent Republic of South Sudan. Renewed war looms in Sudan, as the international community prevaricate (and more). Nothing to plunder: Southern Fried Scientist on the evolution of Somalia’s pirate nation. Ripe for revolt: Countries in the sub-Sahara have the same problems as their Arab neighbours to the north: poverty, corruption and repression (and more). A review of Season of Rains: Africa in the World by Stephen Ellis.

From Modern Age, a special issue on education as a political issue, including Robert Koons (Texas): The war of the three humanisms: Irving Babbitt and the recovery of classical learning; Jeffrey Polet (Hope): Christianity and the cultivation of global citizens; RV Young (NCSU): The liberal arts and the loss of cultural memory; and Carl Bankston (Tulane): Federal control of public schools and the decline of community. Will Lance Armstrong wind up behind bars? (and more by Dave Zirin) An internal NATO memo shows just how worried the alliance is about cyber threats and how it plans to confront them "head-on". Michael Lind on Niall Ferguson and the brain-dead American right: The British historian owes his celebrity here to the absence of authentic American conservative intellectuals. From New Scientist, genes, germs and the origins of politics: A controversial new theory claims fear of infection makes the difference between democracy and dictatorship. How do you fix a troubled marriage? David Brooks on how emergent thinking is essential. From The New Yorker, Kelefa Sanneh on the strange fate of reality TV. The year that TV actually got it right: It wasn’t last year, it probably won’t be this year — when was it? From Cato Unbound, Bryan Caplan on population, fertility, and liberty. The debt is not nearly as scary as you think: Government budgets are absolutely nothing like a household budget, and here are five reasons why. Embrace the inner loser: It's the unpopular kids, with their quirky traits, who become successful adults. Perverse Incentives: Gynecologists cash in on an intimate new market. Is the biggest threat to Speaker of the House John Boehner the "young guns" in his own party? The Odorants in Deodorants: Elisa Gabbert sniffs those most populist of perfumes — the ones we rub under our arms.

Iain T. Benson (Free State): That False Struggle between Believers and Non-Believers. Is your religion your financial destiny? The economic differences among the country’s various religions are strikingly large. Meet the Oracles of Math: The end (of religion) is near, scientists say. More on Hating God: The Untold History of Misotheism by Bernard Schweizer. In our increasingly secular society, many religious people feel their voices are not heard; leading public figures and scientists explain their faith to Andrew Zak Williams. Do we need a new Bible? An interview with A.C. Grayling, author of The Good Book: A Humanist Bible. Jagdish Bhagwati on a modest proposal in defense of free speech: Publish cartoons offensive to every religion. A review of The Secular Outlook: In Defense of Moral and Political Secularism by Paul Cliteur. From Bitch, an article on new atheism and the old boys' club. An interview with William Egginton, author of In Defense of Religious Moderation (and more). Research suggests a general-purpose "need to belong" drives belief in God. If "religion is natural", what about atheism? From The Guardian, Peter Thompson on Karl Marx and religion as the wrong answer to the right question (in six parts). Three physicists on religion: The online bookmaker Paddy Power currently offers 100 to 1 odds that the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, will discover God. A review of Holy Ignorance: When Religion and Culture Part Ways by Olivier Roy. Pitzer College in California adds a major in secularism. Atheists seek a place among military chaplains. Ideology seems to be the equivalent of religion, without the God stuff. Prize in the sky: The Templeton Foundation rewards "spiritual progress", but what the heck is that? Rev. Martin Marty on religion versus secularism in history. Are less established religions really crazier than older mainstream ones, or are mainstream religions just more familiar?

Clark B. Lombardi (Washington): Can Islamizing a Legal System Ever Help Promote Liberal Democracy? A View from Pakistan. Identity and politics: The demographic make-up of South Asia has helped reinforce identity politics in each country in the region. Wickets and Wariness: Shashi Tharoor on India-Pakistan relations. The Coming Storm: The people of Bangladesh have much to teach us about how a crowded planet can best adapt to rising sea levels — for them, that future is now. A review of Pakistan: A Hard Country by Anatol Lieven (and more and more and more and more). Is this the end for Muhammad Yunus? In today's Bangladesh, even a Nobel Prize can't protect you from persecution (and more by Jagdish Bhagwati). A review of Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power by Robert Kaplan (and more and more). A. Q. Khan, the “father” of the Pakistani bomb, on why we shouldn’t be afraid. Is growth incomplete without social progress? Ejaz Ghani on South Asia’s development paradox. Unraveling the mystery of who sheltered Osama bin Laden won’t be easy; ex-CIA officer Bruce Riedel on how the Pakistani army is both at war with al Qaeda and in bed with it. A review of "The Indian Ocean in World History," a Web resource developed by Susan Douglass. A review of India and Pakistan: Continued Conflict or Cooperation? by Stanley Wolpert. The land that maps forgot: An article on enclaves between India and Bangladesh. Mark Leon Goldberg on the awful economics of sex work in Bangladesh. The call of the American Demarche: Does India really follow the US lead as blindly as the Wikileaks cables seem to suggest? Running the Asylum: A schizophrenic tries to save the mentally ill in Pakistan, a land gone mad. Could India turn itself into the school of the world?

From Boston Review, a New Democracy Forum on fixing Congress. From the inaugural issue of The White Review, an interview with Andre Schiffrin, author of Words and Money, on publishing. Just how enlightening is it to explain President Obama through his predecessors, as articles and magazine covers often do? The Century of Disasters: Meltdowns, floods, tornadoes, oil spills, grid crashes — why more and more things seem to be going wrong, and what we can do about it. A playwright’s progress: Andrew Ferguson on converting Mamet. Bin Laden is dead, but Pennsylvanian band leader Ben Laden lives on. The data are in regarding Satoshi Kanazawa: A hard look at last week's "objective attractiveness" analysis in Psychology Today. Here are 5 lessons learned from the Apocalypse Fail, or, it’s not the end of the world as we know it, and I feel so-so. Judicial review under review: Should the legal arguments over Obama's health care law force us to reconsider the role of the courts? The mythic allure of sexy conservatives: The son of Tea Party queen Michelle Bachmann is now a liberal sex object — why are we so into Republicans? Michele Bachmann’s head-banging, gay-bashing BFF: How the Minnesota lawmaker fell in with a controversial hair-metal evangelist. The last of Britain's military forces in Iraq pulled up anchor Sunday, ending more than eight years of fighting militants and training security forces since invading in 2003. They do it for free: An article on the inner lives of interns. After all the talk about amputating ears and public whippings, the Code of Hammurabi pauses to consider the plight of the intern. Avoiding the ignorant and corrupt: The challenge for people who do believe in regulation is to craft a system that works even when government is controlled by people who don’t.

A review of The Future of Aging: Pathways to Human Life Extension. The Longevity Project: Veronique Greenwood on how decades of data reveal paths to long life (and more). Technology advances, humans supersize: Nobel-winning economist Robert Fogel and his colleagues track the startlingly fast changes in human height and longevity since 1700. Do we want to be supersize humans? There's room for debate. On the plains of New Mexico, a band of elite marathoners tests a controversial theory of evolution: that humans can outrun the fastest animals on earth. Annalee Newitz on the first sign that humans are on the verge of evolving into another species. Harvey Fineberg shows us three paths forward for the ever-evolving human species: to stop evolving completely, to evolve naturally — or to control the next steps of human evolution, using genetic modification, to make ourselves smarter, faster, better. Julian Savulescu argues that moral enhancement using biological techniques may hold the key for the future of humanity, faced with problems such as global warming, terrorism, and poverty. Kyle Munkittrick on why cognitive enhancers are not “cheating”. Rise of the Machines: As computers get smarter, experts examine the potential implications. Even robots can be heroes: Researchers have challenged the idea that relatedness is necessary for altruism's evolution. Fight, Fight, Fight: Charles Q. Choi on the history of human aggression. Nice guys finish first: Developments in the study of evolution suggest that the survival of the fittest depends as much on cooperation as it does on a competition between self-interests. From Anthropology in Practice, does cooperation really make it happen? Where does good come from?: Harvard's Edward O. Wilson tries to upend biology, again. Researchers challenge E. O. Wilson over evolutionary theory.

Greg Bognar (NYU) and Samuel J. Kerstein (Maryland): Saving Lives and Respecting Persons. A review of What Is a Person? Rethinking Humanity, Social Life, and the Moral Good from the Person Up by Christian Smith. Sociality and Solitude: J. David Velleman on the various ways of valuing personhood. From BMCR, a review of Bitter Knowledge: Learning Socratic Lessons of Disillusion and Renewal by Thomas Eisele; and a review of The Drama of Ideas: Platonic Provocations in Theater and Philosophy by Martin Puchner. An interview with Graham Priest, author of An Introduction to Non-Classical Logic (and part 2). A review of Death and Mortality in Contemporary Philosophy by Bernard Schumacher. A review of After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency by Quentin Meillassoux. A review of Postanalytic and Metacontinental: Crossing Philosophical Divides. A review of An Introduction to Philosophical Methods by Chris Daly. A review of The Nature and Future of Philosophy by Michael Dummett. A review of Wittgenstein in Exile by James C. Klagge. An article on David Hume’s tercentenary: So when do the celebrations start? (and more) Philosopher in love: David Hume proved himself equal to his philosophy. Can the great classical thinkers still advise us on how to live? A host of new books shows how philosophers of the past can help us find wisdom and meaning in the present. Whether or not being moral is instrumental to personal good, does being moral itself somehow constitute an element of personal good? Philosophy that’s not for the masses: James Ladyman argues that philosophy’s inaccessibility is actually a good thing. On beer and thought: An interview with Matt Lawrence, author of Philosophy on Tap: Pint-Sized Puzzles for the Pub Philosopher. Why have philosophers not had more to say about the phenomenology and social, political, legal, economic, and medical aspects of cannabis?