Better Grad Students, Please

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Thoreau complains about a grad student in his upper division biophysics class:

One of the problems involves the entropy change from evaporating a cubic centimeter of water. She asked me how she’s supposed to know the number of atoms in a cubic centimeter of water. Um, this is basic freshman chem stuff.

No, that’s not right. It’s junior chem stuff. High school junior, that is. At least, that’s where I learned it.

The same student apparently also had a problem converting joules to electron volts. Well, I don’t know the conversion myself. But I typed “joules electron volts” into Google and got the answer in .33 seconds. So I guess at least some grad students don’t know how to use Google either. This does not bode well for our coming economic war with China, does it?

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate