What the PhD and what the tink-tank?
- From: ac <agnescherry@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2012 12:25:53 -0700 (PDT)
Making of the better think-tank: can political think- tank meet own
standard for objectivity?
RAND CORP ANNOUCED THAT IT IS UNIVERSITY. bY WHOSE STANDARD?
THE VERY IDEA TO POLITICIZE ALL WHILE AWARDING PhDs is aimmediattely
ddomed - it will bias away from objectivity no matter what; It is not
that political subjcets can not be studies
scientofiacally but the subjcet that always sensatize towards power
will have a flow no matter how to bend and unbend. I was checking if
they counter-balanced against that and the answer
"The Curriculum and the Mission of the School
The Pardee RAND Graduate School aspires to be the world's leading
Ph.D. program in policy analysis. Our goals are:
To produce Ph.D. graduates whose dissertations make important
intellectual contributions to practical issues and whose careers
distinguish them as powerful intellectual influences on public life.
THAT IS NOT PHD 'MISSION'. I SUSPECT THSI SI NO STARTER, NOT PHD
PROGRAM SINCE 1970. PHD IS RESOLVING ISSUE FROM THEORY TO THEORY -
THAT WHAT PHILOSOPPHY TITTLE MEANS; IT IS GONINBG TO THE FILED BUT TO
TEST OLD AND EDEVELOP NEW THEORY ( NOT TOOL BUT THE CONTENT OF IT;
TOOLS DO GET TO DEVELOP TOO; BUT THEY DO NOT RUN THE 'MOUTH OF
RESEACH' THE CONTENT OF IT,
JUST LIKE HEAND ALONE CAN NOT DO THAT)
In conjunction with RAND, to develop new lines of teaching and
research on some of the world's most difficult challenges in security,
poverty, health and development.
WHAT SI THE DIFFERENCE WITH ROCKEFELLER FOPUNFDATION HERE?
SELFAWARDING PHD FOR THE SOCIETAL DEVELOPMENT?? WHAT HAPPENS WITH
For the profession as a whole, to rethink what public policy means in
a time when we no longer automatically turn to government to solve all
problems but increasingly rely on partnerships between government,
business, and civil society.
THIS IS POLITICAL STATEMNT NOT THE PHD WORK.
The curriculum serves these goals, with a particular vision.
SCIENCE AS PHILOSOPHY IS ABOUT THE ONE ACTIVITY THAT IS NOT TO BE ANY
VISSIONARY BUT OBJECTIVE. WE DO USE A LOT OF VISIONS IN USA TO DRIVE
THE ENERGY INTO THE LONG RANGE GOAL, BUT AGAIN THAT IS A MOTIVATIONAL
TECHNICUE AND NOT PHD APROACH.
PRGS should be a place where some of the world's most able graduate
students come to work on some of the world's hardest problems, with
the rigor, interdisciplinarity, and flair that characterize RAND.
And so the PRGS curriculum tries to provide the best analytical tools
from many disciplines, practice in applying them to real problems, and
a creative, sometimes experimental approach that encourages new ways
of thinking and doing.
EXCUSE ME - PHD DOES NOT NEED TO ABANDOM THE POST AT REAL UNIVERSITY.
( WHAT SOMETIMES IS EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH; PLEASE CHANGE THE
Great courses are only part of a PRGS education. PRGS students also
carry out policy research part-time with RAND mentors, in what we call
"on-the-job training" or OJT. Working in interdisciplinary teams with
clients in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, students
develop skills and sophistication that couldn't be conveyed in a
classroom. The late Carl Builder likened PRGS to a great arts academy.
He pointed out that students leave PRGS with a remarkable portfolio of
accomplishments, which range from proposals to briefings, from
technical reports to policy memoranda, from teaching notes to reports
on field work, and of course the Ph.D. dissertation. In creating this
portfolio, courses and OJT combine in what we think is a unique
experience in higher education.
THAT OBERINCLUSIVE! BUT WHAT ARE THE POLICY TOPICS?
The Changing World of Policy Research
Our Ph.D. is in policy analysis, which is a multidisciplinary, applied
field that tries to use research to unlock difficult policy problems.
The field is changing right now, and PRGS is at the forefront of that
change. It's changing from the former idea of developing a master plan
for government agencies into a new idea that is much more fluid.
HALLO, YOU DO THINK THIS IS NEW WHILE THIS WAS COMMUNIST PLANNING FROM
TIME, CLEARLY POLITICAL ISSUE.
Four features of the environment are in flux.
The role of government. Few people today seem to feel that the answer
to a public problem is simply a new government program. The focus is
no longer just on definitive policy choices by top public
policymakers, but on how government, business, and civil society can
be made to work better, and to work better together. Key elements of
progress will include better measures of quality of life and quality
of service, better methods for gauging institutional performance, and
better ways of aligning incentives with that performance.
I AM VERY ANCOPHORTABLE - WHAT ARE YOPU DOING? YOU TRYING TO IMPLY
THAT THERE IS A WAY OF PROPERLY FORMULATE A PROBLEM AND HAVE TOOLS IN
APROACHING IT. THIS IS THIS EXPERIMENTAL METHOD WHEN IT APPLIES, BUT
IT IS THOUGHT AT UNDERGRADUATE LEVEL.
The information revolution. Technological transformations will alter
the functioning of market and nonmarket institutions, and probably
also the partnerships among them.
THSI COULD BE A TOPIC AS IT IS A NEW FACT; IS IT REVOLUTION REALLY IS
Social and cultural diversity.
THSI ONE IS NOT A TOPIC.
Around the world people are becoming more aware of how much diversity
matters within institutions and in policy reforms. But we don't yet
seem to apprehend how to turn diversity into an advantage.
REALLY? ( IT COULD BE YOU DID NOT SEE OTHER PEOPLE YET, EVEN THOUGH
CALIFORNIA IS MULTICULTURAL PLACE)
Thinking through our futures together.
REALLY; YOU AND ME SHARING SAME PHD?
New uncertainties are forcing us to consider anew the longer term
of today's choices (or lack of choices)—think of our confused agendas
with regard to international security, global warming, biotechnology,
and investment in infrastructure.
I WANT THAT INFRUSTARUCTURE CLEAR. WHAT AHS HAPPENED? ( i am guessing
that author wants to know when imvestment in more infrastructure makes
sense from the broader goals for the region; and than more
specifically how to brak that down; but hallo, if that isconfusing,
get them to work before we fire them for good; psychiatrists that
is).Other comments in the waiting for etenity.
This changing environment means that the old paradigms of policy
analysis are incomplete.
Coo-coos!, paradigms do not bother with you! How would they know that
you think they complete?
( I am mocking them as they did not even chck wjhat is paradigm)
We need to rethink policy research for a time of new clients and
partners, new technologies, cultural diversity, and new uncertainties.
The core courses can be viewed as an essential backdrop for all the
They convey essential research methods and perspectives.
Hallo at the real universities they are subject matters; Metodsthat
are doiscussed at the PhD seminar by that time are mastered - you
again taliking about undergraduate work; I suspect taht these so
called phDs on the faculty list never have looked at these and now try
to give it to others but mix the priority level; do not understand
themseves what is what.
They teach how to assess and improve systems rather than symptoms.
REALLY, THAT IS NEW?
They instill intuitions and techniques about many kinds of benefits
and costs, and how information and incentives interact in theory and
practice. The empirical analysis
sequence is all about assessing causation, especially in situations
experimentation is impossible.
HERE! THEY ASSERT CAUSATIONS - I THINK I WILL HAVETO HIDE DUE TO
DANGER ON EARTH. ( THEY PROBABLT DEAL WITH THE BIAS THAT EXPERIMENT
WAS STRICT AND ALL THE REST WAS NOT, WHILE THE SITUATION IS: THEY ARE
NOT CHOLARDS AND HAVE NO CLE WHAT INTELLECTUAL DISCOURSE IS THUS
GENERATE THESE WAYS OF APPROCHING THE TEROR 'BOX' THIS WAY; THEY DO
NOT BELONG AT THE UNIVERSITY.
(and not at working think tank either; maybe they lost at middle
school or high school)
Every year the faculty and others at RAND suggest topics coming down
the road where we don't know what to do or perhaps even how to think
about the issues.
RELLY - PHD DISSERTATIONS TITTLES ARE GIVEN OUT? ( for people who do
not know - the PhD scholra is so motiovated that he is on track before
he even gets to any PhD propgram as thsi becomes the life motive: whre
is the Fellowhip moneyt that school has acquired is other isseu and
the true PhD candidate will not trade his for for that one on the list
of money either - he makes money already or soon).
Then they devise PRGS workshops on these topics. In these workshops,
the faculty and students move from "here's the big issue" to "here are
examples of doable research that would shed light on the issue." In
the last three years PRGS has offered ten such courses on topics such
as the looming crisis in transportation infrastructure; business and
the environment; new directions in arts policy; communities and
violence; weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists;
business and welfare reform; and what military health can learn from
the civilian sector health system.
SO THESE WERE PUBLIC TOPIS; HOW DID THEORY OF THAT GREAT UNIVERSITY
PREPARE TP TTOP THEM WHEN THEY ARE EXPRESSED AS SCIENECX RESEARCH
PROBLEMS ( are they ever here?)
Rigor and Adventure
There's one final feature of the PRGS curriculum, and of RAND itself,
that is even harder to put into words.
We seek an educational experience that is at once rigorous and
Most research at RAND involves rigorous quantitative analysis, but
skills are also used.
YOU ARE AJOKE AGAIN - THE PHD REMEMBER?
After all, this is the place that helped develop game theory, dynamic
simulations, linear programming, many tools of data analysis, and
large-scale social experiments. We love mathematical tools, but we
especially love studying their
applications and misapplications -- how they can lead to insights and
creativity or, when misused, can result in highly numerate garbage.
DO YOU MEAN THAT RANT CORPORATION DID THESE? WHO GOT THE THEORY OF
OBJCTIVITY? ( PROBABLY WRITTER NEVER READ A. RAND)
Along with the rigor, RAND's tradition is to go beyond the ordinary,
to be intellectually adventurous. Is the question currently being
asked the right one? How is the problem we are considering an instance
of a broader or deeper theme?
What are the parallels, the texts, the metaphors, the models that may
be shared across
issues or that may, by our thinking them through, spur us and our
clients and partners
to greater creativity?
NO, COO-COO, YOU HAVE SPIRIT BLINKING AT YOU IN THE MATTER OF
PHILOSOPHICAL META-THEORY AND HAVE NO CLE OTHERWISE.
RAND work varies so widely that there is no one paradigm.
O, O! MULTIPLES HAVE IT. IS GENDER ONE THERE? ( WHO KNOWS THE ANSWER)
But the combination of rigor and adventure leads to some classic
Investigating phenomena that are unknown or unquantified, such as
social integration and disintegration, or the efficiency of court
Tackling issues where a key variable seems impossible to measure, such
as the quality of health care or military readiness.
Taking on topics where competing interests make a problem seem
intractable, such as the agreement on global positioning systems,
racial profiling, or transportation policy in the Netherlands.
Figuring out what works, taking into account multiple objectives and
multiple intervening variables. Examples include assessing the effects
of schools, of three-strikes-you're-out laws, of the introduction of
more females into the military, and of changes in medical payment
Making sense of the complicated interactions between public and
private sectors. Recent examples include protecting infrastructure
from adversaries, deregulating energy supply, and assuring that all
children have adequate health care.
Peering into the future, using forecasting techniques, scenario
building, gaming, large-scale computer models, and historical and
political analyses. Examples include the challenges that may confront
the U.S. Air Force in 2020 and the future social and cultural effects
of the information revolution.
Combining Theory and Practice
The courses have been developed by a faculty noteworthy for both
research excellence and dedication to teaching. PRGS professors are
full-time researchers. They teach not because some contract tells them
they must, but because they love to.
At PRGS we have identified five key educational objectives of our
Understand the purpose of policy analysis and its place within the
Master the basic methodologies used in policy research: economic
analysis, quantitative methods, and social and behavioral science
Acquire in-depth knowledge in one of these three methodological
Obtain a deep understanding of a specialized substantive field of
public policy; and
Develop project and professional skills relevant to the selected field
of policy analysis.
A hallmark of PRGS is curricular innovation. Some new courses are
driven by emerging issues. Other new courses are motivated by a desire
to capture and extend recent methodological advances. See a list of
PRGS courses and a more general description of PRGS degree
Throughout the courses new and old, you'll find a blend of real
problems and advanced methods. The educational philosophy is captured
in a quote from Thomas C. Schelling, who offered the 2001 August kick-
off course. "In my own thinking they have never been separate," he
once wrote. "Motivation for the purer theory came almost exclusively
from preoccupation with (and fascination with) 'applied' problems; and
the clarification of theoretical ideas was absolutely dependent on an
identification of live examples."
The PRGS academic year comprises three 10-week quarters of class
instruction (fall, winter, and spring), each followed by a week of
final examinations. The PRGS typically observes a four-week winter
recess, a one-week spring recess, and Thanksgiving and Memorial Day
Rank Corporantion, the Santa Monica derivative ( where it was where i
was there) claims to have been PhD graduate institution all the way
since 1970, however faculty do4es not indicate who is a professor
there; only 'PhD advisors" for the dissertations. Is that comproration
really an university.
MY COMMNT: The review of the topics and 'approaches' immediately
indicated loss of education in PHDs,
1. they be doing new analytical aproaches without a topic here;
analitycal aproacjh is as old as human though and philosophy and is
not about to get replaced' what is developing is methodology for the
subjcet matter and perhaps they mean new subject matter;
but no awarenes what is what. Suspected that Rand work is not known to
these wanna professors.
2. no full professorhip noticed thus supected that this can not be
3. topics reflect the above two points - they are broad descriptive
with no these expressed in the topic, thus not really PhD
( no awarness of these again, however all staff [presents PhDs there
in the amount of at least 100; god have mnercy on PhD America at
American Rand Corporation)
THEY KEEP HAVING THESE PROBLEMS THERE - SCHOLARS ARE NOT PHDs , BUT
HOW WOULD RAND STANDARD BE MET? BY PhD INSTITUTION WHICH THE
UNIVERSITY STAY UNIVERSITY AND THINK THANK - STILL A THINK - TANK
( but by definition requires flexibility and brainstorming a social-
economic and political ideas, rather then just productivity
of tittle presentations; is to be specialized how to fasters collect
relevent opinion and brain storm them)