Academic Dissertations in the News

Dissertations in the news (Forbes)

13 April 2015

Is Pharmaceutical Productivity In Decline? Maybe Not. Hult’s paper (his dissertation to be precise) reframes this conundrum, redefining productivity in terms of (arguably) the outcome that matters for drugs – patient health. This has some intuitive appeal; after all, the real output for pharmaceutical firms isn’t the total number of drugs they put out, but how those drugs help the patients that take them. Phillipson and Hult put it best: “a single drug that cured all cancers would be immensely more valuable than 100 new molecules that treated acne.”


Dissertation Finish Line

11 April 2015

by Lori A. Flores, Chronicle of Higher Education. Reflecting on what I did to get myself through that final push, here are 10 pieces of practical advice. . .

1. Budget some time for last-minute tasks.
2. Seek out (the right) sources of inspiration and feedback.
3. Saying no is necessary.
4. Don’t neglect your physical health.
5. Budget some money for last-minute escapes.
6. In times of writer’s block, turn to your acknowledgments.
7. This is no time for perfectionism.
8. There is a point where the dissertation ends and the next phase begins.
9. On a related note, corral your committee.
10. Have someone waiting for you at the finish line.



Dissertation to be presented as a film tentatively titled In the Pines

20 February 2015

Written and directed by Noam Osband, 34, a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, the 28-minute film was produced on a budget of less than $7,000. Released last year, it has been featured at film festivals and is set to air Friday at 10:30 p.m. on WHYY. In the Pines, is about Mexicans who come to the United States as guest workers to plant trees for reforesting in Arkansas.


Timothy Conkling found a completely different story: A look at China’s patriotic martyrs

19 February 2015

For years the Chinese Communist Party justified persecuting unregistered house churches by labeling them as cults that disdained the government. Conkling’s published dissertation, titled Mobilized Merchants—Patriotic Martyrs: China’s House-Church Protestants and the Politics of Cooperative Resistance, is a careful analysis of the current relationship between the unregistered house church and the government, and gives a fascinating glimpse into a world few have access to. Of the hundreds of house church members he interviewed, “never once was there talk about overthrowing the government,” even if they had issues with certain aspects of the government’s policy. Led by a theology of martyrdom, house churches view persecution as a privilege, and thus do not respond violently against their oppressors.