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NY Times: Weighing the Strengths and Shortcomings of China’s Education System

Nothing stirs passions quite like the debate over the Chinese school system. Critics say it is a test-obsessed bureaucracy that produces students who excel at reciting facts but not much else. Others argue that it is equipping children with exceptionally strong skills, particularly in math and science. Scott Rozelle, a Stanford University economist who runs a rural education program in China, is an author of a new study that challenges popular conceptions of Chinese schools.

NY Times: Study Finds Chinese Students Excel in Critical Thinking. Until College.

BEIJING — Chinese primary and secondary schools are often derided as grueling, test-driven institutions that churn out students who can recite basic facts but have little capacity for deep reasoning.

A new study, though, suggests that China is producing students with some of the strongest critical thinking skills in the world.

Stanford Conference Tackles Growing U.S. Nuclear Waste Problem

The United States has a growing inventory of spent nuclear fuel from commercial power plants that continues to accumulate at reactor sites around the country.

Insider Threats and Organizational Root Causes: The 2009 Fort Hood Terrorist Attack

This essay examines the 2009 Fort Hood terrorist attack with two goals in mind: illuminating the organizational weaknesses inside the Defense Department which led officials to miss the insider terrorist threat; and contributing to a growing body of theoretical research examining the connection between underlying organizational weaknesses and disasters.

CISAC Scientists Join Open Letter to Obama on Iran

Three CISAC scientists have joined 26 of the nation’s top nuclear experts and sent an open letter to President Obama in support of the Iran deal struck in July.

Former senator to teach, lecture at Stanford

Russ Feingold, the former U.S. senator perhaps best known for pushing campaign finance reform, will spend the spring quarter at Stanford lecturing and teaching. Feingold will be the Payne Distinguished Lecturer and will be in residence at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies while teaching and mentoring graduate students in the Ford Dorsey Program in International Policy Studies and the Stanford Law School.

Seeing is Learning

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The Stanford Internet Observatory Turns Two

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Date: 
Monday, June 7, 2021
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Alex Stamos
Elena Cryst
Renee DiResta
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David Thiel
Carly Miller
Riana Pfefferkorn
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Two years ago, we launched the Stanford Internet Observatory as a cross-disciplinary laboratory for the study of abuse in current information technologies, with a focus on the misuse of social media. The Observatory was created to learn about these abuses in real time and to translate our research discoveries into education for the next generation of engineers and entrepreneurs and into policy innovations for the public good. The term “Observatory” was not an accident: for centuries, physicists and astronomers have coordinated resources to build the massive technological infrastructure necessary to research the universe. The internet is similarly an ecosystem constantly in flux as new apps, emerging technologies, and new communities of users transform the space; researchers need innovative capabilities to research this new information frontier.

When we launched, we knew our work would be important because of the extent to which online activity increasingly shapes public perception of our society’s most important issues. We did not anticipate some of the specific forms this activity would take. The global pandemic moved human interaction from substantively online to near-completely online. As our team adapted to working from home, the spread of online information intensified: an organized marketing campaign to launch the conspiratorial “Plandemic” video; manipulation of livestreams to push fear during Black Lives Matter protests; global superpowers using health diplomacy as concerted soft power moves in the global south; and the 2020 US election, culminating in the unprecedented—although perhaps not unanticipated—Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021. 

We launched on June 6, 2019, with an initial team of three and have since grown to a full-time team of 10, working with 76 student research assistants over the past two years. SIO’s success relies on the tireless efforts of the students and staff whose work is highlighted in the above report.

As we embark on our third year, we reflect deeply on our research and refine our path forward as a research center. In addition to highlighting the output of our team, this report details our focus areas and goals for the coming year. 

We would like to extend our gratitude to our faculty leads Nate Persily and Dan Boneh at the Stanford Cyber Policy Center; Michael McFaul, the director of the Freeman Spogli Institute; and our generous supporters including Craig Newmark Philanthropies, the Omidyar Network, the Charles Koch Foundation and Felicis Ventures

The attached report shares the outputs of our research, teaching and policy work and highlights our new and refined goals as we move into our third year.

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headliner graphic with a graphic illustration of nodes and connecters and the text "stanford internet observatory 2019-2021 the first two years."
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SIO releases its two year report summarizing its first two years of research, teaching and policy and laying the path for the years to come.
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Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
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