News and Features

Curated #SocSciTips for Social Scientists: #TDOPicks of the Week

Editor’s Note: Every week we bring you #TDOPicks – our picks for the best social science features we’ve found on the Internet this week. We feature a variety of content aimed at both the layman and the social science professional. Tell us what you’re reading or watching by tweeting @theDailyOpium with #TDOPicks or posting links on our Facebook page.

Work Smarter Not Harder: 17 Great Tips, by Eric Barker, TIME


Eric Barker presents some tips to help you tweak your life! Here is one:

Make a “to don’t” list. Another gem from the inimitable Tom Peters. Prepare a list that contains all the things you shouldn’t waste your time on – useless tasks, unnecessary meetings, worthless phone calls, and so on. Then place it next to your “to do” list – and stick to it.

How to Stay Focused When You Get Bored Working Toward Your GoalsBy James Clear,



Thinking success comes through one dash of brilliance? Think again:

“At some point,” he said, “it comes down to who can handle the boredom of training every day and doing the same lifts over and over and over again.”

Why is academic writing so academic?, by Joshua Rothman, The New Yorker



In this article, Joshua Rothman problematizes why academics cannot write to a more general audience — arguing that the nature today of academic work is to target a very focused group of people. Can you traverse this boundary?

It won’t do any good, in short, to ask professors to become more populist. Academic writing and research may be knotty and strange, remote and insular, technical and specialized, forbidding and clannish—but that’s because academia has become that way, too.

Six Tips for Studying SmarterAnn Miller,


Nailing the art of studying right can be a scientific task. Two professors — Henry Roediger and Mark McDaniel at the Washington University in St. Louis — and author Peter Brown condensed the best study knowledge, based on scientific papers published over the past few years, in a new book, Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning. Roediger distilled his  6 top tips for successful learning. We’re talking the best ways to retrain new knowledge for the long haul.

Graduation advice for aspiring humanitarians,  by William G. Moseley,



Rather than charity, the need is for allies and collaborators in a common fight against injustice. Become a humanitarian or development practitioner because you find the work interesting. If a development worker came to live in my community, I would much rather they be there because they find my culture interesting, they’re willing to join me in exposing injustice, or they enjoy the challenge of working on a local development question.