The Black Goat


Excellence Adventures

April 19, 2017

Universities are increasingly talking about "excellence" as a basis for evaluating scholarship and making strategic decisions. We talk about a recent paper that analyzes the rhetoric around excellence, finds it wanting, and offers up some alternatives. Plus: We get ready for spring "break" (flying to beautiful places to keep working); the controversy around Brian Wansink's Food and Brand Lab; and should our letter-writer appeal an editorial decision based on an error?

Links discussed:

The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, or on Facebook at You can email us at

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license.

This is episode 5. It was recorded March 20, 2017.