Brown licensees must sign fire safety accord

President Christina Paxson announced today that Brown University will now require all licensees that procure or manufacture University apparel in Bangladesh to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. Signatories to the Accord must ensure that factories there meet safety standards. The text of Paxson’s announcement follows here.

Teaching and Research for Impact

TRI-Lab announces next steps at open house

Brown's TRI-Lab program announced several next steps at an open house on Thursday, including two new Rhode Island-centered research collaborations that will focus on access to healthy food and on climate change and environmental justice. Participants also discussed the progress made so far in the current lab focusing on early childhood development. Brown University President Christina Paxson and Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee both made remarks. 

Maze puts images on floor, where rats look

Visual acuity is sharpest for rats and mice when the animals are looking down. Researchers have found that rodents can learn tasks in a fourth to a sixth of the usual number of repetitions when visual stimuli are projected onto the floor of the maze rather than onto the walls. Findings are reported in the Journal of Visualized Experiments.

250th Anniversary Events

250th Anniversary Opening Celebration

A summary of public events for Brown University’s 250th Anniversary Opening Celebration March 7-8, 2014. All events are free and open to the public unless marked ($).  Events that require tickets or advance registration are marked (*). Additional information and program details are available online at the 250th Anniversary website or the Featured Events listing.

250th Anniversary

President’s Colloquium: The Virtues of Liberal Education

Brown University President Christina Paxson will host a colloquium on “The Virtues of Liberal Education” on March 8, 2014, as part of the University’s 250th anniversary Opening Celebration. The series, which includes a keynote address by U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, a 1983 Brown graduate, begins at 10 a.m. and is free and open to the public. Advance registration and tickets are required, available without charge at [This release was revised Thursday, Feb. 27, to include a change of venue.]

Analysis: 32 years of U.S. filicide arrests

Over the last three decades U.S. parents have committed filicide — the killing of one’s child — about 500 times every year. The horrifying instances are often poorly understood, but a recent study provides the first comprehensive statistical overview of the tragic phenomenon. The authors also suggest underlying hypotheses of motives with the hope of spurring research on filicide prevention.

Media Advisory

Brown to host TRI-Lab open house

Brown will announce the launch of two new Rhode Island-focused teaching and research collaborations through its TRI-Lab program at an open house on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. The event will take place at the new TRI-Lab offices at 10 Davol Square. Brown University President Christina Paxson, Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, and others will make brief remarks.

Bipolar disorder risks for perinatal women

Women with bipolar disorder often struggle with the illness during and after pregnancy. A new study finds that they were significantly more likely to face important psychiatric and childrearing challenges compared to women who were seeking treatment for other psychiatric disorders.

Brown University at 250

Brown, Rhode Islanders to celebrate 250 years

How to celebrate a 250th birthday? Brown University will begin a 15-month celebration with a two-day campus open house on Friday and Saturday, March 7-8, 2014. The guest list includes Brown’s Rhode Island neighbors, middle school students from nearly three dozen public schools across the state, and all Brown faculty, students, alumni, parents, and staff.  There will be fireworks, and yes, there will be birthday cake. [Updated Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. More at]

TAPS launches ‘Performance as Research’

A variety of visiting artists — dancers, set designers, choreographers, sculptors — will visit Brown this semester for the Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies’ inaugural “Performance as Research” project. The project will explore the construction and communication of meaning across the arts, humanities, and scientific disciplines.

250th Anniversary

Brownian Motion: A birthday song for Brown

The Brown University Wind Symphony will present a concert featuring the world premiere of Brownian Motion by Patrick Zimmerli, a work commissioned in celebration of the University’s 250th anniversary. The concert, including works by Brown graduates and Rhode Island composer and jazz trombone legend George Masso, begins at 8 p.m. Friday, March 7, 2014, in the Salomon Center for Teaching. The concert is free and open to the public, part of Brown’s semiquincentenary Opening Celebration. More at

Going the distance for marine biology

Who knew Emily Lamb would graduate from Brown and work with barnacle communities in Chile?  Certainly not Emily Lamb, at least not when she arrived at Brown. But curiosity is a powerful incentive. What began as her senior thesis is now a fully developed research paper in the the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology.  (Return to “Barnacles”)

Temperature and ecology

In Chile, rival barnacles keep competition cool

A lot of research shows that temperature can strongly influence species interactions and sometimes shape the appearance and functioning of biological communities. That’s why a newly published finding that changes in temperature did not alter the competitive balance of power between two rival species of Chilean barnacles is an ecological surprise.

Forest model predicts canopy competition

Scientists use measurements from airborne lasers to gauge changes in the height of trees in the forest. Tree height tells them things like how much carbon is being stored. But what accounts for height changes over time — vertical growth or overtopping by a taller tree? A new statistical model helps researchers figure out what’s really happening on the ground.

A new calibration

LUX dark matter results confirmed

A new calibration of the Large Underground Xenon (LUX) dark matter detector brought a 10-fold increase in calibration accuracy, confirming findings announced last October from the instrument’s first 90-day run. If low-mass “WIMP” particles had passed through the detector, LUX would have found them.