Fri 24 Apr | The Providence Journal

Kerry adviser: U.S. on verge of historic moment

Joseph Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund and an international security adviser to Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking at Brown University Thursday, said he is confident that the framework agreement reached with Iran on April 2 will result in a nuclear agreement.
Fri 24 Apr | The Indian Express

'Civil society is like a Socratic gadfly to the state’

Leela Gandhi, professor of humanities and English, answers questions about her new book, "The Common Cause: Postcolonial Ethics and the Practice of Democracy," the inner life of democracy, irascible Greek philosophers, the power of the imperfect and the ordinary, and what it means to be postcolonial in 2015.
Thu 23 Apr | New Scientist

Your smartphone's secrets could help you bag a bank loan

An article on how metadata from online activity may soon be used to assess how much money a bank will loan someone, cites research by economist Daniel Björkegren, who is working with credit-scoring company Entrepreneurial Finance Lab to predict whether someone will pay back a loan based on their cellphone data.
Thu 23 Apr | Associated Press

Google Glass in the ER? Health care moves step closer to Star Trek

Researchers in a small study led by Megan Ranney, assistant professor of emergency medicine, used Google Glass to assess skin issues of people at the emergency room of the Rhode Island Hospital in Providence. Their aim was to see whether using technology to beam a specialist in to a patient's bedside could result in a more specific initial diagnosis and treatment, and even make a second visit to a dermatologist unnecessary.
Wed 22 Apr |

It’s All About Education: Making a Commitment to Rhode Island’s Children

An article on improving education for Rhode Island children mentions a recent Rhode Island Kids Count breakfast where President Christina Paxson gave the keynote and stated that investments in early childhood education are one of the most important things we can do, and that the “economic returns to investing in early childhood health and development are incredibly high.”
Wed 22 Apr | Everyday Health

Is the Link Between Serotonin and Depression a Myth?

An article examining whether the explanation that led to the popularity a class of antidepressants called serotonin reuptake inhibitors is true quotes Peter Kramer, clinical professor of psychiatry and human behavior: “It’s true that depression is not a serotonin deficiency, but it’s also true that serotonergic drugs allow for recovery from depression, and sometimes they seem to reverse it directly.”
Wed 22 Apr | WPRI

Panel gives first look at $85.5M in RI Medicaid cuts

The working group convened by Gov. Gina Raimondo to reduce how much Rhode Island spends on its multibillion-dollar Medicaid program has come up with a short list of proposals, including a new push to change how nursing homes get paid. “Care is good in Rhode Island. But it needs to be great. And to go from good care to great care, we need to change some fundamental things,” said working group co-chair and Brown professor Ira Wilson.
Tue 21 Apr | The Providence Journal

Why Great Recession clobbered R.I.

Neil Mehrotra, assistant professor of economics, writes about why Rhode Island was especially hard hit by the most recent recession.
Mon 20 Apr | The Providence Journal

New hepatitis C treatment far too expensive for R.I. prisons

A new study by Brown University — which was based on research conducted in Rhode Island at the Adult Correctional Institutions — finds that it would cost double the prison's entire health budget to treat all inmates who are chronically ill with hepatitis C.
Mon 20 Apr | Associated Press

European Physicist Discusses Higgs Boson at Brown University

Director general of the European Organization for Nuclear Research Rolf-Dieter Heuer was at Brown University on Monday to discuss the Large Hadron Collider, the particle accelerator in Geneva that detected a Higgs boson particle, an elusive part of a theory that explains how some types of particles have mass.
Mon 20 Apr | The Boston Globe

Minutemen gather for Patriots Day reenactments

Gordon Wood, professor emeritus of history, comments on the first battles in Massachusetts that served as a tipping point for the start of the American Revolution. “New Englanders and others realized this was a Rubicon that had been crossed, once you had that kind of violence,” he said. They realized “this was not going to be settled amicably.”
Mon 20 Apr | The New York Times

Elio Toaff, Spiritual Leader of Italian Jews, Dies at 99

David Kertzer comments on the legacy of Elio Toaff, the chief rabbi of Rome for half a century, who as a leader of Italian Jewry during its revival after World War II helped forge more amicable relations between Jews and the Vatican. Toaff died Sunday in Rome.
Mon 20 Apr | The New York Times

Details on the 2015 Pulitzer Prize Winners

Professor David Kertzer was awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Biography for his 2014 book "The Pope and Mussolini." Judges' citation and Kertzer's reaction at the link.
Sat 18 Apr | The New York Times

Would You Want to Smell BBQ All the Time?

Rachel Herz, adjunct assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior, comments on complaints about the smell of barbecue from neighbors of restaurants in Austin, Texas, an issue that has gone before the city council. “The smell becomes highly offensive because of the distress of being exposed against your free will,” Herz said.
Fri 17 Apr | The Providence Journal

Arthur D. Norwalk: Sincere thanks to Brown president

In a letter, Providence resident Arthur D. Norwalk thanks Brown University President Christina Paxson for "consistently referring to the area between downtown and South Providence as the Jewelry District rather than the wildly pretentious Knowledge District in her April 14 Commentary piece."
Thu 16 Apr | The Providence Journal

Robert Arellano: Taking my one shot to get into Brown

Robert Arellano, a Brown alum and former Brown professor, writes about his acceptance into the Class of 1991 and his first visit to campus during Preview Weekend in the spring to try to get more financial aid so that he could attend.
Thu 16 Apr | The Providence Journal

Study of R.I. history key to sound education

Luther Spoehr, senior lecturer in education, co-authors an op-ed on the importance of having local students study R.I. history, arguing that the study of history makes students more informed citizens, more empathetic toward others and sharpens critical thinking and writing skills, among other benefits.
Thu 16 Apr | Daily Beast

Beatings, Murder, Rape in California Asylums

A new 900-page report exposes horrific crimes in five California mental health institutions, 13 of which ended in death. Christine Montross, assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior, comments on how cost-cutting measures have affected care in these institutions.
Thu 16 Apr | The Providence Journal

Owners seek state payments, tax relief

Lawyer James J. Skeffington, PawSox president and a principal owner of the team, revealed proposed plans for the team's new ballpark in Providence on Wednesday. The land on which the proposed new park would sit is currently owned by Brown University and the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission.