Fri 8 Apr | The Providence Journal

Brown student recalls scenes from camps of Syrian refugees

On the opening day of the Brains in Crisis conference, Brown University undergraduate Tala Doumani projected photographs of several young refugee children from her trip to Jordan that exemplified the 'human dimension' of the crisis.
Fri 8 Apr | The New York Times

In Science, It’s Never ‘Just a Theory’

The word "theory" is often loosely thrown around to explain everyday scenarios, but a Brown University scientist explains there is more to it than that. Kenneth Miller, professor of biology, explains what a theory means to scientists after New York Times readers addressed "theories" as a concept that collectively confuses them. “In science, the word theory isn’t applied lightly,” Miller said. “It doesn’t mean a hunch or a guess. A theory is a system of explanations that ties together a whole bunch of facts. It not only explains those facts, but predicts what you ought to find from other observations and experiments.”
Thu 7 Apr | CNN

Human trafficking and tea: What's the connection?

Sarah Besky, assistant professor of anthropology and international affairs, answers questions about the plight of young girls working in tea plantations in India as part of CNN's Freedom Project. "Human trafficking in Northeast India does not only happen on tea plantations. It happens across rural and urban areas," said Besky. "Poverty and a lack of employment opportunities are" contributing factors that might make girls vulnerable to human trafficking.
Thu 7 Apr | The Providence Journal

De Niro gives his father starring role at Brown film festival

At a Thursday afternoon film showing as part of the Ivy Film Festival, Robert De Niro told attendees about his father's accomplishments following a screening of the documentary Remembering the Artist: Robert De Niro Sr. "He was, to me, a great artist ... I just want to see him get his due, that's my responsibility," De Niro said of his late father in a brief interview with the Providence Journal.
Thu 7 Apr | Bustle

Brown undergrad and feminist pens open letter to French Minister

Brown undergraduate Amara Majeed responds to French minister Laurence Rossignol's statement on hijabs. "Your conflation of a woman’s choice to wear a hijab with the enslaved supporting enslavement bothers me as a Muslim, it bothers me as a feminist, and it bothers me as a human being. I am allowing you to see what I want you to see. How is that not liberation?" Majeed wrote.
Thu 7 Apr | U.S. News & World Report

What’s Behind That Medical Referral?

Alan Sager, a health economist and professor at Brown, comments on the factors that could influence medical referrals. Geographic location and a doctor's pay arrangement are among factors that could play a role in referrals, according to Sager. "I think the overall shortage and geographic maldistribution of primaries is a bigger factor than the financial," he says.
Wed 6 Apr | Parent Herald

Headache Diet Tips: 7 Foods That Can Trigger Headaches

Lucy Rathier, clinical assistant professor of human behavior, comments on a listing about foods that can trigger headaches. "If someone tells me that a certain food triggers their migraines, I'm not going to argue with them. They should avoid that food," said Rathier of the Alpert Medical School.
Wed 6 Apr | Rhode Island Monthly

Get Tech-y at the Rhode Island Robot Block Party

To show kids how companies and organizations are using robots in their work, Brown's Humanity Centered Robotics Initiative is co-organizing the annual Robot Block Party. On April 9 in the Pizzitola Sports Center, kids can learn how robots are used in real life by taking part in a dizzying array of exhibits and demonstrations that will be available.
Wed 6 Apr | The Providence Journal

In wake of Wisconsin, R.I. primaries suddenly loom large

James A. Morone, director of the Tubman Center, comments on the upcoming presidential primary in Rhode Island. With upset wins in Wisconsin, Rhode Island's significance in the primaries has only increased, says Morone. "For once, we are going to have a really interesting election in Rhode Island."
Wed 6 Apr | The Washington Post

What research on nuclear proliferation shows

Nicholas Miller, assistant professor of political science, co-authors an op-ed breaking down two of Donald Trump's assumptions on nuclear proliferation. "Without firm U.S. opposition to the spread of nuclear weapons — a policy implemented through “carrots” like alliances and “sticks” like sanctions — the world would probably have far more than nine countries with nuclear weapons," Miller wrote. "What’s more, research suggests that nuclear proliferation would reduce U.S. world influence, undermine global stability and increase the risk of nuclear war. "
Wed 6 Apr | Scientific American

Martian Mile-High Mounds Mystery: The Answer Is Blowing in the Wind

Brown University geologist Ralph Milliken comments on the findings of a new study suggesting Martian mounds formed over billions of years by strong gusts of wind. He was impressed by the way the team integrated physical models with numerical simulations. “It’s pretty rare to see that sort of thing in the planetary science world,” he says.
Tue 5 Apr | Discovery News

Bats Hear Just Fine, Despite Noisy Lives

Bats live noisy lives, often surrounded by sound, but they’re not complaining: They’re unaffected by the din, according to a new study out of Brown University on bat hearing.
Tue 5 Apr | Fox News

World's most powerful X-ray laser gets upgrade

Peter Weber, professor of chemistry, commented on the announced upgrade of one of the world's most powerful X-ray lasers. “The upgrade will benefit X-ray experiments in many different ways,” said Weber, “and I’m very excited to use the new capabilities for my own research."
Mon 4 Apr | The New York Times

Self-Determination Is Crucial for Jews

Brown undergraduate Benjamin Gladstone pens an op-ed about Zionism and the excessive attacks on Israel's existence. "Even if, somehow, Jews were allowed to remain in a future, majority-Palestinian 'binational state,' Zionism would end, and Jews would be relegated back to our pre-1940s status," Gladstone wrote. "Jews are as entitled to a self-liberation and self-empowerment movement as any other people, on campus and everywhere else."
Mon 4 Apr | Providence Business News

URI Health Collaborative: ‘A new approach to educating health professionals’

Fox Wetle, dean of the School of Public Health, comments on a new initiative unveiled by the University of Rhode Island that aims to foster multidisciplinary learning, teaching and research. Given Brown's background in evidence-based medicine and health care research, Wetle said "we see a natural connection [with the AHC] for external funding, but also for training doctoral students."
Mon 4 Apr | Providence Business News

Five Questions With: Margaret Howard

Margaret Howard, professor of psychiatry and human behavior, answers questions about new recommendations issued by a federal task force calling for wider screening of pregnant and postpartum women for mental illness. The recommendations are important because many women will experience major depression during pregnancy or the postpartum period and "untreated depression and anxiety during the postpartum period have been associated with impairments in mother-infant attachment, and infant delays in social, cognitive and behavioral development," said Howard.
Mon 4 Apr | Quartz

Moving to under-represented states could increase odds of getting into elite college

As admissions letters are reaching prospective college students, Brown University applicant data shows geographic diversity could increase a student's odds of getting admitted into an elite college. "If you’ve got two kids and one is from this wacky place—not that Wyoming is a wacky place—that might be the factor," said Andrea van Niekerk, a former director of admissions at Brown.
Mon 4 Apr | GoLocalProv

Sailing Has Higher Fatality Rate Than Football, According to Study

Andrew Nathanson, clinical professor of emergency medicine, comments on a new study that found a higher fatality rate for sailing than for football or downhill skiing. “Drowning was the most common cause of death and, sadly, 82 percent of drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket. Death and injury can be prevented when skippers and passengers wear life jackets, abstain from alcohol while boating, and maintain proper vigilance," said Nathanson, an emergency medicine physician at Rhode Island Hospital.