Tue 10 May | Inside Higher Ed

Civic Learning

Brown University is mentioned in an article about the growing number of colleges nationwide that are incorporating civic engagement into their general education requirements.
Tue 10 May | The Boston Globe

Brexit could torpedo climate cooperation

Climate activists around the world should be concerned if Britain exits the European Union, according to Brown visiting scientist Guy Edwards. "America isn't known for its humility. Yet on a recent visit to Britain, President Obama was unambiguous in his praise for an EU 'fortified' by the United Kingdom, which helped secure the Paris Agreement on climate change," Edwards wrote. He argues that the weakening of the EU at this time could torpedo the already fragile consensus of addressing climate change.
Tue 10 May | The New York Times

Michael S. Harper, Poet With a Jazz Pulse, Dies at 78

Michael S. Harper, whose allusive, jazz-inflected poems interwove his personal experiences as a black man with an expansive view of a history shared by black and white Americans, and who taught at Brown University for more than 40 years, died on Saturday. He was 78.
Tue 10 May | WBUR

Our Allies Need To Ante Up For Security

In an article about Donald Trump's stance on foreign spending, Watson Institute's Stephen Kinzer says there is no good reason why wealthy nations can’t pay more to protect themselves. "As long as the United States continues to dominate NATO, however, we subsidize European countries that are unwilling to pay for their own defense and remove any incentive for them to see accommodation with Russia—while preventing the improvement of US-Russian relations, which would strengthen our security,” Kinzer wrote.
Mon 9 May | RI NPR

Mercury Passes By The Sun, Visible For A Brief Window Of Time Monday

David Targan, director of the Ladd Observatory, comments on the celestial phenomenon of Mercury passing by the sun, an event that occurs once every 10 years. “I mean it’s hard to see through a telescope, and it’s a small planet,” said Targan. “In some ways it looks a lot like the moon, but all of these planets tell us something about the formation of the solar system, which includes, ultimately, the formation of life.”
Mon 9 May | Gizmodo

Jazz Music and Physics Have a Lot More in Common Than You Think

Brown University professor Stephon Alexander discusses the link between jazz and physics. Alexander is the author of "The Jazz of Physics: The Secret Link Between Music and the Structure of the Universe," a book about music as an analogy to shed light on the mysteries in cosmology.
Mon 9 May | ABC News

Illness sweeps Canada evacuation center after wildfire

Canadians displaced from a wildfire are now facing a stomach bug that has infected dozens of people at one of the evacuation centers in Alberta, Canada, according to news reported by Malorie Simons, house staff officer in medicine.
Mon 9 May | The Providence Journal

Opinion: Many GOP presidential candidates have been moderates

James T. Patterson, professor of history emeritus, responds to an opinion piece by Maury Klein that lambasted the Republican party ever since the days of Theodore Roosevelt. In describing Klein's "highly distorted picture," Patterson provides examples of GOP presidential candidates that have been moderates concerned with domestic issues.
Sun 8 May | Ten Eyewitness News

Pregnant woman risk health due to 'information overload'

Emily Oster, associate professor of economics, comments on new findings suggesting that too many pregnancy guidelines are overwhelming many women and pushing them towards riskier behaviors. "People tell you not to do so many things, eventually you reach the point where you think 'Well, I ate some extra ice cream, so I might as well do everything else!'... This is of course wrong but the instinct is understandable,” Oster said. She recommends pregnant women don’t smoke, do pelvic floor exercises and choose a doctor or midwife they can trust.
Fri 6 May | BBC

The Marseille synagogue that is becoming a mosque

Maud Mandel, professor of history and Judaic studies, comments on an article about the changing demographics ofa French town from a once populous Jewish community to a Muslim one. "There was a tremendous housing crisis in France after World War II, so they [Jews and Muslims] often ended up living side by side. But Jewish immigrants had access to resources and support that Muslims didn't have. They were on an entirely different socio-economic trajectory," Mandel said of the growing separation between the populations.
Fri 6 May | Eco-Business

Patricia Espinosa to be next UN climate chief

Guy Edwards, a visiting scientist in environment and society, comments on the announcement of Patricia Espinosa being selected to lead the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Espinosa’s leadership as the 2010 Cancun climate summit president epitomized the importance of working with both developed and developing countries and facilitating constructive dialogue, Edwards said.
Fri 6 May | RI NPR

Overdose Deaths High Among Middle Aged, Too

With rising death counts among middle-aged patients, epidemiologist Traci Green comments on why the demographic is at a high risk for overdosing. People in their mid-40s to mid-60s are likelier than any other group to be prescribed opioids and benzos, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.“There’s wonderful medications used for treating anxiety," says Green. "However, in the presence of an opioid, they can potentiate the other. So we have a combination or synergistic effect such that one opioid plus one benzo doesn’t equal the effect of two in the individual but it’s like one plus one equals four or six.”
Thu 5 May | ABC 6

RI GOP Chairman: Trump nomination leaves local party divided

Now that Donald Trump has secured the Republican nomination, professor James Marone says the party is divided. "Now its decision time for every Republican party leader. What do you do now?” said Marone, a political science professor and director of the public policy program at the Watson institute. “They don't like Donald Trump, he is not taking Republican positions."
Thu 5 May | The Providence Journal

Brown students build racecar for Formula SAE competition

Last-minute adjustments are being made before the black carbon-fiber body is attached to a bright red racecar and the team of 35 Brown University students heads out to Brooklyn, Michigan, to compete starting Wednesday against 120 other teams in the Formula SAE, a global design competition now in its 20th year.
Thu 5 May | Los Angeles Times

'You want a description of hell?' OxyContin's 12-hour problem

In an article about the corporate wrongdoings by Purdue Pharma in relation to OxyContin, David Egilman, a clinical professor of family medicine, submitted a testimony in 2013 accusing the company of sending patients on a dangerous roller coaster of withdrawal and relief. "In other words," he said, "the Q12 dosing schedule is an addiction producing machine."
Wed 4 May | STAT

Robot surgeon performs first soft-tissue operation by itself

Dragan Golijanin, an associate professor of surgery, comments on a report of a surgical robot that has for the first time completed a portion of an operation on living soft tissue. “It’s one step forward," said Golijanin, who was not involved with the research. Experts describe the robotic surgery as a key achievement in autonomous surgery, but say it's years away from being used in surgery rooms or even in clinical trials.
Wed 4 May | Motherboard

Captain Cook’s lost ship has finally been found

Caroline Frank, a visiting assistant professor of American studies, comments on the discovery of Capt. James Cook lost ship at the bottom of the Newport Harbor. "It was an old vessel," said Frank. "The British tried to use these ships for as long as they could, to save money. It was a once illustrious vessel that was being repurposed."
Tue 3 May | Scientific American

Why Trump and Clinton Voters Won’t Switch: It’s in Their Brains

As Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump aim to secure their party's nominations, they both must garner the support of reluctant voters to win the general election. But according to a Brown University study led by professor Steven Sloman, different types of political beliefs call for different approaches to conversion.
Tue 3 May | HealthBlawg

Brown's 'alzEYEmer's' team wins MIT hackathon

The "alzEYEmer’s" team, mostly made up of Brown University researchers and graduate students, won top prizes in the Healthcare at Home Track in Massachusetts Institute of Technology's 2016 Grand Hack hackathon.
Tue 3 May | Medscape

SNAP Trial: Weight Gain Prevention Strategies Work Well

Young adults who weigh themselves daily and who make small diet and activity changes to prevent weight gain are less likely to gain weight or become obese compared with those who make no changes during three years of follow-up, according to a Brown University led study.
Mon 2 May | The New York Times

Filming of Hospital Patients

Herbert Rakatansky, clinical professor emeritus of medicine, writes a letter to the editor in response to a recent lawsuit over filming hospital patients without their consent. "Medical institutions and physician practices should have specific enforceable policies about the confidentiality of images created in the medical workplace. These rules should be reinforced repeatedly with employees and visibly posted for visitors. As NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital learned, the consequences of not doing so are grave," Rakatansky wrote.
Mon 2 May | Providence Business News

Harrop named 2016 Woman Physician of the Year

Dr. Pamela A. Harrop, a clinical assistant professor of medicine, has been named Woman Physician of the Year. The annual award is given to a Rhode Island female physician who excels in both her field of medicine and her dedication to bettering the community.
Sun 1 May | Livemint

Does diversity hamper economic progress?

Research by Prerna Singh, assistant professor of political science, is cited in an article about social heterogeneity being tied to poor or crumbling infrastructure. Singh's work suggests that fragmentation may not necessarily lead to worse state performance if political elites are able to forge a common identity that bridges over social fault lines.
Sat 30 Apr | The Providence Journal

R.I. lawmakers in no rush to judgment on marijuana bills

Lawmakers are divided on the issue of legalizing marijuana, according to a survey by Political Scene. However, a recent Brown University poll showed that a majority of Rhode Islanders support legalization for recreational use.