Said and Done
MIT SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES, ARTS, AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
MAKING A JUST SOCIETY | STRENGTHENING DEMOCRACY
emblem via MIT ICEO
MIT STRATEGIC ACTION PLAN FOR DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION
A call for your input by April 30
The recently released first draft of MIT's five-year DEI plan is organized around three priorities: Composition, Belonging, and Achievement. Your input is now vitally important! To be part of this historic effort: Review the draft plan. Then offer your feedback:
Via email firstname.lastname@example.org, or on the plan website, deiactionplan.mit.edu.
Addressing anti-Asian American violence in the U.S. | Emma Teng
Teng, a scholar of assimilation and exclusion, surveys the history behind the current crisis. "When looking at racism and violence, it’s really important not to divide Asian Americans from other minority groups in the U.S.," Teng says. It is "part of a whole picture that cannot be divided."
3Q Interview | Statement from MIT Global Languages
MIT ELECTION LAB
2020 Survey of the Performance of American Elections (SPAE)
The SPAE is the only public opinion project in the country dedicated explicitly to understanding how voters themselves experience the election process. In doing so, it provides a comprehensive, nationwide dataset at the state level documenting election issues as experienced by voters.
About | PDF of the Report
Composer Charles Shadle's "Choctaw Animals" honors his Native American heritage
Shadle is arguably the most visible living classical composer in the Choctaw Nation, and he does not want to be the last. Thinking of young Choctaw children in rural communities he says, “To some extent, I can say, you could be a composer too. Your voice can be heard.”
Story by SHASS Communications + Recordings + Sheet Music for download
Announcing Relata — a new, critical search tool
It's easy to find scholarly works that are similar or related to those you already know. But how to search for works that offer fresh critiques or counterpoints? Discover Relata, an open source critical search tool that centers the analytical moves or relations between individual works. Developed at MIT Anthropology in collaboration with the Society for Cultural Anthropology and MIT Libraries.
Story | Relata website
Books & Other Works from MIT's humanistic faculty
PANDEMIC AND POST-PANDEMIC | ENVISIONING CHANGE
What has the pandemic revealed about U.S. healthcare? What needs to change?
Seven MIT scholars engaged with healthcare issues - representing medicine, anthropology, political science, health economics, science writing, and medical humanities — articulate a range of opportunities for U.S. healthcare to become more equitable, more effective and coherent, and more prepared for the next pandemic.
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND SOCIETY
Unnatural Disasters | Kate Brown
Brown encourages a post-pandemic reset for "more sustainable, just, and equitable ways of resuming our economic activity" — including a focus on the phenomenal "ability of plants to create biomass, turn carbon dioxide into oxygen, and fill our soils with nutrients.”
Story at MIT Spectrum
HISTORY + SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND SOCIETY
For the pandemic, an MIT History course opened to the worldwide public
The free, webinar format of the "History of Now: Plagues and Pandemics" class allowed hundreds from around the world to join MIT students in learning about the history, biology, economics, and social dimensions of pandemics through time.
Story by SHASS Communications
MEDICINE + ECONOMICS
Paper: An even deeper look at vaccination rates in NYC | Jeffrey Harris, MD
Harris, a practicing physician and a professor emeritus of economics, observes that patients' resistance to vaccination is often influenced by the views of their core group. When that's the case, he says "Our task as physicians and nurses is...to leave our examining rooms and step out into the community.”
Paper: An Even Deeper Look | Blog by Dr. Harris | Related paper: Laying the groundwork
Black women are dying from Covid-19 at 3X the rate of White men
Countering the prevalent narrative that more men are dying of Covid-19 than women, this study (the first by both race and gender) "finds that Black women in the U.S. are dying at a higher rate than any other group other except Black men."
Paper | Op-Ed | Article in The 19th
Rt. Hon. David Miliband SM ’90 receives the 2021 Robert A. Muh Alumni Award
His award lecture — on April 28, noon EDT — will propose an "accountability agenda" to restore respect for human rights, democratic norms, and the rights of civilians in combat zones. Miliband earned an S.M. in Political Science at MIT in 1990 as a Kennedy Scholar following his studies in philosophy, politics, and economics at Oxford. He was also a 2010 Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow at the MIT Center for International Studies.
Story by SHASS Communications | RSVP for the Muh Award lecture
Fotini Christia named director of the Sociotechnical Systems Research Center
The political scientist will spearhead a center that studies high-impact, complex societal challenges.
| 3 Questions with Christia
CS + COMPARATIVE MEDIA STUDIES
Games that inspire | Nisha Devasia '21
For Devasia, it all started in the 8th grade with a single video game. Her passion for games ultimately led her to Computer Science and Comparative Media Studies at MIT. Now her vision is to build games that can inspire others.
Video Profile by Lillie Paquette
Patricia Saulis, MLK Visiting Scholar, 2020-2021
COMPARATIVE MEDIA STUDIES
Two-Eyed Seeing | Patricia Saulis, MLK Visiting Scholar
Saulis is the executive director of the Maliseet Nation Conservation Council and a member of the Maliseet tribe of Indigenous People. In this interview she discusses the value of drawing on both Indigenous and Western knowledge systems to develop more sustainable ways to live on the planet.
| Maliseet Nation Conservation Council
CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
3Q: Richard Samuels on the impact of Japan’s 3.11 disaster—10 years later
The earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown on March 11, 2011, brought an unprecedented wave of death, displacement, and destruction to Japan. Although Samuel reports that "3.11 did not change the policy preferences of Japan’s leaders," he writes there have been important changes, among them: "In 2012, the Japanese government stood up a new regulatory body that has had surprisingly sharp teeth."
Interview | Event Video: Disaster and Resilience
UNDARK | KNIGHT SCIENCE JOURNALISM AT MIT
Podcast: Capturing the Earth's changing soundscapes
Acoustic ecologists are racing to record Earth’s shifting soundscapes before they disappear. "Every animal within that ecosystem has a sonic niche, and every environment therefore has a kind of cumulative sonic signature. And that signature is made up of all of the species that are present there."
image via Undark, KSJ at MIT
UNDARK | KNIGHT SCIENCE JOURNALISM AT MIT
Listening to the sounds of environmental change
Sound is a powerful indicator of environmental degradation and an effective tool for developing more sustainable ecosystems. Reduced plant density will change the balance between absorptive surfaces, such as leaves, and reflective surfaces such as rocks and buildings. This will increase reverberation and make sound environments more harsh.
Perspectives for the Pandemic
Explore the Series
Ethics, Computing, and AI: Perspectives from MIT
Computing and AI: Humanistic Perspectives from MIT
Published by SHASS Communications
Office of the Dean, MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
Editor and Designer: Emily Hiestand
Publication Associate: Alison Lanier
Published 14 April 2021