From the Dean 

Fall 2009


Welcome to our terrific new faculty, staff, and students—and welcome back to all of you who make the School such a wonderful and significant place.  

In this issue of Soundings Magazine, you’ll find stories from three exciting areas of the School's portfolio.

In Diagnosis, four School experts look at root causes of current U.S. health policy, and propose approaches that would be healthier—both for “We, the People” and for the national pocketbook. 

In Travels with Melville, Wyn Kelley shares insights from her literary adventures, including journeys to retrace Melville’s travels to Tahiti, the Galapagos Island, and the Middle East. Kelley's approach to humanities research inspires MIT students and shows why Melville's works remain fully alive for the 21st century.  

In Tea with a Warlord, political scientist Fotini Christia gives us a look inside the realms of Afghanistan’s powerful warlords. Christia’s intrepid research reveals the potential for more success in U.S. foreign policy—and stability for the Afghani people.  

You'll also find a profile the School's visionary ally, Robert Muh, (SB’59), whose biennial namesake award continues to honor distinguished, MIT-trained leaders in the humanities, arts, and social science fields.  

As ever, the magazine also comes with my warmest thanks to everyone in the School community—in 02139 and around the globe—for the good will and creativity with which you bring your great ideas into the world!




Soundings, Fall 2009