Said and Done

January 2011 Edition
Published by the Office of the Dean
MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences






Kaiser elected Fellow of the American Physical Society
David Kaiser has been elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), following nomination by the APS Forum on the History of Physics. The citation reads: "For his outstanding publications that combine technical mastery of twentieth-century physics with a deep knowledge of recent developments in the history, philosophy, and sociology of science." 
Full story

Huang awarded MLA's 2010 Scaglione Prize 
Alexander C.Y. Huang, Research Affiliate in the School's Literature section, and Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at Penn State, has won the MLA's Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Comparative Literary Studies for Chinese Shakespeares (Columbia University Press, 2009). Huang's book is called a "landmark" in comparative literary studies. With Peter Donaldson, Ford Foundation Professor of Humanities at MIT, Huang is also the co-founder and co-editor of two open-access digital video archives, Global Shakespeares and Shakespeare Performance in Asia.  


Acemoglu named by Foreign Policy as a Top Global Thinker of 2010
In the second part of a two-part interview with Chrystia Freeland, Daron Acemoglu talks about the historical roots of economic and political success. Photograph: courtesy of Indiana University
Acemoglu interview with Reuters | Multimedia
Top 100 Global Thinkers | Foreign Policy
Foreign Policy | Feature on Daron Acemoglu





January 27-28, 2011
Economics Symposium will launch MIT's 150th celebration

From Theory to Practice to Policy

The kick-off symposium of MIT's sesquicentennial will celebrate the role of MIT’s faculty and students in advancing the fields of economics and finance, in putting developments into practice, and in contributing to the design of public policy.  Six panels, which will include Nobel laureates, policy makers, and academic and industry experts, will address three broad questions:  • What are the key recent scientific developments and the major unresolved issues of economics and finance?  • What are the central challenges in economic policy?  • How can one assess the contributions of, and limitations of, recent advances in financial economics?

Symposium Website | Program + Registration





Kaiser and Alexander create MIT's sesquicentennial books
MIT150 and MIT Press have partnered to publish two books for MIT's sesquicentennial year, both created by members of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences. David Kaiser, associate professor in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society, is the editor of Becoming MIT: Moments of Decision. Philip Alexander, research associate in the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies, is the author of A Widening Sphere: Evolving Cultures at MIT.  
More information and how to order


3 Questions: Evelyn Fox Keller on the nature-nurture debates
In a new book, prominent historian of science dismisses the "unanswerable" question of whether heredity or the environment matter more in human development.
Full story by Peter Dizikes at MIT News



A hardy Constitution
In Ratification historian Pauline Maier delivers new knowledge about how the U.S. Constitution was adopted. The New York Times calls Ratification an "ur-text" of American history.  
Story by Peter Dizikes at MIT News

Tech support?
Contrasting views are on display as MIT researchers debate how technology can help curb global poverty
What difference does technology make for the world’s poor? This question prompted lively exchanges at a recent MIT public forum as researchers offered markedly differing views about the effectiveness of technological fixes for poverty.
Story by Peter Dizikes at MIT News

The research of MIT's School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences appears principally in the form of books and publications, as well as music and theater productions. These gems of the School provide new knowledge and analysis, innovation and insight, guidance for policy, and nourishment for lives.
Take a look







Quanta Chair in Chinese Culture established
The Institute has embarked on a major, long-term effort to promote intellectual and technological exchange... A major part of the Institute’s effort will also be the expansion of the study of China at MIT. A new chair in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, the Quanta Professorship in Chinese Culture, has been established thanks to a $5 million donation.  
Full story at MIT News


MISTI | Bringing the MIT innovation spirit to China
A project to bridge ecology and bioengineering to benefit human health and a study on urban development in steep-slope areas are among the MIT research collaborations in Greater China that will receive funding as part of a new program administered by the MISTI (MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives) Global Seed Funds. 
More at MISTI-China website
Story at MIT News




Précis | newsletter of the Center for International Studies
Précis covers the wide range of Center activities and accomplishments. The current issue includes an interview with Diane Davis, recipient of a USAID grant for studies of urban resilience; an excerpt from Democratic Insecurities: Violence, Trauma, and Intervention in Haiti by Erica Caple James; and an essay, "Much Ado About Decline," by graduate student Joshua Shifrinson. 
Read précis

Scope | publication of the Graduate Program in Science Writing 
Scope showcases work by students in the School's Graduate Program in Science Writing. The publication includes news articles, features, essays, book reviews, radio podcasts, and videocasts.
Visit Scope



MISTI 2.0 Initiative selects new grantees
MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) has awarded funding to seven student projects through its MISTI 2.0 initiative. Students will use the grant money to collaborate with international partners in Brazil, France, Germany, Israel and Italy.
Full story
Watch MISTI video

New Faculty 2010
The newest faculty members of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences come with diverse backgrounds and vast knowledge in their fields: digital media, linguistic anthropology, economics, contemporary literature and media studies, French studies, and political science.
Photographs and Bios

Richard L. Cartwright, emeritus professor of philosophy, dies at age 85
A founding figure of philosophy at MIT, Richard Cartwright was especially known for his influence on colleagues and students.
Tribute at MIT News





There Hack They
Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, and Special Assistant to the Chancellor, Jay Keyser, believes that the MIT hacker is to be admired for pulling off the collegiate world's cleverest and most elegant pranksIn this video, Keyser describes some of his favorite hacks, and burrows into the psychology of hack culture at MIT.  


"firetruck" on top of MIT dome, prank   





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