Said and Done | In the Media + Awards | Summer 2018

A section of Said and Done
Full Summer 2018 edition

The democracy dividend: faster growth | Daron Acemoglu
Countries that democratize — switch from a nondemocratic regime such as a military dictatorship, monarchy, or autocracy to a democratic regime — grow more rapidly in the next 20 years or so, and end up with 20 percent higher income per capita.
Bloomberg News

How Kendall Square became the epicenter of the biotech world  | Robin Scheffler
Phillip Sharp and Robin Scheffler discuss Kendall Square's transformation from abandoned factories and empty parking lots to a bustling center of the biotech industry.
Radio Boston /WBUR interview

Why is history always about humans?
“It seems clear to me that, if the reason you write history is to understand the past,” says MIT history professor Harriet Ritvo, “then the past is as varied as the present, and to understand it fully you need to know it from as many perspectives as possible.” Ritvo is widely acknowledged as a pioneer in animal history.
Boston Globe Online

Photo of Harriet Ritvo by Jon Sachs/SHASS Communications

Ritvo's Animal Estate named one of 100 most significant books from Harvard Univ Press

Shanti | Peter Child
The works on this new release demonstrate Child's remarkable range and vision. His acclaimed music is performed by ensembles throughout the world, including Lotano (England) and Interensemble (Italy), as well many groups close to home in Boston. 
Listen on Apple Music Preview | Peter Child website | Review at The Boston Globe

Phoebe Cal '18 on studying economics at MIT 
Math major Phoebe Cai ’18, who will enter the economics PhD program at Harvard this fall, is "looking forward to joining the legions of researchers who try to tease some logic out of the glorious mess of human interactions and transactions and behavior."
Commentary at Technology Review

"The Remains" | recent play by Ken Urban
A landmark play that faces forthrightly the fact that gay divorce necessarily accompanies marriage equality." "Faultless understanding of how interpersonal tensions and rhythms shift over minutes and years."
Review in The Washington Post | Review in MetroArts | Ken Urban website

Review of Ken Urban's band "Occurence" | new single + video
The Southern Sounding  | Video

Photo of Ken Urban by Kevin Thomas Garcia


MIT's Vipin Narang, is a leading expert on the US/North Korea relationship. He is an Associate Professor of Political Science and a member of the Secuity Studies Program focusing on nuclear proliferation and strategy, North Korean nukes, South Asian security. For Narang's ongoing commentary —

    Follow him on Twitter: 
    Story: Meet MIT's experts in Asian security

Trump says North Korea is giving up its nukes as a result of his dealmaking. It's not.
As MIT's North Korea expert Vipin Narang dutifully points out every time Team Trump tries to brag about this bunkum, the North Koreans consider “final, fully verified denuclearization” to be the denuclearization of North Korea and the United States. So, unless the Trump administration is going to scrap the US nuclear arsenal, then the whole exercise is a sham, and the purported concessions won by the dealmaker in chief don't exist.
Boston Globe

Satellite images show North Korea upgrading nuclear facility | Vipin Narang
"Both secret and Yongbyon facilities can continue operating and expand the fissile material stockpile," Vipin Narang, an associate professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studies nuclear proliferation, told CNN. "We have no way to stop this or verify any pledges to freeze," he said, noting that Kim has intentionally only agreed to freeze full blown testing, not production. North Korea can also continue to improve its warhead and ballistic designs without conducting tests, Narang added.

After date with Trump, Kim Jong Un cozies up to China | Vipin Narang
Narang, an associate professor of political science who studies nuclear proliferation, told CNN that Trump's decision to suspend August's joint military drills with South Korea, without demanding North Korea take concrete steps toward disarmament, concedes strategic flexibility to both Kim and Xi. ... "Now that Trump seems intent on escalating the trade war with China, if Kim Jong Un decides to skirt the margins of 'freeze for freeze,' there isn't a snowflake's chance in hell that China sees that as a violation justifying putting any screws on North Korea," Narang said.
CNN Online

How postcards solved the problem of dissapearing rice | Banerjee and Olken
Abhijit Banerjee and Ben Olken speak with NPR about their work to improve Indonesia’s Raskin program (Rice for the Poor). "There's a tendency to assume that the solution to a complex problem has to be complex,” says Banerjee. “I don't think that's always true."
Story and Interview on NPR

A laborer arranges sacks of rice at a market in Jakarta. Jewel Samad /AFP/Getty Images

A scientist stares into infinity and finds space for spirituality | Alan Lightman 
"Alan Lightman is a distinguished physicist and a novelist who teaches at MIT. Tonight, he shares his Humble Opinion on how to make space for both facts and spirituality."
PBS News Hour

In Praise of Wasting Time | Alan Lightman
Lightman's "obsession with time and its place in our universe goes way back" and "it's probably no coincidence that he did his undergraduate work at Princeton, where generations of students learn that after Einstein finished his mornings at his desk, he spent many peaceful afternoons sailing on Carnegie Lake."
Review in The Washington Post | In Praise of Wasting Time (Simon & Schuster)

California entrepreneurs dream of cheese | Heather Paxson
In 21st-century narratives of new beginnings are echoes of earlier immigrant worlds.



Stephen Yablo wins Lebowitz Prize for Philosophical Achievement

Economist Amy Finkelstein elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Eran Egozy wins $50K grant from Knight Foundation for Art/Tech project
Press Release

Composer Jamshied Sharifi ’83, wins Tony Award
Sharifi ’83, composer, musician, and former MIT visiting artist HAS won the 2018 Tony Award for Best Orchestrations for the acclaimed musical

Historian Evelyn Fox Keller receives the Dan David award
Keller, a former MIT professor won for “pioneering work on language, gender, and science” which “has been hugely influential on shaping our views of the history of science.”
Story at

PhD candidate Marion Boulicault wins Benjamin Siegel Writing Prize

Eight from MIT receive 2018 Fulbright awards
Graduating students and alumni will conduct research abroad in 2018-19 academic year.
MIT Story at MIT News


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Published 18 July 2018