HONORS & AWARDS
Kendra Pierre-Louis SM'16 with the artwork from her award-winning article on rising groundwater
Kendra Pierre-Louis SM'16 wins Gold Kavli Award from AAAS
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) honored Pierre-Louis with the highest award in the magazine category for a piece in MIT Technology Review on how rising groundwater, an overlooked aspect of climate change, could devastate coastal communities.
Award Announcement | Winning Article
Matthew Kearney '22 among 3 Rhodes Scholars selected from MIT
Kearney is a senior majoring in Philosophy as well as Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. His research interests include artificial intelligence and machine learning. At Oxford, he will pursue an MSc in research in statistics. His goal is to redesign AI technologies and practices to both address their harms and reimagine them as tools for solutions to pressing societal issues such as climate change and economic inequality.
Story at MIT News | Story at Boston.com
Financial Times names Risky Business among best economics books of 2022
Risky Business: Why Insurance Markets Fail and What to Do About It was published this year by Yale University Press and co-authored by Amy Finkelstein, alongside Liran Einav and Ray Fisman. Unraveling the mysteries of insurance markets, Einav, Finkelstein, and Fisman explore such issues as why insurers want to know so much about us and whether we should let them obtain this information; why insurance entrepreneurs often fail (and some tricks that may help them succeed); and whether we’d be better off with government-mandated health insurance instead of letting businesses, customers, and markets decide who gets coverage and at what price.
Book from Yale University Press
Graphic via iStock
Trust in Elections | Charles Stewart III
In a new essay, Stewart examines how trust and trustworthiness in elections is attacked or strengthened. "The sometimes violent movement to reject the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election draws our attention to the topic of trust in the institution of American election administration....Election officials must continue to try to overcome attacks on trust inthe system, but it is unclear how long they can sustain the legal system guaranteeing free and fair elections without broad-based public trust in how we administer elections."
Essay at Daedalus
The big idea: why we shouldn’t try to be happy | Kieran Setiya
In a guest essay for The Guardian, Setiya writes, "Living well means living in the real world, engaging with people we care about and activities that are worth our time, even when they cause us pain. When we do that, we are not taking an oblique route to what really matters – our own happiness – but responding to what matters as we should."
Commentary at The Guardian
THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
GOP elites want to turn from Trump. Will the base let them? | Heather Hendershot
“We’re in a new media terrain,” said Hendershot, contrasting the monolithic audience in the network era to the current fractured media landscape. “You can’t point back to as splintered a moment as it is today.”
Story at The Los Angeles Times
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Wait, How Do You Say Adele’s Name? Even the Expert Is Confused | Adèle Mortier
There’s no right way to say the name Adele, says Adèle Mortier, a linguistic doctoral student at MIT. It’s best to just go with how the person asks for their name to be pronounced, she said.
Story at The Wall Street Journal
Steam rises from the Miller coal Power Plant in Adamsville, Alabama; photo via Getty Images
INSIDE CLIMATE NEWS
Who Were the Worst Climate Polluters in the US in 2021? | Phil McKenna SM'07
McKenna reports on recently released data from the EPA, which shows the worst of the worst included a coal-fired power plant in Alabama, a coal mine in Pennsylvania, and a nylon plant in Florida.
Story at Inside Climate News
CHEMICAL AND ENGINEERING NEWS
Birth control for men | Gina Vitale SM'19
In a recent cover story for Chemical and Engineering News, Vitale tackled the nuanced topic of new birth control drugs for men. "The demand for birth control that targets sperm is high. Can the drugs in development overcome the obstacles that have hampered earlier attempts?"
Story at Chemical and Engineering News
Can Organoids Take Us into a New Era of Medicine? | Kate Gammon SM'07
Gammon introduces readers to the human cell-based models that are better, faster, cheaper—and more ethical to use—than animals.
Story at Nautilus
The Science Writer Every Science Nerd Wants You To Read | Joshua Sokol SM'15
Sokol visits with and profiles celebrated science writer David Quammen, 74, "the favorite science writer of many people who don’t usually read science writing. He also happens to be the favorite science writer of many science writers, a foundational figure. Among the kinds of people who cover anything from space telescopes to treatment-resistant bacteria, Quammen is a writer to geek out over."
Profile at The Atlantic
Graphic via Forbes
How AI Can Improve Job Quality | Daron Acemoglu
Acemoglu and Boston University’s Pascual Restrepo have found that some automation, dubbed “so-so” automation, disrupts employment without boosting productivity—like with self-checkout kiosks or automated telephone customer service.
Story at Forbes
THE NEW YORK TIMES
The Economist Who Foresaw Our Global Economic Order | Charles Kindleberger
Kindleberger thought there should be one world currency, and he had a candidate: the U.S. dollar. His one-money philosophy made him an outsider in academia even though he spent decades teaching at MIT and educated a future Nobel laureate, Robert Mundell.
Opinion at The New York Times
Jon Gruber on Boston Public Radio
Gruber explained why Democrats are pushing to raise the debt ceiling, and potential outcomes if Democrats fail in their efforts.
Commentary at BPR
Workplace automation could greatly affect income inequality | Daron Acemoglu
A new study published in the journal Econometrica presents an unprecedented dive into the effects of robotic labor over the past four decades, revealing the rise of newly dubbed “so-so automation” exacerbates wage gaps between white and blue collar workers more than almost any other factor. ... Co-authors Daron Acemoglu of MIT and Boston University’s Pascual Restrepo estimate that automation “has reduced the wages of men without a high school degree by 8.8 percent and women without a high school degree by 2.3 percent.
Coverage at Popular Science
Automating the income gap | Daron Acemoglu
As we barrel headlong into a holiday shopping season full of long hours and busy days, something to consider is what manner of impact automation has thus far had on the workforce. Some food for thought arrives in the form of this study coauthored by MIT’s Daron Acemoglu and Boston University’s Pascual Restrepo. Acemoglu says, “These are controversial findings in the sense that they imply a much bigger effect for automation than anyone else has thought.”
Story at TechCrunch
Detail: from the cover of Life Is Hard
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Review of Keiran Setiya's Life Is Hard: Suffering Gladly
Setiya’s “Life Is Hard: How Philosophy Can Help Us Find Our Way” is like Boethius’s “Consolation” insofar as it seeks to comfort readers about their own misfortunes—but is unlike it in every other respect. A committed atheist, Mr. Setiya begins with a nod to the unhappy reality of the human condition: We are born to suffer, in complex and multiform ways.
Review at The Wall Street Journal
THE NEW YORK TIMES
Book Review: As Gods by Matthew Cobb | Deborah Blum
Blum reviews Cobb’s As Gods, which "questions the ethical — and financial — implications of genetic engineering," "emphasizing the many positive and corrective steps taken by geneticists over the past 50 years."
Review at The New York Times
Image via iStock
The 2022 Election Nightmare Has Already Started | MIT Election Lab
As a post-election report by the MIT Election Data + Science Lab shows, both late-counted ballots and the blue shift two years ago were “comparable in size to the 2016 election.” Not only was the blue shift comparable to the 2016 election, but most states reported vote totals quickly with only 10 states and the District of Columbia not reporting 90% or more of their final vote 48 hours after the polls closed.
Story at HuffPost
Penn. voters urged to check details as court nixes undated ballots | MIT Election Lab
In the 2020 election, nearly twice as many Democrats voted by mail as Republicans, according to a report from MIT's Election Data and Science Lab.
Story at Newsweek
Why Was I Given A Provisional Ballot? | Charles Stewart III
Provisional ballots are issued to voters at a polling location when there are eligibility questions that prevent them from casting a regular ballot on Election Day. “They are a fail-safe method to ensure that everyone who is registered to vote gets to cast a ballot,” says Stewart.
Story from the Associated Press
What to expect on election night | Charles Stewart III
Vote totals are likely to shift throughout the evening as well as in the days that follow election day as votes continue to be counted. That shift isn’t unusual and can be explained by two dynamics, said Stewart.
Story at The Guardian
Fact check: False claim that mail-in voting is connected to bad actors | Charles Stewart III
"The logistical issues of manufacturing that many ballots and distributing them in a way that would go unnoticed just boggles the mind," Stewart told USA TODAY. “It’s a crazy idea that only someone with no knowledge of election administration would come up with."
Story at USA Today
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