Civic Perspectives | Insight for the Pandemic
MIT SHASS MEDIA PUBLICATIONS
Research-based insights, for policy and public understanding of the Covid-19 pandemic, from the MIT-SHASS academic community
ELECTION 2020 | VOTING BY MAIL
In Lawfare, ten recommendations from MIT election expert Charles Stewart III and Nathaniel Persily of Stanford Law. "The Covid-19 pandemic...requires an extraordinary commitment at all levels of government, and from the media, political parties, campaigns and voters. The country can meet this challenge if Americans begin to prepare immediately."
In The New York Times, Bernardo Zacka writes: "[A balcony] is private, yet public; exposed, yet secluded. It offers company without the demands of intimacy, and we should never take it for granted again."
The new Covid19 Evidence Portal synthesizes rigorous research across health, education, and the social safety net to provide recommendations to state and local leaders responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kieran Setiya writes in The New Statesman: "We have become more used to seeing others through screens and software, but we are embodied beings and digital communication can feel lacking. What effect will this have on us?"
At MIT’s Starr Forum, experts consider if the coronavirus crisis will catalyze savvier 21st C. security strategies: e.g., to include health care, aid for workers and communities, protection for democracy, and increased international collaboration to manage novel pathogens.
KSJ Fellow Anil Ananthaswamy writes in The Boston Globe that "We have to ensure that contact-tracing methods that compromise our privacy don’t become the norm."
In The New Yorker, MIT Professor of Science Writing Tom Levenson writes that the idea that the plague woke the brilliance in Newton is both wrong and misleading.
SHASS Communications interview "As they do in wartime "people are willing to give the government broader latitude, even to curtail civil liberties, to address this pandemic crisis. But this effect is also short-lived. People are willing to give up some civil liberties for months, but not years."
CIVIC PERSPECTIVES | HEALTHCARE
The administration has all the authority it needs to produce medical supplies and prepare for a potential vaccine, argues James E Baker in a recent New York Times opinion piece.
ELECTION 2020 | VOTE BY MAIL
Writing in The Washington Post, MIT election expert Charles Stewart III writes why it’s not clear whether “at-home voting” can be ramped up nationwide by November.
In The Atlantic, MIT Professor of Writing Alan Lightman observes that the pandemic may force "many of us to slow down, to spend more time in reflection, away from the noise and heave of the world. With more quiet time, we have an opportunity to think about who we are, as individuals and as a society."
In National Memo, MIT Professor of Political Science Charles Stewart III, analyzes the scramble for voting materials, machinery, and manpower — all the behind-the-scenes actions following the seemingly simple decisions by 10 states and territories to postpone primaries until June.
ELECTION 2020 | VOTING BY MAIL
In The New York Times, MIT Professor and electoral expert Charles Stewart III discusses how the U.S. states are searching, rapidly, for ways to protect democracy’s most sacred institution.
CIVIC PERSPECTIVES | DEMOCRACY
In Foreign Affairs, MIT economist and Institute Professor Daron Acemoglu comments on the slow, inadequate U.S. federal response to the coronavirus threat, noting that independent expertise always dies first when democracy recedes.
CIVIC PERSPECTIVES | OPINION
In an opinion piece at The Washington Post, MIT media scholar Heather Hendershot delves into the life of President Trump's erudite and charitable uncle, Dr. John Trump '33, who taught at MIT for 40 years.
CIVIC PERSPECTIVES + ECONOMIC IMPACTS
Yes, modern armies rely on equipment and training — and a healthy fighting force. Rachel Tecott and Erik Sand, MIT Political Science PhD candidates, comment on US military readiness in The Washington Post.
In The Atlantic, Author and Professor of Science Writing Tom Levenson writes that the non-scientific term "Wuhan virus" was intended to label Covid-19 as a Chinese scourge — ignoring, and stirring up, an ugly history.