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The rituals of a presidential inauguration

The rituals of a presidential inauguration

January 19, 2021

The inauguration today — our nation’s 59th — is about more than the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to the next. While it certainly achieves that, the ceremony at noon, which will be held on the west side of the Capitol, has also come to symbolize the significance of the office and signal the kind of administration the incoming president intends to establish.

But this one will be markedly different from those of more recent decades. Absent will be the celebratory crowds and glittering social events, owing to COVID-19 concerns. And thousands of additional members of law...

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American democracy could be at inflection point, say experts

American democracy could be at inflection point, say experts

January 13, 2021

The U.S. House of Representatives made history Wednesday by impeaching a president for a second time, voting to charge Donald J. Trump with inciting the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol with false claims that the November election was fraudulently handed to President-elected Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Some Harvard historians and political scientists say American democracy could very well be at an inflection point as the events of the last week continue to unravel. But all agree that what the future holds in the days leading up to Biden’s inauguration next week, beyond the likelihood of more...

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Deans review education’s transformation during COVID times

January 13, 2021

The pandemic has transformed education at Harvard, requiring students and faculty to innovate with online learning. During a Tuesday plenary, deans from across campus looked back on the year with a sense of achievement — and a bit of fatigue as well.

“This could have been a disaster, but instead you collectively have turned this into a tremendous opportunity for the University,” Provost Alan Garber told the members of Tuesday’s panel, “Teaching and Learning at Harvard: Looking Back, Looking Forward.” This was the first of six virtual panels in a three-day series, “Teaching in...

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International economist Richard Cooper dies at 86

January 7, 2021

Most economists live in the world of theory, using careful calculations to predict the future. But Richard N. Cooper believed theory couldn’t tell the whole story when it came to solving real-world problems, particularly when they involve the whole world — which he amply demonstrated after a global recession in the 1970s.

The Maurits C. Boas Professor of International Economics “understood that human systems are complex,” said Kenneth Rogoff, professor of economics and Thomas D. Cabot Professor of Public Policy, a colleague of Cooper...

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Harvard reaction to the attack on the Capitol

January 6, 2021

Rarely have images of unchecked bedlam and violence between security forces and angry Americans stunned the nation the way they did Wednesday, as right-wing rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

The rioters attacked the literal and figurative symbols of American government in support of their preferred leader, outgoing President Donald Trump, who earlier had lauded their backing from a stage in front of the White House. They had come to protest the formal counting of Electoral College votes by Congress, a constitutionally mandated ceremony to certify Joseph R. Biden and Sen....

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Daniel Lieberman busts exercising myths

Daniel Lieberman busts exercising myths

January 4, 2021

Do you tell yourself when you don’t feel like exercising that you’re just being lazy? Actually, Harvard evolutionary biologist Daniel E. Lieberman ’86 says, we’re nearly hard-wired to avoid unnecessary exertion. In his new book, “Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do Is Healthy and Rewarding,” Lieberman explores this idea while using anthropological evidence to bust other myths and misunderstandings about exercise. The Gazette spoke with Lieberman, the...

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Harvard, other glee clubs combine to celebrate diversity

December 18, 2020

For almost a century, the Harvard Glee Club has held concerts with its counterparts at Yale and Princeton. Despite the disruption this fall brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the three clubs were committed to maintaining their long tradition.

To that end, the groups on Oct. 17 presented “Hand in Hand: A Benefit Concert for Equity and Justice in Arts Education,” celebrating their enduring relationships, their love of music, and their commitment to social justice. “Hand in Hand” featured performances from each club as well as a group performance...

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Harvard College accepts 747 under early action program

December 17, 2020

Harvard College today accepted 747 students to the Class of 2025 from a pool of 10,086 who applied under the early action program. Those students will join 349 others who deferred admission to the Class of 2025 this past summer. Last year, 895 students were selected from the 6,424 who applied.

“The outstanding students admitted today come from every corner of the United States and the world and have an incredible array of talents and experiences,” said William R. Fitzsimmons, dean of admissions and financial aid. “Given the high number of remarkable applicants to date, Harvard has taken...

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Harvard faculty look back on 2020

Harvard faculty look back on 2020

December 17, 2020

Like countless others, members of the Harvard faculty have been finding their way through the difficult days of 2020, planning Zoom wedding receptions, socially distancing from family and friends, tending to patients suffering with COVID-19, learning to teach students remotely, and trying to make sense of a year defined by a deadly pandemic, a reckoning with racial, social, and economic inequities, recession, and political upheaval. As December winds to a close, the Gazette asked faculty from across the University for their thoughts on how history, and they themselves, will remember the...

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Harvard president urges immigration restriction reversal

December 15, 2020

Harvard President Larry Bacow has urged President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. to reverse a series of immigration restrictions imposed by the Trump administration over the past four years, arguing that the steady flow of talented immigrants to the United States — many coming to study at a college or university — historically has been a key ingredient of the nation’s innovation economy.

In a letter sent Monday congratulating Biden on his election victory, Bacow wrote in support of the incoming...

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