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Harvard scholars react to exit from Paris climate accord

Harvard scholars react to exit from Paris climate accord

June 13, 2017

Though other nations appear to be standing firm on their climate commitments, and U.S. states, cities, and business leaders have reaffirmed pledges to climate goals, action by the federal government is hard to replace when it comes to such a sweeping problem, Harvard scholars say.

With a week to assess the fallout from President Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement, faculty members were quick to note that the withdrawal isn’t immediate — it will take years to carry out. But U.S. momentum toward a solution will be lost, along with the Read more about Harvard scholars react to exit from Paris climate accord

At Harvard’s Safra Center, a student intern learns about ethics, and the evolving issues around them

At Harvard’s Safra Center, a student intern learns about ethics, and the evolving issues around them

June 5, 2017

I spent last summer in an office, but not like the ones in which many of my classmates found themselves. I worked as a research intern at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, a leading facility for research in practical ethics. Over the course of the past two semesters, the Safra Center has been celebrating its 30th anniversary, and it just closed the year in an appropriate fashion with 2½ days of festivities, including lectures, panels, and discussions on various issues with which it has been involved.

A good deal of my work at Read more about At Harvard’s Safra Center, a student intern learns about ethics, and the evolving issues around them

Graham Allison’s new book evaluates the U.S.-China face-off

Graham Allison’s new book evaluates the U.S.-China face-off

June 1, 2017

As China surpasses the United States as the world’s largest economy, flexes its might in the South and East China seas, and takes a leading role fighting climate change, it appears to be on course to challenge America’s superpower status.  

Despite a seeming rapprochement over chocolate cake between China’s President Xi Jinping and President Trump in April, how the two countries navigate their strategic interests and work through China’s rise remains unclear. Is conflict inevitable when an upstart challenges a dominant power, or does history provide Read more about Graham Allison’s new book evaluates the U.S.-China face-off

Dawoud Bey’s Harlem photographs part of Harvard Cooper Gallery exhibit

Dawoud Bey’s Harlem photographs part of Harvard Cooper Gallery exhibit

June 1, 2017

For photographer Dawoud Bey, activism and art have long been linked. Bey, whose portraits of Harlem form the centerpiece of the exhibit “Harlem: Found Ways” now at the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art, first connected with his chosen visual medium through a protest.

The year was 1969, and Bey, then a 16-year-old living in Queens, had heard of the controversy around the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Harlem on My Mind” exhibition. The Read more about Dawoud Bey’s Harlem photographs part of Harvard Cooper Gallery exhibit

Marshall family’s 1950-61 impact in Kalahari explored in book

Marshall family’s 1950-61 impact in Kalahari explored in book

May 15, 2017

Striking in their beauty and their intimacy, the photographs the Marshall family made during their eight expeditions into the Kalahari from 1950 to 1961 have pure visual appeal. Landscapes of flowering fields or towering baobab trees and dominated by a majestic sky alternate with portraits of a family’s growth and change.

It is that change — beyond the stunning aesthetics — that mark these photos as special, forming the impetus behind “Where the Roads All End: The Marshall Family’s Kalahari Photography Read more about Marshall family’s 1950-61 impact in Kalahari explored in book

Probe of Alzheimer’s follows paths of infection

Probe of Alzheimer’s follows paths of infection

May 11, 2017

Sixth in an occasional series on how Harvard researchers are tackling the problematic issues of aging.

What if the bad-boy protein of Alzheimer’s disease — amyloid beta — isn’t so bad after all?

Harvard researchers found themselves asking that question several years ago after noticing remarkable similarities between amyloid beta, thought to be a major player in the disease’s progression, and proteins active in the body’s immune system.

That discovery has blossomed into a new avenue of Read more about Probe of Alzheimer’s follows paths of infection

Visual images often intrude on verbal thinking, study says

Visual images often intrude on verbal thinking, study says

May 11, 2017

Harvard scientists are beginning to provide answers to one of the thorniest questions in psychology: How do we think?

Human thought generally can be divided into two modes, the visual and the verbal. When you think about your next vacation and imagine sitting under a palm tree and sipping a cold drink, you’re probably thinking visually. If you’re thinking what you’ll say when you make a presentation at work, you’re likely thinking in words and sentences, creating inner speech.

But are the two always separate? Can you utilize one without the other popping up? A new Read more about Visual images often intrude on verbal thinking, study says

Harvard veritas shield

Six social science faculty awarded 2017 Walter Channing Cabot Fellowships

May 8, 2017

Ten professors in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) have been named 2017 Walter Channing Cabot Fellows. These annual awards honor distinguished faculty members for their outstanding publications in the fields of literature, history, or art. Among the ten are six from the Division of Social Science:

Center for Geographic Analysis hosts conference on using drones for academic research

Center for Geographic Analysis hosts conference on using drones for academic research

May 5, 2017

Most people see drones as a hobby, a fun toy for photographers and videographers, or maybe even the future of package delivery.

But Jason Ur sees them as an invaluable research tool.

A professor of anthropology and director of the Center for Geographic Analysis, Ur in recent years has used drones to quickly create 3-D maps of ancient sites in the Kurdistan region of Iraq — something that used to take days or weeks.

“This technology — both the drones and the software to stitch the images together — is now within Read more about Center for Geographic Analysis hosts conference on using drones for academic research

Harvard’s Peabody Museum fetes 150 years with unusual exhibit

Harvard’s Peabody Museum fetes 150 years with unusual exhibit

May 5, 2017

For every remarkable object displayed in the new exhibition celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, visitors might be just as impressed by some other object they can’t so readily see.

There are more than 1.25 million items in the Peabody collections, only a choice sampling of which could fit into the display cases for the exhibition “All the World Is Here: Harvard’s Peabody Museum and the Invention of American Anthropology Read more about Harvard’s Peabody Museum fetes 150 years with unusual exhibit