News

Photographers take it from the top, covering the campus below

September 29, 2021

Every day must be a field day for the red-tailed hawks of Harvard Yard. The views from the sky are both dizzying and enlightening.

For us mere bipeds, that vantage point has to be accessed via the narrow stairwells and ladders that lead to the tops of the iconic towers. The short of breath will find that pressing PH on the elevators of the tallest buildings achieves the same end.

There is a calm quiet in the balconies and belfries. Voices are muffled, and sounds are indistinct, betraying the busy-ness below.

Modern, colonial, and gothic architectures contrast across the...

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Economist Nancy Rose wants to empower antitrust enforcement

September 24, 2021

A flurry of activity in Washington, D.C., has turned a spotlight on the arcane world of antitrust enforcement.

This summer, Congress introduced a clutch of antitrust bills that both proponents and critics say could lead to the breakup of technology giants such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. The measures seek to curb the control these companies have over online commerce, software distribution, social networking, and internet search. The U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division, the Federal Trade Commission, state attorneys general, and private parties have brought antitrust...

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An excerpt from Steven Pinker’s latest book ‘Rationality’

September 23, 2021

Excerpted from “Rationality: Why It Seems Scarce and Why It Matters” by Steven Pinker, Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology.

Rationality ought to be the lodestar for everything we think and do. (If you disagree, are your objections rational?) Yet in an era blessed with unprecedented resources for reasoning, the public sphere is infested with fake news, quack cures, conspiracy theories, and “post-truth” rhetoric. We face deadly...

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Economics faculty discuss changes gift will bring to department

September 22, 2021

Solving many of the world’s most pressing issues has been a foundational focus for Harvard’s Department of Economics, and its professors’ range and depth of research has resulted in dozens of coveted fellowships and an impressive award list that includes multiple MacArthur Awards, Clark Medals and 11 Nobel Prizes.

This has been true for faculty who are breaking ground in more traditional areas of research like fiscal policy as well as those taking the newer approach of harnessing the power of big data to better understand ground-level economic inequality. With yesterday’s announcement of...

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Gift from Penny Pritzker ’81 to spark new era for Harvard economics

Gift from Penny Pritzker ’81 to spark new era for Harvard economics

September 21, 2021

Philanthropist, entrepreneur, civic leader, and former U.S. secretary of commerce Penny Pritzker ’81 has made a $100 million gift in support of the Department of Economics at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard announced today. Pritzker’s gift will help create a new home for the department and bolster its global impact by enabling faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates to pursue dynamic new approaches to teaching, research, and collaboration within the department and across the university.

Pritzker’s more than three decades of...

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Commissions underscore power of Harvard arts

Commissions underscore power of Harvard arts

September 20, 2021

This fall, the Harvard University Committee on the Arts is welcoming students, faculty, and staff back to campus with a series of six commissions from seven contemporary artists across various disciplines. The projects will present community members with unique opportunities to explore Harvard, in locations ranging from the Yard, to the Arboretum, to the ArtLab, through dance, visual art, music, and beyond.

“We’re aiming to welcome the community back to campus in a way that underscores the power and prominence of the arts on campus,” said Robin Kelsey, HUCA co-chair and Harvard’s dean of...

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Harvard sociology professor weighs in on census flaws

September 17, 2021

A quick scan of the headlines generated by the recently released 2020 census data will tell you that the white population is in steep decline and that minority groups are on the rise. But associate professor of sociology Ellis Monk says there’s more to the population count than what is being reported by the media. 

Monk’s research interests include issues around social inequality and political sociology, and some of his recent work involves understanding...

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Health services chief gives tips on keeping Harvard healthy

September 16, 2021

As the school year opens for students, faculty, and staff, the University has successfully employed a range of preventative measures to maintain a low rate of COVID-19 infection.

At Harvard, the positivity rate of all tests since the inception of the University’s COVID-19 testing program is 0.14 percent, and the rate for the past 7 days is 0.14 percent. Most of these transmissions have been traced to small and large social settings at which attendees removed masks to drink or eat indoors. To date the University has yet to identify a situation in which a community member was infected with...

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Business School expert assesses case against Elizabeth Holmes

September 14, 2021

Former Theranos employees began testifying this week against Elizabeth Holmes, the once-celebrated biotech’s founder and CEO, in a criminal trial that has Silicon Valley worried.

In opening statements last week, federal prosecutors charged that Holmes and the company’s chief operating officer, Ramesh Balwani, had long known that Theranos’ home blood test didn’t work, but misled investors to keep money flowing in. Holmes and Balwani are accused of defrauding patients, doctors, and investors of over $700 million....

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Excitement on full display as Harvard students return to class

Excitement on full display as Harvard students return to class

September 14, 2021

After 18 months away, Harvard students returned cautiously and excitedly to physical classrooms this past week. Masked up, they filled first-year seminars, General Education lectures, and performance studios, meeting their professors and one another — often for the first time. With strict public health measures in place, the circumstances of the new school year were far from the old normal, but September’s optimism was palpable everywhere from Harvard’s Robinson Hall to its new Science and Engineering Complex in Allston.

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