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Ash Center welcomes new fellows

first_imgThe Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) announced more than 60 student and research fellows for the 2011-12 academic year. Fellows hail from around the world to study at the Ash Center — from as far away as Malawi, Japan, and China, to Palestine, Germany, Italy, and India. Their research topics mirror the diversity of the countries they represent: from clean water scarcity in rural Africa and environmental activism in Japan to challenges to China’s governance policies and the automotive industry in Mexico.Two enrolled HKS students were selected as Roy & Lila Ash Fellows, five as Ford Foundation Mason Fellows, and one as an HKS Indonesia Program Fellow. The center also welcomes 19 Lee Kuan Yew Fellows, who are enrolled at HKS for one semester as part of their master in public management degree from the National University of Singapore. Five doctoral and postdoctoral scholars join the center as Democracy Fellows. Academics as well as government and business practitioners will pursue independent research projects for the academic semester as the center’s four Indonesia Research Fellows, three New World Fellows, and 24 Rajawali Fellows.“We are pleased to be able to host and support such an impressive group of scholars, public servants, and private sector individuals this academic year,” said Anthony Saich, director of the Ash Center. “Their expertise and past experiences promise to enhance our Center’s existing research on democratic governance and innovation.”Read more about the fellows.last_img read more

Friends of Henry Hubschman establish joint fellowship

first_imgFriends of Henry Hubschman, HLS 1972 M.P.P. 1973, have set up a fellowship in his memory at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and Harvard Law School (HLS). Established shortly after Hubschman’s death in February 2011, the fellowship has received more than $550,000 in contributions and is now permanently endowed. It will provide financial assistance to students beginning in the academic year 2012–13.HKS and HLS created the Joint Degree Program in Law and Government because many public problems have a legal component and many legal issues affect the policy arena. The program permits students to pursue a J.D. at HLS and either a master in public policy (MPP) or in public administration in international development (M.P.A./I.D.) at the Kennedy School in an integrated way in a reduced time period. The program has been a formal joint degree program since 2006.“Educating students about the issues at the intersection of law and public policy is key to the Kennedy School’s mission of training exceptional public leaders,” said David Ellwood, dean of HKS and Scott M. Black Professor of Political Economy. “This gift will help us attract and engage the very best students to Harvard.”“The solutions to critical problems increasingly demand knowledge of institutions, law, policy, and politics, so it is terrific to see this wonderful gift offer talented students the chance to pursue learning across all these fields,” said Martha Minow, dean and Jeremiah Smith Jr. Professor at Harvard Law School. “We are enormously grateful that this fellowship honors an individual whose own studies and career so effectively united law and policy.” Read Full Storylast_img read more

The literary landscape

first_imgThough it looked like a science fair on the outside, what with all the poster boards on display, Wednesday’s Literary Homecoming was a success, drawing delegates from the campus’s literary scene and students looking to find their lit niches, and get a foot in the door, too.Sponsored by the Woodberry Poetry Room, the Literary Homecoming gathered inside the Barker Center representatives from the English Department, the Harvard Review, the Harvard Advocate, Speak Out Loud, and Tuesday magazine, among others.English concentrator Amy Robinson ’15 was stationed at a table for Tuesday magazine. Robinson, who writes fiction and nonfiction, learned of the publication at last fall’s activities fair, and now she’s co-president. “Tuesday is such a great magazine, and it’s new and it’s small, so anyone getting involved can have a big influence,” she said.“Tuesday is such a great magazine, and it’s new and it’s small, so anyone getting involved can have a big influence,” said Amy Robinson ’15.Nearby, Bryan Erickson ’15 and Cassandra Euphrat Weston ’14 manned a spot for Speak Out Loud, Harvard’s spoken word poetry organization. “This group was created out of a need and a desire for a space for spoken word to exist, and for collaboration,” said Erickson. The group sponsors open mic nights in Ticknor Lounge and hosts workshops.“We’re not just creating a community of poetry, but poetry that’s often very personal. That kind of vulnerability is important on an analytical campus,” said Euphrat Weston.Freshmen roommates Yinka Ogunbiyi ’16 and Julia Haney ’16 mingled among the crowd. “I came to find out what’s available for people interested in writing and being exposed to what’s going on at Harvard in publishing and editing,” said Ogunbiyi, a London native who likes writing short stories and poems. “An internship at the Harvard Review sounds interesting.”“We’re just trying to understand what this place has to offer,” added Haney. “And it’s nice that it’s all consolidated.”Crouched in a corner, Harvard Law School student Joel Knopf picked through stacks of free literary magazines. Knopf said he is at work on the second draft of a young adult novel and came to the event to find opportunities to work creatively at Harvard.Harvard Law School student Joel Knopf stops by the Harvard Review table.Arts @ 29 Garden program manager Bess Paupeck spun records on a turntable. The records were pressed with mash-ups of student responses to Woodberry Poetry Room recordings, and were made during a Winter Session creative writing workshop. “This January, we’re doing an arts journalism and criticism workshop with the Nieman Fellows,” Paupeck said.Amy Hempel, the Briggs-Copeland lecturer in fiction, chatted with students and said that when it came to literature at Harvard “people are really open for business. No one is refusing possibilities.”Echoing that sentiment was Woodberry Poetry Room Director Christina Davis, who congratulated everyone in attendance for being a part of “the flourishing of the arts and a reinvention of pre-existing publications and presses and a start-up energy fueling new indie organizations.”“The reason the Department of English and everyone facilitated this event for the first time ever is because of how seriously Harvard takes creative writing, arguably as seriously as it takes the sciences,” said Bret Anthony Johnston, director of creative writing in the English Department. “It’s because of the work you’re doing, and the caliber of that work. … And it’s what you continue to do once you leave here and publish, and produce your plays, and your screenplays are made into movies. You’re giving Harvard the obligation to take writing seriously, and for that I thank you.”last_img read more

Life expectancy declines among least-educated whites

first_imgLife expectancy among the least-educated white Americans has fallen markedly over the past two decades, according to recent research, including some studies by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) experts. A front-page article in the September 20, 2012 New York Times outlined these disturbing findings and included speculation by researchers as to possible causes—such as higher smoking rates among less-educated white women, rising obesity, and an increase in the number of the least-educated Americans without health insurance.According to the Times, the latest estimates show that white women without a high school diploma lost five years of life between 1990 and 2008; their life expectancy was 73.5 years, compared with 83.9 years for white women with a college degree or more. White men without a high school diploma lost three years of life—fewer than white women—but the gap between their life expectancy and that of men with college degrees or better was larger: 67.5 years vs. 80.4 years.One of the studies cited was led by Jennifer Montez, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. Commenting on the latest estimates, Montez told the Times, “Something is going on in the lives of disadvantaged white women that is leading to some really alarming trends in life expectancy.” She said that smoking rates—which have increased among women without a high school diploma—are playing a role. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Speaking up for science

first_imgIn a visit to Harvard Thursday, Jane Lubchenco described four difficult years in Washington as administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Nonetheless, she told a roomful of scientists and students, the challenge of D.C. is one to be embraced, to ensure science has a strong voice in policymaking.“Operating in D.C. is so much harder than it needs to be,” Lubchenco said. “It’s exhausting, it’s frustrating, and at times depressing. That said, it is possible to get things done.”Lubchenco recently left NOAA to return to the faculty at Oregon State University. She was among a handful of high-profile scientists brought into President Obama’s first administration as part of an effort to emphasize scientific integrity and raise the profile of scientific knowledge in policy decisions.Her talk, at the Mallinckrodt Building’s Pfizer Auditorium, was sponsored by the Harvard University Center for the Environment (HUCE).NOAA, part of the U.S. Commerce Department, runs the National Weather Service —including the National Hurricane Center — and the National Marine Fisheries Service, among other programs.Lubchenco talked about the challenges of her time in government, including the disastrous BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the highly politicized atmosphere around climate science, and extreme weather events — searing drought, major floods, record snowstorms, more than 700 major tornadoes, and 70 Atlantic hurricanes, including Isaac, Irene, and Sandy — all against a backdrop of economic struggle and legislative gridlock.Though she could have spent her four years in reaction mode, Lubchenco pushed ahead with several initiatives, including reducing political interference and stressing integrity in the science done at NOAA, restructuring a dysfunctional weather satellite program (which provides 90 percent of the data that goes into weather forecasts), creating a national oceans policy, and strengthening fishery management plans that have recovered 32 fisheries since 2000 and reduced the number of overfished stocks.Among her failures was an effort to create a National Climate Service, a longer-term parallel to the National Weather Service. The change needed congressional approval and, with climate science becoming a third-rail issue, couldn’t get it.“Some suggested that if we called it the ‘Longterm Weather Service’ we would have had a different outcome,” Lubchenco said.Shifting from personal experience to the role of science in policy, Lubchenco called for more scientists to take up positions in government. This requires a change in how faculty training the next generation of scientists view a policy-focused career, she said. Currently, she said, academic scientists regard it as a failure if a student doesn’t wind up as an academic scientist. Instead, she said, students with an interest in policy should be encouraged, because their voices are essential.“I think the country desperately needs more scientists in government,” Lubchenco said.But just showing up doesn’t mean success, she said. To be effective, scientists have to understand that the culture in Washington is not what they’re used to. Stories and anecdotes that relate facts to real people are often more persuasive than the bare facts themselves. Relationships, with both supporters and opponents of your positions, are crucial to accomplish anything. Equally vital is a skin thick enough to take the inevitable criticism.“I would say that good science is critical, but not sufficient,” Lubchenco said. “You need good science. You need good strategy. You need good diplomacy. Progress really hinges on finding the right incentives and the right partners. Finding common ground is key to navigating conflict, but so too is having a very, very thick skin.”Giving science a stronger voice in Washington will require having more scientists in key positions throughout the establishment: in government agencies, in the White House, and on Capitol Hill, Lubchenco said. It will also require greater engagement and a bigger effort by the academic community to communicate scientific findings.“Science can be a powerful force, but it has to be at the table, it has to be understood, it has to be relevant, and it has to be credible,” she said. “Unfortunately that combination is all too rare.”Lubchenco was introduced by Professor of Biological Oceanography James McCarthy, who sat on her dissertation committee in the early 1970s. She received her doctorate from Harvard in 1975 and stayed on as an assistant professor before moving to Oregon State in 1977.last_img read more

A greener day

first_imgAt Harvard, the commitment to a healthier, more sustainable campus is ingrained in the culture, how people learn, work, and live. Initiatives across the University’s Schools and departments bring faculty, students, and staff together in creating solutions with the ultimate goal of enhancing the well-being of everyone in the Harvard community.Even though April 22 is Earth Day, events and activities happen 365 days a year that educate, inspire, and motivate people to act. Seed grants and research projects using the campus as a living laboratory engage students in real-world challenges, and give them the tools to incorporate green practices wherever their lives may lead. Facilities teams and employee green teams model best practices in sustainable operations that increase efficiency and save money. And expanded course offerings and research on energy and the environment encourage further discovery across disciplines.Learn more about Harvard’s commitment to sustainability. 4Dorm crew worker Victoria Jones ’17 hoses down recycling bins outside LEED platinum-certified Stone Hall at Quincy House, the first building to be renovated as part of the House Renewal initiative. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer 15Douglas Schmidt of the Campus Services Energy & Facilities Department discusses the expanded combined heat and power system being installed in the Blackstone Steam Plant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer 3Youn-Kyoung Lee, a postdoctoral fellow in stem cell and regenerative biology, cultures mammalian cell tissues inside the LEED platinum-certified Fairchild Building. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer 8Alex Gonsalves collects recycling outside Adams House. Waste per capita was reduced 27 percent from FY2006 to FY2014. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer 12Athletics Facilities Manager Jason Waldron tours the Bright Hockey Center, where the University’s Green Revolving Fund was used to convert the lights to super-efficient LEDs to save maintenance costs and energy. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer 11FAS Green Program Manager Brandon Geller shows off his tie outside the 46 Blackstone Building at Harvard University. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer 7Assistant Athletic Director Jon Lister explains how the solar panels operate inside the Gordon Track building, which has Harvard’s largest solar array. More than 1MW of solar PV panels have been installed across campus. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 5Facilities and maintenance worker Jim Peterson gardens in the Mac Quad. Organic landscaping is used on more than 93 acres of campus space, including Harvard Yard. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer 9Graduate School of Arts and Sciences student Anna Levina works in the Jacobsen Lab inside the Mallinckrodt building. A Green Labs Program encourages researchers to reduce energy in laboratories by closing the sash when not in use. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer 6The Harvard University Police Department used the Green Revolving Fund to convert its entire fleet of patrol cars to hybrids, in a move to save money and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution. Anthony Carvello talks on the radio in the new car. Photo by Katherine Taylor 2The Hubway bicycle stand outside the Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center launched with a celebration in 2012. Harvard is a major supporter of Hubway, sponsoring 12 stations and providing affiliates with discounted memberships. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer 13Solar panels grace the roof of the Science Center at Harvard. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer 1Harvard Graduate School of Education students Warren Garris and Jackie Iloh work beneath a green wall installed as part of the LEED platinum-certified renovation of the School’s Gutman Library. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer 10Building manager Dick Nerden shows off efficiency aspects of a 15,000-gallon rainwater collection tank that holds water for reuse as irrigation in the newly renovated LEED platinum-certified Stone Hall. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer 14A Harvard shuttle, fueled by biodiesel, passes by the LISE building and Mallinckrodt Lab (far left). Energy-efficiency measures at the LISE building have saved more than $3.15 million since 2009. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer 16In Harvard Yard, sunlight bolts through orange and green leaves. Harvard’s Sustainability Plan, adopted in 2014, is focused on enhancing the well-being of the campus community. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographerlast_img read more

Center for International Development’s ‘Globe’ generates innovative 3-D visualizations of world trade

first_imgData visualization researchers at Harvard’s Center for International Development (CID) have unveiled The Globe of Economic Complexity – an interactive tool which colorfully captures $15 trillion in world trade data in cutting-edge 3-D visualizations. Powered by the UN’s international trade data, the Globe uses “confetti” or dot-based representation to generate dynamic maps, stacked graphs and network diagrams. The Globe is a spin-off of The Atlas online, an interactive tool that takes users on a granular journey by not only visualizing trade, but by tracking changes over time and by helping users identify growth opportunities.“The Globe allows users to see which parts of the world are still exporting agricultural commodities versus those that have moved onto machinery and more complex products, all in spectacular animation,” said Marcela Escobari, executive director of CID. “Innovations in visualizations like this one help us disseminate our research on how countries grow in an ever more accessible and powerful way.”By navigating the Globe’s Geo Maps, users can jump into any country to view its range and volume of exports. The Globe also generates new points of view on the Product Space – a network of product similarities which details nearly 800 products into 15 color-coded industries – by vertically stacking products in 2-D representation or by using a novel 3-D layout.last_img read more

Harvard students, meet the Stone Age

first_imgThe hands-on challenge of manufacturing stone tools isn’t the only way in which students in Tryon’s class grapple with how to understand the past.“The larger context is that the class will culminate with an exhibition in the Peabody Museum designed by the students,” Tryon said. “So they will have to think about how much of our own biases or cultural baggage we convey in what they choose to put, or not put, in that exhibit. Really, this is an attempt to ask them to think about how do we know what we think we know about the past, and how do we convey it to a — hopefully — interested public?”The hands-on nature of the class, Tryon said, also gives students a unique educational opportunity to understand history from a new perspective.“For me, that’s everything,” he said. “Reading about things is great, but if I can do it, if I can touch it, if I can feel it … I think that’s a very different, active type of learning and teaching. It allows them to touch the past in a way that you otherwise can’t.” Though they’ve long been portrayed as unintelligent brutes, Neanderthals were far more sophisticated than popular culture — and car insurance commercials — might suggest.To prove it, Christian Tryon asks his students to break rocks.Tryon, an assistant professor of anthropology, is the creator of a freshman seminar called “Finding Your Inner Neanderthal,” in which — among other activities — students attempt to manufacture their own Stone Age tools from scratch.“Caveman is usually this derogatory term, like the commercials say, ‘So easy a caveman could do it,’” Tryon said. “[But] that’s not true. It’s not very easy at all to make these stone tools. I want students to learn to appreciate the craftsmanship that went into making these tools tens of thousands of years ago, and … by immersing themselves in making what, in many ways, is the oldest technology, I think that’s a really powerful way to appreciate the past.” Cast in bronzecenter_img Relatedlast_img read more

One stage, many stories

first_img Diversity Dialogue brings personal and professional context to the change Related In his 2015 Golden Globe acceptance speech for his role as a transgender father in the hit Amazon show “Transparent,” Jeffrey Tambor dedicated his win to the transgender community. “Thank you,” he said, “for letting us be part of the change.”Now, New York-based writer and producer Paul Lucas is doing his own part to help speed that change with “Trans Scripts, Part I: The Women,” running at the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) through Feb. 5.Jo Bonney directs the documentary theater piece, which features several transgender performers and is based on more than 75 interviews Lucas conducted with members of the transgender community in six countries. The goal of his 90-minute production, Lucas said, is to shine a light on the diversity of stories within the trans community as well as on individual struggles — and successes. On becoming a man: Transgender in the workplace “It is not in any way didactic, it is not like a lecture on trans 101,” he said. “You just learn a lot about the trans experience and a lot of your preconceptions about what it means to be trans are just popped, one after the next.”For many, efforts to shift attitudes about the transgender community have moved too slowly. Hollywood has helped, with projects such as “Transparent” and the films “The Danish Girl” and “Transamerica.” In 2014, Laverne Cox, known for her role in the acclaimed Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black,” became the first openly transgender person to grace the cover of Time magazine.But the attention of filmmakers and show-runners has its limits. A report by the Human Rights Campaign said 2015 saw “more killings of transgender people than any other year on record.” And while transgender people can now openly serve in the military, the issue of transgender students who wish to use the bathroom of their choice has been met with opposition in some communities.Acceptance has been difficult because the identity of a transgender male or female is so individual, observers say. The trans community ranges from people who consider themselves trans in their minds, said Harvard scholar Michael Bronski, to those who have had full sex reassignment surgery.“I think that the real power of the trans movement is that it is so multifocal, it can be so many things,” said Bronski, a professor of practice in media and activism and the author of “‘You Can Tell Just by Looking’: And 20 Other Myths about LGBT Life and People” (2013).“But I think that’s also where it’s going to face trouble. The multiplicity of trans identities makes it even more difficult to understand.”Drawn directly from Lucas’ interviews, the show’s seven characters range in age and life experience, from an African-American and Latina trans woman in her late 20s who transitioned at 17, to a British gynecologist in her 70s who transitioned to a woman at 68.Bianca Leigh plays Tatiana, who transitioned in the 1980s when there were no legal protections for trans men and women. Leigh, who is transgender, said that the message of “Trans Scripts” is ultimately uplifting. Leigh recalled telling the director of the show’s 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe premier that the audience needed to know “so many of us live happy, joyous lives, that we transition to something that can be lovely and beautiful.”Both Lucas and Leigh said they hope viewers will leave the production with a better understanding of the trans — not to mention the human — experience.“I hope what they walk away with is the idea that there is no single narrative, there are many ways of looking, many ways of being,” said Leigh. “That they don’t have to get everything right; that we are individuals. Almost that they forget they are seeing a play about trans people by the end, and they are just seeing a play about people.”Throughout the run of the show the A.R.T. will host moderated discussions following each performance with activists, students, medical professionals, artists, and scholars. For more information visit the A.R.T. website.last_img read more

A year that changed students, and students changed the world

first_img The Harvard and Radcliffe Class of 1968 returns to campus PlayPlayPauseSeek0% buffered00:00Current time00:00Toggle MuteVolumeToggle CaptionsToggle Fullscreen,Demand for change,Student protests erupt,The war and the draft,Tragedy strikes again,‘A major science program for Harvard’,Visual Studies launched,Early ‘personal computers’,‘A generation in search of a future’ “All of you know that in the last couple of years there has been student unrest, breaking at times into violence, in many parts of the world. … Unless we are to assume that students have gone crazy all over the world, or that they have just decided that it’s the thing to do, it must have some common meaning.” — George Wald In any other year, the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. would have stood out as the tragedy that defined the troubles of its time. But in 1968, it was only the first — followed quickly by the signing of the Civil Rights Act and the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, and played out as anger at America’s involvement in Vietnam mounted — to shake, challenge, and change the country.A new exhibit at the Pusey Library, “Harvard, 1968,” uses King’s death as a touchstone to explore what it meant to be a student experiencing, and helping shape, the political, cultural, and scientific revolutions that swept the world in that turbulent year. Relatedcenter_img These major historical markers live on in the photographs, letters, speeches, newspapers, posters, and a recording that document the upheaval on campus and put University events into a wider context. Also featured are views of others in the Harvard community, including some of the key faculty voices of the time.“Harvard, 1968,” curated by Juliana Kuipers, Emily Atkins, Megan Sniffin-Marinoff, and Virginia Hunt of the Harvard University Archives, will be on view at the Pusey Library through June 14. It is free and open to the public weekdays 9 a.m.‒5 p.m.MLK’s ties to Harvard,Listen: MLK’s 1962 speech at Harvard Law School A revolution, 50 years in the makinglast_img read more