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Author: rueckert

The Many Visions of Lorraine Hansberry

The New Yorker

As she grew up, she drifted away from the politics of her parents, who remained committed Republicans even as most Black voters were shifting their party allegiance; at the University of Wisconsin, she began campaigning for Henry Wallace’s Progressive Party.

Seditious Conspiracy Was the Right Charge for January 6

The Atlantic

Some have raised concerns about the scope of the seditious-conspiracy statute. For example, the University of Wisconsin law professor Joshua Braver has warned that seditious-conspiracy prosecutions could be subject to significant abuse. After all, the literal language of the statute might cover actions such as the Women’s March, which interfered with Capitol operations during Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings. Braver prefers the charge of “rebellion or insurrection,” which he believes is a better fit for the events of January 6.

This Is No Way to Be Human

The Atlantic

In a remarkable study several years ago, Selin Kesebir of the London Business School and the psychologist Pelin Kesebir of the University of Wisconsin at Madison found that references to nature in novels, song lyrics, and film story lines began decreasing in the 1950s, while references to the human-made environment did not.

How the Post Office Could Sabotage Biden’s Billion-Test Goal

The Daily Beast

“Besides keeping them in cold cars while moving them around, we don’t have any experience testing in extreme cold or extreme heat,” said Dave O’Connor, a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of Wisconsin. “My guess—but it is purely a guess—is that freezing of the liquid could cause performance issues if it thaws and isn’t mixed thoroughly.”

Opinion | Some Antiracist Books Aren’t Very Good. Do I Still Have to Read Them to My Child?

The New York Times

The progress made in children’s book publishing has been encouraging and certainly necessary. According to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the numbers of children’s books written by Black, Indigenous, Asian and Latino authors have all significantly increased in the past 20 years.

Jim Harbaugh, Back in the NFL? Please No.

Wall Street Journal

Michigan? It’s just getting good, Khakipants. After some challenging, underachieving times, Wolverines had themselves a thriller of a season. There were big wins over Iowa, Penn State and fine—an early rout of the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Michigan captured its first Big Ten title since 2004 and was one of four teams to make the Nick Saban College Football Invitational. Blah blah blah, and so on.

The Future of Dynastic Rule in the Philippines

The Atlantic

The Marcos regime was “exceptional for both the quantity and quality of its violence,” Alfred McCoy, a historian at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, wrote in 1999. McCoy estimated that 3,257 extrajudicial killings were carried out under Marcos. The specter of violence was horrific and deliberate. Many of the victims were mutilated and then dumped roadside for passersby to see, McCoy wrote: “Marcos’s regime intimidated by random displays of its torture victims—becoming thereby a theater state of terror.”

In the Race for Batteries, One Scientist Has Seen It All

Wall Street Journal

Ms. Babinec’s first close encounter with electricity occurred when she stuck a scissors in a light socket when she was a child. She was briefly knocked unconscious and awoke on the other side of the room. She blacked out her house but was uninjured. She joined Dow Chemical in 1979 after earning a degree in chemistry at the University of Wisconsin and became the chemical giant’s first female corporate fellow, the highest level scientist at the company, in 1998. She also worked for Dow’s venture capital group, where she gained experience developing new businesses.

The Alien Beauty and Creepy Fascination of Insect Art

Sierra Club

Another striking example is the singing shawls made by the Karen people of Myanmar and northern Thailand, says Jennifer Angus, who teaches textile design at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. These woven garments, so named because they’re worn at funeral ceremonies where mourners sing around the clock for several days, sometimes have a fringe made from the shiny, iridescent elytra, or hard outer wings, of jewel beetles. Angus, who grew up in Canada, had never seen anything like it. “I really had trouble believing that it was real,” she says.

You can eat healthier without focusing on weight

Popular Science

Fiber is the material in plant-based foods that our body’s can’t digest. For a long time, scientists thought of it as junk, says Beth Olson, a professor of nutrition at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Today, we know that it’s essential. Fiber feeds the bacteria in our guts, which could have an indirect effect on everything from our mood to our immune systems, Olson says.

University Finances Face a Long Road to Recovery

Chronicle of Higher Ed

The pandemic’s negative impact on enrollment was not ubiquitous, however. Enrollments at elite universities, such as Harvard and Stanford, held steady during the height of the pandemic. Several of the more-prestigious state flagship campuses, such as the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and the University of Wisconsin at Madison, recorded record freshman-class enrollments. Amid the adversity caused by the pandemic, in that sense, the rich simply got richer.

Becerra asks CMS to reconsider Medicare Part B 2022 premiums


A local news report in Wisconsin quoting the lead doctor on the University of Wisconsin Health’s Moderna vaccine trial for children 6 months to 4 years old caused a stir on Covid and science Twitter over the weekend. That’s because he said FDA had again asked vaccine manufacturers to add a few hundred more kids to their trials. (Pros may recall this first happened over the summer.)

Wisconsin GOP bill would count prior COVID-19 infection as immunity

The Hill

Ajay Sethi, director of the Public Health master’s program at UW-Madison, told the Wisconsin State Journal that if the Wisconsin Senate bill becomes law, “you would have people who falsely believe that they are protected against reinfection. And the science continually shows that people who are unvaccinated, even if they’ve had COVID before, are more likely to be hospitalized compared to people who are vaccinated and haven’t had COVID before.”

A University’s Stumbles in Qatar Revive Questions About Foreign Campuses

Chronicle of Higher Ed

Kris Olds, a professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison who studies the globalization of higher education, noted that in almost all cases, branch campuses are funded by their host nations, shifting the balance in setting an institution’s direction and agenda. Because they rely on their foreign sponsors, western universities don’t have full autonomy over their offshore campuses, Olds said. Texas A&M and its Qatar campus are “wholly dependent upon the largess of a foreign state.”

Op-Ed: Americans used to respect public health. Then came COVID

Los Angeles Times

Historically the public response to community health danger was ruled by the need to care about others. This tradition has served the country well over the last 300 years. But it is no longer standard in America. The freedom to not wear a face mask has become more important to many people than any obligation to others. Choosing narrow personal liberties over community cooperation and protection does not bode well for our ability to withstand future crises.Judith Walzer Leavitt is professor emerita in the history of medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr Har Gobind Khorana at 100: Re-evaluating a shared heritage – Pakistan


His methods quickly attracted the attention of scientists elsewhere who started to make summer trips to Vancouver and his fame as an innovative scientist grew. In 1960, moving to Madison, Wisconsin, Gobind and his colleagues worked hard to solve the problem of the genetic code — how the “language” of DNA and RNA is transformed into proteins in the cell. The Khorana lab was able to show that triplet sequences encode specific amino acids, corroborating the work of Marshall Nirenberg who was to share the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1968 with Gobind.

Jan. 6 Capitol riot criminal prosecutions: Are judges going easy on defendants?


“There are a few factors related to particularities of these cases that could potentially explain why the Jan. 6 defendants were released pending trial at higher rates than average,” said assistant professor of law at the University of Wisconsin Law School Stephanie Didwania. “But I doubt these factors alone can explain why so many of the Jan. 6 defendants were released.”

A Vulnerability in Proctoring Software Should Worry Colleges, Experts Say

Chronicle of Higher Ed

The use of online-proctoring tools has exploded since colleges went remote in the spring of 2020. Proctorio’s business reportedly increased ninefold from April 2019 to April 2020, with nearly three million active weekly users as of March 2021. It and other proctoring companies — such as Honorlock and ProctorU — permeated the news cycle just as quickly, drawing widespread ire over concerns with student stress and allegations of bias against people with disabilities or darker skin tones. Students at more than a dozen universities, including the City University of New York, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and Washington State University, have circulated petitions protesting the use of the tools.

Fewer high school graduates enroll in college

Inside Higher Ed

Data from the University of Wisconsin system show there were 1,710 fewer new first-year, full-time-equivalent students in 2020 compared to 2019. In Ohio, the number of public high school graduates enrolling in a public institution peaked in 2018 at 51,075 students and declined 4 percent to 48,451 in 2020. The Kansas Board of Regents shows enrollment for first-time entering students declining from 16 percent in fall 2019 to 14 percent in fall 2021.

Families ate meals together, read together more often during pandemic, data shows

ABC News

While many parents have understandably worried about how things like remote learning, mask wearing and missing playdates have affected their children, this new data showing family togetherness should be reassuring, according to Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, a pediatrician and associate professor of pediatrics and clinical associate professor of human development and family studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Preparing for the Next Plague

Scientific American

In October, the NIAID announced a $36-plus-million-dollar program to develop pan-coronavirus vaccines, with funding going to three academic programs, located at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and Duke University in North Carolina. Recognizing the need for a comprehensive strategy, the funding is going to multidisciplinary groups with expertise in virology and immunology, immunogen design, and innovative vaccine and adjuvant platforms and technologies.

Biden meatpacking reforms lack punch, say critics

The Hill

The concentration in meatpacking also serves as a deterrent to farmers who might want to sell to the new government funded startups — who know “they are unlikely to be welcomed back if the buyer fails,” said University of Wisconsin law professor and former Department of Justice antitrust attorney Peter Carstensen.

How Psychedelic Drugs Can Be Used for Mental Health

The New York Times

That research isn’t conclusive yet, said Paul Hutson, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who studies psilocybin and leads the school’s center for psychedelics research. But he anticipates there will soon be enough evidence for the Food and Drug Administration to approve psilocybin capsules to treat at least some of these disorders — most likely in the next five years or so.

Come the Metaverse, Can Privacy Exist?

Wall Street Journal

A key question for the Delft team and its counterpart at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is how to obscure data on eye movements with privacy filters without sacrificing too much utility. Researchers from both schools said eye-trackers could give companies a wealth of information for targeted advertising at a very granular level.

Lucid dreaming may help treat PTSD. VR can make that happen.

Popular Science

Lucid dreaming is more than just self awareness. People who lucid dream gain memories of what happened earlier in the dream, the ability to manipulate their environment, control their own actions, and marvel at how strange their dream worlds are. Psychologists compare it to a fully immersive virtual reality inside our own heads, which we have the ability to program and reprogram. “You plug into your extended self,” says Benjamin Baird, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Cannabis to Help You Diet? One Edibles Company Thinks So

The New York Times

Some of them may turn to cannabis because of the prohibitive costs of certain medications, a lack of access to those medications or mistrust of the pharmaceutical industry, said Lucas Richert, a historian of drugs and medicines at the School of Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the editor of “Cannabis: Global Histories.”

The Word Of The Year And Why It Matters To Workplace Mental Health


According to Huffington, “It’s similar to happiness, actually—another quality we tend to idealize as an end state. But as Professor Richard Davidson at the University of Wisconsin has shown, we can actually train ourselves to be happier through practice in very tangible and measurable ways by giving ourselves the resources to deal with the ups and downs of life. Similarly, we can train ourselves to be more resilient through practice, and that’s the essence of Resilience+.”

A tool toward equity in graduate student career development (opinion)

Inside Higher Education

Research funding organizations like the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation encourage and/or require faculty researchers to use IDPs with doctoral student trainees. The practice has gained traction beyond the STEM disciplines within the past six years. A quick online search will reveal that the IDP has increasingly become a recommended mentoring tool for humanities and social sciences graduate students at both the master’s and doctoral levels.The following are a few of the possible IDPs available to graduate students: Individual Development Plan (all disciplines), University of Wisconsin

The Myth of Tribalism

The Atlantic

Sohad Murrar and her colleagues at the University of Wisconsin at Madison recently applied the same idea to intergroup relations. In recent years, universities and other organizations have invested heavily in training in which instructors extol the benefits of diversity and urge participants to be mindful of their own implicit biases. But those initiatives have a mixed record. Murrar’s team found that drawing people’s attention to social norms could produce much better results.

Mindfulness exercises for anxiety are the best thing you can do in 2022


It’s easy to believe we’re adept at taming anxiety born of uncertainty thanks to the pandemic. But this may be a false assumption. Dr. Jack Nitschke, a clinical psychologist, and associate professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin, told me that exposure to unpredictability doesn’t necessarily improve our coping skills. “I actually don’t think people get better at tolerating uncertainty just because there’s a lot of it,” he said.

Want Better K-12 Civic Education? Look to Higher Ed


Thankfully, we’re starting to see positive changes in higher education. In some cases, individual professors are stepping up, establishing on-campus centers for the study of American political ideas and institutions. At the Jack Miller Center, where I work, we partner with public-minded scholars who have created such centers at the University of Virginia, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, American University and dozens of others. Many of them, in turn, have launched programs for K-12 teachers.

Covid News: U.S. Daily Record for Cases Is Broken

New York Times

David O’Connor, a virologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said of the Omicron estimate, “The 73 percent got a lot more attention than the confidence intervals, and I think this is one example among many where scientists are trying to project an air of confidence about what’s going to happen.”

The Artists We Lost in 2021, in Their Words

The New York Times

“When I studied engineering at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, it was the humanities classes that I had put to the side that ultimately started me on this path of thinking about creativity in a much more cultural context — not designing for design’s sake, but connecting design to the rhythm of what’s happening in the world.”— Virgil Abloh, designer, born 1980 (Read the obituary.

High school football player Jaden Rashada signs endorsement deal with recruiting app

ABC News

Rashada said he did some of his own research to make sure he was allowed to explore endorsement deals. He also worked with an adviser, Ethan Weinstein, to help secure his first deal. Weinstein is a college junior who represents a handful of college athletes in NIL deals. He has previously worked in the University of Wisconsin recruiting office and interned with agent Drew Rosenhaus.

How Long Does Omicron Take to Make You Sick?

The Atlantic

Shorter incubation periods generally lead to more infections happening in less time, because people are becoming more contagious sooner, making onward transmission harder to prevent. Ajay Sethi, an epidemiologist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, told me he still wants more data on Omicron before he touts a trim incubation. But “it does make sense,” he said, considering the variant’s explosive growth in pretty much every country it’s collided with. In many places, Omicron cases are doubling every two to three days.

What Is Engaged Scholarship and How Can It Improve Your Research?

Inside Higher Ed

As academics engage with and learn from communities, the benefits of community engagement—more valid, compelling and informative scientific discovery—will continue to become apparent. Ultimately, the motivations driving community-engaged scholarship coalesce around a desire to improve the quality of one’s research, which should be a career-long goal for all of us in academia.

-Kristen Slack is a professor of social work and affiliate of the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She is also the founder of Prof2Prof, an interdisciplinary platform for sharing research scholarship as well as instructional tools, resources and strategies for higher education. Visit their FAQ page for more details on how to use Prof2Prof to heighten the discoverability of your academic scholarship, broadly defined, and to learn from peers within and across disciplines, continents and academic roles.

2021 was a pivotal year for octopuses, manatees, wolves, and more


Although millions of monarchs used to arrive in California each fall, this year’s tally is still an encouraging sign. It indicates that monarchs, like many insects, can recover quickly under the right conditions. “They lay hundreds of eggs,” Karen Oberhauser, a monarch expert and professor of entomology at the University of Wisconsin Madison, told Vox in December. “Good conditions can lead to quick increases in their numbers.”

The Revolutionary Writing of bell hooks

The New Yorker

In 1973, Watkins graduated from Stanford; as a nineteen-year-old undergraduate, she had already completed a draft of a visionary history of Black feminism and womanhood. During the seventies, she pursued graduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of California, Santa Cruz.

New Report Touts Benefits Of State Income Tax Repeal As Governors & Lawmakers Jockey To Become Nation’s 10th No-Income-Tax State


This is the context in which a new study was released today by University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor Noah Williams, founder of the Center for Research on the Wisconsin Economy (CROWE), finding that Wisconsin taxpayers and the state economy as a whole would benefit if the Badger State were to become the nation’s 10th no-income-tax state, making it the only state in the Midwest without an income tax.