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UW In The News

  • Can Democrats Expand the Supreme Court and How Likely Is it?

    Newsweek | June 29, 2022

    Newsweek asked two experts —retired judge Nancy Gertner and assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School Joshua Braver—to explain whether adding more justices to the Supreme Court is possible at all, how likely such a move is to succeed and why some Democrats are asking for it to happen, while others oppose it.

  • Century-Old State Laws Could Determine Where Abortion Is Legal

    New York Times | June 28, 2022

    “I hadn’t heard much about the ban until quite recently,” said Jenny Higgins, a professor of gender and women’s studies and obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. “Folks didn’t really believe that overturning Roe was possible, or palatable, until recently.”

  • ‘Trigger Law’ States Are Flying Blind Without Biden’s Guidance

    The Daily Beast | June 27, 2022

    “It would be surprising for guidance to be issued before the court hands down the Dobbs opinion,” said Miriam Seifter, a professor of administrative law, constitutional, and state and local government law at the University of Wisconsin.

  • What Does a Smart Toilet Do and Is It Worth It?

    Men's Health | June 27, 2022

    Turning more attention to the bowl is a boom in microbiome research that “has made it apparent just how important the organisms living in our gut really are,” says Joshua J. Coon, Ph.D., a professor of biomolecular chemistry at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

  • Video games that teach empathy

    The Washington Post | June 27, 2022

    Research provides some support for this idea. In one small study, researchers at the University of Wisconsin created a game based on Jamal Davis, an imaginary Black male science student who experiences discrimination in his PhD program. Players took the role of Jamal Davis and experienced what he experiences because of his skin color. When questioned afterward, the players said they understood how he felt and could take on his perspective, indications that they felt empathy.

  • Fathers feed babies too — so why are they so scarce in media coverage of the formula shortage?

    Salon | June 20, 2022

    Co-authored by Tova Walsh, an assistant professor of social work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a member of the Scholars Strategy Network and Alvin Thomas, an assistant professor of human development and family studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a member of the Scholars Strategy Network.

  • F.D.A. Authorizes Moderna and Pfizer Covid Vaccines for Youngest Children

    The New York Times | June 17, 2022

    Dr. James Conway, a pediatric infectious disease expert at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. said it was hard to pinpoint how much protection either vaccine might provide given that newer, more contagious versions of the virus are now circulating. “You’re kind of playing Whac-a-Mole,” he said.

  • Drones Being Used to Bring Defibrillators to Patients in Emergencies

    NBC 4 | June 17, 2022

    “Time is really of the essence here,” said Justin Boutilier, an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. “Survival from cardiac arrest decreases by between 7 to 15% for every minute that you go without treatment.”

    Boutilier describes obstacles to emergency response —such as traffic or difficult-to-reach rural locations — as “the perfect storm.” He has been designing a prototype drone that takes off as soon as someone calls 911.

  • A Hotter, Poorer, and Less Free America

    The Atlantic | June 16, 2022

    Or the world could simply leave the United States and its kludgy economy behind. Gregory Nemet, a public-affairs professor at the University of Wisconsin and the author of How Solar Energy Became Cheap, argues that the world is now on track to transition no matter what the United States does. “There’s so much momentum right now in this clean-energy transition. It will still happen, but it will happen more slowly” if no bill passes, he told me.

  • Virginia Lottery’s Bank a Million draw yields surprising winning numbers

    The Washington Post | June 14, 2022

    “Is it very unlikely that the numbers would show up 13 to 19? Yes,” said Jordan Ellenberg, a math professor at University of Wisconsin at Madison who wrote about the lottery in his book “How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking.”But any other set of numbers is “equally unlikely,” Ellenberg quickly added, speaking by phone from his front porch in Madison. “On the one hand, it’s very striking. On the other hand, a very improbable thing happens every time the lottery numbers are drawn. Every particular outcome is very unlikely. Otherwise people would win too much.”

  • The SOARS ocean simulator debuts at UC San Diego

    Popular Science | June 9, 2022

    Timothy Bertram, an atmospheric chemist at the University of Wisconsin, is one of many scientists who are eager to both see SOARS in action and contribute to its upcoming investigation of the sea-air boundary.

  • Calls to boost natural gas can’t ignore fuel combustion’s deadly impacts

    The Hill | June 8, 2022

    Then in mid-May, a new study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin at Madison found that eliminating pollution from fossil fuel combustion in power plants could avoid as many as 11,600 premature deaths in the U.S. every year, with an annual value of $132 billion. The researchers looked at five additional sectors: industrial fuel use; residential and commercial fuel use; on-road vehicles; non-road vehicles; as well as oil and gas production and refining. They found that exposure to the small particulates emitted by combustion in these six sectors combined resulted in 205,000 deaths in one year. And, due to the disparities in the siting of power plants and other facilities, the victims of this pollution are far more often low-income and people of color.

  • Blue Is Probably Your Favorite Color. Here’s Why, According to Science

    Popular Mechanics | June 7, 2022

    From Crayola polls to legitimate peer-reviewed studies, the BBC investigated the science of how we perceive color and found that not only do we adore blue, but our perceptions of color are shaped by our experiences. Highlighting research from University of Rhode Island associate professor Lauren Labrecque and University of Wisconsin psychology professor Karen Schloss, the BBC reports that our preference for blue is longstanding, and that we start to give meaning to colors as we age.

  • Are Iowa’s Democratic Days Gone for Good?

    The Atlantic | June 7, 2022

    “Individual people’s politics is so much more about who they think they are in the world as opposed to policy stances,” Kathy Cramer, a political-science professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, told me. “It’s about ‘Am I being heard? Am I being respected?’” To have any hope of clawing back their former terrain, Democrats need to make voters feel like the answer is yes.

  • Why the global soil shortage threatens food, medicine and the climate

    CNBC | June 6, 2022

    “There are places that have already lost all of their topsoil,” Jo Handelsman, author of “A World Without Soil,” and a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told CNBC.

  • Glyphosate weedkiller damages wild bee colonies, study reveals

    The Guardian | June 3, 2022

    “Bumblebees are a vitally important group of pollinators [and] the new findings are especially important given the widespread global use of glyphosate,” said Prof James Crall, at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, US, who was not part of the study team. “[Current] environmental safety testing is insufficient for identifying often unpredictable effects on behaviour, physiology, or reproduction that occur at sublethal exposures.”

  • Coal prices, demand are up but unlikely to spark a resurgence

    Marketplace | June 3, 2022

    Fossil fuel spikes could well accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels in favor of wind and solar, according to Greg Nemet at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

  • How Could Life Evolve From Cyanide?

    Quanta Magazine | June 2, 2022

    Joining me now is Betül Kaçar. She’s an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in the department of bacteriology. She’s also the principal investigator of Project MUSE, a major NASA-funded astrobiology research initiative. Betül Kaçar, thanks very much for being here.Betül Kaçar

    Betül Kaçar (18:33): Thanks for having me.

  • Why the global economy runs on dollars

    Washington Post | June 2, 2022

    Ultimately, the question of whether the dollar will remain a global reserve currency answers itself. To misquote a famous authority on political economy, “A day may come when the dollar loses its central role as the dominant global reserve currency, but it is not this day.” It is not even this decade, and quite likely not even this century. It won’t even become a possibility until the E.U. becomes a true fiscal and political union — or until China develops an accountable liberal government and much more developed private financial markets and finally accepts the free movement of capital flows. None of those scenarios seems likely to happen soon.

    Mark Copelovitch (@mcopelov) is professor of political science and public affairs and director of European Studies at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He is the author (with David A. Singer) of “Banks on the Brink: Global Capital, Securities Markets, and the Political Roots of Financial Crises” (Cambridge University Press, 2020).

  • How Eric Adams’s Struggle With Dyslexia Is Shaping His Mayoralty

    The New York Times | June 1, 2022

    Reading experts have praised the plan, but said that the details of the implementation would be key. Mark Seidenberg, a cognitive neuroscientist and reading expert at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said that all students could benefit from better reading instruction.

  • Foxconn Megafactory Flop Forces Wisconsin Town to Recast Its Net

    WSJ | May 26, 2022

    “Right now, it’s a giant white-elephant-type project,” said Steven Deller, a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “The water lines that they ran into it, the highway infrastructure that they ran into it, the electric lines that they ran into it—it’s all way overcapacity,” he said.

  • Why Ukraine and Russia Both Look to the Nuremberg Trials

    Time | May 26, 2022

    Of course, none of this is inevitable. History shows that it is the victor who gets to organize postwar tribunals. For Ukraine to bring Putin and his circle to justice, it will first have to win the war. There is also a dark alternative: a Nuremberg-type tribunal of Ukrainian leaders held by Russia. This would inevitably be a Soviet-style show trial—a kangaroo court that would degrade international law and could taint the meaning of Nuremberg forever.

    -Francine Hirsch, Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the author of Soviet Judgment at Nuremberg: A New History of the International Military Tribunal after World War II(Oxford, 2020).

  • Foxconn Megafactory Flop Forces Wisconsin Town to Recast Its Net

    Wall Street Journal | May 25, 2022

    “Right now, it’s a giant white-elephant-type project,” said Steven Deller, a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “The water lines that they ran into it, the highway infrastructure that they ran into it, the electric lines that they ran into it—it’s all way overcapacity,” he said.

  • Gender Stereotypes In Hulu’s Baby And Toddler Programming May Have Lasting Effects For Kids

    Forbes | May 24, 2022

    Another problem with children learning these stereotypes at such a young age is that once stereotypes are learned, it’s nearly impossible to unlearn them. Patricia Devine, a professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison explained to Wisconsin Public Radio, “A lot of people sincerely embrace egalitarian values, but being socialized into our culture, they learn stereotypes very early in childhood, around age three, four and five. They’re firmly ingrained; they’re frequently activated, very well-practiced, and they end up being the default, or habitual kind of response.” She adds, “I’m not sure if it’s possible to unlearn them…I know I shouldn’t act based on the stereotypes, but it’s not as though my awareness or my knowledge of those stereotypes just goes away.”

  • Lucy Calkins Retreats on Phonics in Fight Over Reading Curriculum

    The New York Times | May 23, 2022

    Mark Seidenberg, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, said that while he found some of the revisions “encouraging,” he was concerned that “objectionable” concepts remain.

  • Cutting fossil fuel air pollution saves lives

    NPR | May 18, 2022

    “These [particles] get deep into the lungs and cause both respiratory and cardiac ailments,” says Jonathan Patz, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and one of the authors of the study. “They are pretty much the worst pollutant when it comes to mortality and hospitalization.”

  • Pollution’s death toll remains high, killing more people than war or malaria

    NBC News | May 18, 2022

    “We have the technologies available to get us to essentially an emissions-free electricity sector nationwide in the U.S.,” said Nicholas Mailloux, the lead author of that study and a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. “Some other sectors will be trickier, like aviation.”

  • Five things to know about incoming UW-Madison chancellor Jennifer Mnookin

    Wisconsin State Journal | May 17, 2022

    Jennifer Mnookin has been named as the next chancellor to lead UW-Madison. She will be the university’s 30th chancellor. Her appointment takes effect Aug. 4.

  • N.Y.C. urges people to wear masks indoors, but stops short of requiring it.

    The New York Times | May 17, 2022

    The rise shouldn’t surprise people, given the large number of unvaccinated Americans, said Ajay Sethi, an associate professor of population health sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  • Energy & Environment — Canceled leases leave Biden admin at crossroads

    The Hill | May 17, 2022

    “Our work provides a sense of the scale of the air quality health benefits that could accompany deep decarbonization of the U.S. energy system,” lead author Nick Mailloux, a graduate student at University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, said in a statement.

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