November 14, 2017
The Economist reviews Midlife: A Philosophical Guide, a new book by Prof. Kieran Setiya, which attempts to demonstrate how philosophy can help people going through a midlife crisis. The book “may change preconceptions about the dryness of philosophy” as well as “make readers think and smile, which is not a bad therapy in itself,” the review concludes.
Boston 25 News reports that MIT researchers are working with the Boston Public Schools to create a plan to change the start time for the 125 city-run schools. One problem the new schedule aims to fix is K-8 students who are “out during the height of the afternoon rush, and often walk home in the dark.”
Writing for The New York Times, graduate student Erin Rousseau examines how the House tax bill would negatively impact graduate students in the U.S. The bill, “would make meeting living expenses nearly impossible, barring all but the wealthiest students from pursuing a Ph.D. The students who will be hit hardest are those from communities that are already underrepresented in higher education.”
Boston.com reporter Erica Yee highlights several Boston-area residents who were named to Forbes’ “30 under 30” list, including MIT postdoctoral associate Yichen Shen, who was honored for his work with nanophotonic breakthroughs, and undergraduate Jenny Xu, who was recognized for her work creating popular mobile games.
In an article for The Wall Street Journal, Christopher Matthews highlights a new study by Prof. Kerry Emanuel that shows Texas faces an increased risk of devastating rainfall due to climate change. The study demonstrated how greenhouse gas emissions, “help warm offshore waters—a phenomenon that can magnify the severity of storms and generate more rain, creating bigger floods.”
Los Angeles Times reporter Amina Khan writes that researchers from the LIGO Scientific Collaboration have identified gravitational waves emitted from the smallest black hole they have detected. “Its mass makes it very interesting,” explains Prof. Salvatore Vitale. The discovery, he adds, “really starts populating more of this low-mass region that [until now] was quite empty.”
MIT researchers have developed a new material that harvests sunlight and converts it into energy, reports Sydney Pereira for Newsweek. “Inspired by the structures that plants use to gather sunlight and turn it into energy, the material mimics circuitry found in nature for harvesting light,” Pereira explains.